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Cambridge Wildflower pattern glass sets course for Aug. 19 sale

A footed vase, candle holders, butter dishes, and a cocktail shaker in Cambridge glass' Wildflower pattern are among the lots coming before bidders Auc. 19 by way of Specialists of the South.

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. – The lifetime single-owner collections of Kenneth and Joan Cole will be sold Aug. 19, at the Coles' residence in Panama Beach by The Specialists of the South. The sale will feature a vast array of items, to include Cambridge glass in the Wildflower pattern, 100+ cake plates, crystal and cut glass compotes, hand-painted china, and quilts.

Global Treasures Among Offerings

Cambridge Wildflower vase

Cambridge Wildflower gold-encrusted black vase (All photos courtesy of Specialists of the South)

In addition to the items mentioned above, the collections also include fabrics and fine linens from different countries, teapots, sterling silver, dolls, cookbooks, and needlepoint books and yarns. Also set to sell is a Cigar Store Indian from The Indian Trader in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The life-size figure is a carving of the late artisan Ralph Gallager .

The auction, to begin promptly at 8 a.m. Central time, is the coming through The Specialists of the South, Inc., of Panama City. For those unable to attend live, internet bidding will be provided by,, and Phone and absentee bids will also be accepted. Previews will be held Thursday and Friday, August 17th and 18th, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. on auction day, August 19th.

“Collectors of Cambridge glass in the Wildflower pattern will think they’ve died and gone to heaven,” Mrs. Cole remarked about her collection numbering in the dozens of pieces. “It all started years ago, when a neighbor of mine, an elderly woman in her 80s, sold me her collection of stemware, iced tea glasses, and other pieces. I just fell in love with the Wildflower pattern.”

Wildflower Pattern Glass Varies

A few highlight pieces will include a black gold-encrusted footed vase; some impressive candle holders (one having a dolphin base with gold-encrusted shades); a lovely epergne with gold trim; a cocktail shaker with ground stopper; and several sets of candelabra.

The Coles’ Cambridge Wildflower collection contains a broad range of pieces, from miniature to large. They include small covered butter dishes, Ball and Doulton-style pitchers, a “flip-flower” vase (a 12-inch-tall graduated vessel nearly 8 inches in diameter at the top), and three footed vases, ranging in size from 10 ¾ inches to 13 inches tall (one is 12 inches, with a keyhole stem).

Along the way, Joan acquired another woman’s collection that featured cordial glasses, tumblers and more. Then, an opportunity presented itself in Ohio (where Cambridge glass is attractive) to buy from a dealer some candlesticks, bowls, and vases (large and small). Many of the pieces in the compotes and cake plates collection are desirable EAPG – Early American Pattern Glass.

Selection of Cake Plates Features Fostoria

Dresden chandelier

Dresden chandelier

Joan began collecting cake plates at a time when she wasn’t particularly good at baking. But when she bought her first two plates with standards while out antiquing, she vowed to get better at it. “Today I’m known as ‘the cake lady,’” she said proudly. “My specialties are coconut cake and Italian cream cake.” Her collection includes examples from Fostoria and Sandwich (Mass.).

The crystal and cut glass compotes boast standards and beautifully shaped bowls. The collection consists of two Crown Jewel (a/k/a Chandelier, circa 1888) examples. The teapots include one by Delft (Holland) and two by Hall (Ohio). Sterling silver will include an exquisite and massive six-arm candelabra that was Mrs. Cole’s mother’s and was used for several family weddings and an old-fashioned tea set in silver plate.

The doll collection consists of mostly Madame Alexanders (including a Scarlett O’Hara), although there are a few dolls that were purchased overseas, one of which is quite large, 19 inches tall, with fur trim on the hat and clothing, hand-carried back from Russia. The hand-painted china pieces, colorful and nice, are impressionist in appearance, many with soft colors of pink, green or blue.

Vintage Fine Fabrics, Furniture Set to Sell

There are but two quilts in the sale, both handed down to Joan from her aunt. Both are nicely stitched well-executed examples. One is in the Wedding Ring pattern and the other is cross-stitched with pink flowers. Both are doubled-bed sized and approximately 30-50 years old. Also offered will be oversized furniture, almost none of it antique, although there is a sofa in the Queen Anne style with nicely carved legs, reupholstered in a white textured fabric.

