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Liquor (non-"Western")


CHESNUT GROVE / "crown?" ornament / WHISKEY / C. W. - As discussed more below, there were two versions of these Chesnut Grove style handled jugs.  The molded version listed and described below (shown as the left bottle in the image to the immediate left) and the free-blown jug (shown in the far left image and to the immediate left) are an interesting pair and show a bit of the evolution of glass making.  Both have "right hand" applied handles with a bit of difference to the decoration on the lower attachment point, aka the "filial."  I call them right handed since holding these in ones right hand you can still see the cool "seal" - fake seal like below or the real McCoy like this offering.

These very likely earlier examples with the true applied seal were NOT mold blown, but rather free-blown with the help of various simple glass maker tools.  Thus, this type of jug exhibits no mold seams and tend to have much smoother bodies than the mold blown ones which can be quite "whittled" as one can see better by clicking on the images of that listing below. (Tangent Alert:  I suspect it is impossible to get "whittle" marks on a free-blown bottle since the whittle marks are a function of the hot glass hitting a colder - relatively speaking - iron mold surface.  The molds were typically hot but just less hot than the 2000 degree glass just out of the glass pot.)

This fine free-blown specimen is 8.75" tall, about 6.5" wide and 3" deep - all about the same as it's younger (?) brother below.  It has a similar though more "banded" applied finish - almost a champagne style finish.  And as noted it was free-blown without the use of a mold.  The base - click base view to see such - has a typical and distinct blowpipe style pontil scar centered in the base.  I'm sure the moderate indentation of the base is also done when affixing the pontil rod for lip finishing by simply pushing it appropriately firm against the still plastic glass just enough to get a better, more even base for sitting stable.  The handle is fully intact (the tips often snap off of the lower affixing point during manufacture) and was finished by just curling the end back on itself.  Click view of the shoulder, neck and handle to see such closer up.

Condition of this jug - like its brother (sister?) below - is essentially dead mint...just like it was made a good 160+ years ago.  The glass has some nice swirls in the glass as well as a few little bubbles here and there.  It appears that Whitney Glass Works, who was an expert producer of all kinds of bottles, knew how to mix up a batch of glass without introducing a lot of bubbles which weaken the bottle if too abundant.  A fine example!  $275 


AMBROSIAL / (motif or ornament) / B.N. & E.A.W & Co - That is boldly "embossed" - actually impressed with a seal - within a 1.5" wide oval seal (aka "blob seal" to collectors) which also has a line of dots intermittently around the edges of the nicely crude seal.  This is another of those uncommon to moderately rare chestnut flasks with a seal and applied handle.  These are cataloged as Denzin WHI-3 by the auction houses based on a book on the subject. (I personally don't have a copy of the book.)  They are listed in the Wilson's "Spirits Bottles of the Old West" (1968) book on pages 27-28 and noted as "rare".

The initials stand for Benjamin M. and Edward A. Whitlock.  To quote from a Glass Works Auctions catalog entry from a decade ago  - "Benjamin M. and Edward A. Whitlock were in business at 132 Nassau Street in New York. In 1863, William Barrett in ‘The Old Merchants of New York’ described the Whitlocks as ”Southern Grocers and Sympathizers”.  Sounds like they may have not been too popular in the Union dominated New York City during the Civil War!

Not sure what specific liquor product was contained in these cool flasks but pretty sure it was some upscale, high octane liquor.  These may have contained various products made and/or distributed by the Whitlock's since I've not seen another bottle type with their name on it.  This example is 9.6" tall, free blown (not molded), has an very crudely applied "banded" finish or lip and a nice, distinct blowpipe pontil scar centered in the base.  Click base view to see such.  I've never seen an example of these that were not pontiled (i.e., smooth base) which would indicate manufacture in the 1850s to maybe sometime during the Civil War, though those type flattened "chestnut" flasks were possibly made back as early as the 1840s.  However, the vast majority of bottles/flasks with this shape were neither embossed nor have blob seals - labeled only.  This example almost certainly had a label on the back side; click reverse view to see such. 

