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Vintage Elegant Depression Glass

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Depression Glass Pattern Identification Guide
Cambridge Glass Pattern Identification Guide
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  • Cambridge Glass Photo Pattern Guide
Cut or Etched?

Have you ever wondered whether your glass is cut or etched?  Sometimes it is hard to tell.  And lots of glass for sale online with flower designs is listed as etched when it is really cut.

Cut Glass

A cut glass pattern like the miter design on this stem is easy.  The lines are straight and V shaped.

Here's a design that is a little harder to tell.  This is Trellis from Fostoria, a simple cut with stylized half flowers.  

Fostoria Trellis (Old) Cut Sherbet

What lets us know these are cut is the V shape on the cuts.  The miter cut stem has deep V shapes where the center of the cut is deeper than the edges.  The flower petals on the Trellis stem are slightly scooped.


One thing that causes confusion with cut patterns like Trellis is that the cuts were left unpolished.  See how the miter cut cocktail is shiny?  The artisans fire polished the design after it was cut.  That makes the cuts smooth and shiny.  Unpolished designs like Trellis or Cynthia are called "gray cuttings".

Fostoria Holly combines gray and polished cuts.  That must have been more time consuming to make.  This candle holder is pretty neat, from Fostoria's Sonata line.

Fostoria Holly Duo Candle Holder

Fostoria Holly Duo Candle Holder


Another technique is called "cut to clear" as in this Egermann ruby cut to clear vase.  I got this at an estate sale where the people had massive collections of fine crystal and china from America and Europe.

Egermann Ruby Cut to Clear Vase

Egermann Ruby Cut to Clear Vase


Etched Designs

Although some cut patterns are elaborate, most often designs with a lot of intricate detail are etched.  This Fostoria Navarre sherbet shows how complex an etched design can be.  It would be nearly impossible to get the curves and thin lines with a cutting wheel.

Fostoria Navarre Etched Sherbet


Making etched glass is like stenciling a wall.  Glass makers coat the surface with wax, then cut through the wax with a thin stylus.  The etching solution will dissolve wherever the glass surface is not covered with wax.  The result is the design has uniform depth.

It is possible to get multiple depths by uncovering more surface and applying the etching solution again.  But even with that method the individual line will be the same depth at the edge as at the center.

The Fostoria Navarre stem is one of the more fancier designs.  Here is a Fostoria Lido goblet.  Is it cut or etched?

Fostoria Lido Etched Goblet

Fostoria Lido Etched Goblet

Lido is simple enough that it could be cut so we need to touch it to find out.  The individual lines are all the same depth, so this is etched.


Have you noticed that all the etched designs are gray, not fire polished?  That's because the etched lines are thin.  Fire polishing always softens the edges just a bit, and if the artisans polished the etch it would lose detail.  You can imagine how that would ruin a delicate design.


Tips to Tell Cut from Etched

  1. Cut designs tend to use a lot of straight lines
  2. Cuts will be V shaped, with the edges shallower than the centers.  Some cut designs rely on many thin, parallel cut lines to fill in the flower or leaf shape
  3. Etched line will be the same depth.  Different motifs within an etched pattern could be different depths.
  4. Cut patterns can be gray cut, left unpolished, or fire polished to make them shiny.  Etched designs are not fire polished
  5. Intricate patterns with a lot of detail are almost always etched.  Cut designs can be complicated but don't look like they were drawn the way etched designs do.
  6. Colored cut-to-clear is used for cut glass.  I have not seen etched to clear. 
  7. Last but not least, just because someone calls a piece "etched" or "cut" use your judgment to decide how the design was made.
Tip! Measure Goblets

Tip:  How to Measure Stemware

If you want a set of vintage stemware it's important you know how to measure stems and are aware of size changes over the past 50 years.

Originally wine goblets were small, much smaller than we use today, especially in restaurants or contemporary, trendy glass.  Wine goblets in patterns from the vintage glass companies usually held two to five ounces.  

Fostoria June Wine Goblet

Fostoria June Topaz Wine Goblet

This Fostoria June goblet, from the 1930s, is 5 1/2 inches tall and holds three ounces filled right to the brim.  That's more the size we see today for cordials or after dinner drinks.

To measure stems, put the goblet on a flat table.  Take a stiff ruler and measure vertically to the top of the rim.  That's the height.  Don't measure sideways from the foot to the rim.

