Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Cambridge 477 9" Corn Dish

Here at Chancery Hill Books and Antiques, I work mostly with books and with collectible glass. The glass side of things I know mostly from when I was growing up, when my folks became nationally known experts in some areas of 19th- and 20th-century American glass tableware. I picked up a lot of knowledge from them, and I still get together with them pretty regularly to attend an antique auction in their area.

Cambridge 477 Corn Dish

Recently, I picked up at that auction a big stack of 12 of these plain oblong dishes, at a price I couldn't resist. I wouldn't have known what they were, but I knew that I had, sitting up in my attic office, a couple of promotional flyers from the Cambridge Glass Company (of Cambridge, Ohio) that showed the very same item, and so I was able to recognize them at the auction, despite their plainness. As the flyer shows, they are Cambridge's 477 9 in. Corn Dish, and the dish is "cleverly designed for serving an ear of corn. The well of the dish is so designed as to catch the excess melted butter."

An original promotional
flyer for the Corn Dish
I had the flyers because ephemeral paper material from the American glass industry makes an especially interesting area for me to work in, because it literally combines the fields of glass and rare books. Some original paper materials--catalogues and brochures and so on--are notably scarcer than the glassware that many factories produced, and the information in original materials is always of value to collectors and researchers. This flyer, which stylistically looks like it dates from the late 1930s, is almost certainly scarcer than the corn dishes themselves: I've only got two of the flyers, but now I have a dozen of the dishes.

Anyway, here in Morgantown, we've just about reached the end of the season for fresh corn on the cob, and we tried the corn dishes out during dinner last night, with some ears I cooked on the grill. The dishes worked well, and, indeed, you can spin the ear of corn through the pool of melted butter very nicely. 

It'll be a shame to put these away until next summer, but I think we'll keep a few to use. Into the collection they go!

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