by Mark Nye
Issue 300 - April 1998

After the demise of the Cambridge Glass Co., the Imperial Glass Co. of Bellaire, Ohio, purchased its physical assets, including all existing molds, etching plates, tools, etc., and transferred them to their factory. (Some molds were used by Imperial as were the Rose Point etching plates, but that production is not the subject of this article.) Following the closure of Imperial, all of their assets, including the Cambridge molds, etc., were put up for sale during a court-ordered liquidation sale. Unfortunately, NCC was not able to purchase all the Cambridge molds and a number of them were purchased by other parties with the intent to use them to make glass. Disposition of the Caprice molds is well documented in the book Caprice published by NCC. Inc., and will not be covered in this series of articles.

Our discussion starts with the Seashell line. It is known the following pieces have bean made since the Imperial liquidation and thus most likely from original Cambridge molds. Numbers and descriptions are the original Cambridge identifiers. Information found between has been provided by the author for further identification of the piece.

  • SS 31 - 8 in. oval dish (ftd)
  • SS 80 - 5 in. mayonnaise bowl, 4 ftd.
  • SS 33 - 4 in. 3-toed ash tray
  • SS 81 - sugar
  • SS 81 - creamer
  • SS 1 - 6 in, bread & butter plate
  • SS 2 - 7 in. salad plate
  • SS 5 - 7 in. round salad plate

Colors used to make these pieces includes blue very similar to Cambridge Royal Blue, a blue similar to the Cambridge blue known as Moonlight, a blue "milk glass" somewhat similar to Windsor Blue by Cambridge and "whiter" milk glass. Not all pieces may have been in all four colors and other colors are possible.

Other Sea Shell molds believed to have been sold during the Imperial liquidation include:

  • SS 4 - 5 in. round bread & butter plate
  • SS 40 - 10 in. flower or fruit center (flying lady bowl)
  • SS 60 - 4 in. ftd. candlestick
  • SS 110 - seafood cocktail
  • SS 30 - 9 in. 4-ftd. 3-part relish
  • SS 17 - 9 in. 3-ftd. bowl (also used to make SS 18, lOin. 3-ftd. bowl)

Whether or not these molds have been used is yet to be determined by this author

Jenny Lind was a very late Cambridge pattern developed during the reopen years by reworking some of the Virginian line molds. Jenny Lind was produced by Cambridge in Crystal and late Amber and occasionally a piece in Violet will be found. Reproductions of the Jenny Lind covered candy have been made in the dark blue some collectors call Cobalt and Cambridge called Royal Blue, and in a color somewhat akin to the color Cambridge called Rubina. Apparently purchased from the Imperial sale were molds for the Jenny Lind mayonnaise bowl and a bowl of undermined size, the latter mold could also be used to produce a plate. Indications are these last two molds have not yet been used, at least not for commercial production.

A few of the unaltered Virginian line molds were purchased. Reportedly these include: the No. 134 cake stand, the rectangular shaped Cambridge No. 207 2-compartment celery and relish, the mold used in the production of the Cambridge V.202 6-inch 2-compartment relish 1 handle, the V.203 6-inch 3-compartment relish 1 handle, the V.332 6-inch bonbon I handle; ( a different plunger is required to make each of the three preceding items) and a small handled nappy in the 4 - 5 inch size. Cambridge listed two jellies: the No. 322 4-inch jelly and the No. 327 6-inch jelly.

Of the Virginian molds sold, it appears only two have been used so far. One is the jelly, used to produce what was called a "mint" in the colors of red and dark blue. The other Virginian item produced so far is the V.203 3-part relish, made in the color Cambridge named Rubina, and sold as a candy dish. Cambridge cataloged Virginian only in Crystal. The Cambridge color Rubina had long been discontinued prior to the introduction of the Virginian line.

Cambridge produced its Cascade line during the l95Os, primarily in Crystal. A few pieces were made in late Dark Emerald and Mandarin Gold. Several years ago molds acquired during the Imperial sale were used to produce the 12 oz. Cascade tumbler, the Cascade ice bucket and a bowl that looks similar to the ice bucket but without the handles. These were made in the multi-hued color Cambridge called Rubina.

Mt. Vernon No. 69 6-inch oval covered cigarette boxes and covers have been mode in Rubina, dark blue, and an opalescent milk glass. To this author’s knowledge, Cambridge never made the Mt. Vernon covered cigarette box and cover in these colors.

"How do tell "repros" from original Cambridge production?" is an often heard question. Study the available books, catalogs, and other reference materials, including the Crystal Ball, to learn what colors Cambridge used to make its major lines. Learn the years specific colors were used as well as the years a tine was made. A color made only in the 1920s and a late 1930s, early 1940s line don’t "add up". Know your dealer. If a price appears to be too good to be true, the piece probably isn't what it appears to be at first glance. You should also study the shape of pieces. A good many items sold by Cambridge were hand finished and shaped after the piece left the mold. Most, if not all, plate molds are "bowls" that require hand flaring of the piece removed from the mold to turn it into a plate. Consequently, use of such a mold may produce an "unlisted bowl" that was actually never made or sold as a bowl by Cambridge. Many bowls, nappies, bonbons, and other pieces were hand flared, crimped, etc., into their final shape. Oftentimes the reproduction has not undergone this final shaping step in the manufacturing process. Thus, the final shape of the item is different than that of the authentic Cambridge piece.