LIQUOR & MISCELLANEOUS
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"KLONDYKE" Flask - This is a nice example of an very interesting bottle with some well documented history. Recently (September 2014) an article was published in "Bottles and Extras" - the official publication of the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors - about this very bottle. (It was written by Jack Sullivan.) Long story short is that these small liquor flasks were invented and used by a George Smithhisler - a Mt. Vernon, Ohio liquor dealer - who dreamed up the flask as a tribute to one of the last gold rushes of the West - the Alaskan Gold Rush (which was mostly in Canada strangely enough). The flask is supposed to portray the snowy white mountains of Alaska. Gold was discovered on the Klondike River (Yukon) in 1897 and started what many then believed would be the last gold rush in the West and of which they wanted to participate for that reason. The California Gold Rush of 1848-1849 (and on) spawned the famous "Forty-Niners" rush; the Klondike (also spelled Klondyke...like on the bottle's label) created the "Ninety-Eighters" as many rushed up to participate in 1898. So these flasks apparently date from about 1898 into the very early 1900s as Smithhisler was out of the liquor business by the 1910 census. The label which is pictured in Sullivan's article noted the contents as containing "Nuggets of Pure Gold from Klondyke"...aka "whiskey," I guess. The label fit the round flat panel one can see in the image.
This flask is just under 6" tall, milk glass as shown (all are of that glass), has a crudely "cracked off" finish/lip rim with some cursory grinding to smooth it out leaving he usual minor chipping along the grinding edge (click close-up of the ground screw-thread lip to see such), and a smooth non-pontiled base with no makers marking. However, it is believed to have been made by A. H. Heisey Glass Company of Newark, Ohio (who began business in 1893 continuing until 1958) who were known for milk glass production primarily with "tableware and decorative items, both blown and pressed" (Sullivan 2014). This flask is perfect (a tiny bit of in-making roughness at the rear base from the body mold half/base plate interface gap) and has an apparent period screw cap on the finish. Whether the cap (a bit rusty but solid) is original or not I don't know as the images in Sullivan article show at least three different caps on these bottles; this would be a fourth type which does fit down tight. In any event, the bottle is in mint, as manufactured, never buried condition but without the splotchy original gold and gray paint that some originally had. Having seen an assortment of these through the years it is common for these to be totally unpainted...but whether that is "original" or not, I do not know. Nice, historic Alaskan gold rush item! $85
Bininger Barrel Bourbon - It has been awhile since I've had a Bininger barrel to offer but here is one now - the "small" size (8") of the Bininger barrels. Very decorative and highly embossed, this reads as most all do from top to bottom: DISTILLED IN 1848 / OLD KENTUCKY / 1849 / (protruding nipple) / RESERVE / BOURBON / A. M. BININGER & Co. 338 BROADWAY, N.Y. This along with four horizontal rings each at the upper and lower body and three rings bracketing the middle portion above the circular embossing. Applied double ring finish or lip, "open" pontil scarred base (this having the "double" blowpipe pontil scar that is seen on these bottles at times; click here to view base), a beautiful bright & rich medium golden amber, and dating from the 1850s. These also come with smooth non-pontiled bases which must date around the Civil War as these bottles were produced for some time given their relative abundance. (I believe I remember that these are attributed to the Whitney Glass Works of NJ.) This example still has most of the original cork inside the neck which has kept the insides of the bottle from collecting any dust as it is obvious from the dead mint condition, wear ring around the outside edge of the base and the lack of any staining whatsoever that the bottle was never buried. Like a lot of figural bitters and other "catch-the-eye" type bottles (brilliant early marketing!) from the 19th century, many of these bottles were never tossed, but kept around until they broke or some collector found it...like this one. An excellent example and certainly the most affordable of the large line of typically very beautiful Bininger liquor bottles! $395
Dip molded case gin - Offered here is a nice, fairly early, 19th century case gin bottle which is possibly Dutch in origin, although American-made can't be ruled out. This example is probably about a quart in capacity, stands about 9.3", has a tapered "oil" type finish (most dip molded gins have a flared finish; this is a bit unusual for its age), and is a deep - but still passing light easily in a window - olive amber coloration.
Although not pontiled, this bottle has an unusual indentation in the somewhat domed base that could be a refired pontil? I don't know for sure but the following link shows an image of what I'm talking about: base view. (This image also shows the cool glossy surface to the bottle.) This indentation may also be from the use of a "push-up" rod used to indent the base - something one sees now and then on non-pontiled bottles (on pontiled bottles, the "push-up" was usually created with the pontil rod itself). There is no evidence of mold seams which is consistent with it having been made in a dip mold along with a very smooth, glossy surface to the glass in the shoulder which would have been formed by the blower using plain, old fashioned skill. (If unfamiliar with that type of molding, see my other educational website for a overview of such at this link: http://www.sha.org/bottle/glassmaking.htm#Dip molds.
