Hobbs and Brockunier Oasis Pitcher and Covered Sugar (?)

desert-etchMy guy and I went to visit our adorable grandson.  We made a few stops and we visited Barriefield Antiques just outside of Kingston for the first time.

I saw this set and was intrigued by the etch, although I had no idea of their provenance.

I posted them on the Elegant and Everyday Glass Forum and, as usual got a quick hint.  In the interim I found a brief reference in The Collector’s Encyclopedia of Pattern Glass by Mollie Helen McCain.

Further online searching verifies the ID with this:

“A new pattern has been identified by Hobbs, Brockunier. The following appeared in the first issue of All About Glass.

Oasis Etching by Tom Bredehoft (Reprinted from All About Glass Vol. I No. 1 with permission)

desert-etch2For many years collectors and students of 19th century glass have puzzled over what appeared to be three different etched designs. Goblets showed a standing camel, a reclining camel and many tall palm trees. Compotes showed a camel caravan. These were dubbed Camel Caravan. Creamers have two scenes: one, a horse laden with three barrels, another with a female figure drawing water from a well—both having palm trees. Spoon holders show a horse and rider racing past small buildings. Sugars show another horse and rider. Celeries show an Egyptian with a seated female under a palm tree. The lid to the butter has three pyramids. Some of these pieces were called Tropical Villa, others Oasis. All these puzzling pieces had seemingly related designs, but different motifs. This caused collectors and dealers alike confusion, and it appeared that each was part of a different pattern.desert-etch1

Similar designs on different patterns of glass were another part of the puzzle. Most pieces have a pressed foot, stem and lower part of the bowl in common, while the goblet has a plain foot, a stem with a round knob in the middle and the pressed pattern on the lower part of the goblet bowl, similar to that of other pieces.

The last part of the puzzle was than none of these etched designs could be attributed to a specific manufacturer.

A July 21, 1881 issue of Crockery and Glass Journal sheds considerable light on the above puzzles. To quote in part:

“J. H. Hobbs, Brockunier & Co….Two new designs in etching: one of Egyptian character—are particularly striking. The celery represents an Arab in fez and sash, dismounted from his spirited horse, talking to a maiden seated under a palm by the ruins of an old temple. The water pitcher represents the drawing of water from the well, with a female beautiful and graceful enough to be ‘Rebecca,’ with a jar on her head and a camel laden for its desert journey. The bowl represents boating scenes on the Nile….”

desert-etch3With this trade quote, the puzzle of who made Camel Caravan (and all the other named patterns) is put to rest. The descriptions given correspond with the designs found on actual pieces, although some editorial liberties are taken describing some of the people. Now that the etching has been identified, the glass on which it appears can also be credited to Hobbs, Brockunier of Wheeling, WV. The unique pressed stem and foot of many pieces can now identify undecorated pieces as being made by Hobbs, Brockunier.

Rather than have three different names for the same pattern (and maybe more!), it seems that Oasis is the best choice, describing the designs found on most of the pieces. Camel Caravan and Tropical Villa should be abandoned in favor of Oasis.

During this period several companies made patterns, either etched or pressed, in which only a few motifs were consistent in all pieces of the pattern. Hobbs, Brockunier & Co. made a similarly styled pattern in 1880 called Flamingo Habitat. In this pattern, too, the etched designs vary from piece to piece, causing several to be considered parts of different patterns. No. 77 pattern was used for most pieces of Flamingo Habitat.

Both Flamingo Habitat and Oasis were etched designs done by exposing the glass to fumes of hydrofluoric acid rather than the later process of immersing the glass into the acid itself. Therefore, the Oasis and Flamingo Habitat pieces are etched only slightly, leaving a smooth surface, while later plate etched glass has a much more deep effect which is somewhat rough to the touch.desert-etch4

Oasis is known in forms indicating a complete table service. Items known are:

Table Set:

Covered butter, Cream, Spoon, Sugar, Compote 7″(across), Compote, large, Goblet, Pitcher 3 pint (blown), Tumbler (pressed), Pitcher 2 quart (blown), Celery, Berry bowl large and Berry bowl small


Bredehoft, Tom and Neila, Hobbs, Brockunier & Co. Glass, Collector Books, 1997

Kamm, Minnie Watson, An Eighth Pattern Glass Book, Privately Published, 1954, 1970

Metz, Alice Hulett, Much More Early American Pattern Glass (Book II), Collector Books, 1978

Mordock, John B. American and Canadian Early Etched Goblets, Collector Books, 1985, 1991

Unitt, Doris and Peter, American and Canadian Goblets, For the Love of Glass Publishing, Inc., 1971, 1994

Welker, John & Elizabeth, Pressed Glass in America, Antique Acres Press, 1985″

I still have my Flamingo comport and a sugar bowl by Hobbs and Brockunier that I don’t think I have ever posted.  Great solid pieces.  I have travelled to Egypt when I lived in Africa and these pieces appeal to me.  I am pleased to have an ID.



Ram’s Head Bowls & Candle Holders


#3500/27, #3500/432, Azurite, Blue Glass, Bowl, Cambridge, Candle Holders, Candlestick Holder, Cobalt, Coloured Glass, Helio, Ivory Glass, Jade, Opaque Glass, Pink Glass, Rams Head, Ramshead, Rubina, Tuscan, Willow Blue


This one is line 3500/26. I don’t know for sure what shade of blue this is.  Cambridge made a number of different transparent blues.  I am guessing that this is ‘Willow Blue’….but don’t know for sure.




