Cambridge Gloria

by Mark Nye
Glass Review - July 1987

"Gloria is the name which Cambridge Glass Company has given to its newest decoration, and it is to be seen at the showrooms, 184 Fifth Avenue. As the illustration shows, the Gloria is a floral pattern of a most distinctive character. One unusual feature is the fact that the design begins at the bottom of the piece and extends upward, instead of starting at the top and working downward, as is more customary.
A full line of dinnerware, flatware sand stemware may be had in this decoration, and it has been developed in amber, green, pink, gold krystol, willow blue and crystal. In the illustration, the pattern is shown on Cambridge's new patented "3400" square plate, a shape which is proving most attractive to all buyers who have seen it.
Many flat pieces decorated with the Gloria pattern filled in with gold or carrying a gold rim are on display at the Cambridge showrooms ... (October, 1930 China, Glass & Lamps)

Gloria items Gloria items Gloria, also known as etching No. 746, was first shown on Cambridge Glass Company catalog pages during late summer or early fall 1930. This is consistent with the above quoted advertisement as well as others that were promoting the etching as "new" during the fall of 1930. This etching was discontinued prior to 1940 since the Cambridge catalog issued that year did not include Gloria in the etching listing.

Gloria was primarily used on the 3400 line of blanks. Cambridge catalog pages issued during the period 1930 to 1934 show the Gloria etching on at least 79 different 3400 line items plus 15 miscellaneous pieces, mostly vases and tumblers. In addition to the 3400 line dinnerware, there are at least six stemware lines etched Gloria, including the famed Cambridge nudes. However, nudes found with the Gloria etching would be considered exceptional and rare items. In addition to the nudes or No. 3011 stemware, other stemware lines etched Gloria are Nos. 3055, 3120, 3130, 3135 and 3025.

Colors and color combinations on which Gloria may be found are Gold Krystol, Gold Krystol and Amber, Heatherbloom, Crystal, Peach-blo, Amber, Amethyst, Emerald (light), Forest Green and Willow Blue. It should be noted that these are not listed in the frequency found. As stated in the advertisement that opened this article, complete dinnerware sets were made in many of the preceding colors. Furthermore, quoting from the November, 1931 issue of China, Glass & Lamps:

"Speaking of heatherbloom, the factory has a short line of dinnerware, stemware and a few odd pieces in this new color, which is so exactly like the shade of the heatherbell. And it may be had either plain or decorated with the Apple Blossom or Gloria etchings."

I would venture to say that Gold Krystol, Crystal, Peach-blo and Emerald (light) are the least difficult colors to find etched Gloria. There is a possibility of finding the etching in colors other than those listed here. Gold encrusted pieces were also produced using color and crystal blanks.

The Gloria pattern was done in silver encrustation of the etching on ebony ware and possibly Amethyst blanks; in these cases it was designated D/971-S. Use of the etching in this manner appears to have been limited to occasional and accessory pieces such as console sets, vases, pitchers and plates.

Based on the number of catalog pages and the wide range of dinnerware, stemware and accessory items shown, Cambridge obviously intended Gloria to be a major line. That it never achieved the popularity Apple Blossom did is indicated by the relative lack of this etching in today's collectibles market. Gloria may be found, and sets assembled but not with the frequency and ease one would expect from viewing the catalog pages.

We close with another quote from China, Glass & Lamps, this time from the February, 1931 issue:

"Gloria, the popular Cambridge etching for 1931, like Apple Blossom, goes further toward the fulfillment of a complete glass dinnerware service than any other pattern available on the market. Here you have dinnerware, stemware, flatware and novelty pieces all harmonious and of identical loveliness. The recently added stemware line (No. 3025) ... has a foot of same contour as the associated pieces."