This bottle is quite crude befitting its mid-19th century manufacture having wavy, rippling sunken sides, twists to the glass in the upper shoulder and neck which is also not symmetrical (as that portion was "free-blown"), a crudely applied lip with ample slop over, lots of bubbles in the glass and just a cool, crude look to all things about it. There are also some faint vertical lines on the sides which may be evidence of having been blown in a so-called "shingle mold" which was a simple body forming mold that was nothing more than four boards - "shingles" - hammered together and doused with water to keep the mold from catching on fire. The smooth exterior to the bottle also speaks to the possibility of a wooden mold since the wetness of the wood generated a layer of steam between the very hot glass and relatively cold, wet mold that one also sees with turn-mold bottles that were lined with a wet paste. (I can write about early glass & glass making endlessly it seems!) Anyway, the condition is excellent - near mint with no chips, cracks, potstone bruises, or anything of significance...just a few very minor surface scuffs. Very nice bottle. $40
Chinese "Tiger Whiskey" rice wine/liquor bottle - These Chinese liquor jugs are made of glazed pottery - "brown stoneware" - and were made from who knows when (centuries ago?) until well after U. S. Prohibition as later ones from the mid-20th century are commonly seen with the raised lettering "Federal Law Forbids Sale or Re-use of This Bottle" - a sure sign of post-1934 manufacture. This example is likely from the pre-Prohibition era, i.e., 1900-1915 (possibly late 1800s), as it was found in Oregon where Prohibition started in 1915 and doesn't have the noted lettering. This nice clean example has a medium to dark brown glaze and is just over 6.5" tall. The condition is excellent with one small (<1/4") and very shallow (no depth really) glaze flake on the flared rim, a tiny bit of wear around the widest part of the body, and a shallow, short (<1/2" long) flake off the inside edge of the base. These jugs virtually always have irregularities and flaws like this which are as likely a product of the hasty manufacture as post-production dings. In any event, this is a fine example of a relatively common item - at least in the West where the Chinese in the 1800s and early 1900s were congregated - that every collector should have...and makes a wonderful decorative item also. $20
Blown decanter with original stopper - This great looking decanter is 10 sided in the body and neck with three horizontal rings; it stands almost 8" at the top of the lip and 10" to the top of the stopper. The tooled lip or finish is flared and the bore (inside) of the neck ground to more securely accept the blown and ground stem stopper (The stopper is hollow - like a bottle itself kind of - with a ground rim or base). I can't tell if this decanter was blown in a two (body) piece mold or a three-piece "leaf" mold due to the design - the latter being a relatively common configuration for specialty items like decanters, cruets, salt & pepper shakers, and the like. This bottle has a smooth base, is of clear or colorless glass (maybe an every so slight pinkish tint), and though hard to date precisely, likely was manufactured between 1890 and 1915. Condition of this bottle is essentially mint with no chips, cracks or other post-production issues to the bottle or stopper though it does have some overall whitish content haze on the inside of the body - which is a bit heavier towards the bottom - from something having sat and evaporated from the bottle over time. This may wash out though I did not try; the outside image shows it isn't too detracting. A very nice item that would be a great gift for someone - especially if filled as intended, with some upscale liqueur or liquor. $30
"Barrel flask" - There was quite array of similar "barrel" flasks made - apparently - by various glass makers, typically during the 1880s to 1910s period. All look similar to this one with the vertical barrel "staves" and the horizontal barrel "hoops"; they are also always (in my experience) oval in cross-section. They are dominated by aqua glass primarily with some in amber and colorless/clear glass (like this one); I'm not sure I've seen a true green or blue one yet, but wouldn't be surprised. At one point I was attempting to collect an assortment of them, but got off on other tangents. Besides one pint aqua one I dug as a kid and will keep forever this is the last one I have. It is a petite half pint size (probably more like 6-7 ozs. I would guess) in a colorless glass that has a slight pink tint to it, i.e., decolorized with manganese dioxide. The pink-ness shows in the images. This example is just over 5.5" tall, has a tooled "brandy" style lip or finish, smooth base (round indentation), and dates from the 1890 to 1910 period I would estimate. The bottle has some crudeness to the lip as well as the flat "label" panel on the reverse. A nice item that is in essentially mint condition with no staining, chips, cracks or other post-production damage. Really is perfect to my eye. Like with my other dug pint example use it as a "pocket flask" for fishing trips, picnics and other fun events (responsibly of course!). $20
"Clam flask" - Here is another interesting figural liquor (probably) flask from the late 19th century. These can be dated pretty well to the early 1890s as they were patented on December 27th, 1892. Click clam flask patent to see the original patent. I'm not sure about all these clam flasks as this is the only one I've possessed, but this one is embossed with PAT APPL'D FOR (somewhat hidden in the embossing in the image to the right; click to enlarge) indicating that it - or at least the mold for it - was made in the early 1890s as the patent indicates it was filed ("applied for") on December 10th, 1890. Cool information, eh?!
This example is about 5.5" tall (from the top of the original cap to furthest tip of the shell), colorless (aka "clear") glass (a few of these were also made in cobalt blue amazingly!), and has a ground rim to the threaded finish with a bit of grinding induced flaking (and a small grinding related iridescent spot) as is typical with handmade (aka "mouth-blown") screw thread finish bottles to remove the rough glass from the point the blowpipe was cracked off. It probably holds 4 or 5 ounces and the cap still has the original cork disk liner inside it...making it useable if one so desires. A bit of a "traveler's companion" if you will. The flask is in mint condition with no chips, cracks, dings or other post-manufacturing damage. It does have some light content haze on the inside; sparkling clean on the outside as it has certainly never been buried. Nice flask! $60
PARKER'S - HAIR / BALSAM - NEW YORK - A relatively commonly encountered bottle, this example has some extra bells and whistles and a reason I acquired it for my Historic Glass Bottle Identification & Information Website (found at this page: http://www.sha.org/bottle/household.htm). First off, it has the original label for the product. Second, it has an interesting makers marking on the base. Third, it was relabeled (?) by the company (Hiscox Chemical Co.) for an apparently different product on the reverse - Floreston Shampoo (click reverse view to see that label). And finally, it is an early machine-made bottle in an nice tobacco amber coloration. Here is the write-up on it from my educational website noted above; it explains the bottle more fully:
The bottle pictured... is embossed on one narrow side with PARKER'S, on one wide side with HAIR / BALSAM, and on the other narrow side with NEW YORK. The remaining side is not embossed and has the label shown in the image. It is 6.6" tall (this was the large size) and an early machine-made bottle dating from the... The larger label notes that it "A toilet preparation of high standard, used for imparting color to gray or faded hair." In other words, it was apparently a hair dye or re-colorant on the order of our modern "Grecian Formula" and similar products. Click reverse view to see the label on the reverse side - pasted right over the HAIR / BALSAM embossing - which notes the product contained as "Floreston Shampoo" which seems to be a contradiction to the main label on the other side. Both labels note the product was produced by the Hiscox Chemical Works of Patchogue, N. Y. so it appears that this bottle was used for the hair balsam first, then reused by the same company for the shampoo? In any event, according to Blasi (1974) the product was first sold in 1876 by David Hiscox of New York eventually becoming the Hiscox Chemical Works in Patchogue, NY (located on Long Island). It was marketed until at least 1948 (Fike 1987). According to the AMA (1921) the product was found to be "...a solution of lead acetate with suspended salt. The lead salt is poisonous." Click close-up of the shoulder, neck and double ring finish to see such. The horizontal ring mold seam can be seen just below the base of the finish - a sure sign of a machine-made bottle. Click base view to see such including the flattened diamond used reportedly by the Diamond Glass Company (Royersford, PA.) to mark its products beginning in 1924 - about the manufacturing date of this bottle. These bottle can be found in a several sizes, mouth-blown and machine-made manufacture, and in at least a few different colors, i.e., aqua, amber, and olive green.
