What Is It? November 2023

 We’re sorry to report that we had no correct guesses for our November What Is It.
This beautiful item is a samovar.  What is a samovar? Webster’s defines it as a metal urn used by Russians for heating water for tea. The samovar often was decorative in design and included a dispenser for the hot water. Depression-era glass companies took the idea and incorporated it in making liquor dispensers.
 The biggest unanswered question concerning glass samovars is who made them? Speculation is the name of the game when it comes to samovars. The Paden City Glass Company and Cambridge Glass Company both produced identical samovars and the only way to tell them apart was by the etching placed on them. Paden City etched theirs with Cupid and Cambridge used several different etches. Some collectors believe companies actually shared the same mold. This would help explain why different company’s samovars look the same. We may never know the companies that made many of them. Cupid samovars are rare and very expensive.
 Samovars were produced in many different shapes. Examples have been made in a variety of forms such as: barrels, kegs, oval space ships, octagons, windmills, airplanes, etc.
 One of the most well known samovars is the Cambridge keg set. We know that this set was made by Cambridge because it is shown in a Cambridge catalog. The set includes the keg, stopper, log stand and black tray. All Cambridge keg sets will have a black log stand and tray no matter what color the keg is. The keg was produced in several colors: green, pink, amber, crystal, blue, topaz and mulberry. Topaz and mulberry are the rarest colors in this pattern. The black glass stopper for the keg is difficult to find.
Cambridge also produced a two other styles: a short squatty one and a taller slim samovar. They made these in several colors: pink, green, blue, topaz, ivory and perhaps other colors. The company also had a tendency to frost or sanitizes their samovars. Cambridge samovars are sometimes etched with Martha (grape pattern) or one of their numbered etches #710 or #695.

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