The handle on this bottle is perfect with a complete as-made filial end as shown in the images.  The glass color is a medium amber glass which is shown accurately in the images.  This bottle is essentially in mint condition with no chips, nicks, dings, cracks, or potstone radiations (or potstones even).  It has no staining but does have some bubbles here and there in the glass.  It has a few very light scuff marks which are hard to see and a very minor amount of wear around the resting points of the base - actually much less that I would expect from a bottle that was likely never buried.  About as good example as you can find.  $200  SOLD

CHESNUT GROVE / "crown?" ornament / WHISKEY / C. W. -  That is embossed inside a raised circle - a faux "blob" seal - it being actually mold engraving to form an embossed  imitation seal whereas the earlier (?) examples were actual applied and impressed seals.   See the image to the far left (click to view a larger version).  The reverse has an unusual circular indentation the same size as the embossed seal.  Inside that indented circle is another small indentation which is also of unknown meaning or utility.  (See the image to the immediate left.)  The C. W. in the in the faux seal stands for Charles Wharton who was an early to mid 19th century Philadelphia liquor dealer located at 116 Walnut St.  The name of his whiskey was as embossed - Chesnut Grove Whiskey - with no "T" unlike the tree.  I'm sure there is some history behind that spelling, but I don't know what it is.  Click close-up of the faux seal to see such.

Wharton's success was probably a combination of an upscale spirits product as well as beautiful, equally upscale packaging in the form of various "chestnut" style handled jugs (like this), small pocket flasks and a differently shaped, somewhat larger and unusual pour spout handled jug which was embossed WHARTON'S / WHISKEY / 1850 / CHESTNUT GROVE (of which I also have an example of which will be listed for sale in the more distant future).  This 1850 whiskey jug spelled Chestnut properly with a "T" and was also embossed with WHITNEY GLASS WORKS GLASSBORO, N.J. on the base which was almost certainly also the maker of this and the true applied seal jugs.  Click image of both chestnut style jugs shown together (also shown above earlier.)

This offered example is 8.75" tall, has an applied "ring" type finish, was blown in a true two-piece mold (side mold seams proceed over the heel to connect equally dissecting the base) as well as a large circular disk type pontil scar.  Click image of the base to see this large (about 1.75" in diameter) pontil scar.  (Note:  I cover this type of pontil scar on my educational "Historic Glass Bottle Identification & Information Website" at the following link - https://sha.org/bottle/pontil_scars.htm .)  Click base view to see such.  The color of this example is a beautiful light to medium golden amber which passes the light well - a great window bottle!  The body is completely covered with "hammered" whittle - actually cold mold - waviness adding to the beauty of it.  The handle is perfect including no application fissures at the neck and shoulder connection points and a completely intact with a much better than average decorative finial and rigaree (the rippled application point on the shoulder) which are often not complete on many handled jugs.  Click view of the applied handle to see such.  This one is perfect!

According to the seller I procured this bottle from, it was formerly in the famous Dr. Burton Spiller collection most of which was auctioned by Glass Works Auctions in (May 2000) although this example doesn't retain an auction tag indicating such.  Having fished my copy of that auction catalogue from the attic I checked and indeed an example of the "embossed seal" variant was offered (and sold for $185+ commission).  It was about identical in glass color and nice crudity, but alas, the finial and rigaree are different...this offered example actually being much more ornate than the example at the Spiller auction (Lot #132); more like the handle on the applied seal example offered above.  That doesn't mean that the seller of this one didn't acquire it from Dr. Spiller at a bottle show or otherwise...just don't know.

This example is in absolutely mint condition with no chips, cracks, potstone bruises, or other post-production (or even during production) issues.  It has some base wear around the resting point but even that is minimal.  It appears the bottle was sitting somewhere little moved for most of it's 160 years of life, it dating from the 1855 to 1865 period.  Oh, and McKearin & Wilson's great book American Bottles and Flasks (1978) included the ad at the following link:  1860 Chesnut Grove Whiskey advertisement   That ad appeared in the year 1860 and has an illustration of these bottles but one can't tell whether it was the blob or embossed seal.  It does seem to indicate that the indented circle opposite the embossed side may have been for a paper label, albeit smaller than that shown in the illustration?  As fine an example as one can acquire!   $295

(However, if you just must have both of these Chesnut Grove jugs I would let the pair go for $550 plus shipping.)


