Cambridge by Imperial - Items seen at Auction

by J. D. Hanes
Issue No. 223 - November 1991

On Friday and Saturday, September 6 & 7, 1991, I attended an auction held in Moundsville, West Virginia. It was an estate auction of a man who had worked for the Imperial Glass Company for many years. I only attended the Friday part of the auction, since their catalog indicated that was the day most of the "Cambridge by Imperial" items were to be sold. The turnout was not very good, but I did see and talk with a few members of N.C.C., as well as members of the Imperial Club.

Many of the items from Cambridge molds were obviously Imperial in origin, due to their colors. Most did not have the Imperial mark, but many did have original Imperial or Cambridge by Imperial labels. Some of the items that were sold that day, are listed below.

  • Pristine #737, canoe ashtray in verde and amber.
  • 1956/5 8" hambone ashtray in orange slag.
  • Caprice #131, 8" low footed plate in moonlight blue.
  • Cambridge Square #165 candy box & cover in crystal.
  • Cambridge Square #150 6½" ashtray in carmen (Imperial called it Ruby).
  • #3011 Nude Stem comport with moonlight blue bowl, crystal stem and foot.
  • #1042 6½" swan in crystal and crystal frosted.
  • #1043 8½" swan in crystal and crystal frosted.
  • #1663, the 4-lite arm for the Cambridge Arms, in crystal.
  • #3121 parfait in crystal, etched Rosepoint.
  • A56 Today wine, antique blue stem, crystal bowl.
  • A56 Today cordial, amber stem, crystal bowl.

Some of the Imperial colors that were seen, are very similar to Cambridge colors. Orange slag, caramel slag and verde green are definitely Imperial colors. The confusing colors were moonlight blue, carmen (ruby), amber, antique blue and, of course, crystal. Imperial's antique blue can look a lot like Cambridge's tahoe blue, especially in the A56 Today stem line.

Some of these items were bought by myself, a "St. Clairsville Collector," and an "Imperial Lady." Most of the items went for a reasonable price. However, some of the items that would be very confusing to some collectors, sold for the same or higher prices that we would pay for original Cambridge. It makes me wonder if some of these will be sold on the market as originals.

All in all, it was an enjoyable day. I hope that this will be of help to all collectors.