Anyway, the bottle is basically mint with lot of early machine induced crudity including a lot of bubbles in the wavy glass and 99% of the original labeling. Nice item! $25
HARRISON'S / COLUMBIA / INK - Although these little ink bottles are not particularly rare, they are quite coveted due to the multi-sided conformation, cool name and early manufacture. They also come in an array of colors which are WAY more expensive than this more typical aqua example. The offered example is a nice blue aqua in color, has a crudely rolled lip or finish, a blowpipe type pontil scar to the domed base, and dates from the 1840 to 1860 era. The bottle is near mint with no chips, cracks or staining (may have been professionally cleaned?) and only a couple light scratches to a rear panel opposite the embossing which is pretty decent for these bottles which can be somewhat faint at times. It also has some nice waviness to the glass and an overall look of crudity commensurate with the early era of its manufacture. I cover these particular bottles in more depth on my Historic Glass Bottle Identification & Information Website at this page: http://www.sha.org/bottle/household.htm However, here is the brief write-up on the company that I have on the linked page: "This is a grouping is of three different colors of the Harrison's Columbian Ink - a fairly popular ink during the mid-19th century given the number examples that are seen today. They all have vertical 8 sided bodies, blow-pipe pontil scars, cracked-off/sheared and rolled finishes and date from the 1840s to early 1860s period. These bottles were made for Apollos W. Harrison who was a Philadelphia dealer in "books, maps and ink" from about 1843 to 1877 (McKearin & Wilson 1978; Faulkner 2009)." Nice ink! $100
Amber Cone Ink - This is a nice amber cone ink dating from the 1890s to 1910 period. This was found in Portland, OR. back in the late 1960s. The color is a pleasant medium honey amber, it has a "bead" type tooled lip or finish, smooth base (a faint number "2") and is a bit under 2.5" tall. Not much else to say about it that can't be seen in the image (click to enlarge) besides it is near mint with only a few faint small scuff marks; no chips, cracks or staining. Nice example! $35
Tea Kettle Ink - This bottle was, like most bottles I offer on this website, was purchased to illustrate on my educational Historic Bottle Website. This tea kettle style ink had the following write-up on that site, which tell its story (some of it referencing other parts of the following page on that site): http://www.sha.org/bottle/household.htm :
The tea kettle inkwell or ink bottle pictured is another ink that crosses the line between being an inkwell or simple ink bottle. Like the aqua center hole ink bottle above this bottle also has a cheaper, utilitarian look to it compared to the cobalt blue teak kettle ink bottle above, which certainly was intended for indefinite use. Of course, this bottle could have been reused after the initial purchase with ink. It has a tooled straight finish which accepted a cork closure, an eleven sided body, and has no evidence of mold air venting. It was (apparently) blown in a true, though asymmetrical, two-piece mold where one portion of the mold formed the base, heel and underside of the neck with the other portion forming the entire body and upper portion of the neck.
The base is embossed with PAT JULY 13TH / 1880; click base view to view such showing the embossing. Below the patent date is a marking which appears to be three interlinking circles with some faint letters in each circle which is either an unknown bottle makers marking or is related to the company that used the bottle. To view the actual design patent click: Design Patent #11,868. The patent notes that this was called a "Fountain-Bottle" and specifically patented for the spout angle and bulge at the base of the spout, the pen rests on the top of the body, and feet bumps on the base (see base image) - or all those features in combination. The patent was granted to one Michael H. Haggerty of New York, NY. A search of the few references on ink bottles listed the bottle but nothing about what company used the bottle, what the noted marking on the base may mean, nor anything about Mr. Haggerty. Covill (1971) did note a variant of this bottle that has PAT. APPD. FOR on the base indicating manufacture between April 9, 1880, when the patent application was filed, and July 13, 1880 when the patent was granted! Since these bottles are fairly scarce in the authors experience, they were probably only made for a few years in the early to mid-1880s.
