Apple Blossom - A Revisit

by Mark Nye
Issue No. 326 - June 2000

I originally wrote about Apple Blossom for the Crystal Ball issue dated August 1983. It doesn't seem possible that it has been 17 years since it first appeared. During those years, additional information has been obtained and it is shared here in this updated article. Much of the new information has to do with Apple Blossom etched stemware.

Unlike the natural flower of the apple tree, the Cambridge etching Apple Blossom comes in a wide range of colors and special treatments. Colors known to this writer are Crystal, Gold Krystol, Willow Blue, Amber, Emerald (light), Heatherbloom, Peach-Blo, Forest Green, Amethyst, Ebony and Royal Blue. When placed on the last three colors, the etching was silver encrusted.

Silver encrusted Apple Blossom referred to as D/970-Sand is shown on Ebony ware on several pages of the 1931 Cambridge Catalog supplement. Pictured are such items as the 3400/68 sugar and creamer, 1020 Cocktail Shaker, 1070 36oz Pinch Bottle, 1229 9-inch oval vase and several bowls.

One page of the 1931 Catalog supplement (reprinted as page 31-13 in the NCC reprint of the 1930-34 Catalog) is entitled "Silver Decorated Ware". There is no mention of color, but since there is duplication of items found on the Ebony/silver encrusted pages, items on this page were probably being offered in at least Amethyst and perhaps other colors, Royal Blue being a possibility. An advertisement in the August 1931 issue of Crockery and Glass Journal promotes silver encrusted Apple Blossom as "offered in a wide selection of table pieces." I have in my collection a 646 5-inch keyhole candlestick in Royal Blue etched Apple Blossom and silver encrusted. Unfortunately, there is no known listing of what pieces were done in what colors.

Dinnerware and luncheon sets are known in all of the listed colors with the exception of Forest Green, Ebony and Royal Blue. The pieces I have seen in Forest Green have been occasional, accessory or service items; for example, the 3400/94 puff box and the 3400/38 80oz Ball Jug. Ebony and Royal Blue Apple Blossom was probably entirely silver encrusted, otherwise the etching would not be easily seen on the dark blanks. Production in these two colors was most likely limited to the items seen on the silver encrusted pages of the 1931 Catalog supplement.

The 1930 Cambridge Catalog devoted its first nine pages to showing Apple Blossom. Seven of these show items from the 3400 line while the other two pictured two stemware lines, nos. 3135 and 3130, and two jugs, Nos 1205 and 711. From the 3400 line are shown various accessory pieces in addition to dinnerware. Both styles of the 3400 plates, round and square, are shown with the etching, and so is the club luncheon plate, 3400/66. Other pieces shown include creams and sugars, butter and cover, serving bowls, cream soup, cereal and fruit bowls, and cup/saucer.

There are at least 10 Cambridge stemware lines that were etched Apple Blossom. These are 1066, 1069, 3011, 3025, 3120, 3124, 3130, 3135 and 3400. Several are pictured in the 1930 Catalog and its supplements etched Apple Blossom, while some areknown etched Apple Blossom only through a limited number of samples in private collections. One line, 1069, is pictured in a book dealing with Fostoria.

In one of the photographs in the late Hazel Marie Weatherman's book "Fostoria, Its First Fifty Years", is a 1069 goblet etched Apple Blossom. The picture is in color, featuring Fostoria's pink, known as Rose, and in the back is a 1069 goblet etched Apple Blossom. There is no question as to the identity of either the piece or the etching. Reportedly the pieces came out of the Fostoria morgue and at the time the book was published in 1972, no one recognized that the goblet was not Fostoria. This is the only piece of 1069 stemware that this author is aware of.

Apple Blossom on 1066 blanks goes undocumented except for examples in private collections. Pieces are known in Crystal, Peach-Blo and Forest Green. I have in my collection a Forest Green 1066 parfait etched Apple Blossom.