The other key measurement is capacity.  Vintage stemware, pitchers, creamers and such always give capacity measured by filling it right to the point of overflowing.

I find it is easiest to take my stem t the cupboard by the sink.  I use a one ounce measuring cup and fill the measuring cup right to the brim and pour into the goblet.  Then repeat until the goblet will not hold any more.  (The hard part is keeping count and not losing track, but maybe you won't have that problem.)

Cambridge Rosalie Etched Water Goblet

Cambridge Glass Rosalie Etched Crystal Water Goblet

The reason you want to measure full to the brim is that flared pieces, like goblets, will often take a surprising volume from the point where you would fill for use and when filled to the brim.  It's too subjective to measure filled the way you would use it.


I have tried filling a stem with water and pouring into a measuring cup.  This doesn't work for me at all as half the water ends up in the sink.

If you don't have a one ounce measuring cup, then use a regular liquid measurin cup to fill it most of the way, then use a tablespoon to fill the remainder.  Remember a tablespoon is half an ounce.

Water goblets, like the Cambridge Rosalie shown above, are usually between 6 and 10 inches tall and hold somewhere around 10 ounces.

The other thing to be aware of is shape.  Wine and water goblets look like goblets.  The goblet bowl may be rounded but most often the bowl is taller than it is wide.

You might see sherbets mistakenly called wine goblets.  Sherbets look like saucer champagnes or else have V shaped bowls like this Cambridge Chantilly tall sherbet.

Cambridge Chantilly Sherbet

Cambridge Chantilly Sherbet

I hope this helps you get the stemware you want!


Cambridge Glass Photo Pattern Identification Guide for Glass Lovers and Collectors

Cambridge Glass made so many patterns and shapes. This photo guide shows several patterns in close ups. Use this guide to identify glass and to pick out the pattern you want to enjoy.

We specialize in Cambridge Glass at Catladykate's Vintage Elegant and Depression Glass.  I love glass as much as you do and I know how special it is, to hold memories, to bring beauty, to give your home lovely, unique style.  Shopping with us is like antiquing with your best friend.

Apple Blossom Etch

Cambridge Glass made Apple Blossom during the depression on all their colors of the era, including amber, pink, two shades of blue, emerald and a darker green, yellow, ebony and crystal. Wow!  That's a lot of colors, but it is typical how Cambridge marketed their most popular patterns.

The sugar shown is the lovely green color Emerald in line 3400 shape. Line 3400 is refined with soft scallops on the rim, curlicue handle and molded foot. Apple Blossom is choice especially in colors like the green shown.

I sometimes confuse Heisey Old Colony with Apple Blossom if the only part of the pattern visible is the formal motif between the exuberant blossoms. The two patterns really are not at all alike. Old Colony has a flower in the motif and Appleblossom does not. Of course the shapes and the lovely flowers on Appleblossom are completely different.


Apple Blossom Emerald Sugar Line 3400

Blossom Time Etch

Cambridge Glass made Blossom Time from 1939 to 1946 almost entirely on crystal. The creamer shown is the Martha shape with the big scallops on the rim, curlicue handle and molded foot. You can't see the design on the foot in this photo; it is a center circle with small molded rays around it. Blossom Time is elegant and somewhat unusual. 

This little creamer and its matching sugar are the only pieces I've seen in Blossom Time.  If you like this pattern you'll want to buy pieces when you find them.


Cambridge Glass Blossom Time on Martha Blank

Cambridge Caprice Crystal

Cambridge made Caprice near the end of the company's life, from 1936 to 1958. It's a little heavier looking than most Cambridge glass and is solely a molded pattern. After-market decorating companies like Silver City used Caprice for silver decorations, but Cambridge mostly left Caprice plain.


Cambridge Caprice Crystal Creamer

Cambridge Caprice Crystal Stemware

Cambridge Caprice stemware has a lovely optic in the bowl.


Cambridge Caprice Crystal Champagne Sherbet

Chantilly Etch

Cambridge Glass used their graceful Chantilly etch from 1938 to 1958 mostly on crystal with a few pieces in ebony black or colors. The candlestick shown is on the Martha blank and has the etch on the round base.  Imagine this sparkling in candle light on your table.

