How to Identify Cambridge Glass

By Shannon M. Beck

The Cambridge Glass Factory in Cambridge, Ohio produced some of the country's most elegant glassware from 1901 through 1958. Classes of glass produced include carnival glass, depression glass and heavy pressed glass.

Today all classes of Cambridge glass are highly collectible, which unfortunately means that reproductions have been made. This makes it difficult for a new collector to decipher whether or not a piece is authentic. Here are some tips to help you identify the real deal.

Look for markings: Glass markings are usually found in the center of the underside of the piece. Occasionally, the marking will appear on the center of the stem on stemware or inside the bowl of a piece. Regardless of where it is found, the marking will appear as a raised area with letters, numbers or symbols.

Check to see if the mark indicates Cambridge Glass: Cambridge glass used two marks to identify its products. Prior to 1920, the Cambridge Glass Company marked glass with "NEAR CUT"; after 1920 the glass was marked with a "C" inside of an inverted triangle.

Attempt to identify the pattern: Many books available offer descriptions and photographs of complete lists of Cambridge Glass patterns. Use these books to determine if the pattern you are looking at was manufactured by Cambridge Glass.

Check the piece type for the pattern: Guide books will list each piece made with a given pattern. Once you have identified the patter,n check that Cambridge made that piece (goblet, sugar bowl, etc.) in that pattern. If the information does not match, then either the pattern has not been properly identified or the piece you are looking at is a fake.

Tip

Remember that not all Cambridge Glass is marked, especially prior to the 1940s.

Warning

Pay careful attention to Caprice or Lady Flower Frogs patterns. Both have been reproduced on a large scale, and the reproductions are often easier to find than the original.