CAMBRIDGE GLASS AND ITS BEAUTY AS A HIGH-END DEPRESSION GLASS

By: John Hogan

 

CAMBRIDGE GLASS CARMEN COLOR FLYING LADY BOWL, CIRCA 1931

CARMEN FLYING LADY BOWL, CIRCA 1931

CAMBRIDGE GLASS EMERALD THISTLE TUMBLER PATTERN # 2766, CIRCA 1911

EMERALD THISTLE TUMBLER #2766, C. 1911

CAMBRIDGE GLASS DRAPED LADY/BASHFUL CHARLOTTE, CIRCA 1926

DRAPED LADY/BASHFUL CHARLOTTE, C. 1926

CAMBRIDGE GLASS COBALT JUICE/WATER SET, CIRCA 1932-1940

COBALT JUICE/WATER SET, CIRCA 1932-1940

CAMBRIDGE GLASS ART DECO BEVERAGE DISPENSER, CIRCA 1923-1925

ART DECO BEVERAGE DISPENSER, C. 1923-25

CAMBRIDGE GREEN GLASS SWAN, CIRCA 1928

CAMBRIDGE GREEN SWAN, CIRCA 1928

However McKee Glass Company used the same trademark around the same date. From 1922-1926, the letter C was first used inside an equilateral triangle which measured 8mm. Later from 1927-1937 this trademark was a smaller C inside a smaller equilateral triangle which measured 5mm. Earlier researchers stated that the C within a Triangle was first introduced in 1932. We must also remember that not all of Cambridge glass pieces had a molded initial on its bottom. Some pieces came with foil signatures as well and over the years wore to the point where people actually washed off the now unattractive worn or dirty labels. Most Cambridge clear glass was produced until early 1930s. The mid 1920s did see a beautiful variety of color and shapes unveil by this factory. However the majority of colored glass came into being after 1930 and continued into the early 1950s. This is not to say that this company did not produce colored glass before 1930 - quite the contrary. The famous emerald green Thistle # 2766 is one early example executed in color (other than clear pressed) as early as 1911. This company produced great colored glass and is held in high esteem today by many collectors and commands very high prices for the better and rarer pieces. Today the earlier pieces are referred to as EAPG (Early American Pressed Glass) by most collectors. Clearly the most unique earlier pieces are the prized and priced pieces by both the collector and dealer alike.

This company changed ownerships numerous times and had many turbulent moments throughout its existence and finally in 1958, it sold out all its molds to Imperial Glass Company of Bellaire, Ohio. So any glass you see today that looks like Cambridge is possibly produced by the Imperial Glass Company and carries the logo IG overlapped and is definitely produced after 1953 when Imperial Glass first used this logo to distinguish from their older pieces of the 1910-1920s period.

As for graceful designs, shapes and clarity of blank in the clear patterns of Cambridge glass, Cambridge Glass Company was a major rival of many other American glass factories of its time. As for the colored pieces, Cambridge did its best to create unique shapes like the beverage urns, cocktail shakers, figural flower holders, fancy dolphin candlesticks, desk sets, the famous flying lady bowls, perfume atomizers, frog vases that look like handled jugs, urn vases, jugs, ewer & basins, keg sets which were usually accompanied with six glasses, swans all of which came in many sizes and colors and the majestic statuesque line of compotes or tazzas.

Let us not forget the Cambridge line of silver overlay glass! Here they also produced lovely shapes and sizes as well. Such silver overlay glass and colored glass of Cambridge is often termed as "Elegant Glass" by many writers and collectors of such glass. Once familiar with Cambridge Glass, one will concur with such a description as elegant glass of the depression period.

Once you have had the joy of knowing, understanding and seeing Cambridge Glass, you will be able to as the cliche goes: "spot it a mile away." Cambridge glass is one of the most elegant of all depression glass. Renowned for its quality glass blanks, colors, designs and modernism, it still speaks to today's modern generation - especially the more geometric and modernism pieces.

To the right of this article you will see some fine examples of elegant Cambridge Glass of the Depression Glass Period. Click each photo to enlarge.

 


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