Reproductions, Reissues, Etc.

by Mark A. Nye
Issue 312 - April 1999

According to a Summit Art Glass flyer dated July 1997, they were at that time offering two swans from Cambridge molds in plain or irridized Cobalt Blue, the 1042 six-and-one-half inch and the 1043 eight-and-one- half inch. Also offered in this same color, plain or irridized. was the Caprice quarter pound butter dish and the Everglades Buffalo Bowl. The latter comes from the mold designed to produce the Everglades #28 shallow buffalo bowl and was never sold as this shape bowl by Cambridge in any color, much less Royal Blue, the Cambridge equivalent of Summit's Cobalt Blue. (Many people don't realize that most, if not all plates and shallow bowls, are formed from bowls or nappies, as they were called. The piece is pressed and removed from the mold as a nappy. After reheating in the glory hole, a hand finisher flares out the bowl into a shallow bowl or plate.) The Summit buffalo bowl was previously made at least once before, in the late 1980s, not long after the mold was acquired from Imperial.

There were two miniature sets based on Cambridge molds listed in the July 1997 Summit Art Glass flyer. Using the molds for Caprice 93 nut dish and a small nappy, a Caprice pattern berry set has been offered for a number of years. In this flyer it was available in Cobalt Blue, plain or irridized. These pieces were never made by Cambridge in Royal Blue and are sold by Summit as they come from the mold. Hence, the pieces do not resemble the original Cambridge items. A similar set, called a "5 pc 4 toed Ice Cream set" utilizes molds from the 3400 line. Again, the pieces have received no hand finishing and differ from the Cambridge originals.

During the summer of 1996, Summit produced a color called "Princess Purple" in honor of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, and was offered plain or irridized. Two "Caprice" pieces were made in this color: the quarter pound butter and a tray, probably the 37 six-inch oval tray. The previously described miniature sets were also pressed in Princess Purple. Additional items offered in Princess Purple were a "Virginian Open Candy," and the Mt. Vernon 2-handled salt dip. Just remember, Virginian was made only in Crystal. The Summit flyer indicated that only 200 pieces of each item were to be made in Princess Purple. It was not clear if this meant 200 plain and 200 irridized or just 200 pieces total, plain and irridized. The Summer 1998 Summit Art Glass flyer listed several items that were available in Cobalt Slag, including two made from Cambridge molds: a Shell pin tray and a Shell soap dish. If you are aware Cambridge never made a Cobalt Slag, you will not mistake these pieces for Cambridge. These same two pieces were also offered in Cobalt Blue (similar to Cambridge's Royal Blue) and thus a color Cambridge did use for a few pieces in the Shell line. In these instances, know your dealer and pay attention to the quality of the glass. The pin tray is probably the piece Cambridge sold as a seven-inch plate. However, I am not sure what the soap dish may be as I have not seen these pieces.

Also offered in the Summer 1998 Summit Art Glass flyer was a four-inch Shell mint and a "2 in. Shell" in a color designated Emerald Green. The mint is probably what Cambridge sold as the 4-inch Sea Shell ash tray. I am not sure what the origins of the 2-inch Shell are. Once again, this is an instance where it pays to know the dealer and to study the quality of the glass and the color.

The controversy of reproductions versus reissues and what to call pieces of glass made from orginal molds but not by the original owners of the mold will probably never be resolved to the satisfaction of all parties. My own interpretation of a "reproduction" is that the piece is a copy of the original but not made using the original mold. Reproductions sometimes differ from the original in varying degrees due to variations in the new mold but are intended to be copies of the original. A reissue involves the use of the original mold either by the original maker (which is not uncommon by long-running companies, Fenton for example) or by new owners of an old mold or piece of equipment. In these cases it is often difficult to distinguish between the original issue and the reissue unless there are color differences or the lack of hand finishing. In the latter case, the piece is not really a reissue but rather a "new" piece since the original mold owner never sold a similar item. The buffalo bowl made using the Cambridge Everglade buffalo plate mold is a good example of such a piece.