In any event, this is a pretty nice example in pretty nice condition...it does have some overall light internal haze and a bit of wear from use (primarily on the base), but no chips, cracks or other post-manufacturing issues. $50
BILLIKEN - THE GOD OF - THINGS AS THEY - OUGHT TO BE - This great thought is embossed on the four sides of the pedestal base underneath the "Billiken." The base is also embossed with "Patent Design / 39603" which was the same little smiling fat guy patent design used for cast iron banks (common), book ends, pendants, and many other "Billiken" items of the period. This bottle is the rare milk glass version (also comes in clear glass, often painted) with a ground screw top (with virtually no grinding related chipping) with what is almost certainly the original shaker cap with holes (also about perfect), 4" tall, ca. 1908-1910. The Billiken fad started during the early 1900's and this figure was patented in 1908 according to internet sources. Bottle is perfect and hard to find as they were only made for a short time, it appears, when the fad was going strong. Nice item in perfect shape. $125
AYER'S - HAIR VIGOR - These are popular bottles with collectors - particularly for displaying in the window - for obvious reasons: the wonderful deep "peacock blue" color. This example is about 5.3" tall, a tooled "bead" finish or lip, and dates from around 1900 or so, I believe. The earlier - 19th century - versions of these bottles were the aqua flask shaped bottles with AYERS embossed on the base. Later (or contemporary?) examples to the peacock blue ones were also made in cobalt blue. (I think later since the cobalt ones tend to be machine-made, though not always). The base of this example is embossed with J. C. A. Co with an "8" (or "B"?) above and "8" below that embossing; click on base view to see such. This bottle also has the intact neck label which though largely unreadable (a bit readable with a bright light and a magnifying glass) is 100% intact and proof that the bottle was never buried. Click close-up of the shoulder, neck, and lip to see such. Bottle is in pristine mint condition. I acquired it decades ago at a second-hand store in NW Oregon. $50
Croxley Fountain Pen Ink - A Dickinson Product, Made in Gt. Britain - That is most of what this 100% complete fully labeled English style ink bottle says on that label. In addition it reads - "RED Flush pen with water before filling"...so we know it contained red ink (aka "carmine" ink). This is a fine example of a cylindrical "burst top" ink bottle that dates most likely from sometime between the 1890s and the 1910s, when a lot of these type ink bottles were exported into the U. S. from England. It is a nice bluish aqua color, has the rough "burst-off" finish or lip, is just over 2" tall and 1.75" in diameter, smooth base. it is nicely whittled and is essentially in mint condition with some residual ink & dirt inside. The label is about as perfect as a 100+ year old label can be; see the images. A very nice looking ink bottle that I used to illustrate that bottle type on the Historic Bottle Website as burst-off finished ink bottles are a commonly encountered ink bottle type in the U. S. Specifically, it is illustrated on this webpage: http://www.sha.org/bottle/household.htm $20
Stoneware ink bottle - This is a cute little stoneware ink bottle that was reportedly (by the person I acquired it from) found on a Civil War site back East and thus dating from the 1860s. It is about 2" tall and 1.8" wide, has a nice tan/orange glaze and is in very good condition with just one tiny flat flake off the shoulder - the "lip" is perfect on this one, though crudely formed as such handmade items are. I don't know if this is of American or English manufacture, though stoneware bottles of both origins are fairly commonly found on historic site across the U. S. This example was acquired for and pictured on the Historic Bottle Website as a representative item showing that ink didn't always come in glass bottles. $20
Chinese "utility" ceramic pots - Here is a couple nice Chinese "brown stoneware" items found in the Northwest probably along the Columbia River (acquired years ago from an old NW collection). These jars were ubiquitous to areas where the Chinese settled beginning with the California Gold Rush in 1848 on into the early 20th century in many mining areas throughout the American West and even British Columbia. They were used for a variety of different products imported into the US from China including pickled vegetables, dried foods, spices, and who knows what. This pair of pots is almost pristine with no significant edge chips (one small one on the base of the large example) or other issues besides just the inherent crudeness of their hand manufacture. The larger example is at least a quart in size, measures 5.2" in height and 6" side at the shoulder. Both have shades of the dark brown glaze that is typical of brown stoneware Chinese made items. The smaller item is around a pint in capacity and measures a bit over 4" in height and maybe 4.5+" wide at the shoulder. I've always thought these Chinese items found in the West are just as "Western" in an historical sense as those items made here as they represent yet another of the great migrations that formed the Great American West. Great historic items in great shape! $60 for the pair
DR. MORSE'S INDIAN ROOT PILLS advertising Confederate Currency - Here is another medicine go-with and again for Dr. Morse's Indian Root Pills. This is a "FAC-SIMILE" (sez so on the front!) of a Confederate $20 bill that was given out as an advertising flier for the famous patent medicine in the late 1800s or very early 1900s. The advertising part on the reverse notes it was a "...specific cure for most of the Blood, Stomach and Liver Diseases." The pills were also for "...Giddiness, Headache and are quality scans of this fake Confederate bank note that measures 7" by 3". This IS the real thing and not a modern reproduction (which I've never seen anyway). I picked this up - actually two examples - in a lot of weird bank or bank-like notes at a numismatic auction decades ago when I had a bout of coin and paper money collecting. This item is essentially pristine with no stains, rips, or other issues...just a couple very faint creases which can't even be seen in the scans. A fantastic and certainly rare go-with quack medicine item that is in fantastic shape. $25
COMPLIMENTS OF / MORGAN / & / BREHAUT / COTTAGE GROVE, ORE. - All that is embossed inside the oval "plate" of this little, rarely encountered, dose glass from a (still) small town in Oregon located south of Eugene, OR. It has the usual dose markings embossed on the reverse as well as the commonly encountered base embossing of - W. T. CO. / AL / U .S. A. That embossing indicates manufacture by Whitall Tatum & Co. who was a large producer of druggist bottles and other druggist purveyed wares during the last few decades of the 19th century until the 1930s when they were absorbed into another glass company. (For a history of the company and its markings, see this article on my other educational Historic Bottle Website: http://www.sha.org/bottle/pdffiles/WTandCo_BLockhart.pdf ) These druggist dose glasses were primarily made by Whitall Tatum (New Jersey bottle & glass producer) who provided embossed ones to thousands of druggists across the country beginning in the 1880s sometime and lasting until the early 1920s (at least). Of interest, this druggist also used an embossed "picture" druggist bottle with the unusual embossing of the rear end of a house cat walking away. Why? Who knows, but it was made by W. T. Co. also. Needless to say, the druggist bottles are somewhat desired due to the strange graphic which I've never seen on any other druggist; the usual "picture" druggist has a mortar & pestle though a large array of other graphics can be found. This dose glass is the usual shape and size (~2" tall), is of colorless glass (virtually all are), and has no chips, cracks or other damage. It does have some very faint content (buried at some point?) staining to the inside (left side) of the glass which can be seen barely in the enlarged image in the lower left corner. Minor issue, but is there...and otherwise if a very nice "go-with" for the medicine or Oregon bottle collector. $100
1878 CC Uncirculated Morgan Silver Dollar - This is one of those uncirculated Carson City mint silver dollars that was removed from the plastic holder that the mint sold them in (I removed it many years ago). The date of this is 1878 - the first year of the Morgan dollars I believe. It is mint condition, but what grade - MS-60 or MS-62 or ? - I don't know, so I'll call it MS-60+. However, potential buyers can click on the thumbnail images to the left to view much larger versions of the images that will show you the finer details...so you make the grading call.
