This is a Fine Arrangement!

by Georgia G. Otten
Issue 301 - May 1998

The spring flowers abound and summer flowers are coming soon. Time to bring some inside for the table. Want to make it perfect? Need some help? Well, the answer could be to use one of the numerous Cambridge flower arrangers. Cambridge made many different styles of arrangers, but I would like to write about the figurals. The Miami Valley Study Club used this as a topic for one of their monthly meetings.

I believe patent number 1.645,577 resulted in one of the most recognizable Cambridge production items - The patent application for a flower holder was made by A.J. Bennett on January 2S, 1926 The patent was granted on October 18, 1927.

Below is a copy from the patent application. Also shown are three base types:

  • Type 1 has the longer vertical flutes and is the base shown on the original application.
  • Type 2 has no flutes, it is a smooth-sided base.
  • Type 3 represents the latest of the bases. It has short flutes which are close together.

Rose Lady drawing and base stylesAlthough the patent application shows a figure similar to what we know as "Rose Lady", the Cambridge Glass Company had already advertised the innovation in China, Glass, & Lamps. The cover March 29, 1926, featured Geisha Girl (One Bun), and the May 17, 1926. edition featured a 13" Draped Lady On Style I base. Rose Lady appeared on the cover November 21, 1927. It is not clear which figural came first without documentation, but the fact is that the patent was for the base idea and not the figural. For example, the number 1,645,577 appears on the OVAL BASE of a TWO KID; on a STYLE 2 base on an 8 1/2" DRAPED LADY; and on a 6" BASHFUL CHARLOTTE. I have not seen the patent number on a Style 1 base.

At our meeting we had 26 examples on display. These represented 12 of the 13 figurals. (The "Eagle" owned by one of our members was in the museum.) The figurals were in Crystal and 13 different colors, and all three base styles were shown. We had all these pieces in front of us and that is so educational. Here is some information about the figures and page numbers from catalogs where you can see each one. Examples can also be found on various pages in "Colors by Cambridge."

Flower Arranger Comments
  • First appeared approximately 1914 in a Nearcut catalog with other Ebony glass and was the flat design. (See Crystal Ball 101, page 8, for copy)
  • 1040 Catalog Reprint page 408 - Shows dome back style. There are 19 holes: 13 are large and are bored completely through and six are small and do not go completely through.
  • This is the only figural I found with a mention of being known in Royal Blue. (Crystai Ball issue No. 101, page 9), and mention of a dark green turtle known in California (Crystal Ball Issue 98, page 7).
  • 1927-1929 Catalog Reprint page 3
    Shows 8 1/2" with Style 2 base
    Shows 13" with Style I base
    1930-1934 Catalog Reprint page 49
    Shows 8 1/2" with Oval base (a smooth-sided base like Style 2)
    8 1/2" has been reproduced by Imperial and Mirror Images
    Summit Art Glass Company now owns this 8 1/2" mold with the oval base
  • 1927-1929 Catalog Reprint page 3
    Shows "One Bun" and "Two Bun" figures
    Both figures are threaded at the bottom for screwing into a glass base that is bored for holding the flowers. The base has a metal retaining ring inserted into the center through the bottom. Both figures use the same base.
  • 1927-1929 Catalog Reprint page 3 Shows Style 2 base
  • 1927-1929 Catalog Reprint page 3
    There are 10 holes in the base for flowers and the figure is 5 5/8" tall
  • 1927-1929 Catalog Reprint page 37 Shows oval base (a smooth-sided base like Style 2)
    1930-1934 Catalog Reprint page 49 Shows Style 2 base
  • 1930 -1934 Catalog Reprint page 49 Shows 6" and 11" with Style 2 base. These sizes are taken from mold information.
    The actual measurement may vary because of sagging or settling during cooling.
    6" reproduced by Mirror Images. Ribbed base and no holes. (no longer a flower holder)
    11" reproduced by Summit Art Glass Company
  • Appears to be the same Style 2 base as the Eagle.
    Unable to locate information to confirm as Cambridge
  • 1927 -1929 Catalog Reprint page 59
    Has Style 2 base
    The figure can be straight up; straight up with head turned; and bent over with head turned.
  • 1930-1934 Catalog Reprint page 94 (page J) Shows the 12" with Style 2 base
    1940 Catalog Reprint page 455 Shows 9" with Style 3 base
    1949-1953 Catalog Reprint Shows 9" Milk with Style 3 base
    (Unable to Locate a catalog picture of 12" Heron with Style 3 base)
  • 1940 Catalog Reprint page 455 Shows Style 3 base
  • 1940 Catalog Reprint page 455 Shows Style 2 base
    Reproduced by Imperial
  • Unable to locate any printed information to confirm this as Cambridge
    However, the colors and base shape would likely make this Cambridge.
    Examples seen have a Style 2 base

Having looked at some patent information, then feasted our eyes on our display, we went from the specs to the spectacular! The flower arrangers are most elegant and would add beauty and originality to any table. Our club display was grand to say the least. A program cannot be put together without everyone's contribution and so I say "bouquets to the members for helping." Then well take those bouquets, choose a Cambridge flower holder and say: This is a Fine Arranqement