Early Colored Candlewick     

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Early Colored Candlewick

by Willard Kolb

Colored Candlewick seems to pose the biggest problem among collectors. Actually the possibility exists that you could find a piece in almost any color that Imperial made while they produced Candlewick. They could have done trials, made a special color piece as a gift to a special person, had a special order for a specific color or any number of other things. These, however, would not have been production items and therefore would not have been recorded in catalogs or price lists.

What we are going to discuss here are the early colors of Ruby, Ritz Blue, Viennese Blue and, although crystal is not a color, we will include it.

When the 3400 stemware line was introduced in 1937, the plain crystal ones were touted as being made of lead glass. This notation continued until the early forties and then disappeared. I don"t know whether they went to a lime base then or just decided that the lead glass advertising was not necessary. Eleven different sizes of the 3400 line stems were made with Ruby bowls with crystal stem and foot in 1937. I have found no indication that these were made with Ritz Blue bowls at this time, but they do appear in a January 1, 1942 price list in Ritz Blue and Ruby in eleven different stems. The production of these color combinations apparently ceased in 1942 because the January 1, 1943 price list does not show anything except crystal being made in the 3400 stem line. Production of at least parts of the 3400 line continued in crystal, and of course several colors during the Lenox years, until the early 1980"s.

The 3800 stemware line was introduced in late 1937 with a January 1, 1938 price list showing it being made with a Ruby bowl and crystal stem and foot, only, in ten different stems. An August 1938 price list shows that nine different items were being made, the claret being eliminated, in both Ruby and Ritz Blue. You would think that crystal would have been made also, and perhaps it was, but it doesn"t list the 3800 line under crystal Candlewick in either of the above price lists. It may be that some information is missing. It does show up in the "A" catalog which was supposedly printed in 1939 and a 1941 price list, however. The January 1, 1942 price list shows eleven different stems still being made in Ruby and Ritz Blue. As of January 1, 1943 these color combinations were discontinued and only crystal was shown to be available in the 1943 price list. For all practical purposes this was the end of the 3800 stemware line and so with it the color combinations.

Imperial produced several items, other than stemware, in Ruby. The production of these items probably began in late 1936 as they are listed on a January 1, 1937 price list. The items I am going to list were production items although other items have shown up in this color. Made were the following:
10/400/62D 8 1/2" two handled Plate
10/400/62B 7" two handled Bowl
10/400/74B 8 1/2" four-toed Nappy
10/400/74SC      9" four-toed Nappy
10/400/67B 9" footed Bowl

The latter three items are, of course, the joint mould items with the ribs that I discussed in the piece I did for the October 1993 issue of the GLASSZETTE. (For those of you who are wondering about the prefix 10 associated with these numbers, it is the color code for Ruby.) This production was apparently short lived as it only appears on one other price list, the January 1, 1938. This price list has a circle drawn around these a some other Ruby articles and is marked "OUT". None of the items appear in the 1939 price list.

Number 80, Viennese Blue is another color that had it"s beginning in Candlewick in late 1936. The Candlewick pieces first appear on a list of assortments made for Seller-Lowengart Co. on December 12, 1936. The following twelve pieces are listed:

80/400/13F 10" Nappy
80/400/13D 12" Plate
80/400/31  Sugar & Cream set
80/400/40  Three piece Mayo set
80/400/62E 8 1/2" two handled Tray
80/400/67B 9" footed Bowl
80/400/67D 10" Cake Salver
80/400/74B 8 1/2" four-toed Bowl
80/400/74SC      9" four-toed Bowl
80/400/88  Cheese & Cracker set
80/400/87F 8" Vase
80/400/81  3 1/2" Candlestick

In February of 1937 a list of assortments was made up for Carson, Parie, Scott and Co. in the "80/400/100" designation or Viennese Blue Candlewick with cut #100 (aka: gray dots). The following pieces are listed:
80/400/72B/100             8 1/2" two handled
80/400/72D/100   10" two handled Plate
80/400/74B/100            8 1/2" four-toed Nappy

80/400/74J/100             7" four-toed Lily Bowl
80/400/88/100             Cheese & Cracker set
80/400/86/100             Mushroom Candlesticks
Dozens of other pieces were made in No. 80. This was a short lived color in Candlewick, probably about two years, but Viennese Blue was continued in other Imperial lines for quite some time.

    The above was originally part of "THE "NEW" IMPERIAL CANDLEWICK LINE INTRODUCED AT THE 1936 WHEELING CENTENNIAL" article that appeared in the October 1993 Glasszette. This portion was "edited out" due to lack of space.
Willard Kolb is a glass historian who lives in St. Clairsville, Ohio. He not only collects glass, but just about any piece of paper that has a glass company name on it! Willard was the banquet speaker at the 1992 NIGCS Convention.


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