Cambridge Flower Blocks

by David & Joy McFadden, Frank & Vicki Wollenhaupt
Glass Review - May 1978

One of the oldest and most sought after of the Cambridge flower blocks is the turtle. (See photo at left) This flower block, introduced in the early 20's, is the first of the figural flower blocks made by Turtle Flower Block Cambridge and probably the longest in production. The turtle block has been seen in trade advertisements over a 20 year time span. From the long period of time that it was in production it would seem to be plentiful, but just the opposite is true. Less than a dozen of these have been seen in our travels and all of these are in private collections. The turtle has been seen in Ebony, Crown Tuscan and Crystal. The majority seen have been Ebony. The possibility of finding this flower block in other colors does exist. The Cambridge catalog number for the turtle is No. 70.

The earliest flower frog produced by Cambridge and fashioned after the human form is the Oriental figure (Geisha girl) which was made in two styles. The greatest difference between the two appears to be the hair style. One style of the figure has her hair done in a single bun on top of her head and her Cambridge catalog number is No. 523. (See photo 2, below right) The other style has 2 buns, one on either side of her head and her Cambridge catalog number is No. 522. (See photo 3, below right)

Geisha Figurals This is the only two piece flower frog produced by Cambridge. This consists of a 12 inch Oriental Lady with screw threads on the underside of the figure; and a six holed base with a large center hole which is fitted with a threaded metal ring. (See photo 4 at left) Very few of the complete 2 piece Oriental Flower Frogs are known to exist, but the Geisha and Eagle Flower Frogs Oriental figure itself is a valuable addition to any Cambridge collection. She was introduced to the trade in 1926 and was advertised as a two piece flower frog and as a lamp base, utilizing only the figure. The colors that were advertised in the 1926 trade journal for the Oriental Lady were: Emerald (light) green, Peach-Blo (pink), Amber-Glo (amber), and Crystal. Collectors have also seen her in Ivory and Bluebell.

Another figure flower frog of this early time period is the Eagle flower frog. This was introduced in 1927 and the Cambridge catalog number is No. 514. An advertisement in a 1927 China, Glass and Lamps states that this frog could be had in the usual Cambridge colors which were Emerald, Peach-Blo, Amber-Glo, and Crystal with or without a satin finish. The Eagle is smaller than most of the Cambridge frogs and may be passed by and thought not to be Cambridge. The Eagle stands 5½ inches tall. (See photo, 5 above left)