Decorated Candlewick - Part IV - Hand Cutting
by Virginia Scott

Glass Review - May 1983

It has been difficult to get official information about the many cut Cut Candlewick patterns that have been found on Candlewick. When I was at Imperial in 1977 I saw an "Order Mat" page on which six cuttings on Candlewick are shown (see opposite page, top). I also have two small folders or brochures, a one page picture in a 1961 catalog, a price list and two ads in 1949 magazines. Most of the information about cut patterns not mentioned in Imperial files has come from Candlewick collectors who have reported their finds. These unlisted patterns will be discussed in my next article.

The patterns shown on the Order Mat page are: Floral, Starlight, Valley Lily, Princess, DuBarry and Fantasy. The latter three patterns seem to be scarce and are seldom reported. Princess, Cut 803, is listed on a 1953 Price List although I saw a note in the Imperial files that designs DuBarry and Fantasy were made from 1944 to 1950. No listing of pieces is available for the latter two, but Princess was cut on stemware, plates, cups and saucers and a few serving pieces including sugar and cream sets, shakers, mayonnaise sets, 400/55 relish and 400/45 compote.

Valley Lily, Cut 800, was advertised in a full page ad in the January, 1949 issue of House Beautiful. The ad states: "Here is the first picture of Imperial's newest hand-cut pattern on Candlewick". The design, the ad announced, was "now available in plates and stemware. "As the setting enhances the beauty of a jewel", the ad continues, "so does the artistry of the all-encircling Valley Lily design add to the exquisite lustre of Imperial's nationally favorite glassware pattern". Valley Lily is a highly polished "Rock Crystal" design which is somewhat stylized rather than realistic. It was cut on Candlewick from the mid-1940's to 1957. The pieces available were about the same as for Princess. These two patterns were expensive when they were made, with stemware costing $3.50 each in 1953.

An ad showing Floral, Cut 279, appeared in the July, 1949 issue of House and Garden. Floral is an unpolished, gray design with a frosted look. A small folder I have shows a large assortment of items in the Floral design. Included are stemware, plates, cups, saucers, shakers, 400/31 footed cream and sugar, 400/100 twin candleholder, 400/134/4 cigarette box and ashtrays, 400/24 pitcher, 400/19 tumblers, 15 piece punch set and more. Floral was illustrated in what is believed to be the earliest Candlewick brochure, tentatively dated around 1938 (No. 6). The brochure states, "the very simplicity of the Candlewick design lends itself ideally to cutting ... for those hostesses whose personal preference is for a more ornate crystal service. The floral pattern illustrated above is one of many available, on order, hand-cut by Imperial artisans". I deeply regret that the folder fails to name the other patterns available!

The sixth pattern shown on the Candlewick Order Mat is Cut 108, Starlight. We have no definite information as to when it was first used. However, a collector has reported finding an early style 400/31 sugar and cream set (with plain handles, beaded foot, No. 10) cut with Starlight, so we can make the assumption that the cut was being used as early as 1938 or so. A Starlight folder shows about the same assortment of items as for Floral design. Starlight was the least expensive of the cut designs and floral was somewhat higher in price. It has been noted that two different kinds of stars were used, six-point and eight-point. Both Starlight and Floral were offered until 1962, with about the same assortment of pieces made In both patterns.