by Mark A. Nye
Issue No. 274 - February 1996

Gloria etching One of the first, if not the first, references to Gloria in the trade publications occurred in September 1930, when the following appeared in China, Glass & Lamps (CGL). It is a short description of a new Cambridge display room, probably the Pittsburgh Sample Room, that opened in the Smithfield Building during the summer of 1930. The Cambridge representative, Mr. Roy Murray, also represented the Hocking Glass Co. and its display area was adjacent to the Cambridge one.

"The Cambridge Glass Co.'s large display is more formal. Display cases and tables in Italian oak finish give an attractive background for the varied Cambridge wares. In this display, the various lines are shown in separate alcoves. For instance, there is an extensive showing of vases in many shapes, sizes and treatments and colors. The vases are shown together. One section of the large room is given over to crystal, both plain and decorated, pressed and blown. The Cambridge Glass Co. is featuring the No. 3400 dinnerware shape in the new "Gloria" and "Apple Blossom" patterns. The former is especially outstanding on the Gold Krystol, or light gold color. Like the other companies, this factory endeavors to make a complete showing of its most active line."

The following month, CGL again contained a reference to Gloria, this time complete with an illustration showing a square 3400 plate along with the 3400-line cream and sugar. The currently available copy of this reference is out of context, that is the actual source within the Gloria vase trade publication is not known. It does appear to be from an article written by an industry observer/commentator and not of Cambridge origin.

"Gloria is the name which the Cambridge Glass Co. has given to its newest decoration and is to be seen at the showroom, 184 Fifth Avenue (New York City, NY). As the illustration shows, the Gloria is a floral pattern of a most distinctive character. One unusual feature is the fact that the design begins at the bottom of the piece and extends upward, instead of starting at the top and working downward, as is more customary.

"A full line of dinnerware, flatware and stemware may be had in this decoration, and it has been developed in amber, green, pink, gold krystol, willow blue, and crystal. In the illustration, the pattern is shown on Cambridge's new patented 3400 square plate, a shape which is proving most attractive to all buyers who have seen it.

"Many flat pieces decorated with the Gloria pattern filled in with gold or carrying a gold rim are on display in the Cambridge showrooms and there are also a number of similar pieces carrying the Apple Blossom decoration which has been liked so much ..."

Gloria was the featured pattern in a full page advertisement appearing in the February 1931 CGL. Pictured were the 3400/63 dinner plate, 3400/54 cup and saucer, and two pieces of No. 3025 stemware: the low sherbet and the 10 oz footed tumbler. The text of the advertisement read:

"Gloria the popular Cambridge etching for 1931, like Apple Blossom, goes further toward the fulfillment of a complete glass Gloria vase dinnerware service than any other pattern available on the market. Here you have dinnerware, stemware, flatware and novelty pieces all harmonious and of identical loveliness. The recently added stemware line of which two pieces are illustrated has a foot of same contour as the associated pieces."

By the latter is meant the foot used for the No. 3025 line has the same basic shape as the 3400 dinnerware line.

A CGL reporter/columnist visited the New York showrooms during March 1931 and had this to say in the April issue.

"... Their latest production is silver on ebony which is shown in a range of fancy pieces, such as various sizes and shapes in vases, cocktail shakers, console sets, relishes, etc. Four types of decorative treatments are offered in this assortment. Their well-known Gloria, Apple Blossom, and Windsor patterns have been used as well as silver band decorations. The first three patterns mentioned are inlaid in silver, which, in combination with the bony glass is very effective. The vase illustrated, their No. 779, will at once suggest how charming this line is. It stands 13 inches in height and is decorated in the Gloria pattern. It really is a beautiful piece."

Illustrated in a full-page advertisement appearing in the June 1931 issue of CGL was the No. 3400/27 iced lipped jug and matching tumblers, etched Gloria, Apple Blossom and Lorna.