"Mandarin Ginger of East India" - So it is proclaimed on the 95% intact label on this unique bottle.  The colorful front label - which includes some kind of monument with "natives" worshipping it along with multi-colored designs - also notes at the bottom that the product is from "HARTWIG KANTOROWIGZ - POSEN - BERLIN HAMBURG" of the "case" style milk glass bitters fame among a host of other alcoholic products. The front label is quite interesting and easily readable although moderately dark.  (Also see the bitters bottles page for a couple more Hartwig Kantorowigz "bitters" bottles in milk glass a this link:  http://www.historicbottles.com/bitters.htm )

The back label (click HERE for a close-up) is darker but totally readable under a strong light and magnifying glass.  It is also about 95% complete but covering only half the area that the front label does.  It has some great medicinal claims as follow in English - "By using this potion daily in moderation, being of a nice taste and excellent flavor, it will regenerate and reanimate the function of organism and especially operate on the normal digestion thus giving strength to the system of the nerves and conferring thereby vital powers to the human frame."  Wow...wish it still had the contents!  All the label is in English, so obviously it was bottled and sold in English speaking countries...this one likely in the U.S. since that is where I acquired it.

The bottle has some unique features which include the shape as you can see in the images, a dispersed "sand" type pontil scar (click Base View to see such though the pontil scar is very hard to see, but easy to feel in real life), the cool applied handle and sheared/cracked-off and fire polished "straight" finish or lip.  This is one of those weird bottles that exhibit characteristics of an earlier 19th century bottle (pontil, lip, applied handle) but is likely from the late 19th century. It is 7.5" tall and in mint condition having never been buried; no chips, cracks, dings, staining, etc.  It appears that the label itself may have been coated with something (lacquer?) but not sure as it might just be the glue from the original label application.  In any event, it is a great looking bottle that one sees without labels rarely and occasionally in amber glass without the handle.  $125


"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!  $65

Early "Dutch" Gin Bottle
- If you're in the market for a virtually pristine early bottle, this is a fine example.  It is quite unlikely this bottle was actually blown in the U.S. (or the American Colonies).  The style is thought to be pretty much Dutch or at least from the Low Countries in Northern Europe, possibly even Germany.  They are found all over the world in the places colonized by those type of European countries.  (NOTE:  A great source of information on such bottles is found in Willy Van den Bossche (a Belgian) book "Antique Glass Bottles - Their History and Evolution (1500-1850)".  Although out of print, it is available used online from many book vendors.)

(Note:  This is a bottle I've owned for a long time having been one of around 45 bottles I acquired back in the 1980s from an elderly gentleman who was an early bottle collector in New Orleans who put together a collection of early bottles during the late 1940s or early 1950s.  Most of bottles were early American though there were a few foreign bottles in the mix like this bottle.  The group included historical flasks, New England chestnut flasks, snuff bottles, an unusual clear green New England style "Pitkin" half post flask, snuff bottles (below) and many more - virtually all dating from or well before the American Civil War.  Virtually all were in in mint condition with the appearance of having never been buried.  This early collector kept records and noted which bottles were acquired from Charles Gardner who had a for sale list mailed out periodically during the noted period.  This bottle was noted as having come from Gardner.)

This bottle stands 9.75" tall from the base tips to the top of the "pig snout" style finish which has the period "slop" or globiness that collectors love.  It was blown in a dip mold which was a very early type of mold, dating back (I believe) to the Roman era.  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.  The sides are about 3.5" wide at the shoulder tapering to 2.75" at the base.  Bottle looks to hold at least a quart and probably more like 40 oz. give or take.    The base has a blowpipe style pontil which is somewhat oval in conformation.  The glass is crude and wavy with lots of little bubbles scattered throughout; color is olive amber and very clear (not cloudy).  There is essentially no staining to the glass just a bit of wear on base corner tips, a tiny bit at the upper shoulder edges where apparently it was laid on its side (?), and just a minor scratch here and there.  Click on the images to see larger versions showing its beauty even more.  A beautiful example of this style which dates from the 1770s to the first third of the 19th century according to the book noted above.  A solid 200+ year old bottle in exceptional condition as it appears to have never been buried if that is possible.  $135


Half pint embossed shoo-fly flask - This is an historically interesting flask dating from the beginning of the 20th century.  It is embossed with the following (click either image to see the embossing in a larger format image) - UNION MADE / TRADE / GGC0 monogram / MARK / G.B.B.A. OF U.S. & C. with FULL / MEASURE embossed towards the bottom of the same panel.  The G.B.B.A. of U.S. & C. is the acronym for the Glass Bottle Blowers Association of the U.S. and Canada - the union that initially fought against the installation of semi and fully automatic bottle making machines and the use of child labor among other issues.  This particular glass workers union was formed in 1896 with the breakup of a previous union.  It lasted until the 1970s when it merged with other related craftsman's unions.  For more information on the history of the union do an internet search for "Glass Bottle Blowers Association."

