Smokers' Items, Part V

by Mark A. Nye
Issue No. 258 - October 1994

The 1949 Cambridge catalog, the first issued since 1940, contained only two pages of smokers' items. The newest items on these pages were the Caprice 214, 215 and 216 nesting ash trays. Molds for the three were ordered during the fall of 1942 and made using wood models of the proposed ash trays. Introduced simultaneously with the Caprice 200 line of stemware, the set is pictured, along with the stemware, on a supplemental catalog page issued in 1943. At the time of their 1943 introduction, this ash tray set had flat tops. Recorded during the summer of 1945 was an order to change the molds so that the ash trays would have rounded tops. For some reason the 1949 catalog page continued to illustrate what may be the flat top version. Apparently the mold change took place since rounded top ash trays are in several collections. Both styles will be found in Crystal and Moonlight.

In a private collection is a "pink" C214 flat top ash tray. Surviving company records do not mention production of this ash tray in La Rosa or Dianthus Pink. In two other collections are Gold Krystol C214 ash trays, both have flat tops and one has the Alpine decoration. Again, there are no company records showing when these were made, but most likely it was before 1945.

Introduced in 1947, the Cascade line, containing three ash trays, numbers 214, 215 and 216, made its first catalog appearance in the 1949 Cambridge catalog. When inverted, the No. 216 ash tray served as the base for the Cascade punch bowl. This piece was combined with the Cascade 479 21-inch plate to make up the 479/216 2-piece Sunday Evening or Buffet Supper Set.

Introduced in 1952, the Cambridge Square line contained two sizes of ash trays, 3½ and 6½ inch, and a cigarette urn. The cigarette urn is simply the individual sugar put to an alternate use. First made in crystal, these items were later available in Ebon and Ebony. It is possible to find the cigarette urn, in both Crystal and Ebon, decorated with a gold encrusted cigarette. The small ash tray and the urn were sold separately and in boxed three piece sets.

While probably in production during early 1949, the 1712, 1713 and 1714 cigarette box and ash tray sets were not pictured in the 1949 catalog as originally issued. The orders for the molds to make the components, except the S.S. 35 bottom, were recorded in December 1944. They show the cigarette box and cover molds came from reworking the 616 cigarette box and cover molds. The 1711 ash tray was specifically designed to fit in the 1710 cigarette box top. These items did appear on catalog pages issued in August 1949 showing items available in, the then new colors of, Emerald and Mandarin Gold. Captioned as the 1712 bottom, cover and ash tray in a supplement to the 1949 catalog, the original mold orders referred to these pieces as the 1710 cigarette box and cover and the 1711 ash tray. The price list retained the designation 1711 for the ash tray as did a later catalog page.

The 1950 Cambridge price list offered the 1711 ash tray, the 1713 4-piece smoker set and the 1714 3-piece smoker set in Crystal, Emerald, Mandarin Gold and Ebony. In addition, the 1713 came in Varitone Set. In this instance the box was in Moonlight, the cover in Crystal and the ash trays in Mandarin Gold. The 1712 6-piece stowaway set came in all Crystal, Crystal box and cover with four ash trays in Emerald or Mandarin Gold, or with two ash trays of each color. While not absolutely clear from the price list and catalog, it does appear the cover to the 1712 box was made only in Crystal.

Recorded in June 1949 was an order for the mold to produce a domed lid for the 1710 cigarette box. The entry in the log reads "P747 - cover for 1710 cigarette box. Domed like Caprice 208 cover." The September 1950 price list offered the P.747 cigarette box and cover in Crystal, plain or etched Rose Point, and in Ebony. Later this box became available in Ebon when that finish was introduced early 1954.

Mixing and matching has always been, and continues to be, a means of producing "new" items. The Caprice 209 cigarette box makes use of this technique since it is composed of the 1710 cigarette box bottom and the top from the Caprice 208 cigarette box and cover.

Another smokers' item new in the early 1950s is the 1715 4-piece stackaway ash tray set. Its mold order was recorded in March 1951, but the date when the set became available in the retail market is not known. Sold in three different ways, the 1715 ash tray came as a 4-piece stackaway set, as a single ash tray, or when turned upside down, as a low, single light candleholder.

Contained in the Cambridge Milk Glass line are three smokers' items. These are the W101 cigarette box & cover (also known as Caprice 208), the W102 individual ash tray with placecard holder (also known as Caprice 213), and W103 4-inch ash tray (also known as Shell 33).

In the Ebon line are four smokers' items; these being the P.747 cigarette box and the three items from the Square line. These are discussed in preceding paragraphs.

Catalog Page
Catalog Page