This page is dedicated to illustrating the Cambridge Figural flower frogs and some similar pieces manufactured by other companies. This page is a "work in progress", so as we obtain pieces that illustrate a particular feature or difference, we will attempt to add more information to the page. We try to be as accurate as we can be in the information we present. But we are always learning something new about this topic, so the information on this page will tend to change as we can supply additional facts.
For a wonderful place to visit for flower frogs of all types, go to the pages of the Flower Frog Gazette and visit with Bonnie Bull, who is the author of an outstanding book on flower frogs (check our page on recommended glass reference books). The book covers glass, pottery and even metal flower frogs, with a whole chapter dedicated to glass figural flower frogs. You can also meet other collectors on her site, and generally enjoy learning more about all types of flower frogs.
We are going to illustrate several of the different types of Cambridge figural flower frog here. In each case, we will provide a thumbnail picture - if you would like to see a larger version of the photograph, simply click on the thumbnail picture, then use your browser's "BACK" button to return to where you left off. By using small "thumbnail" pictures, we allow this page to load quickly and let you choose whether you want to view a large photograph.
Note that Cambridge Glass Company did NOT have names for these figural frogs. Each had only a product number. It is collectors who have come up with the names for these pieces, or, in the case of Mirror Images, the company chose the name "Venus Rising".
A note concerning condition: Production of a very thick piece of glass like the flower frogs shown below often leads to small cracks in the glass, particularly if the glass is cooled too rapidly. You may find tiny cracks near the holes on these flower frogs. As long as the crack is tiny, and is right on the edge of the hole for the flower, it is most likely part of the manufacturing process and shouldn't be considered a terrible flaw. Chips or cracks that extend through the piece are a major problem, and make the piece worth substantially less. The "Draped Lady" 8 1/2" mold had a slight flaw which caused a "straw mark" to appear in front of the lady's feet. This is found on nearly all "Draped Lady" pieces and is considered normal.
Now, enjoy the photos and history of these wonderful pieces of the glassmaker's art.
This is the most commonly found of Cambridge's figural flower frogs. The piece was made by Cambridge from the early 1930's up until 1958, and then it was made by several other companies from molds obtained when the Cambridge factory closed. The piece comes both frosted and non-frosted, and in a number of colors. There are three different sizes: 8½ inch, 12½ inch and 13¼ inch, which are shown in the next thumbnail picture below.
The picture to the right illustrates the three different sizes of the "Draped Lady" flower frog made by Cambridge Glass Company. The two larger sized figures are just about the same size, with the slight difference in height between the two being due to the design of the base piece. The scalloped base is slightly taller than the round one. The scalloped base has only six holes for flowers, while the round base has 12 holes, making it more practical for use in displays.
The smaller "Draped Lady", to the left, is the one most commonly found. She was made with three different bases by Cambridge, but only one of them is illustrated here. This is the round "smooth" base. There was another base, with small vertical ribs running all around it -- the ribs were much smaller than those on the tallest figural.
The smallest "Draped Lady" with the vertical ribbed base was probably made from the mid to late 1940's and later, as there is a record in the Cambridge archives indicating a change was made to the base of the figure (although the illustration for the change is lost to history, we believe it to be the tiny vertical ribs). The third type of base you may find on the smaller figural is the oval base. The oval base was only done in the early 1930's. It has six holes for flowers. The ones with the oval base are somewhat uncommon, and make a nice addition to a collection.
Cambridge also made a different base for the "Draped Lady" figural, which was not a flower frog, but a short base with a single hole in the back, intended for use as a lamp base. Cambridge made the "Draped Lady" with the lamp base in crystal and colors in the 1940's and later, though not in any large quantities. They were probably special-ordered by another company which then produced the lamps, although this fact is not verified. The lamp base mold for this piece is now owned by Summit Art Glass (see below) and is still being used to produce this piece today.