The GGCo. monogram - which is certainly is for some "G" glass company - can't be ascribed with absolute certainly to any particular glass company since there were many that began with "G" and in operation during the era of this flask, i.e., 1900 to at least the mid-1910s.  However, it is most likely for Glenshaw Glass Company (Glenshaw, PA.) as it was a glass maker that did have an early acceptance of unions a the time whereas other "G" choices (e.g., Gaston or Graham) didn't.  See this article on my educational website for more information on Glenshaw Glass.  This very flask was used to illustrate the article:  https://sha.org/bottle/pdffiles/GlenshawGlass.pdf

This bottle is in pristine condition and appears to have never been buried.  It is 6.5" tall, colorless/clear glass that has a slight purple tint, and a tooled "brandy" style finish or lip.  It has some bubbles in the glass and a mold number 344 embossed on the base.  A great piece of bottle making history and a fairly rare flask in my experience (only seen a few).  It is also unusual in that the glass company initials are so prominently displayed on the front of the bottle instead of the base or heel of the bottle - both much more common to the era.  $35


I. A. I. NOLET / SCHIEDAM - This is another bottle - a "case gin" - that I've had for decades having traded for it back in the 1970s.  Far enough back that I have no idea what I traded for it nor where it came from though likely found in the West.  This is one of the cruder bottles I've owned.  It was certainly used for gin and likely blown in Europe (Schiedam being in the Netherlands) and probably dates from the 1860s to possibly 1880s- these type European bottles being hard to date .  I've seen various versions of the I. A. I. Nolet bottles both larger and smaller.  There are also very similar ones that (I think) have different initials before NOLET...a family of Schiedam distillers maybe?  Wouldn't be surprised if the company was still in operation.

This bottle is a nice medium dark olive green with an amber tone.  Standing in the window it transmits sunlight pretty well.  Click close-up of the body side to see the color better.  The entire body is wavy, whittled and crude.  Click back of the bottle to see the sides opposite the embossing.  All four sides also have the vertical lines faintly visible in places that some attribute to being blown in a "shingle mold" - four slats of grooved shingles nailed together to form a dip mold.  I think that may have been true in the earlier days of case gin molds and the "look" was continued in later mouth-blown years as a style by vertically scratching the mold sides.  I  believe I've even seen examples with those lines that were machine-made.  If interested in the subject of shingle molds, see this section of my educational Historic Bottle Website:  https://sha.org/bottle/liquor.htm#Case%20Gin%20bottles  (Note: This bottle was used for illustration purposes in that section of the website.)

The base has a embossed + (plus) marking with the ends of the four points being sharp.  See the image at this link - Nolet gin bottle base - to see this embossed feature.  That base shot also shows the beveled ends at the four corners of the base - a feature one sees on European made gin bottles.  The shoulders on the bottle are also quite crude with a short vertical seam coming off the top of the embossed panel side and repeated again on the opposite side.  It is a faint mold seam that ends at the base of the crudely applied lip.   Click shoulder view to see the shoulder (and finish) of the bottle although only the lower end of one of these described seams is barely visible.  I have no idea how this mold was designed and worked which would result in the formation of these type seams.  These short seams are the only visible side seams on the bottle.  (Although there may be vertical sides seams that are hidden at two opposite body corners.)

The bottle is just about 9" tall, is about 2" wide at the bottom of the side panels flaring out at the shoulders which are almost 3" wide.  It probably holds maybe 20 ounces or so.  The condition of the bottle is excellent with just some very light haze? at the lower end of a couple panels, a few sparse and hard to see scratches and a couple less than pinhead open bubbles with no real depth...all just part of this interesting bottles crudity and hand made nature.  There are no chips, cracks, dings, potstone radiations or other issues including no inside haze; olive green tending to be a very resilient glass color to staining.  Nice case gin!  $95


Early Dip Mold Spirits bottle -  This is an interesting bottle that was reportedly found in Florida.  I acquired it decades ago from a collector in the South with the story that it had been found by a diver somewhere along the Florida Coast.  It is obvious that the bottle was tossed overboard (or came from a wreck) and rolled around in the sand and salt water for upwards of 200 years given the matte surface to the bottle. 