Chantilly is similar to Cambridge Elaine but you can tell the difference - and I hope this guide helps you. Chantilly has scrolls that are horizontal on stemware and go around the rim on plates or bowls. Elaine has diagonal scrolls. Cambridge put Chantilly on several other blanks, including the 3400 shape and this 3600 Martha.

Shop here to see our selection of Cambridge Chantilly, offered with fast and free shipping.


Cambridge Chantilly Etched Martha Candle Holder

Chantilly Etch on Plates

This is also Cambridge Chantilly but on the lightly scalloped 3900 shape.


Cambridge Glass Chantilly Etched Line 3900 Crystal Plate

Cleo Etch

Cambridge Glass made Cleo etch in the early 1930s on the usual colors, blue, green, amber, pink, crystal. This oval vegetable bowl is one of the choicest pieces. Like most Cleo items it is on Cambridge Decagon blank. Cleo is a wonderful pattern to collect with the graceful swags on so many different pieces.


Cambridge Glass Cleo Green Oval Vegetable Bowl with Lid


Cambridge Glass Cleo Etched Decagon Willow Blue Center Handled Server

Cambridge Crystal 1307 Triple Candle Holder

Cambridge made a gorgeous array of candle holders including this triple light crystal candlestick.  You can make a spectacular grouping on your mantle or side table by combining several different candle holders. 


Cambridge Crystal 1307 Triple Candle Holder

Cambridge Decagon

Cambridge sold Decagon plain and with several etched patterns. Most Decagon has 10 sides. Cambridge made Decagon in all their depression era colors - pink, blue, amber, green, Carmen red, amethyst - in the 1930s.

Check our Decagon listings here.


Cambridge Decagon Blue Creamer

Cambridge Glass Deux Coqs Line 733

Cambridge Deux Coqs has a design of two birds. It's one of their lesser known patterns and is etch number 733. It is a lovely pattern.


Cambridge Glass Deux Coqs Candle Holder

Cambridge Diane Etch

Cambridge Diane looks like two hands gently cupping a flower. There is a pair of scrolls at the top of the motif that will help you distinguish Cambridge Diane from New Martinsville Prelude which has similar motifs.

Cambidge made Diane for over 20 years, from 1934 to 1956, mostly in crystal (especially after the 1930s) and some pink, yellow, blue and other depression era colors.

The candle holder shown is unusual and hard to find, the Corinth shape with a pierced center. The Diane etch is on the base.  We offer this candle holder with free shipping.


Cambridge Diane Etched Corinth Trindle Candle Holder


Cambridge Diane Etched Crystal 3122 Low Sherbet

Cambridge Elaine Etch

Cambridge Glass made Elaine from 1933 to 1954, another long running, popular pattern. Cambridge used only crystal for Elaine, unlike other patterns in the same era.

You can tell Elaine from Chantilly because Elaine's big scrolls go diagonally while Chantilly has smaller scrolls that are horizontal. That big bowl is a neat piece, low and ruffled, perfect for display or with fruit.


Cambridge Elaine Etched Crystal Low Ruffled Bowl

Cambridge Etch Number 701

Cambridge Glass made many intriguing etched designs that never got names and we know only by their line number. Cambridge Etch 701 urn with flowers design is particularly appealing in crystal stemware.


Cambridge Etch 701 Crystal Goblet

Cambridge Glass Etch 727

Cambridge Etch 727 is one of my favorites. I love the round puffy flowers and the elegant scrolls. Sadly, Cambridge didn't name this etch - in my mind I think of it as the cotton ball etch.

This green console bowl is the only piece with Cambridge Etch 727 I have seen.


Cambridge Glass Etch 727 Green Console Bowl

Cambridge Glass Majestic Etch 732

Cambridge Majestic etch number 732 has scrolls flanking big oval flowers. Cambridge made this during the 1930s in all the rainbow of colors.


Cambridge Glass Etch 732 Green Center Handled Server

Cambridge Glass Florentine Etch 725

Cambridge Florentine etch number 725 is one of the band etches where the design is placed inside a band and not all over the piece. Florentine is another depression era pattern.


Florentine Amber Gold Encrusted Goblet

Cambridge Georgian

Almost every glass company made a Georgian pattern. Some pieces are different in each maker's line but the water tumblers are all similar

Cambridge Georgian should have a ground base rim. Look closely at the honeycomb design. According to the Cambridge collectors, the honeycombs in the second row are diamond shaped, not hexagonal.