Last update – November 28, 2015

Cambridge Ivory Rams Head BowlHappy, happy, happy.  Gorgeous ivory.

Glows a pretty green under a black light.

Now on to the ebony or tuscan!




November 9, 2015

Tuscan Rams Head CandleI figured I should add the Tuscan candle holder.  Maybe posting it will ‘attract’ a bowl!



November 9, 2015

Woo hoo…..I finally acquired a bowl in Helio.  I have seen a few of these online and while I never was able to justify the cost of buying another, I just bought it.  If I had to wait to justify it, it would never have been purchased.Cambridge Helio Rams Head Bowl

According to the book Colors in Cambridge Glass II by the National Cambridge Collectors, Inc. Helio was introduced in January 1923.  The book goes on to day that Helio was likely only produced for two years.  So this piece was made in 1924 at the latest.

Obtaining bowls in the colours  I don’t own will be more difficult.  I have seen the Tuscan bowl advertised at an online auction, but have never seen any other colours for sale online or in person.  I’d love to get them in the ebony and the ivory (at least).


Cambridge #432 Jade

Last one, so far…….This is the jade with gold details.  The colour isn’t well reproduced here, but it is lovely.

I am looking for one in ebony.  Haven’t come across one.  I let one in helio (pinky/purple) ‘get’ away.  Still cross about it!

I bought one Rams Head single candle holder in the Tuscan pink.  Unfortunately, due to complete idiocy, I had it sent to my daughter’s house – 2,000 miles away.  I am visiting in June and am looking forward to picking it up.

February 13, 2015 Update

IMG_3200I added to my rams head bowl collection recently.  Another bowl – line #3500/432.  This piece is Cambridge’s Azurite colour.

Here’s an article by Lynn Welker on Azurite pieces by Cambridge.

Very pretty!


October 19, 2014 Update

002This pretty cobalt (Aurora Jewels) console set was made by Imperial Glass.  The bowl has Imperial’s “IG” signature.  Imperial bought the moulds from Cambridge, when it closed, in the 1960s.  Imperial only made the set in cobalt.














Most Recent Post – October 7, 2014

Cambridge Clear Ram's Head BowlI have recently added a few ram’s head items to my collections.  I have some thoughts about accumulating them for awhile and just displaying them in my office.

I don’t know why I find them so interesting.  The details aren’t pretty.  In fact they are somewhat ominous.  But….I like them.  Cambridge Clear Ram's Head Bowl (5)

This is Cambridge’s line #3500/27.  The item below is line #3500/432.


Original Post December 8, 2013

Cambridge Rams Head Bowl in Rubina (2)I have long longed for a Rams Head Bowl.  Over the years I have coveted them in azurite (absolutely gorgeous) or in crystal with an etch of some sort.  The first one I saw had Fostoria’s Elaine etch.  But they were just too darned expensive.

Recently I came across this piece online on Etsy.  I ‘favourited it”, but never really entertained any thoughts of buying it.

A couple weeks ago I was reading an article in the newspaper that spoke about people buying gifts for themselves at Christmas time. Cambridge Rams Head Bowl in RubinaThe suggestion was that folks are getting over their guilt at treating themselves when they are shopping for others. Obviously this is quite true as I took possession of this bowl yesterday.  I am glad I did!

This is what Russell Vogelsand said in an 1978 article called Cambridge Rubina:

“This fine color line of Cambridge Glass was introduced to the public January 25, 1925.

The new glass is not one color, but a natural three or more tone glass, in                which the predominating shades are red, green and blue. Each tone is                      diverging into the other.”

I wanted to show how the colours blend so I took photos from the different angles, including a look at the base.Cambridge Rams Head Bowl in Rubina 3

I gather these pieces are not plentiful and that the rams head bowl is rare to find.  I consider myself lucky.  It is gorgeous and at least at this point in time, is a keeper.

Pall Mall Glass Jug / Pitcher


Cut Glass, Etched Glass, European Glass, Jug, Pitcher

pall-mall-glass-pitcherI have posted other pieces of Pall Mall, but I’ve never owned a jug/pitcher before.

I have the very informative book – Pall Mall Glass by Hugo Wildblood.  Mr. Wildblood provides this quote from a reference of Andy McConnell of Miller’s Antiques:

“The pattern was available in differing qualities in Britain and across the Empire between the wars.  It is now known that the high quality pieces are attributed to Kosta.  Wuidhart & Co was a British import Company for Orrefors, Kosta and Rorstrand Porcelain.  Th Kosta archives show a drawing of a cocktail glass with etched top bands and cut criss cross pattern to the base.  It is dated Okt 1940, for October 1940 and gives a pattern number of 7534W.  This set is identical to that drawing with the cut lower decoration.”

Mr. Wildblood dates these pieces from the first half of the twentieth century with the pattern being reborn more recently with a design called Lady Hamilton.  This pattern doesn’t have the cuts.  Instead there is an etch to mimic the cuts.  These pieces are not nearly as attractive as the older pieces.

There is something very attractive about Pall Mall.  Lots of interesting shapes.  This piece would make a great beer jug!