“Ebony & Ivory” served as the theme for the National Cambridge Collectors Club Convention in 2015. Each year, collectors of Cambridge Glass meet to display and sometimes sell, parts of their collections. People come great distances to participate in this event. California, Florida, South Carolina, and Minnesota were a few of the places mentioned as vendors were visited throughout the displays.
From St. Paul, Minnesota, Les Hanson discussed his favorite Cambridge Glass item – swans. Les has a collection of over 125 swans of all sizes, styles and color combinations. They seemed to be his pride and joy. But he also collected, in order of preference, hand painted enamel on crystal, ebony, and decorated nude stems.
When asked how he got interested in Cambridge Glass, Les smiled as he thought back. For some reason, he always liked the beauty of swans. When at a glass show with a friend many years ago, they saw a beautiful green Cambridge Glass swan, which wasn’t very high priced. His friend bought him the swan for a birthday present. Turns out the reason it wasn’t high priced was because it was chipped. Les learned two lessons that day: 1) he was hooked on Cambridge Glass, and 2) chipped glass takes values down rapidly.
One gentleman. whose name eludes me, had an extensive collection of cream and sugar sets. Someone from Cambridge contacted him about attending the glass show years ago and he has been there ever since. At his peak, he had 480 cream and sugar sets. He was formerly a helicopter pilot for the Air Force and the helicopter he flew is now being restored in the Fort Worth Vintage Flying Museum. He said that this show has, “the best Cambridge glass for sale anyplace in the United States.” If anyone knows his name, please let me know.
From Hammond, California, Autley and Kathy Newton displayed for the first year ever. They were the newbies at the show and had not only Cambridge Glass but treasured pieces of other glass lines as well as some beautiful pottery pieces. They said that Rick Jones had seen their display at another show and invited them to Cambridge.
Of course, no show of Cambridge Glass would be complete without the presence of Mr. Cambridge, Lynn Welker, from nearby New Concord. Lynn has an extensive collection of over 11,000 pieces of Cambridge Glass. Cordials are his favorite because they are small and easy to move around, yet delicate and beautiful.
Lynn has been interested in glass all his life as his mother had an antique shop in New Concord and Lynn spent many hours at the store. He bought a glass bottle at an auction at the age of nine and has been hooked ever since. For sixty-one years, his vacations and adventures involve trade shows and museums. No wonder he is called Mr. Cambridge.
From Minnesota, Doug Ingraham, who has been collecting for forty-two years, is said to have “the best of the best”. This all began when his grandmother left him a collection of Cambridge Glass. Someplace he met Elizabeth Moe and she told him, “If you want to know about Cambridge Glass, join the collectors.”
Doug said that while the glass is beautiful, “What keeps me coming back are the friendships.”