A dip mold is a mold type that mold forms only the body of the bottle.  The shoulder and neck were formed with hand tools and the skill of the gaffer (glass blower).  Click view of the shoulder to view the horizontal line or interface which marks the top of the one-piece dip molded lower body and base.  Once the body of the bottle was formed it was removed from (lifted out of) the dip mold, a pontil rod attached to the base, the blowpipe cracked off from the bottle neck and the finishing glass applied and formed while still attached to the pontil rod.  The pontil rod was then removed from the base and the bottle complete and ready to anneal to make it stronger.  For more information about this ancient (goes all the way back to Roman days!) 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 almost 12" tall and 3" in diameter at the base (slightly wider at the shoulder) and has a two part lip or finish of a type called a "mineral" or "double oil" style.  That finish style varied widely in conformation as discussed on my Historic Bottle Website at the following link: https://sha.org/bottle/finishstyles.htm#Mineral%20or%20Double%20Oil    (It is like the last one pictured in that section on finishes.)  The base was indented better than an inch with a tool called a molette which was basically just a metal rod which leaves a more or less circular indentation at the apex of the base kick-up. I believe that was done to get a better surface for the sand or ring pontil rod to attach to and is commonly seen on early spirits bottles.  Click on the base image to the left to view a larger version which better shows the molette mark and the faint sand pontil scar circling the indented base about halfway between the central molette mark and the base edge.

The bottle is a dark olive amber; click view of the shoulder to see the color in the shoulder.  It is essentially black near the base. The base of the neck shows vaguely some tooling marks from the scissor-like tongs that the gaffer used to create the neck bulge.  The physical condition of the bottle is perfect (excluding the sand induced matte surface) with no chips, cracks, potstone stars, etc.  The pontil mark is weak but there, likely being smoothed down by the conditions it was found - in the ocean.  The bottle was made in either England or possibly some early New England glass works; it dates between about 1830 and 1850 I would estimate.  It is a cool early tall cylinder which was a precursor style that led to the slightly later "Patent" liquor cylinders and then the standard "fifth" sized whiskey bottles so cherished by collectors in the West.   $85


Miscellaneous Bottles


PRICES / PATENT / CANDLE / COMPANY / LIMITED (English Registry marking) - These English (company based in London) bottles are popular with bottle collectors here and abroad due to the unique wedge shaped bottle, and of course, the deep cobalt blue color.  The product contained in these bottles were different types of "toilet soaps" with interesting names like "Buttermilk", "Court Bouquet" and dozens of others.  It was reportedly sold all over the world including the US.

The registry mark (a diamond shape with various code information) at the bottom of the embossing decodes the date the container was registered - I think the equivalent of a patent in the US?  This one has an "A" to the left of the centered "Rd" (which stands for "Registered") indicating the month of manufacture was December, the "4" to the right is for day of the month (4th) and the "Y" above Rd is for the year - 1850.  So this container (not product?) was registered December 4th, 1850.  The "6" at the bottom is for the registering entity which must have been Price's Patent Candle Company.  These registry markings don't allow for the determination of an actual bottle manufacturing date since all of the ones I've seen had this same exact marking.  (For more information on these markings see the link I used for interpreting this example - https://storage.snappages.site/y3h077nvhv/assets/files/English-Registry-Marks-%E2%80%93-Kovels.pdf  .)

Anyway...this example has a crudely applied "mineral" finish...or that is the closest finish type I can match it too.  (Click on the following link to see the discussion of the mineral finish/lip on my Historic Glass Bottle Identification & Information Website at this link: https://sha.org/bottle/finishstyles.htm#Mineral%20or%20Double%20Oil ) Click upper body, neck and lip/finish to see such.  The bottle is 7.5" tall and 3" wide x 2.25" deep at the base.  The base contains an indented rectangle with no embossing; click base view to see such.  The back is not embossed an certainly had the label early in it's life; click reverse side view to see such.