"Three Sale Winners for Warm Weather. Refreshing in very appearance are these new sets for serving those favorite iced beverages. Etched patterns in exquisite taste are offered by Gloria, Apple Blossom and Lorna. Made in brilliant CAMBRIDGE Peach-Blo, Emerald, Amber, Crystal and Gold Krystol in etched patterns and also in plain undecorated glass."

Accompanying a photograph of a place setting featuring 3400-line dinnerware and 3035 stemware published in the CGL issue of September 1931 was this notation:

"Above is some Cambridge glass dinnerware, their No. 3400 line, combined with which is the No. 3035 stemware shape. Both feature the Gloria pattern. While crystal is shown in the illustration, this may be had in the full range of Cambridge colors, outstanding among which is their brand new Forest Green ..."

One of the last trade journal advertisements featuring Gloria appeared in November 1931 when it was shown, along with Diane and Lorna, on items from the No. 3400 Ball Shape Line. The text read:

"The No. 3400 Ball Shape Line offers most unique items for gifts at every season. New pieces are being added regularly to the line. Gloria Ball jug They sell on sight. Shown are Jug and Tumbler, Decanter and Tumbler, Ivy Ball, Puff Box, Oil Set and Perfumes. Other pieces are Sugar and Cream and Oil Bottle. All in the saucy ball shape. A variety of colors and a choice of etchings give wide selection for your particular clientele. Etchings shown include the new Diane, the Gloria and the Lorna ..."

From a column also appearing in the November 1931 CGL issue comes the following.

"Speaking of heatherbloom, the factory has a short line of dinnerware, stemware and a few odd pieces in this new color, which is so exactly the shade of the heatherbell. And it may be had either plain or decorated with the Apple Blossom or the Gloria etchings."

After this, no further mention of Gloria is found in the trade journals. However, in all probability Gloria remained in the Cambridge line for several more years.

The 1930 Cambridge catalog, as originally issued, did not include Gloria. An eleven-page supplement issued later that year, perhaps in late summer or early fall, contained ten pages devoted to Gloria and one to Etching No. 742. The 1931 supplement had an additional three complete pages of Gloria plus assorted pieces on other pages. The latter included pages showing silver-encrusted Gloria on Ebony blanks as described in CGL. Any serious collector of Gloria should have a copy of the reprinted 1930-34 Cambridge catalog as this is the only place this etching appears.

Nine different stemware lines were etched Gloria during the years the etching was in production. These are: 1066, 3011, 3025, 3035, 3120, 3124, 3130, 3135 and 3400. Some are more common than others, while at least two are seldom seen today, these being 3124 and the 3011 or Nudes. In the latter case, four pieces are illustrated in the 1931 Cambridge catalog supplement and it is not known if these were the only Nudes etched Gloria or if there are others. Likewise, were the bowls of the etched pieces crystal or one of the pastels in use at the time.

Whether or not all of the pieces of the other eight lines were etched Gloria has not been determined but most likely they were. Price lists from the early to mid-1930's remain unknown and hence specifics as to pieces and colors remain undocumented. Pieces of Gloria stemware are known in all of the light 1930s colors as well as in Forest Green.

A detailed listing of the Gloria etched pieces illustrated in the reprint of the 1930-34 catalog will not be provided here. The Gloria collector can compile their own basic listing of the pattern from those illustrations. A complete dinnerware set, including a complete set of both round and square plates was produced as was a wide range of serving, accessory and decorative items. The pieces shown in the reprint should not be interpreted as the definite listing of Gloria. Other items could have been and probably were etched Gloria. Gloria etched dinnerware is to be found in the full range of 1930s pastel colors but putting together a set in a specific color will be a challenge.

In addition to silver-encrusted Gloria on Ebony blanks, gold-encrusted Gloria on Amethyst blanks is also known. On display in the NCC museum is a Tally-Ho 1402/49 jug bearing two etchings: Gloria and Hunt Scene. It is the only known piece with this combination of etchings and its origins are unknown.

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