As far as I can see it doesn't have much in the way of distractingly large scratches or gouges, pretty clean cheeks, a good strike although not much in the way of "frosting"...so it is probably between MS-60 and MS-63. I've recently replaced the harsh scanner images with digital camera images taken in direct natural light for a better "look" at these coins. Nice example of a coin made with genuine Nevada - Virginia City/Comstock Lode - silver! Coin now in a mylar flip. $235
1880 CC Uncirculated Morgan Silver Dollar - Here is another uncirculated Carson City mint silver dollars that was removed from the plastic holder that the mint sold them in (I removed it many years ago). The date of this is 1880. It is mint condition, but what grade - MS-60 or MS-61 or ? - I don't know, so I'll call it MS-60+. However, potential buyers can click on the thumbnail images to the right to view much larger, higher resolution versions of the images that will show you the finer details...so you make the grading call.
This coin does have a somewhat semi-proof-like surface to the background on the reverse (a tad on the obverse) and has some frosting to the face and hat of Ms. Liberty on the obverse and to the eagle on the reverse. I've recently replaced the harsh scanner images with digital camera images taken in direct natural light for a better "look" at these coins. Nice specimen that is now in a mylar flip. $495
NOVA CONSTELATIO - 1783 - No, this isn't a bottle but it is a very nice early American (Colonial almost) copper coin (cent) that is in very fine condition. This is the version of the Nova Constellation large pennies with the blunt rays. I bought this coin something like thirty years ago, but never could give up bottle collecting enough to really get into coins, so it is time to move it on. This one was purchased from M. B. Simmons & Associates of Narberth, PA. They graded the coin as VF-35 - just shy of EF - and it books as Crosby 3-C. Click on the thumbnail images to view much larger versions of the images so that you can see the condition. It has a nice brown glossy un-pitted surfaces - pitting being a problem with these early coins I believe. Like the coins above, I've recently replaced the original harsh, scanned images with higher resolution digital camera photos. Overall a very esthetically pleasing to the eye piece that "Red Books" in VF at $700 and in EF at $1,600. $600
1899 MS-60 Barber quarter dollar - Here is another coin that I picked up almost three decades ago - this one purchased from Bower's & Ruddy Galleries in Los Angeles, CA. Click HERE to see the coin in the original flip from that company. They rated this coin as MS-60 and it is a very nice example. Whether it would "slab" higher or not who knows, though the surfaces look great and the strike looks pretty good to me. Best thing to do is click on the images here and see for yourself what the surfaces look like - I'm not a coin grader. Like the coins above, I've recently replaced the original harsh, scanned images with higher resolution digital camera photos. Regardless, the coin does look very mint and very nice. $225
Oregon Centennial Beam Bottle - Yes, this isn't near as old as the other bottles on this site. However, I think they are very interesting mid-20th century "relics". This Jim Beam bottle commemorates the 100th Centennial of Oregon's statehood in 1959. Front of the bottle has trees, beaver (state animal), river with fisherman, and the wording 1859 OREGON 1959 /CENTENNIAL. The label is on the front below the scene and is totally intact with just a little wear/scuffing. The reverse has the wording 1859 OREGON 1959 /100 YEARS with a bunch of snow covered peaks and trees. The bottle also has opposing beavers chewing on the stumpy (literally) neck. Base has the usual "Federal Law Forbids Sale or Re-use of This Bottle" verbiage and other manufacturers marks with the date 1959. Colors are bright and the bottle is mint with only the usual imperfections of manufacturing that all Beam's have (glaze irregularities and the like). It also has the most of the front label. A very esthetic bottle that used to sell for $50+ back in the early 70's before the market for Beam bottles crashed. The Sesquicentennial was in 2009 making this a 58 year old bottle already! $20-$25 (I have several of these which are all perfect as to the bottle and cap though some are missing some [<75%] or all the front label ($20) to those with at least 90%+ intact [$25] like the pictured example.)
...and for the aficionado of aged
bourbon, I've got one of these Oregon Centennial bottles that is sealed & almost
full of the original Jim Beam bourbon! All sealed and proper, with
complete labels and the works. From the feel of the bottle (can't see
inside of course) it has lost a bit to evaporation, but is probably at least
80-90% full. Sold only for its historic significance
- not the contents (wink) - to those over 21 (no winking there). (Like
a teenager would buy this anyway!?) Not many of these around with
the contents and yours for...$125
BELOW ITEMS ARE ALL SOLD!
ROGER'S / NURSERY / HAIR LOTION - This is very unique bottle due to the beautiful rainbow iridescence "patina" from a rare "positive" interaction with soil this bottle was buried in. Click on the images to the left to see the different colors that this bottle has depending on the direction of the light (two different light angles). The same portions of the bottle have blues, reds and gold hues overlaid and visible depending on the light angle. It is very similar to the bottles that were found in the mud flats of Benicia, CA. except this bottle has no glass etching like those bottle typically have. It is 5 1/4" tall, smooth base (embossed with a "4" mold number), tooled patent finish or lip, and dates most likely from the 1870s given the location the bottle was found - the famous "ghost town" of Hamilton, Nevada. (I purchased it many years ago from the digger of the bottle when I lived in Eastern Nevada.) The origin of Roger's Nursery Hair Lotion is unknown but had to have been shipped in from California like most things to the Nevada mining camps. Patina aside, the condition of the bottle is essentially mint with no chips, cracks, dings, or other post-production damage. The pictures show the iridescence pretty well, but it is more impressive in real life. SOLD!
PARK PHARMACY / E. G. COOK / DETROIT - This neat chunk of bottle making iron is an original mold plate - aka "slug plate" - that was used for the production of embossed druggist bottles during the 1910s. It is embossed as noted, as a mirror image of course to the bottles produced by this plate. According to the story I've heard, this - and a small "horde" of such plates - were found many years ago in an old shed at the site of the Whitall Tatum & Co. glass company (Millville, NJ). Whitall Tatum & Co. was one of the biggest producers of proprietary (i.e., embossed specifically for a particular customer) druggist/pharmacy bottles from the 1870s to 1930s, including embossed mouth-blown ones until at least 1924. This plate is 3.5" long, just under an inch deep, and 1.3" wide and weighs one full pound. The back of this plate has the engraved glass company catalog or tracking number of P3465E and a screw hole where the plate was secured to the mold. The condition is excellent with just some scattered rust here and there. An interesting feature of this item is that it has the mold air venting holes scattered throughout the engraved lettering. These small pin holes connect with a larger drilled hole that runs the length of the plate. These vent holes allowed for the venting of the hot gases from the mold insides as the bottle was expanding. This plate was procured and used to illustrate the Historic Bottle Website. Great go-with for medicinal and/or druggist collectors and just to those interested in the lore of mouth-blown bottle manufacturing. SOLD!
