Dear Helaine and Joe: I am enclosing pictures of a bowl and candlestick set I received from my mother 25 to 30 years ago. I am not sure how long she had these pieces before they came to me, but I think they originally belonged to my grandmother. The two candlesticks have three candleholders each, and the color is a clear blue. Can you tell me what they are and how much they are worth? Thank you. —A.A., Mokena, Ill.
Dear A.A.: These pieces were made by the Cambridge Glass Co., which was founded in Cambridge, Ohio, in 1901. In the beginning the firm specialized in making clear colorless pressed glass table wares, but as the years went on Cambridge branched out to make a range of high quality, colored specialty wares that are in demand by today's collectors.
There is, for example, great interest in their Crown Tuscan, which is a pink opaque glass; Rubina, which is a glassware that shades from red to green to blue, and Heliotrope, which is an opaque lavender colored glass. In addition, collectors also search avidly for their nude stemmed pieces, figural lamps and items in the Everglades pattern.
Cambridge is known for its elegant stemware and tableware that were produced during the 1920s through 1958, when the company ceased production altogether. Many of these pieces were etched or had rock crystal cutting, but others were pressed. And the items belonging to A.A. are in a pressed pattern called Caprice, which originated in the 1940s and reportedly was made until 1957 or so.
Caprice came in a wide variety of colors including clear colorless, Moonlight Blue, amber, amethyst, amber, emerald green, pink, cobalt blue and milk white. The three most commonly encountered colors are clear colorless, Moonlight Blue and pink, with the other colors being relatively hard to find. Of these, the clear colorless examples are the least expensive, followed by the pink and the blue items.
Caprice was made in a wide variety of objects, including a wide array of stemware (the most valuable pieces here are the cordials, parfaits and clarets), plates, candy dishes, cracker jars, ice buckets, cigarette boxes, punch bowls, trays and vases. The pieces in today's question were probably meant to be used as a console set, meaning the bowl was meant to be filled with fruit or flowers (or left empty) and placed in the middle of a table flanked by the two candlesticks.
The Moonlight Blue candlesticks belonging to A.A. are the No. 74 three-light variety, and in this color, they are worth (for insurance replacement purposes) between $85 and $110 each. It should be noted that if these same candlesticks had been made in clear colorless glass, their value would have been less than half that figure.
As for the value of the ruffled (or crimped) four-legged bowl, A.A. neglected to tell us its size, so we are going to have to offer prices for a range of sizes. If this piece is 9 1/2 inches in diameter, it is the No. 52 and is worth (again, for insurance replacement purposes) between $75 and $90. But if this piece is either 10 1/2 or 11 inches in diameter (Nos. 53 and 60, respectively) the value goes up to between $120 and $140. Interestingly, if A.A.'s bowl is 12 1/2 or 13 inches in diameter the value is a bit less at $85 to $100.
Helaine Fendelman and Joe Rosson are the authors of the "Price It Yourself" (HarperResource, $19.95). Questions can by mailed to them at P.O. Box 12208, Knoxville, TN 37912-0208.