Illustrated in the 1931 Cambridge Catalog supplement were five pieces from the 3011 line, four stemware pieces and the 7-inch cupped comport. The stemware items shown are the banquet and table goblets, the tall sherbet or champagne and the 3011/9 cocktail. No reference is made to color. The author does have a crystal table goblet etched Apple Blossom in his collection.

A complete selection of 3130 stemware was produced etched Apple Blossom in at least six colors, one color combination and one decoration. The known colors are Crystal, Emerald (light), Gold Krystol, Peach-Blo, Willow Blue and Amber. The color combination is crystal bowl with ebony stem and foot while the deccoration consists of the medallion portion of the etching done in gold and black enamel.

Apple Blossom etched 3135 stemware may be found in Crystal, Emerald (light), Peach-Blo, Willow Blue, Amber and Gold Krystol. Pieces seen have been solid colored (bowl, stem and foot), all Crystal, or Gold Krystol bowl with Crystal stem and foot.

The 3400 stemware line etched Apple Blossom came with colored bowl, stem and foot and is known in Amber, Emerald (light), Gold Krystol, Peach-Blo and Willow Blue. This line was also prduced in all Crystal and Crystal bowl with Ebony stem and foot.

Like many of the Cambridge lines from the early 1930s, there is little documentation as to color. What is known usually is through actual pieces now in collections. The stemware line is known in three color combinations: Crystal bowl with Ebony stem and foot, Crystal bowl with Emerald (light) stem and foot, and Gold Krystol bowl with Amber stem and foot. In the author's collection are Apple Blossom pieces in the latter two color combinations. It is possible Apple Blossom was placed on the Crystal/Ebony blanks as well.

Use of the Apple Blossom etching on the 3120 and 3124 stemware lines was initially reported by a collector of this pattern who has examples. Since then, the author has found several examples of 3120 etched Apple Blossom, but 3124 remains elusive. The single known piece of 3124 stemware etched Apple Blossom is a Gold Krystol bowl/Crystal stem and foot tall sherbet or champagne. Apple Blossom is now known on Crystal 3120 blanks as well as Crystal bowl/Amber stem and foot and Gold Krystol bowl/Crystal stem and foot.

Six styles of Apple Blossom etched jugs are shown in the 1930 Catalog and its supplements. Those shown are the 711 76oz footed jug and cover, 1205 64oz jug, 3400 50oz footed jug, 3400/38 80oz ball jug, and the 3400/27 67oz jug. All of these were probably made in Crystal and in color.

The 693/300 two-piece canape set was etched Apple Blossom. It is interesting to note that the canape plates in the author's collection have a Laurel Wreath band on the rims in addition to the Apple Blossom etching in the center.

Some years ago, prior to the original article being written, a pair of boudoir lamps incorporating Amber 1309 vases etched Apple Blossom as the main portion of the lamp base were offered by a dealer. These lamps were not assembled by Cambridge. The vases would have been purchased from Cambridge by an unidentified lamp maker and then made into the lamps. The current location of these lamps is not known. [Webmaster's NOTE 1/5/2005: The above pair of lamps have apparently resurfaced (or else a new pair has been found). ]

A blown 3121/4 low candy box and cover in Crystal, etched Apple Blossom, is in a private collection. This, too, was acquired a number of years ago.

Since Apple Blossom was an important part of the Cambridge line during the early 1930's, a collector should not be surprised to find the etching on almost any piece from the 3400 line dating to that era.

First produced in 1930, Apple Blossom was discontinued prior to 1940, most likely in the mid 1930s and perhaps gradually. A 3130 low sherbet with an original trademark label without the Triangle C is in the author's collection. It has been reported this label was first used in 1938. This indicates that Apple Blossom etched stemware was still available as late as 1938.

During the 1940s, the name Apple Blossom was reused, this time for a gold transfer decoration also known as D/1036. Seldom seen today, this later design does not resemble the etching and will not cause any problems for the collector.

Apple Blossom catalog page