Our “Featured Museum Pieces” for this month are rare glassware urns made by Cambridge Crystal. These beautiful urns stand 12 3/4” tall each from foot to tips of their finials. Each of the blank crystal urns are taken from Cambridge’s Gadroon crystal pattern and are designed to mimic gadroon style silver, which is most often characterized by an ornate border.
The first urn is clear and features the “Minerva” etch, which is comprised of an elegant floral pattern with scrolls and bows. The etch is gold encrusted making this particular urn even more rare and valuable. Also featured are two Cambridge urns in the Portia Gold design. These urns are noted for a pale, opaque, pink color that was designated “Crown Tuscan” by the designers at Cambridge. Portia has a center basket design that is surrounded by flowers and scrolls. The remaining two urns are especially noteworthy. These beautiful vessels are done in Cambridge’s gorgeous “Rose Point” etching. The Rose Point pattern is one of Cambridge’s most popular. These two unique urns were given or sold to merchants who carried the Rose Point crystal stemware line. The Rose Point pattern was designed to accompany Pope Gosser’s Rose Point china pattern and Wallace Silver’s Rose Point .
The Cambridge Glass Company originated in 1873 when a group of businessmen from the town of Cambridge, Ohio decided to charter a glass producing facility. The founding businessmen sold their plans for the Cambridge factory to the National Glass Co. of Pennsylvania. The factory was built and opened it doors in 1902. Most of the company’s early designs were heavy pressed-glass patterns. Arthur J. Bennett, an English native, was hired to manage the Cambridge factory. Most of the patterns produced between 1901 and 1906 were actually designed by Bennett. In addition to designing many of the company’s early patterns, Bennett also designed the company’s first backstamp, which read “Near Cut.” In 1907, Bennett liquidated his lifetime savings and purchased the Cambridge factory for $500,000.
In 1916, the Cambridge Glass Co.’s sales reached a plateau and it was decided that an additional operation at Byesville should be closed. By 1917, all of the Byesville operations were moved to the Cambridge, OH location. Arthur Bennett decided that the company should work to achieve more carefully measured growth. By avoiding rapid expansion, Cambridge was able to successfully weather the Great Depression. Throughout the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s, Cambridge achieved steady growth. It was during this time that the company released it most successful shapes, colors, and etchings. In 1931, the company debuted its successful Rose Point etching, as well as the popular Nude Stems collection. Many of the company’s most famous colors were developed during this period, including Carmen, Crown Tuscan, Royal Blue, and Heatherbloom . Soon after the end of the Second World War, the company began to experience declining sales. Fine crystal was no longer in demand as more Americans were purchasing cheap imported crystal. In 1958, the company closed its doors for good, and Imperial Glass acquired all of Cambridge’s molds and equipment.
The Cambridge glass legacy lives on at Replacements though. We’d love to have you come visit our 12,000 square foot Showroom and Museum to see these incredible pieces (which, as a reminder, are not available for purchase). While you are with us, you can also peruse our huge selection of beautiful, authentic Cambridge glass pieces that are available for purchase! Our Showroom and Museum are open from 9:00am to 7:00pm ET, 7 days (except holidays). The Showroom and Museum are conveniently located between Greensboro and Burlington, NC, at exit 132 off Interstate 85/40. We look forward to seeing you!
Want to know more about Cambridge? Click here for an informative history.