Condition of the bottle is very good with no chips, cracks, dings or other post production damage.  It does have a bit of external wear here and there, the most noticeable being on the right side of the front embossing panel (click on the images to the left to see such).  The majority of the bottle surface however is shiny and bright.  The inside of the bore just below the finish rim has a ledge with some residual cork adhering indicating the bottle was sealed with a club sauce/shell cork type closure.  (See the discussion of such on my Historic Glass Bottle Identification & Information Website at the following link: https://sha.org/bottle/closures.htm#Glass%20&%20Cork%20closure. )  A nice example of these deep cobalt blue English bottles...looks great in a window!  $200


Medium olive with an amber tone early American umbrella ink - These New England umbrella (or fluted or pyramid style) ink bottles are quite popular with collectors and are reasonably acquirable examples of early American utilitarian bottle making from the first half of the 19th century.  People speculate about where these early umbrella inks were made as such umbrella inks were standard offerings from New England & New York/New Jersey (Midwestern even?) glass houses of the early to mid-19th century (McKearin & Wilson 1978).  Like many of these lovely bottles, it is a beautiful little jewel that looks like it was poured into the mold. 

This example was reportedly found in an old house in Greenfield, Mass. which is not very far (30-35 miles) south of Keene, NH.  So likely a Keene product?  I've seen similar examples from the same mold (see next "Note" paragraph) attributed to Keene as well as Stoddard (only 12 miles or so NE of Keene).  Both glass houses produced a wide array of utilitarian bottles - including figured flasks - in olive, olive amber and amber colored glass.  Since these type bottles were never makers marked it can't be determined precisely where it originated.  (If someone out there has a better feel for these type ink bottles than I (3000 miles away would) please let me know what your thoughts on this subject!)

(Note:  I have had at least 3 or 4 other examples of umbrellas from this same mold.  How do I know that?  Even though the bottles are always pretty crude like this one, there are three variably reliable attributes that together make this mold fairly easy to identify.  The first is that the two-piece mold seam on the base is "keyed" - i.e., with the mold seam dissecting the base with a squared off flange on one side fitting into the opposite indentation on the others mold side.  If unfamiliar with the concept, I discuss it on my educational website at the following link:  https://sha.org/bottle/bases.htm#Key%20&%20hinge%20molds  I'm sure that some other similar inks also have that conformation so not definitive.  The second attribute is the straight neck like shown in this example.  It doesn't usually flare at all near the end nor have a "rolled" in/out lip or (in my limited experience) any other finishing method.  Instead, it is apparent that once the pontil rod was affixed the blowpipe was "wetted" or "cracked" off (not sheared which I think was more unusual than people think?) leaving a broken lip surface with was variably fire polished to smooth it out and make it safer, if nothing else.  However, that attribution could also be found on other glass works products I suppose.  The clincher is that on the base at the edge perpendicular to the middle of the "key" mold seam is a variably faint embossed line "pointing" at the key flange mark.  The embossed line is almost 1 cm long and is visible at the top edge of the base image at the following link, which also shows the blowpipe type pontil mark.  Click BASE VIEW to see such.  All three of those attributes have come together in the handful of examples I've owned of this mold.  So whichever glass works it was, it was likely that they were all made there...unless the mold was passed around.  Won't get into that speculation but certainly such happened in the old days between glass houses close to each other.)

Back to this bottle...  The color of these great ink bottles are often pretty hard to describe as well as photograph .  I've taken several images of this bottle and it is more green than the images show except for the following one which has an florescent light behind it.  Click backlit view to see this image which also shows the seed bubbles scattered about.  My wife calls it gray olive amber but I'll just call it olive with a strong amber tone.  It has has the noted "cracked off" and re-fired straight finish or lip (close-up above), the noted blow-pipe pontil scar on the base, was blown in a two-piece mold as also described above, and dates most likely from around late 1830s to early 1850s.  The surface of the glass is glossy, waxy, with some rippled whittle along with some glass thickness waviness.  Since I didn't find it in the house (that was the story that came with it though I believe it to be true) and can't affirm personally that it has never been buried or professionally cleaned but there is not evidence of either.  In any event, the condition is essentially dead mint with no chips, cracks, or staining...just 190 years of wear on the base.  Nice example of these iconic ink bottles.  $275


Wickered & handled miniature demijohn "cologne" bottle -  The wicker and handles are, of course, just embossed on this cute little bottle.  These are early American (pre-Civil War) bottles that were largely produced as containers for cologne, though other "...cosmetic liquids as well as cologne and toilet or "sweet" waters" according to McKearin & Wilson's 1978 book "American Bottles & Flasks."  They dated the large and interesting group of Antebellum cologne bottles to "183o-1860s."  The open oval label space on the reverse (second image to the left) would have told the story about the contents if the label was still there, but it is long gone.