Cambridge Georgian Pink Tumbler

Cambridge Grape Etch

Just like the Georgian pattern, almost every elegant glass company had a grape etch. Cambridge used their Grape etch on at least three blanks. It's not as well-known as many Cambridge etched patterns.  Be sure to check our store for Cambridge Grape.

Cambridge Grape Etched Crystal Tumbler

Cambridge Portia Etch

Cambridge Glass made Portia about the same time period as Rose Point, 1932 to the 1950s, and mostly on crystal. You'll find Portia on on several blanks. The sherbet shown is the 3121 line, the easiest to find, which has a ball held by three little curled nubs on the stem.

Portia has a flat topped urn overflowing with flowers. It is quite distinctive and you won't have any problem spotting it. Cambridge used several shapes for Portia; this one is line 3121, probably the easiest to find.


Cambridge Glass Portia on Line 3121 Vintage Stemware

Cambridge Rosalie Etch

Cambridge Glass made Rosalie in the 1930s on colored and crystal glass. It's not all that easy to find and the plain stem shown is unusual. Most Rosalie dinnerware and accessory pieces are on the Decagon blank.

Rosalie has a square spiral in the design that is unlike any other etch. It is a busy pattern and looks great on simple pieces like the goblet shown.  One of my Rosalie customers told me she likes to use pretty little tumblers to store her makeup brushes, a nice idea to enjoy vintage glass.


Cambridge Glass Rosalie Etched Goblet

Cambridge Rose Point Etched Glass 

Cambridge Glass made Rose Point from 1936 to 1953 mostly on crystal. Colored pieces are rare.

You can find beautiful gold encrusted Rose Point where the etch is picked out in gold like the small bowl shown in the third picture. Gold encrusted Rose Point on crystal is spectacular!

Cambridge used thin bands of gold to highlight crystal, as in this goblet.  We have a nice selection of gold trimmed Rose Point stemware, a perfect way to add unique style and beauty to your table.

Cambridge knew they had a winner with Rose Point and used it on almost every blank they had at the time. The most common stemware line is number 3121 which is the goblet shown. Dinnerware and accessories used at least three different blanks plus there were other shapes that had only a couple pieces. The gold encrusted bowl is the Martha line.

Shop our Cambridge Rose Point glass here.



Rose Point Gold Encrusted Martha Bowl

Roselyn Etch

Cambridge Glass made Roselyn near the end of their business, from 1951 to 1956 only in crystal. It looks a little like Elaine with the strong diagonal lines and flowers. Roselyn is far less well known than Elaine.


Cambridge Glass Roselyn Etched Crystal Footed Ruffled Bowl

Cambridge Square

Cambridge Square is one of their most unusual patterns. The pieces all have heavy cube bases that look great. Cambridge made Square in crystal only beginning in 1951, when heavier glass styles were coming into vogue and the Scandinavian-inspired plain crystal was in.


Cambridge Glass Square Crystal Low Comport

Cambridge Wildflower

Cambridge made Wildflower in the 1940s to early 1950s mainly in crystal or crystal with gold. You may find pieces in amber, green or ebony black too although these are less common.
This small footed bowl is very similar to the Rose Point gold encrusted piece shown above.


Cambridge Glass Wildflower Gold Encrusted Martha 2-Handled Tray

Cambridge Etch Number 704, Windows Border

Cambridge named this pattern only line 704 and noted author Gene Florence called it Windows Border, a far better name. You can find this in amber, green, pink and possibly other colors.

Cambridge Windows Border is one of my favorite patterns.  I like the swoopy motifs along the rims and the amber and green are luscious.  This cheese and cracker is a wonderful piece for holiday entertaining and is in our store here.


Cambridge Glass Windows Border Etch 704 Amber Cheese and Cracker Set

Line 3400 Heatherbloom Color

Cambridge Glass used Line 3400 for many etches and produced a wonderful rainbow of colors. One of the most interesting is Heatherbloom which changes color from a blue lavender to nearly pink. This color change is due to neodynium in the glass formula. Anytime you can find Heatherbloom you'll find it intriguing and unusual.


Cambridge Heatherbloom Color Line 3400 Sugar