Vases, Part IV

by Mark A. Nye
Issue No. 180 - April, 1988

(NOTE: On a separate page, find five pages of "catalog" illustrations and one advertisement which will be used for this article (and for Part III from last month). The supplemental page will load very slowly on dial-up connections due to the number of Catalog images.)

Two vases from the 1949-54 period not mentioned in Part III are #1410 a 6" rose bowl, and P569 or Pristine 9" crimped vase, both of which are not new during this period.

During the 1950s, prior to the initial plant closing, the latter was offered in carmen, emerald, mandarin gold and ebony; while it appears the rose bowl was only produced in crystal.

Another vase made in ebony, sometime after the reintroduction of this color, is the #1237, 9" footed vase. All three parts, vase, "keyhole stem" and foot were made in black glass.

The Cambridge Glass Vompany closed during the summer of 1954 and in the spring of the following year (under new ownership and management) it reopened and production resumed. No price lists are known from the period March 1955 until March 1956. Price lists were issued March and October of 1956, but it wasn't until December 1956 that a new catalog was finally issued. With a few exceptions, the price lists of March and October 1956 were identical in their listings, the prime difference is the pricing of the wares being offered for sale - with the October prices higher. The two lists provide identical listings for the category of vases; hence all the information cited from the March price list also indicates what was being offered in the fall of 1956.

The price list of March 1956 lists 24 different vases, many of which were held over from the earlier production period. These are #274, #278, #1066 (ivy ball), #1237, #1238, #1410 and #6004 (both sizes). From the Pristine line #563, #565, #568, #569, #572, and #604. From the Cambridge Square line #3797/77/78/79/80 and /91. This group was being made only in crystal and several, such as both sizes of #6004, #1237 and #1238, continued to be used for etchings. Rose Point, Chantilly and Wildflower were done on all four vases during this period, with Rose Point and Wildflower available plain etched, with a gold edge, or gold encrusted. A fourth etch, and one introduced in the reopen period, was Paisley. It will also be found on the 8" version of the #6004.

One of the next four vases listed in the March 1956 price list, the #1528 10" vase, was not new during the reopen period as it is shown in the 1940 Cambridge catalog. Since no reference to this vase is found during the years 1949-54, it would appear that this item was discontinued at some point, only to have the mold reactivated during the reopen period. The other three, consisting of the #1517 6" vase, the #1518 8" vase and the #1519 10" vase, were new to the reopen period, being produced from reworked older molds. This rework is documented in surviving mold order books and was recorded in December 1955.

During the spring of 1956, these four vases, #1528, #1517, #1518 and #1519 were being made in crystal and the following colors; smoke, pink, pistachio, moonlight and mandarin gold. There was no price distinction regarding color; price being determined primarily by size and ranged from $1.50 each for the 6" #1517 to $3.50 each for the 10" #1528.

During the reopen period, Cambridge once again produced Crackled ware, albeit a small amount and the #1528 vase was offered in crystal, smoke, pink, pistachio, moonlight and mandarin gold, Crackled. These vases are rarely seen today.

Crystal versions of #1517, #1518 and #1519 were decorated with the rock crystal engraving known as Starlite. At the same time the Pristine P580 8" flip vase in crystal was being decorated with the engraving known as "Duck Cattail." Somewhat unusual for the time period, the #1528 vase in crystal, pink, pistachio, moonlight and mandarin gold was being engraved Starlight (or #10P) and Wedding Rings.

Made in smoke, the #1528 was listed as being available with the gold decoration D/Star, while #1519 in smoke could have been had with D/Moon, another gold decoration. These two were later shown in the 1956-58 catalog.

Crystal, pink, pistachio, moonlight and mandarin gold #1528 vases, in addition to being sold plain or with the two engravings, Starlite and Wedding Rings, were also listed as being decorated with three etchings, Lace, Lion and Today. These are obscure etchings, known to this writer only through their listing in the 1956 price lists.

Several rock crystal engravings, in addition to the two previously mentioned, were done on one or more vases during the early years of the reopen period. These include Harvest, Laurel Wreath, Lynbrook, Rondo, Tempo and Roxbury, all of which are listed in the 1956 prices as being available on one or more vases.

The last of the Cambridge catalogs was published in December 1956 and contained two pages devoted to vases, none of which were being seen for the first time. These two pages are reprinted in this issue and hence the vases shown will not be listed here. The final Cambridge price list was issued in 1958 and contained, excluding the Mardi Gras line, listings for 15 different vases: #274, #1237, #1238, #1410, #1518, #1519, #6004 (both sizes), P569, P572, P604, #3797/77/78 and /80, the latter three being from the Cambridge Square line.

While production was primarily in crystal, a few were still being made in color as the company neared the end. #1528 and #3797/78 were being offered in carmen with the latter having a crystal foot; #1518 in moonlight blue, plain or engraved Starlite; and #1528 and #1519 were listed as being made in smoke. In addition, a select few continued to be available etched Chantilly, Rose Point and Wildflower as well as rock crystal engraved.

The Mardi gras line was introduced in December 1957 and the following description comes from a Cambridge advertisement announcing the Line.

"This striking new gift line from Cambridge captures the Mardi Gras spirit in unusual contours, shapes, brilliance and gaiety. Every color of the rainbow blends to give the light, bright touch ... there's nothing like it anywhere."

The line was made using crystal glass containing flecks of colored glass. Of the sixteen pieces listed in the 1958 price list, eleven are vases. All of which are unusual in shape; a design style some might call "free form." In addition to the regular line, the Sea Shell #46 flower holder is known with the Mardi gras style coloration. Very little Mardi gras is seen today. (The Mardi gras advertisement is from the Crockery & Glass Journal December 1957.)