As this article is being written it is very much winter, even here in Florida. But since this is the April column I will assume spring is "busting out all over" - to paraphrase a popular song. Hence, our topic this month is "Blossom Time".
The January, 1940 Cambridge catalog and price list included listings for eight plate etchings: Candlelight. Chantilly, Diane, Elaine, Portia, Rose Point, Wildflower and Blossom Time. Of these, Blossom Time is probably less frequently seen than any of the others. It is an attractive etching and composed of - as the name implies - flowers. Why it never achieved the popularity reached by other Cambridge etchings remains unknown. Perhaps it was over-shadowed by Wildflower, another floral etching, already established in the Cambridge line when Blossom lime was brought out.
Blossom Time was probably introduced to the trade at the January, 1939 Pittsburgh Trade Show as the first known reference dates to early 1939 and one that appeared in the February, 1939 issue of Crockery and Glass Journal included the word "new". A reference to the introduction of the Martha line punch bowl in a memorandum from the Cambridge factory and dated late January, 1939 included the availability of this piece etched Blossom Time.
The October, 1939 issue of Crockery and Glass Journal carried a Cambridge advertisement to the trade telling its store buyers of the national advertising campaign then being carried out. The trade journal ad was prefaced by:
"CAMBRIDGE AGAIN TRIUMPHS
and national advertising carries the complete story of a smart new glassware creation into millions of homes."
The actual advertisement being carried in home magazines read in part:
"Here are two masterpieces in hand made crystal - highlighted etchings by Cambridge. The distinctive Chantilly, a design of exceptional delicacy and refinement - and the Blossom Time, a composition of refreshing springtime beauty..."
The next reference for Blossom Time is the January, 1940 Cambridge catalog in which thirteen pages were devoted to illustrating the etching. The last known reference to Blossom Time is found in the front of a 1947 diary Cambridge distributed. The 1949 Cambridge diary made no mention of Blossom Time nor is this etching found in the 1949 or later Cambridge catalogs and price lists.
Blossom Time is not known in color except for gold encrustation of the etching on ebony pieces. The Welkers, in their Book I of Catalog Reprints include two pages showing ebony items available with D/1059 or gold encrusted Blossom Time.
From the 1940 catalog we learn Blossom Time was made in a complete dinnerware line, including the 9½" dinner and the 10½" dinner or service plates utilizing Martha blanks.
Complementing the dinnerware was the No. 3675 stemware which appears to be the only stemware etched Blossom Time. A bell made from a No. 3700 goblet and etched Blossom Time appears in a supplement to the 1940 catalog; however, no listing for No. 3700 stemware etched Blossom Time has as yet been found.
Accompanying the dinnerware line was a full range of serving. accessory and decorative items. These include bowls, plates, relishes, candlesticks and vases. The blanks used were primarily from the Martha line but other blanks were also used to a limited extent.
The Martha line of blanks did not include oil bottles and shakers. Thus we find the Blossom Time line included two styles of shakers from the 3400 line, Nos. 3400/77 and 3400/76. The oil bottle used for this etching is also from the 3400 line, No. 3400/161, 6-ounce with ground stopper.
Two hurricane lamps were included in the Blossom Time line, No. 1601 with the chimney only etched and No. 1603 with only the base etched.
For candy box collectors, the Martha No. 311 candy box and cover was etched Blossom Time as were the 3600/3 tall candy box and cover and the 3600/4 low candy box and cover. Butter dish collectors take note, there is a Blossom Time butter dish, the No. 506 coveted butter dish.
The Martha line punch bowl, with a capacity of ten quarts, utilized the ladle from the Tally Ho line and anyone fortunate enough to have the punch bowl, plain or etched, this is the ladle you are looking for (it was not etched). To complete the punch set there are Blossom Time etched 5 oz. punch cups and an eighteen inch under plate.
The 1940 price list contained listings for Decoration D/1059 or gold encrusted Blossom Time and D/1058 etched Blossom Time with a gold edge, both on crystal blanks. These listings included the No. 3675 stemware, many accessory and serving pieces, vases, candlesticks, the 3600/4 low candy box and cover, and three jugs. The punch bowl, however, was not listed as having been made with either of these gold decorations.