This lovely figural is called "Bashful Charlotte", and Cambridge made her in two sizes - approximately 6½ inches tall and also 11½ inches. "Bashful Charlotte" is found less often than "Draped Lady", and you will run into the smaller size more often than the 11" size. The names "Bashful Charlotte" and "Draped Lady" are often confused, but when you look at the photographs on this page, you can see that the two pieces are quite different in shape.
The figure was inspired by a painting by artist Paul Chabas. You can see the striking resemblance between the figural flower frog and the lady in the painting entitled "September Morn". Collectors often refer to Fenton's "nymph" figural flower frog as "September Morn", but the Cambridge "Bashful Charlotte" more closely resembles the figure in the painting.
When the Cambridge factory closed, the molds for both sizes of "Bashful Charlotte" went to Imperial Glass company, and some pieces were made by Imperial as their own product. When Imperial went out of business, the 11" mold was sold to Summit Art Glass, and the 6½" mold was sold to Mirror Images. See the information on those two companies below.
"Rose Lady" was the very first figural frog produced by Cambridge. The patent for this piece was granted in 1927, although it is possible that the piece was actually produced earlier than that. There are two different bases that this figure is found on. The first base (at left), which has only six holes, has very large scallops, one for each hole. The figure actually stands 9¾ inches tall on this base.
Eventually, Cambridge modified the mould to produce a round base (at right; similar to that used on the "Draped Lady"). With the round base, the figure only stands 8½ inches tall (including the base). The lady appears to be holding an armful of roses, hence the name "Rose Lady". "This flower frog was never reproduced, and was discontinued sometime in the 1930's.
The "Mandolin Lady" figural flower frog is not commonly found. While not considered "rare", it is certainly "scarce". Made only in crystal, pink and green, most pieces are found with the lady bent over as illustrated in the photograph at left. The body of this figure has a "mottled" appearance, and the figure is not nude. She appears to have a mandolin in her hands, hence the name. The "Mandolin Lady" has not been reproduced, and it is likely that the mold for this figural frog was destroyed as part of the effort to collect scrap iron for use during WW II.
This interesting frog consists of a figure of a young boy and of a small goat standing on its hind legs, leaning on the boy. Boy and goat, hence the name "Two Kids". Relatively uncommon, this piece was made in quite a few of the Cambridge colors, prior to WW II, and has not been reproduced. We believe that the mold for this one was also destroyed during WW II. "Two Kids" was also manufactured on the oval base, and if you find one of these, grab it, because they are very scarce on the oval base. When you are considering this figural frog, pay close attention to the ears of the goat -- quite often one ear is damaged or missing altogether.
The "Geisha" flower frog is somewhat of a misnomer. While this piece is commonly called "Geisha," it is, in fact, a Chinese figure and not Japanese (where one finds "Geishas"). This is the only two-part flower frog made by Cambridge, consisting of the figure itself, which has a threaded base, and the "frog" portion with holes for flowers which is a completely separate part. See the illustration at right. The circular part in the center is the base of the figure. The two pieces are fastened together with a pot-metal threaded "nut," like what you might put on the end of a large bolt. Since the piece was designed to sit in a bowl full of water (for the flowers), naturally that "nut" would rust. Probably a poor design, but these massive figurals were not produced for very long before they were discontinued. The figures stand a full 11½ inches tall and weigh roughly 4¾ pounds.
Summit Art Glass was a small manufacturer of glass located in Ohio. The owners were originally dealers and collectors of glass, and eventually decided to open their own small glass company. They purchased a number of molds when Imperial closed, including several Cambridge molds, which they subsequently used to produce their own glass. Summit has since closed down, and the Cambridge molds from Summit have been purchased by the National Cambridge Collectors, Inc.
The picture to the left shows one of the pieces made by Summit Art Glass using the Cambridge "Draped Lady" mold with the lamp base instead of the flower frog base. You can see from the photos that there is a hole in the back of the piece which is designed to allow for lamp hardware (a brass tube, for example) to be affixed to the heavy glass base, and there is a channel formed in the base to allow the lamp cord to exit the underside. Summit made this piece in a number of colors.
