Winter is gone and bottle collectors are looking forward to some good bottle action for 2015. Kicking off 2015, there were 19 Bottle shows during the first 3 months from California to Florida, with dealers offering Fruit Jars, Insulators, Crocks and Stoneware, Bitters, and Whiskeys, with a variety of other bottles. I started the year by attending the Las Vegas Antique Bottles & Collectible Club’s show on February 14th-15th in Las Vegas, Nevada, then drove to the Arizona desert for the Phoenix Antiques Bottles & Collectibles Club’s show on February 27th -28th.
The Las Vegas Bottles and Collectibles Club began their shows in1965 so this year’s event marked their 50th Anniversary. It’s a fun show and always held the 2nd weekend in February. There’s usually a good selection of both bottles and antique collectibles, and a good crowd of collectors. The club’s 2016 show will be held on February 12th -13th.
The Phoenix Antiques Bottles & Collectibles Club show held on February 27th – 28th was the club’s 32nd annual show and as usual did a fantastic job. The crowds for both days were excellent with great deals on bottles and collectibles. Betty Hartnett, the Show Chairperson, said she was very pleased with the attendance. She’s looking forward to next year’s show, which will be February 26th & 27th, since there were a number of dealers on a wait list for this show
But, this is just the start. Throughout the rest of the year there are approximately 80-90 additional shows across the country, including Hawaii, England, and Australia, to satisfy collectors everywhere. To view a full listing of all of the show check out the FOHBC web site at www.fohbc.org. While all of the shows are important and exciting, there are two major shows in 2015 deserving special attention.
The first event is the 27th Annual Convention of the International Perfume Bottle Association (IPBA) being held in Spartanburg, South Carolina on April 30th to May 3rd at the Spartanburg Marriott. Among the many events are the “Collectors Flea Market”, Awards Dinner with Keynote Speaker Bernard Dennery, a “Perfume Bottle & Vintage Vanity Show”, and a Perfume Bottle Auction being held on Saturday by Ken Leach. For further show information, contact Deborah Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org, or additional auction information, contact Ken Leach at email@example.com. The IPBA is also hosting a London & Paris Trip on September 24th – October 6th 2015 which will include visits to Perfume themed museums and other major points of interest. For further information, contact Linda Kerr, Community Education Travel, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The second event, sponsored by the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors (FOHBC) is the 2015 National Antique Bottle Show in Chattanooga, Tennessee on July 31st –August 2nd that will be at the Marriott Chattanooga Convention Center Exhibit Hall. Among the many events is an “Banquet & Awards Dinner” , “Battle of Chattanooga Bottle Competition”, a two day bottle show and sale, various seminars with topics such as “History of Jack Daniels”, “The Evolution of the Coca-Cola Bottle”, and “Bottle & Relic Digging”, to name a few. The highlight of the convention will be held on Saturday evening, with a “Bottle Auction” by the “Daniel Auction Company”. There will also be educational displays and exhibits focusing on numerous bottle categories. For show and registration information, contact Jack Hewitt at (770) 963-0020 or John Joiner at (404) 538-6057.
If you happen to be in the Finger Lakes Wine Country of New York, I would recommend a visit to The Corning Museum of Glass. The museum, which is the world’s foremost library and research center on the subject of art, history of glass, glassmaking, is preparing the largest exhibition to date devoted to ancient mold-blown glass from May 16th, 2015 through January 4, 2016. This exhibition will feature examples form the early 1st Century to the 7th Century A.D. More than 120 works of glass, including the Corning Museum’s collection of ancient glass, along with loans from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and other international public and private collections, will demonstrate the relationship between mold-blown glass vessels and their counterparts in ceramic and metal, which had been shaped in molds for centuries. The use of molds in glass-making began at the end of the 1st Century B.C. soon after the introduction of glassblowing, which made the production of glass vessels much faster and simpler. For more information on this historic exhibition, museum hours, and the museum in general, visit www.cmog.org.
A question I’m often asked is what types of bottles are more desirable or popular. Since we’re in still in the early months of 2015 and there are a bunch of shows and auctions where we collectors will be buying, selling, or trading, it’s a good idea to have some information about the more desirable and popular bottles. There are a number of methods that helps the collector know which types of bottles are considered “hot” or the most popular, and which bottle categories are still interesting but not on fire. Besides the bottle shows, one of the best indicators of what’s hot or isn’t hot, are recent auctions that provide a large varied selection of bottles from every category. The results from these auctions usually reflect a strong desire for collectible and valuable bottles by all collectors, and have defined popular or favorite bottle categories.
Based on current 2015 auction results, four categories that rank high with collectors are Flasks, specifically Historical Flasks, Medicines, Bitters, and Whiskey bottles. I’m certainly not saying that other bottles such as Poisons, Inks, Hutch’s, and Soda & Mineral aren’t popular and desirable, it’s just that these for categories are on fire right now. As we know, those categories can quickly change.