Some other, newer furniture will include a massive mahogany dining room table with 22-inch leaves that seats 14 (“although I’ve set more,” Joan said), with Chippendale chairs; a gorgeous and huge hutch from the Palmer House Collection with curved glass doors, mahogany and a beautiful display piece; a long, narrow brass-tagged Historical James River Plantation mahogany inlaid server; and three bedroom suites, including a large set by Thomasville with poster bed.

Another bedroom suite has an antique double bed and armoire, both with applied decoration, plus a side table. Also sold will be a beautiful oval Empire table; an office furniture suite of a credenza, file cabinet and desk chairs; a sleigh bed with two chests; leather reclining chairs; a vintage library table; and an Empire chest in need of refinishing. All the furniture is real, with no particle board.

Vintage Linens Represents Life Well Lived

The fabrics and linens are among the inspirations of Joan’s mother, an accomplished needleworker.

Tree of Life compote

Antique Tree of Life with Hand glass compote.

“She appreciated exquisite linens and so do I,” Joan said. It is a worldwide assemblage, with pieces from Egypt, Vietnam, Hungary, India and elsewhere. One item came from a woman displaying her wares along the Danube River. Also in the auction catalog is floral needlework in the frame.

“Needlepoint is very therapeutic,” Joan said. “You start with a blank canvas and from there you make beautiful images from yarn.” She is selling her collection of needlepoint books and yarns (pure wool, dyed). Also for sale will be her many cookbooks, some dedicated to cake baking and to include the full set (Vol. 1-12) of Mary Margaret McBride’s Encyclopedia of Cooking (1960).

Cookware will also be in the sale, including a graduated set of Command Performance copper pots with warming bases; glass pitchers, some of them tall and heavy, by makers like Dewey, Duncan Miller, and Galloway; English-made dinnerware; and an oversized press glass punch bowl with cups.

The kitchen category will also feature an Excalibur food dehydrator; a solid rock maple chopping block made by Boos (Effington, Ill.); and a vintage hand-made tea cozy, used for keeping tea warm, made in India with an elephant graphic, 12 inches wide and 10 ½ inches tall.

Military Accoutrements Also On Offer

Kenneth Cole was a graduate of West Point and flew numerous combat missions in Vietnam, as a Huey, helicopter pilot. Items from his time spent in the military will be part of the auction, to include a helmet liner, Vietnam-era US Army military jackets, a USS Kitty Hawk bill cap, photos and a veritable library of military books and novels pertaining to the Civil War, World War II and Vietnam, plus volumes dedicated to the Army and West Point. There is also a collection of 40 early 20th century Tom Swift books, all hardbound and in good condition.

Also sold will be Mr. Cole’s collection of shot, spirit and beer glasses, some old and embossed, with the name of the liquor or liquor company etched into the glass. Two of the glasses, one of them etched and one embossed, are from the Grand Army of the Republic. Some glasses hail directly from Barbara Edmondson, author of the books Historic Shot Glasses (1988) and Old Advertising Spirit Glasses (1992). Also sold will be liquor bottle miniatures, some interesting older bottles with the spirits still inside, and two brass ship’s lanterns, one of them a miniature that does extra duty as both a music box and a decanter.

More From and For the 'Man Cave'

Cigar Store indian carved figure

Cigar Store Indian purchased from The Indian Trader in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Not to be outdone by the Wildflower pattern glass, the 'Man Cave' category will also feature a floor humidor with leather savoy cigar holder and pull-out shelves, with cigars still in it; advertising signs, some of them metal, to include ones for GM Diesel Locomotive, Texas & Southwest Cattle Raisers Association, National Dry Kiln Company, a “Miami the Magic City” sign; a rare street sign from Cermak (Chicago); some interesting and attractive cigar boxes, including ones for Opus X cigars; a large, circa 1995 Lumichron Route 66 clock, 17 ½ inches in diameter; and a group of metal trays, including five plates for the National Soft Drink Association and one for Continental White Cap.

The auction will also feature hand-painted Nippon; old McCoy; a pair of Gothic wall “what-not” shelves; a full-length Adolfo Blackglama mink coat; a Dresden chandelier; a Swiss dresser clock, made by Imhop and retailed by Bucherer; costume jewelry; two Russian submarine clocks (both hand-wind, wall-mount); colorful pottery from Hungary and Italy; bakeware; a commemorative plate from the 1956 Republican National Convention in San Francisco; and an extensive collection of around 35 bottles of Shalimar cologne and perfume by Guerlain, including one oversized practice bottle (one that initially served as a retail store display bottle).

For more information visit or, call 850-785-2577, or email

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