Summit Art Glass also owned the mold for the 11 inch "Bashful Charlotte", and manufactured a few pieces in colors that were never originally done by Cambridge Glass Company. To the right is a photograph of the "Bashful Charlotte" piece, in the 11 inch size, done in a wonderful cobalt blue. It's surprising to us that Cambridge never produced any of the flower frogs in either cobalt blue or red (carmen), as they are particularly stunning in both colors.
We present three of the Summit Art Glass versions of the 11" "Bashful Charlotte." All Summit "Bashfuls" have the ribbed base. Note that each was a very limited run as indicated by the annotation on the photographs (quantities were validated by the manufacturer's son). Here are "Bashful Charlotte" flower frogs in Azurite, Moonlight Blue and Vaseline.
The picture to the right illustrates the "Venus Rising" product of Mirror Images, Inc. of Lansing, MI. The company is no longer in business today, but after the Cambridge factory closed, Mirror Images contracted with Imperial Glass Company to manufacture the smaller (6 1/2") "Bashful Charlotte", but with a minor mold modification: the holes in the base were eliminated, so the piece is no longer technically a flower frog, but simply a glass figurine.
Mirror Images had this piece manufactured for them in a large number of different colors and treatments. The picture illustrates the piece in red (some folks want to call it "rubina", but the color variance is normal in red glass). Some pieces were frosted. Some were given a "carnival" treatment, where the piece is sprayed with metal salts while it is still very hot.
Unfortunately, at some point, Mirror Images modified the mold on the small 6" piece, and added the C-in-a-triangle logo of the Cambridge Glass Company to the base of the piece. Cambridge never "signed" their flower frogs with the company logo, so all of these pieces with the Cambridge logo are NOT Cambridge at all ! Mirror Images is no longer in business today and we do not currently have a complete list of all of the colors and treatments for "Venus Rising". But if you see a small "Bashful Charlotte" out there with no holes in the base, it was not made by Cambridge, but was most likely made by Imperial for Mirror Images.
Mirror Images also had the "Draped Lady" made for them by Dalzell-Viking. An example of one of them is the red piece shown at right. They also had the same piece done in a "Heatherbloom" or "Alexandrite" color. Some of these pieces have the Mirror Images logo on the underside, where Cambridge had the patent number. The logo is the letter "I" superimposed over the letter "M". Summit Art Glass subsequently acquired the mold for "Draped Lady" although they never made any flower frogs (only the lamp base).
Fenton Art Glass Company, of Williamstown, WV, introduced a figural flower frog in 1928, and the piece was manufactured in a wide variety of colors from that time until sometime in the 1940's. The figure is often referred to as "September Morn", and was supposedly inspired by the Paul Chabas painting , but as pointed out earlier, Cambridge's "Bashful Charlotte" appears to resemble the figure in the painting much more closely than does Fenton's nymph.
The Fenton "nymph" figural flower frog is actually a two-piece item. The figure, which is quite a bit smaller than the Cambridge ladies, is formed atop a "peg" which fits into the center hole of the flower frog base. See the photograph at the right, which illustrates the two pieces separately. The base can either be the same color as the figure (photo at left), or it can be crystal or an entirely different color from the figure.
In recent years, Fenton has reintroduced the "nymph", in special colors and treatments that were never made in the past. In addition, the newer pieces are all marked with the Fenton logo under the base of the figure. Fenton Art Glass Company understands the value of collectible glassware and has pledged never to manufacture a piece in a color, once that piece in that color has been discontinued. This ensures the value of a collector's investment in Fenton glassware. Illustrated at left is Fenton's 90th Anniversary "nymph", in a lovely blue color with "carnival" or irridized finish. The piece was offered new in 1997, to celebrate Fenton's 90th year in business. Note that the base is crystal.