Thirties Superstar: Figure Stem Line

by Mark Nye
Issue No. 266 - June 1995

On August 25, 1931 a patent application was submitted by the Cambridge Glass Co. in the name of its Corporate Secretary and Sales Manager, Will Cameron McCartney. Of all the Cambridge lines that originated during the 1930s, the line covered by this patent and Rose Point are the two most recognized as being Cambridge. Design Patent No. 85,618 issued November 24, 1931 covered what we now refer to as the "Cambridge Nudes". The text of that application follows.

"Be it known that I, Will Cameron McCartney, a citizen of the United States of America, and resident of Cambridge, county of Guernsey and State of Ohio, have invented a new, original, and ornamental Design for a Goblet or Similar Article, of which the following is a specification, reference being had to the accompanying drawing, in which--

"The single figure is a perspective view of a goblet or similar article showing my new design.

"The invention resides in the stem which comprises a nude female figure occupying upstanding position with both arms upraised, balancing upon the head by means of the hands an urn like figure upon which is superposed the bowl of the goblet. Said figure is represented as standing upon an elevated central portion of the base with one foot and an adjacent portion of the leg enveloped by a fallen gauze-like scarf.

"The arms are represented as occupying similar fully exposed portions at opposite sides of and at substantially equal distances from the head, and the unshorn hair is represented as falling in a loose wind-blown mass over one shoulder. The opposite or reverse side of the stem shows the nude back of the female figure with the disclosed forms of the urn-like figure and the base repeated in all substantial respects.

"I claim...

"The ornamental design for a goblet or similar article, substantially as shown and described."

At the time of its introduction, the line was known as the No. 3011 or "Figure Stem Line." Later, the name "Statuesque" became associated with the line and during the late years, "Lady Figure Line" was used as the common name. Today, the line is most often referred to as "Nudes" or "Cambridge Nudes".

In addition to other items, the Figure Stem Line contains thirteen pieces of stemware including two goblets, the banquet and table goblets. Of all the stemware, the 3011/9 cocktail is the most frequently found item today.

One of the four drinking vessels shown in the original trade advertisement that introduced the Nudes, the 3011/9 cocktail appears to have been in production during the entire period from 1931 until the 1954 plant closing and again during the reopen years.

While non-decorated cocktails are easily located, decorated Nude cocktails are scarce and remain hard to find. Known decorations consist of the etchings Apple Blossom, Gloria, Rose Point, Vichy and No. 758; the engraving No. 611; various Rockwell Sterling decorations; and etched Rose Point, gold encrusted. With the exception of Rose Point, all of the etched nudes were definitely produced during the 1930s as were those engraved No. 611. Rose Point etched nudes probably date to the late 1930s also but production may have occurred during the early 1940s.

The 1940 Cambridge price list offered the cocktails in Crystal, Amber, Forest Green, Royal Blue, Amethyst and Carmen with clear or frosted stems. January 1942 saw the cocktail being offered in what Cambridge called Harlequin Sets. These sets consisted of a Nude Cocktail in each of eight colors, La Rosa, Moonlight, Mocha, Pistachio, Gold Krystol, Amethyst, Forest Green, and Tahoe Blue.

In the fall of 1950, the cocktail was offered in a reduced but still varied array of colors. With a Crystal stem and foot, the available bowl colors were Amber, Amethyst, Emerald (dark), Mandarin Gold and Carmen. In the colors of Amber, Amethyst, dark Emerald and Mandarin Gold, the cocktail was available with a satin finished stem and foot.

Two additional listing in the September 1950 price list offered the cocktail with a Gold Krystol bowl with Crown Tuscan stem and foot, and with a Crystal bowl and foot with an Ebony stem.

By October 1953, production of No. 3011 stemware was limited to the cocktail and the brandy. Amber, Amethyst, dark Emerald and Mandarin Gold cocktails were being produced and sold individually or in eight piece sets, consisting of two of each color.

The reopen period saw a resurgence of color in what was then called the "Lady Figure Line." Both the March and October 1956 price lists offered the cocktail in Carmen, Dark Emerald, Smoke, Pink, Mandarin Gold, Moonlight Blue, Pistachio, Amber and Amethyst. Crackle nudes in the colors of Smoke, Pink, Mandarin Gold, Moonlight Blue and Pistachio date to 1956.

The final Cambridge price list, dated 1958, offered the nude cocktail in just three colors, Amber, Amethyst and Carmen, all with crystal stem and foot.

For additional information on the No. 3011/9 cocktail as well as all No. 3011 stemware, the interested reader is referred to Cambridge Stemware by this author and available through NCC, Inc.

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