As an example, in Auction #106 held by Jim Hagenbuch’s Glass Works Auctions on March 23, 2015, there were 459 Lots representing 12 categories of bottles for bidding, of which 252 items, or approximately 55% of the auction, represented Flasks, Medicine, Bitters and Whiskey bottles. These four bottle categories alone collected a total amount of $340,000 which equals approximately $1,350 per bottle. The most popular bottle was the Flasks which consisted of 113 lots, and collected a total of total of $195,000 of the $340,000, almost 60%. I’ve included a side bar that reflects some of the big swingers in Auction #106 and other auctions.
If you are interested in either buying or selling your items, you can contact Norm Heckler Auctions, Woodstock Valley, CT; Glass Works Auctions, Lambert, NJ; American Bottle Auctions, Sacramento, CA; McMurray Antiques & Auctions, Kirkwood, NY, and American Glass Gallery, New Hudson, MI. For a complete detailed listing of auction houses, check out my website at www.bottlebible.com.
As you can see, there isn’t any shortage of fun and exciting stuff going on during 2015 with shows, digging, buying, trading, and museums, all adding up to a lot of fun with the hobby of bottle collecting.
Side Bar – Current Pricing Examples
Description Realized Price
Bust of Washington/Taylor-Pint-Light Blue Green 1825-1835 $ 350.00
Father of His Country/Washington-Pint Olive Amber1848-1855 $1,100.00
Major/Bust of RingGold- Pint-Pink Amethyst 1846-1850 $4,500.00
La Fayette/Bust Of La Fayette – Pint – Olive Amber 1825-1830 $ 950.00
New Jersey Bridgeton – Pint – Deep Ice Blue Green 1850-1855 $8,000.00
Eagle-Cornucopia – Pint – Light Olive Amber–1815-1825 (Rare) $14,000.00
Cornucopis – Urn – Pint – Yellow Olive Amber -1825-1835 $ 220.00
Prospector – Eagle – Pint – Blue Aqua – 1860-1870 (Scarce) $ 190.00
Union/Clasped Hands/Frank & Sons –Quart –Blue Aqua-1855-1870 $ 140.00
“Jeny Lind” And Bust –Calabash Flask- Quart -Med/Deep $7,020.00
Sapphire Blue- 1845-1860
Pitkin Type Flask – 5 1/8” – Bright Olive Green-1783-1830 $1,404.00
Success To The Railroad – Pint –Med. Olive Amber-1830-1848 $ 761.00
For Pikes Peak and Prospector – Pint-Pale Grass Green -1860-1870 $1,170.00
Description Realized Price
Dr. Wynkoop’s Katharismic Honduras Sarsaparilla New York $10,000.00
10 ¼”- Cobalt Blue -1840-1860 (Early Pontiled Medicine that
was Blown in Cobalt Blue Glass)
Seaver’s Joint & Nerve Liniment -4”-Yellow Amber-1840-1860 $ 550.00
S.M. Kier – Petroleum- Pittsburg,PA- 6 3/8”-Sapphire Blue-1840-1860 $ 1,000.00
Dr. W.M. Drake’s Concentrated Liniment-8 ¼”-Aqua 1840-1860 $ 275.00
American Pulmonary Balsam – 5 ¼” – Aqua 1840-1860 $ 170.00
G.W. Stone’s Liquid Cathartic & Family Physic-8 7/8”-Medium $ 18,720.00
Yellow Amber – (Rare) 1860-1870
Bear’s Oil – 2 ¾” – Clear with Label-“Genuine Bear’s Oil- For $ 702.00
Promoting The Growth & Beauty of the Hair 1840-1860
Description Realized Price
William Allen’s Congress Bitters – Emerald Green – 1865-1875 $ 3,000.00
Baker’s Orange Grove Bitters – 9 ½”-Black Amethyst -1865-1875 $ 2,750.00
Bismark Bitters – C. Lange & Co. – 8 ¾” –Red Amber -1890-1910 $ 230.00
The Fish Bitters-W.W. Ware Patented 1866-11 ¾”-Medium Lime $ 4,000.00
Green – 1866-1875
Dr. A.S. Hopkins Union Stomach Bitters -9 ¾” –Olive Yellow 1870-1885$ 550.00
DWD E. Dexter Loveridge Wahoo Bitters- 10 1/8” –Medium Blue Green $ 20,000.00
1863-1870 (Extremely Rare)
Description Realized Price
Turner’s Brothers New York – 9 7/8”-Yellow Amber-1865-1875 $ 325.00
Southern Turf Nashville Tenn – 12 3/8” –Yellow Amber – 1895-1909$ 300.00
J.H. Cutter Old Bourbon A.P. Hotaling – 11 ¾” – Deep Amber $ 2,200.00
Hilderbrandt Posner & Co. – 11 ¾”- Medium Amber 1884-1890 $ 210.00
The Jockey Club Whiskey – G.W. Chesley & Co. S.F. 11 ¾” $ 4,600.00
Light Amber – 1873-1878