Cambridge Carnival Glass
Carnival glass results from the treatment of hot glass with a spray of metallic salts which produces a very pleasing iridescent effect at relatively `low cost. This is in contrast to the costly iridescent art glass produced by Louis Comfort Tiffany and his competitors. The first Carnival glass was produced by the Fenton Art Glass Company circa 1907. By 1908 when John Fenton left the family company to form the Millersburg Glass Company, Fenton Carnival Glass had already made a name for itself.
Cambridge produced its first Carnival glass in 1908, second in time only to Fenton. (It wasn't until 1909 that John Fenton made his first glass at Millersburg.) According to “Colors In Cambridge Glass' Cambridge also produced Carnival Glass during the years 1916-1917.
Bill Edwards in “The Standard Encyclopedia of Carnival Glass” has this to say about Cambridge Carnival Glass: “The Cambridge Company was the `leader' of the lesser companies <that made Carnival> and the quality of their iridized glass was of a standard equal to that of the Millersburg Glass Company. Actually, there appears to have been a close working relationship between the two concerns and some evidence exists to lead us to believe some Cambridge patterns were iridized at the Millersburg factory.”
Cambridge Carnival was produced in four color classifications: Marigold on Crystal blanks; Green on Emerald blanks: Blue on Royal Blue blanks; and Purple on Mulberry blanks. All of the blank colors are the early colors, introduced into the Cambridge line in 1916. All of the blanks used for Cambridge Carnival came from various Near Cut lines and many pieces are signed “Near Cut.” Cambridge Carnival is relatively scarce today, indicating not a great deal was produced.
Mary L. Adams, writing in the June 1985 issue of The Cambridge Crystal Ball, published an updated listing of a the then known pieces of Cambridge Carnival. The original listing done by Dr. and Mrs. Adams appeared in the January 1978 issue of The Cambridge Crystal Ball. This compilation is reprinted in this booklet and following it, most of the patterns are illustrated. However, one of the patterns attributed to Cambridge may not be Cambridge after all. In their book “Standard Encyclopedia of Pressed Glass”, Bill Edwards and Mike Carwile have this to say about `Venetian”.
“Venetian, originally called Kenneth and first made by the Ohio flint Glass Co. (shown in their 1907 ad). Most pieces are marked “Krys-tol.” In 1908 this company closed and the moulds for Kenneth moved to Jefferson Glass and then to Milllersburg in 1909 where the large vase (rose bowl), and the table set are found in carnival glass. Other shapes known in crystal are a beautiful punch set with stemmed cups, variations of the giant rose bowl or vase (a compote and a spittoon whimsey), and a 6 1/2 inch vase that can be shaped in the variations of the larger example. In 1913 Millersburg closed, and the giant vase mould was sold to Cambridge and appears in a 1916 Cambridge ad as their #2340 lamp base.”
This would certainly explain the absence of any other illustration of this line in Cambridge catalogs. However, until we have confirmation of the Edwards/Carwile report, Venetian or Cambridge #2340 remains in the listing of Cambridge carnival.
More Cambridge Glass Info
Additional notes added April 2004 by Diane Fry
As you review the above information, along with the chart of Cambridge Catalog Numbers as related to Carnival Glass pattern names, we call your attention to #2626. We believe that to have been named by John Britt in an article he wrote in the early `90s, calling that pattern Stars & Bars. # 2699 Buzz Saw ½ gal. Tankard is more commonly known as Double Star by carnival glass collectors.
It's nice to finally be able to view #2340 as a complete lamp.
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