DIANE - A Second Look

by Mark Nye
Issue 302 - June 1998

The Octobor 1931 issue of China, Glass & Lamps introduced Diane to the trade. Described in the initial advertisement as "an exquisite glass line of domestic manufacture made in full stemware, flatware, and dinnerware", Diane was to remain in the Cambridge line until 1954 and the initial factory closure. This initial advertisement featured Diane on a 3122 goblet.

Diane etching During its early years, Diane, also known as plate etching 752, was placed on colored blanks using many of the popular Cambridge colors of the era: Willow Blue, Amber, Peach-Blo, Gold Krystol, Forest Green, Heatherbloom, Carmen, and Crown Tuscan. This was, of course, in addition to its use on Crystal ware. On colored blanks. Diane ranged from a dinnerware service (Willow Blue) to just a few pieces of Carmen where it was gold encrusted. Special treatments included gold encrustation on Crystal, Crown Tuscan, and the just mentioned Carmen. From 1940 on, Diane came only on Crystal blanks, plain and to some extent, gold encrusted, and gold encrusted on selected Crown Tuscan pieces. By the late 1940s and continuing to the end in 1954. production of Diane was limited to Crystal. Little Diane in any color is found today, indicating limited production, while Crystal Diane is readily available to collectors.

During the almost quarter of a century it was a part of the Cambridge line, Diane was used on four complete stemware lines; these being 3122, 1066, 3106, and Stradivari. Only one of these, 3122, carried the Diane etching for the entire time it was in the Cambridge catalog. Stradivari stemware etched Diane dates to the late 1930s and early 1040s. while Diane etched 1066, including tumblers from the 3135 line, was shown in the 1931 Cambridge catalog supplement and on 3106 stemware, it was illustrated in the 1934 supplement.

In addition to the four complete lines, Diane etched pieces are known from several other stemware lines; 3500, 3120, 3104, 7601, and 7966. There are cocktails from the 3104 line; sherries and ocrdials from 7966, and 6 oz hollow stem saucer champagnes from 7801. A 3120 cordial etched Diane is In a private collection and there is documentation indicating Gadroon or 3500 stemwere was also etched Diane. This author has not seen a piece of the latter.

Besides the stemware lines and their associated tumblers, assorted other tumblers were etched Diane. From the 3400 line, there is the 3400-41 three-piece frappe set, consisting of a bowl and one each of 4-oz. and 5-oz. cocktail tumblers; however, only the bowl is etched. A number of other tumblers from the 3400 line were also etched Diane; 3400/100 13 oz., 3400/115 13 oz., 3400/38 12 oz., 3400/38 5 oz., 3400/92 2-1/2 oz., 3400/1341 1 oz., and the 3400/1344 l-oz. cordial tumbler. Three blown tumbler lines, Nos. 498 with five sizes, 497 with three sizes, and 321 with three sizes also came etched Diane. Two 5-oz. footed tumblers Nos. 7801 and 3000 were included in the Diane line, as were two flat tumblers from the late line Corinth, 13- and 5-oz. sizes.

Collectors of etched jugs have 10 Diane etched items to seek out. From the 3400 line come the 3400/100 76-oz. jug with ice lip, 3400/38 80-oz. ball-shaped jug, 3400/141 80-oz. jug, 3400/152 76-oz. jug and the No. 103 two-piece night set, composed of a pitcher and tumbler. With the advent of the Corinth line in the late 1940s, five more pitchers or jugs joined the Diane family. These are the 3900/114 Martini jug, 3900/115 76-oz. jug. 3900/116 80-oz. ball jug, 3900/117 20-oz. jug, and the 3900/118 32-oz. jug.

Not to be overlooked are Diane etched decanters, cordial bottles, and cocktail shakers. The former includes Nos. 3400/92 32-oz. decanter, 3400/113 35-oz. handled decanter, and the 3400/119 12-or cordial bottle or decanter. Other Diane decanters are the 1321 28-oz. footed, the 1320 14-oz. footed, the 1372 28-oz. with cut stopper polished in, and the 1380 26-oz. square decanter. In the group of Diane etched cocktail shakers and mixers are six items: 1395 cocktail mixer with top and No. 2 spoon: Pristine No. 99 shaker with chrome top, Pristine No. 101 cocktail shaker with glass top; Nos. 98 and 99 cocktail shakers with chrome tops; and the previously mentioned 1408 martini pitcher or cocktail churn.

The original Diane etched dinnerware utilized 3400-line blanks and there was a rather impressive number of place-setting pieces available; bread & butter plate, two styles of salad plates, dinner plate, service plate, cup/saucer, after dinner cup/saucer, cranberry fruit saucer, cereal, cocktail icers, finger bowls, canape set, corn dish, rim soup, and more. Complimenting the place setting pieces are a wide assortment of serving, condiment and decorative items. Included in the Diane line were five styles of salt and pepper shakers, four styles of oil bottles, six candlesticks or candelabra, nine candy boxes and 23 vases.

Diane etched vases range in size from the 6004 five-inch footed vase to the 1336 18-inch floor vase. Excluding gold encrusted pieces, the 18-inch vase was the most expensive single piece of Diane offered in January 1940, listing at $12.50 each. On the same price list stemware was priced at $1.13 a stem and ball jugs at $3.75 each.

Just to collect all the Diane etched candy boxes would be a challenge. The nine candy boxes include three from the Gadroon line: the 3500/103 tall-stemmed blown candy box and cover, the 3500/78 rams head candy box and cover, and the 3500/57 3-compartment candy and cover; and three other blown candy boxes with lids with etched Diane: both the tall and short 3121 boxes and the 1066 low candy box and cover. Rounding out the nine boxes are the 3400/9 and two from the Corinth line, 3900/138 and 3900/165.

The 1940 price list offered 161 Crystal items with gold encrusted Diane also known as D/1012. These included the complete 3122 stemware and 22 vases. A gold encrusted luncheon set was available but not a dinner set as neither the dinner or service plate was offered with gold encrustation.

Various Crown Tuscan pieces are to be found with D/1012. Eight such items are pictured in the 1930-34 catalog reprint and include three vases, a console bowl, three compartment relish, and more. The 1940 price list contained a listing of 22 items in Crown Tuscan with gold encrusted Diane. Of these 22 pieces, 15 are vases and one, the 3500/42 covered urn. Making up the remaining items are a console bowl, three candlesticks, a three-part relish, and the 3500/78 three-part candy box and cover.

By 1949 the 3400 line had been replaced by the 3900 or Corinth line. A dinnerware service was still available but nowhere near the same number of items were being produced. The 1949 price list had some 71 Diane catalog items. none of which were available in Crystal, gold encrusted. On Crown Tuscan blanks there were 12 items etched Diane and gold encrusted, of which seven were vases. As the 1950s progressed, additional pieces were added to the etched-ware lines. The final price list for Diane in 1953 had almost 100 listings.

Regular production of Diane ceased in 1954 with the initial plant closing. Catalogs and price lists from the reopen period do not list Diane as an open stock line. The 1956 price list does state that Diane was available on No. 3122 sternware through a replacement service. The final Cambridge price list, dated 1958, omitted any reference to the replacement service or to Diane. Thus the Diane story closes as it opened, with 3122 stemware.