Novelty Items, Part II

by Mark A. Nye
Issue No. 228 - April 1992

Webmaster's Note: Pictures are provided on a separate page which may load slowly on a dial-up connection.

The following paragraph comes from the China, Glass & Lamps description of the 1915 Pittsburgh Show Cambridge display.

"The popular Community Colonial line is there in all its pristine glory with many additions in the shape of novelties and staple items, also the ever popular Nearcut ware."

What items from the #2800 or Community line did the author of this write-up consider novelties? One can only guess, based on what generally was considered staple items at the time and what was called novelties in catalogs, advertisements and other trade articles. Certainly butter dishes, spoon holders, creams and sugars, basic oil bottles, nappies and most jugs would not be considered novelties as these were staple items in most, if not all, lines. The #13 7 oz. catsup bottle would probably be considered a novelty, or at least this author would consider it so since it was not a staple item. Would any of the seven oil bottles seen on the same catalog page as the catsup bottle (see accompanying page of pictures) be considered a novelty? Probably not.

The Community #68 ice jug and cover (see page of accompanying pictures) with its molded glass handle is most certainly a novelty since most ice buckets or pails, have a metal bail for a handle. Footed cream pitchers and sugar bowls are debatable, but at the time, might have been considered a novelty, as most sugars and creams would have been flat. The other pieces on the same catalog page are standard items for the period.

Almond shell From its illustration, the #59 5" Almond Shell handled, appears to be unique in shape and certainly in its size and intended use. Thus, it could be termed a novelty.

While celery trays are not unique and certainly not novelties, the #40 9" Canoe pickle could be considered a novelty, as is the case for the #38 individual oval olive. On this same catalog page, the #131 ice tub is a standard item, while the #127 Tobacco Jar and Cover is not and I would certainly call it a novelty. (See page of accompanying pictures.) Not only is it a tobacco jar, but there also appear to be holes in the handles; holes most likely intended to hold pipes. It also has a cupped base, perhaps intended for use as an ash receiver.

Continuing with this same catalog page, with the exception of the footed sandwich tray and the #17 shaker, the remaining illustrated items could all be considered novelties.

The high and low footed bowls and covers, #103, #104 and #105 (see accompanying pictures) are unusual enough to be considered novelties Ice Cream Cone holder and probably would not have been considered a staple item during the first decades of the 20th century. Footed bowls without covers were more common and would not have been considered a novelty. Ice Tea Tumbler plate The three sizes of the #116 footed rose bowl and the #117 Lilly bowl, in my view, would have been rather unusual items, since most flower bowls are not footed and hence, qualify as novelties. The little #144 Mustard and cover is unusual because of its handle and was probably considered a novelty.

Other items from the Community line that might have been considered novelties are: the #74 ice tea tumbler plate (right); the #79 footed puff box and cover(below left); Puff Box and the #93 ice cream cone holder (above left).

Additional items that might have been considered novelties from the Community line are; the #110 two-handled candlestick (right); the #112 two-handled vase; and the rather unusual #114 vase, both shown at the end of this article.

110 Candlestick Whether or not glass baskets would have been considered novelty items has not been determined. If they were, then the six Community baskets, #122, #123, #124, #125, #126 and #135 would also qualify as novelties. The basket is shown below, at the end of this article.

Several of the Community items deemed to be novelties were also made in ebony, as well as crystal. These include the #59 almond shell, the baskets, the tobacco jar and cover, the ice jug and cover, the two handled candlestick (right) and two handled vase (below, left), the #114 vase (below, second from left), the canoe pickle, and three other items not previously mentioned. These being the #165 and #166 footed violet holders and the #167 Nasturtium vase (last picture below at right).

As seen in this article and the previous one, while there is no doubt about some items being novelties, it was, and is, often the eye of the beholder that determines if an item should be considered a novelty or not.

To be continued ...

112 Vase 114 Vase Basket 2800 Vases