OLD CABIN STILL WHISKEY - Here is a quite interesting - and quite rare and historically fascinating - early machine-made whiskey bottle with the label, original box AND is still fully sealed with around 85%+ of the original contents - all of which date prior (barely) to National Prohibition! The fully intact tax label (covering the cork stopper) notes that the whiskey was "made Spring 1915" and "bottled Fall 1919" - mere weeks before Prohibition was fully in effect in January 1920 (though most liquor was already off the market by early 1919). Click upper bottle close-up to see this on the tax label. The label on the front notes that it was distributed by A. Ph. Stitzel of Louisville, KY. and "Distilled Spring 1915" - click close-up of the front label to see such. The smaller rear label notes that the whiskey was produced by Wright & Taylor (a well know late 19th to early 20th century distiller) and in keeping with the period, was being sold "For Medicinal Purposes Only." Click rear label close-up to see such. The bottle is embossed ONE PINT on the rear shoulder, is machine-made as noted earlier, and has a cork sealed "brandy" style lip or finish. The bottle and labels are essentially mint as shown in the images; box is a bit rough, but mostly largely intact and in good shape as the image shows. Sold only for its historic significance - not the contents (wink) - to those over 21 (no winking there). (Like a teenager would buy this anyway!?) A very cool and unique item which I acquired to illustrate that bottle type on the Historic Bottle Website. I see these type "medicinal" Prohibition era whiskey flasks with the original contents sell occasionally on eBay for $150 to $300 or more; I'll go towards the low end here on this example. SOLD!
Genuine late 19th century "lipping" or "finishing" tool - This is the real thing - a finishing or lipping tool used to form the lip of bottles (i.e., "finish" the lip) at some American bottle making company during the late 19th century to possibly the very early 20th, i.e., 1880s to 1910. This particular tool (12" in total length) has the jaws in place to produce a type of "blob" finish which had a slightly protruding ledge at the widest point on the finish's outside surface; click on the image to the right to see a much bigger version where the details show better. I've seen this type modified blob finish on bottles before, though for the life of me, I can't place where. (Any comments on this would be welcome!). This is the typical "calipers" type finishing tool, with a central "centering" plug and two connected springy arms, which was used from the mid-19th century (the first American patent was in 1855) to as late as around 1920. This particular tool was most likely used to produce a "tooled finish" not an "applied finish." How can I tell that? Note how the lower part of the jaws would extend onto the extreme upper neck of the bottle "wiping" out the vertical side mold seams when rotated to "finish" the lip. The wiped out upper side mold seam is a key characteristic of what is called a "tooled finish" on my Historic Bottle Website. The condition of this finishing tool is excellent and could be used to finish bottles today! It still has some bits of the original paint remaining here and there, though most of the exposed metal surfaces are lightly rusted though totally sound. As one can see in the images, the protective sheathing for the handles is intact with some charring on the lower end where closest to the hot bottle. This example was acquired for illustrating glass making tools on my other website and is of particular interest as it allowed for the changing of the jaws to produce a different shaped finish by unscrewing the set on it and replacing it with another set. Very hard to find "go-with" for a bottle collection. SOLD!
Persian "saddle" flask/bottle - Offered here is virtually perfect example of what are referred to as "Persian saddle flask" and believed to have been used as such ( slung inside of some type leather or cloth sheath) in various parts of the Mediterranean world or nearby (like Persia). (Not "early American" per se, but from the era of Colonial America.) According to McKearin & Wilson (1978:244-245) the origin of these flasks is a bit vague though they attribute them to Persia (Iran today). What isn't questionable is that these bottles are definitely old being produced during the 17th and 18th century. (I've read once about someone contending they were Austrian bottles from the 18th or early 19th century, but never seen any confirmation of that.) In any event, this bottle is at least a couple hundred years old! This example is 9.25" tall, a rich medium clear green, has the typical wrapped "thread" or string of glass around the upper shoulder and neck, free-blown manufacture with a crudely tooled flared lip and a glass tipped pontil scar on the somewhat pushed up base; click base view to see such. The bottle is in near mint condition with no chips, cracks, an entirely intact applied thread of glass (these are often missing pieces, but not this one); the only issue is a bit of content haze on the inside and some outside surface wear and light scratching in the usual spots (base rim & sides). Very nice looking item which I used to illustrate that bottle type on the Historic Bottle Website. Great window bottle and almost certainly the least expensive, good condition bottle dating from the 1600s or 1700s that one can acquire these days. SOLD!
Keystone in a wreath "shoo-fly" flask - Here is unusual flask that is rarely seen and is quite esthetic. It dates most likely from the 1870s, is a "pint" size (probably a typical 12-13 oz. "scant" capacity), and has some early external screw threads with a ground off top or rim (ground rim is perfect). It is a brilliant medium golden amber in color and has a lot of seed and teardrop bubbles scattered throughout the glass really adding to its appeal. This flask has apparently never been buried as it still retains the original metal (pewter?) cap that is in quite good condition with just a little corrosion. The base has an embossed keystone without a wreath; click on base view to see the keystone embossed in the center of the base. The condition of the bottle is essentially mint with just a few light scuff mark. This is one of the earliest of the shoofly flasks and most likely was made at a Pennsylvania glass works...thus the keystone motif? Regardless of where made, it is a unique item that could be used - with the addition of a cork disk to the inside of the cap - as a current day "nipper" if so inclined. Very nice looking item which I used to illustrate that bottle type on the Historic Bottle Website. SOLD!
