Mustards and Marmalades

by Mark A. Nye
Issue No. 199 - November 1989

Webmaster's Note: The catalog illustration for use with this article can be found at the end of the article.

Page 416 of the January 1, 1940 Cambridge Glass Company catalog was entitled "Mustards and Marmalades." Nine items are shown and a tenth one is mentioned; specifically there are four mustards and six marmalades. None of these items were new for 1940 and were shown together simply as a matter of convenience to the buyer and seller. You may ask, "Why an article dealing with this group of items?"

From the collector's viewpoint, mustards and marmalades would make an ideal collectible. They do not require the space larger items do; the ten shown are but a sampling of those produced by Cambridge; items such as these do present a challenge to collect, but are not impossible to find; they come plain or decorated, crystal or in color; and for all these reasons, make an ideal collectible. In addition, vacation schedules required an article and illustrations easily assembled into this issue of the CRYSTAL BALL.

The Caprice pattern was introduced in 1936 and while the first references to a mustard and marmalade in the line dates to the summer of 1938, it is very possible they both were in production during 1936 and 1937. The Caprice mustard and marmalade were produced in crystal and moonlight, plain and Alpine, but were not produced in the other Caprice colors. During the summer of 1938 a three piece Mustard and Marmalade Set, consisting of the two items plus the Caprice #37 6" tray, was selling for $15 a dozen plain or $25.50 per dozen with the Alpine finish. While not easily found, diligent searching and patience will add these two items to your collection. However, if you should want both items in moonlight and crystal, plain and Alpine, you might have a problem obtaining the latter.

Introduced in 1930, the Mt. Vernon line was described in an early advertisement in this manner:

"This Early American pattern in a brilliant Crystal line by Cambridge. Inspired by worthy tradition and executed with true craftsmanship, it lends itself very naturally to the Early American dining room ensemble ..."

From another advertisement it is learned that during the early years Mt. Vernon was produced in amber, royal blue, forest green, carmen and crystal. In addition, some production was done using heatherbloom. Since price lists from the 1930s are not known, no definitive statement regarding availability of the Mt. Vernon mustard and marmalade in all the colors can be made. Production of Mt. Vernon in color had ceased by 1940. The 1932 Cambridge Glass Company catalog supplement referred to the Mt. Vernon #74 as a Honey Jar & cover, while the 1940 catalog and price list utilized both names.

The Pristine line brought out in early 1937 was "based on simplicity in design ..." quoting from an early description of the pattern. The Pristine line, as a line, was never made in color and hence the Pristine mustard and marmalade will only be found in crystal, but unlike the two previous patterns, will be found engraved and perhaps etched. Both items were produced with the Belfast, Broadmoor, Chesterfield, American Star and Cranston cuttings during the early years of the pattern. Indications are the mustard and marmalade were Marmalades not being decorated with Rock Crystal engravings during the 1940s, but such decoration during those years has not been ruled out. In addition to the previously listed cuttings, it is possible Fantasy, Strawflower, Killarney, Neo Classic, The Pines, Etruscan and Grecian were also used to decorate the Pristine mustard and marmalade. The seldom seen Firenze etching would have been placed on the Pristine mustard and marmalade, but it will be a fortunate collector who obtains those two items. It is also possible both items might have been decorated with three decorations: D/Astoria (gold edge), etched Laurel and gold encrusted or etched Laurel with a gold edge.

During the war years, the Pristine line was discontinued but with the end of World War II it was reintroduced with many new items. However, the original mustard and marmalade were retained and appear in the 1949 Cambridge catalog. Later, the marmalade was cut Lynbrook and Laurel Wreath. Both the mustard and the marmalade remained available until the initial closing in 1954. During the reopen years only the marmalade was produced.

The first known appearance of the #151 mustard and the #147 and #145 marmalades occurred in Cambridge Catalog #10, dating to circa 1921. In it all three are shown plain and on a subsequent page the #147 is illustrated with P.E. 1 and P.E. 2 while the #145 is pictured decorated with the P.E.6. These limited illustrations do not rule out the decoration of these three items with any of the etchings being done during the early to mid-1920s. None of the three appear in the 1927-29 catalog, but this does not preclude their production during those years. However, they are also absent from the 1930-34 catalog, indicating in all probability they had been discontinued. Indications are #151, #147 and #145 were reintroduced to the Cambridge line in the late 1930s. The #151 mustard and cover and the #147 marmalade and cover will be found in addition to plain, with the following etchings; Blossom Time, Chantilly, Portia, Diane, Elaine, Rose Point and Wildflower. During the early 1940s, these same two pieces were also engraved Laurel Wreath and King Edward. No records have been found indicating the #145 was decorated during its second production period, but, unlike the other two, the 1940 catalog did offer it in the colors of amber, amethyst and royal blue in addition to crystal.

A supplemental catalog page dating to the mid-to-late 1930s offered the #145 and #147 marmalades in crystal, amber, forest green, royal blue and amethyst, plain and etched in crystal, amber and forest green. Unfortunately this page did not indicate what etchings were being done on the colored blanks.

None of these three marmalades appear in the 1949 Cambridge catalog, indicating they had been dropped from the line, most likely during the late war years.

The origins of the #157 footed marmalade are somewhat obscure. Limited research failed to turn up a reference earlier than the mid-1930s when it was pictured on a supplemental catalog page that stated it was available in crystal with a colored foot; the colors being crystal, amber, forest green, royal blue and amethyst. Similar to the #147, it was also being offered etched at the time, but the etchings were not listed. It is known that at some point in time the #157 marmalade was etched Rose Point. The 1940 catalog offered the item in crystal, plain only and this is the last reference to the piece.

When all the possible decorations, etchings, cuttings and colors are included, the ten original mustards and marmalades turn into a collection of 66, with the possibility of anywhere from 0 to 30 more. A collector attempting to assemble a set of these ten items with all their variations in color and decorations might very well spend years searching.

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