Root beer amber early umbrella ink - Stoddard manufacture? Well, everyone speculates about that with these early umbrella inks so I won't (or maybe I just did?). This bottle is a beautiful little jewel that looks like it was poured into the mold. It has sheared and refired straight finish or lip, a blow-pipe pontil scar on the base (click to view base), was blown in a two-piece hinge mold, and dates from around 1845-1855 most likely. The surface of the glass is glossy, waxy, with rippled whittle all over. It may have been professionally cleaned although I think it was fire polished when made - a common bottle treatment at that time with some types of bottles, especially those with sheared or cracked-off finishes like this. Color is a medium to medium dark root beer amber and fairly represented by the image. The condition is just about mint with no chips, cracks, or staining...just one tiny pin point peck mark (with no accompanying issues) on the lower part of one panel. SOLD!
BELLE OF ANDERSON milk glass whiskey bottle. Embossing is in a six-pointed star with OLD FASHION HAND MADE SOUR MASH spread across the six points of the star. The bottle has fluted shoulders and unusual shape - for a whiskey bottle - and is the smaller (and possibly scarcer) of the two sizes used for this brand (see below). Height is 6 3/4" tall, tooled lip, smooth base, American made in the early 1900s. Condition is essentially mint, though there is some very faint in-making glass roughness along one of the sharp edges of the lip - an attribute often seen on the tooled lip edges of mouth-blown milk glass bottles for some reason probably having to do with the in-making texture of milk glass. Great addition to any collection and an unusual whiskey bottle that is really much rarer than believed or the price indicates. The Belle of Anderson brand was sold by the Eisen Brothers of Kansas City, MO. who were in business from 1906 to just before National Prohibition selling a myriad of different liquor brands. SOLD!
I've also got an essentially mint example of the larger size of these, i.e., a bit over 8" tall. It is well embossed for these bottles - which tend to be a bit weak - and shown in the image to the far right. Also click HERE to see a larger image of just the large size example showing the embossing well. SOLD!
CARTERS gothic style "bulk ink" bottles pair - If there is a better, more decorative and colorful type bottle to grace one's window, I don't know what it would be if not these famous (to collectors) bottles from the 1920s! Apparently patterned after - or at least inspired by - the gothic or "cathedral" style food bottles of the 19th century, these early machine-made bottles were used by the Carter's Ink Co. for their RYTO Permanent Ink. These came in three sizes that looked like these two bottles (which are the two larger sizes) and a smaller ink bottle with a squattier, more "ink-bottle-like" size and configuration. These have CARTER embossed within three panels on each "side" (6-sided bottles) of these taller bulk bottles as well as all the design features you can see in the images. Both also have CARTER'S embossed on the base with a mold number. The larger of these is about 10" tall; click large example to see such. The smaller version (actually the "middle" size of the three bottle bulk set) is a bit under 8"; click smaller example to see such. Both are SO incredibly blue that they appear purplish in indirect light. Condition is essentially dead mint as I can't find anything wrong with either example though there could be a scratch or scuff that I can't see. A pair of very nice bottles that have graced my window at one time, but ready to pass them on. SOLD!
FLORIDA WATER / MURRAY & LANMAN / NEW - YORK - Here is both a great rarity and an incredibly common bottle. That is, the Murray & Lanman Florida Water bottles are a very commonly encountered bottle, the brand probably outselling all the other brands of Florida Water combined in the U.S. from the mid-19th century until...well, probably today, as the product is still available. However, this example is a great rarity in that it is both labeled and has a blowpipe style pontil scar on the base! Click base view to see such. In fact, this is probably the earliest of all Florida Water bottles dating from as early as 1854 to no later than 1857 or early 1858. How do I know that?
Well, below is the write-up on this bottle from my Historic Bottle Website where I used it as an illustrative example of Florida Water bottles:
The early example is embossed vertically on the side with FLORIDA WATER / MURRAY & LANMAN / NEW - YORK and actually probably the oldest embossed Florida Water bottle known as it dates from between 1854 and 1857. How do we know that? First off, the base has a sharp "blowpipe" style pontil scar within the post-mold base type, indicating a manufacture no later than the American Civil War. It is the only Florida Water bottle known to the author that was early enough to be pontil scarred. Use of the shape by this company as early as the 1850s was speculated on by Sullivan (1994) based on her research indicating that the label was registered in New York in 1857, but she was unaware of this example. However, this is where the manufacturing based diagnostic feature dating ends and the original label takes over.
David T. Lanman - in silent partnership with Lindley Murray - was a druggist located at 69 Water Street in New York from 1836 to 1854. He did business as a "wholesale druggist" at the same address from 1854 to 1857 under the name D. T. Lanman & Co. - Murray having left the partnership in 1854. That same year, George Kemp was also listed as doing business at that address; he apparently being the "Co." in the name at that point. The partnership of Lanman & Kemp was formed and operated at that same address from 1858 to 1870 when they moved to another NYC address. So this bottle can date no earlier than 1854 and no later than 1857 or early 1858 depending on when that years New York City directory was published (Wilson & Wilson 1971; Holcombe1979; Sullivan 1994).
That about tells the story of it! The bottle is perfectly mint and has the original lead foil "capsule" on the upper neck and lip. The original label is about 99% complete and does have a fair amount of water staining though it retains vivid colors and virtually all the detail is intact; all that missing is some chipping along the label edge. The pontil scar sticks out about 1/4" on one side and truly is sharp enough to cut ones finger easily. The body of the bottle is nicely whittled and there are stretch marks on the neck, though both are obscured largely by the foil on the neck and the label. I've had this bottle for about 40 years originally purchasing it from a seller in OBX magazine, I think. I know of one other labeled example which I saw about 40 years ago also (this may be the same example) but that's it...and it likely was found with the listed one here. Recently, a nice example of a pontiled one sold on eBay for over $400 - without the label or foil capsule. Here is the complete meal deal, so to speak. Time to pass this one on. SOLD!
AMMONIA / MNFD. BY / S. F. GASLIGHT CO. - That is embossed on the larger (quart) size of the pair of bottles offered here; click close-up of embossing to see such. The smaller (pint) example is embossed a bit differently as follows: AMMONIA / MANUF'D BY / S. F. GASLIGHT CO (i.e., with no period after the CO and MANUF'D instead of MNFD; click to see embossing.). Why the embossing is different on the two I don't know, but obviously they were different molds and were likely produced a few years apart (more below). I'm offering this pair together since they go together so well and both were acquired together in Nevada. Both bottles have tooled "patent" lips or finishes, are of a typical blue aqua colored glass indicative of being blown at the SF&PGW, and are essentially in mint condition with no chips, cracks, nicks, basically no staining (a bit in the base of the smaller one though it may just be dirt) or anything distracting.
More specifically, the quart (full size image available here) was produced in a post-base mold and has the unusual "blob" type air venting on both front and back shoulders that indicates manufacture in the early-ish 1880s according to research done by the late John Thomas. (These same type air venting marks can be seen on the shoulder corners of the earlier PERUVIAN BITTERS from SF.) The bottle has nice crudeness in the way of wavy glass, stretch marks on the lower neck, and a lot of seed bubbles in the glass. Oh, and it has a backwards L embossed on the base...some cryptic mold tracking symbol I guess? It is almost identical in size (height and diameter) to the well known U. S. A. HOSP. DEPT. bottles found during the late Civil War to early 1870s period, though this bottle is a bit later. The embossing is proportionally rounded and wide - like many SF&PGW bottles of the era exhibit (no curved "R" since there are no "R"s) - and pretty bold; click on embossing to see it close-up.
The pint example was produced in a cup-base type mold and has the somewhat later (mid-1880s to 1890s) single "dot" air venting mark on the front & back shoulders. The embossing on this example is also pretty good (click on AMMONIA / MANUF'D BY / S. F. GASLIGHT CO to see such) but a bit more flattened on the first two lines than the larger example...but is all distinct. This one has even more seed bubbles in the glass, neck stretch markings and other nice crudeness...and is also essentially mint as noted earlier except for some wisps of dirt or haze in the very bottom. A nice, visually appealing pair of larger, interesting Western made bottles! SOLD!
Pacific Beer, Tacoma, Washington pre-prohibition advertising tray - The Pacific Brewing & Malting Co. of Tacoma, WA. was a major early 20th century Tacoma area brewing company that bit the dust (or possibly moved to California) in 1915 - according to Dale Van Wieren's "American Breweries II" book - when statewide alcohol Prohibition was self-inflicted on that state's residents a few years prior to National Prohibition. This tray probably dates from between 1905 and 1915 and was manufactured using the printing techniques of the era, having the "dot pattern" (upon close inspection) similar to what sees on same period trade cards and lithographs. The tray has in VERY small print in the gold strip below "TACOMA" - CHAS. W. SHONK CO. LITHO CHICAGO NO. J4117 - the maker of the tray. The tray has an image of Mt. Rainier which is called Mt. Tacoma in the illustration (above the peak along with the 14,256 ft. elevation) which was the local Indian name for the mountain (though spelled a myriad of different ways over the years). Condition of the tray is excellent with virtually no wear or chipping to the decorative front side (click image to enlarge) - really just a few light scratches - and little wear to the solid green painted back. (Click image of the tray back to see such.) If I remember right, there were a few lightly to essentially unused examples of these trays discovered somewhere in the NW back in the late 1960s or very early 1970s (when this was acquired) in a couple different color schemes but with the same design. I see one every now and then on eBay though they still seem to be somewhat scarce and one of the more affordable, pre-Prohibition Western beer trays. SOLD!
Cocaine producer paperweight - This is great go-with for the medicine bottle collector and an interesting reminder of how loose times were prior to the FDA and Pure Food and Drugs Act of 1906. This paperweight has the following writing inside in addition to the illustration of the factory where the "goods" were produced - FERRATIN, LACTOPHENIN, IRON TONIC and FOOD. ANTIPYRETIC, SEDATIVE, ETC. WORKS OF C. F. BOEHRINGER & SOEHNE, MANNHEIM, GERMANY - (then the large illustration of the factory) - LARGEST MAKERS IN THE WORLD OF QUININE AND COCAINE. NEW YORK OFFICE 7 CEDAR ST. Cocaine was a common ingredient in many patent medicines during the last half of the 19th to early 20th centuries as it was known to "...give great vigor to the nervous system...is of great value to public speakers and timid persons" (as per the Frederick Stearns & Co. druggist's catalog 1886). This cool paperweight is about 4" by 2.5", backed in white enamel over the black and red transfer print, and dates probably from the 1890s to maybe 1910 or so...though it is hard to say for sure. "Ferratin" was an alleged nutritional enhancement that promoted health; click on the following link for information from an 1894 medical book: Ferratin discussion. Certainly this was a salesman's give-away in the U. S. since it has the New York office listed and is in English. Condition is excellent with just a bit of minor scratching on the upper surfaces and a scratched spot on the reverse white enamel which does not go through the surface at all. Regulated drug (today that is) related go-withs which note opium or cocaine or the like are highly collectible items in recent years. SOLD!
BLATZ - Milwaukee, Wis. - Old Heidelberg Brew beer tray - This is an esthetic beer tray that was reportedly produced during Prohibition (ca. 1920s) for the "near beer" product of Blatz - Old Heidelberg Brew...not "Beer." The label on the bottle confirms this somewhat as it does state that the product "Does not contain...of alcohol by vol..." (the missing parts are off the edge of label graphic). This is also confirmed on the www.Trayman.net website (great resource BTW). The tray was made - according to small print in the lower right corner - by the The American Art Works, Inc., Coshocton, Ohio. Size of the tray is a rectangular 13.25" by 10.5" by 1.25" deep. It has some chipping and edge wear as can be seen in the enlarged photo (click to see a larger version) but is overall a nice looking tray with good graphics and pleasing overall nice design...and an embossed BLATZ bottle! (Which is what attracted me to the tray.) The bottle graphics itself are almost untouched, with most of the wear/chipping in the vicinity of BREW and along the rim. The back of the tray also has spots where the paint has worn off but the tray has no dents at all. I actually acquired this tray in Ely, Nevada about 30 years ago of all things; time now to pass it on. Incidentally, a near mint example sold on eBay for $373 a few years ago; this one is certainly not mint but priced accordingly. SOLD!
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