This example - like most of the earlier ones I've seen - has a "blowpipe" style pontil scar (right image to left) which was formed by using the end of a (in this case) very small diameter blowpipe doing double duty as a pontil rod.  (I discuss pontil types at length on my other educational "Historic Glass Bottle Identification & Information Website" on the following linked page:  https://sha.org/bottle/pontil_scars.htm ) I have two of these bottles and a quick comparison indicates they were made in totally different molds though upon casual looking appear identical.  They are not - having different looks to the wicker embossing, the faux handles and other subtle features - indicating that these bottles were either made over a long period of time (wearing out molds) or were made by different period glassworks...or both.  (I've also seen later examples which are not pontiled, were blown in a cup-base mold and have tooled finishes dating them to the later portions of the 19th century or even early 20th.  It was a popular style for cologne.)

This offered example is about 2.75" tall, has an inwardly rolled "straight" finish or lip, made in a true two-piece "hinge" mold and of a pale bluish aqua glass.  This example is perfect mint condition with no chips, cracks, or staining; I doubt it was ever buried.  It does have a bit a little wear on the base from sitting somewhere for at least a century and a half.  $60


BAKER'S / FLORIDA WATER / PORTLAND - This is a nice small size (about 7" tall) Florida Water which probably only holds 4 oz. or so.  It is from Portland, Maine I believe and dates from the late 1880s to maybe mid-1890s as it has a tooled "oil" type finish (like most Florida Waters) but seems to have no body mold air venting marks which would likely have if it was produced later than the early/mid-1890s.  It has some bubbles in the glass and wavy crudity to the glass thickness and is essentially pristine condition with no chips, cracks or staining.  It can be found in a larger "regular" size also, this smaller version being a bit rarer than the full size type (which would be the same size as the Murray & Lanman and Palmer's Florida Waters listed as sold towards the bottom of this page.  For more information on Florida Water bottles in general, see my Historic Bottle Website section on the subject at the following link:  https://sha.org/bottle/household.htm#Floridawater This is a nice example!  $15


Tea Kettle Ink - This bottle was, like most bottles I offer on this website, was purchased to illustrate on my educational Historic Bottle WebsiteThis 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.  $45


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.  Click Design Patent #39603 to see the actual 1908 patent which was "invented" and issued to Florence Pretz of Kansas City, MO.  This bottle is the rarer 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. 1908-1910s. 

The Billiken fad started during the early 1910's although there is still a college in the Midwest - St. Louis University  - that uses the Billiken name and a likeness as their mascot.  https://www.slu.edu/news/2019/august/slu-legends-lore-billiken.php  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.  $75


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 

(Three stoneware bulk inks are listed below.)

BARNIZ lotion (?) bottle - Offered here is another likely lotion bottle made in milk glass that I believe is quite rare...or at least I've only seen a few and they were usually of colorless glass not milk glass.  The few milk glass ones I've seen came from the old Phoenix, AZ. dump as did this one back in the late 1960s.  I say lotion because a lot of milk glass bottles that come in the "druggist" bottle shapes (this one being a "Blake" style druggist bottle) held lotion.  However, Barniz is Spanish for "varnish" so maybe it was a lotion women used to "varnish" their skin soft?  I have a hard time imaging this bottle held regular varnish as it doesn't hold much - maybe 4-5 oz.

In any event, the bottle is embossed vertically with just BARNIZ though the base is embossed  with W. T. CO. (arched upwards) / P / U.S.A. (arched downwards) which is also for Whitall, Tatum & Co. - a marking they used the first two decades of the 20th century.  Base view to the left.  That was also the time frame for the noted Phoenix dump.  The bottle has a bit of dullness to the outside but hard to quantify due to the opaque glass color.  Otherwise it is free from chips, cracks or other damage.  It is 4.5" tall and has a tooled "prescription" style lip or finish in glassmaker speak.  Nice and believed rare item for your milk glass collection.  $30


Group of 3 small perfume bottles - (Click on the images to see much larger versions.)  At least I believe these to be all perfume bottles since they were all found together and the shoe and "flask" (upright one in images) almost certainly are.   The third "pipe" one could have had small, hard candies I suppose...or at least I remember little glass guns from my youth in the 1950s that were similar and had such in them. 

All these small bottles date from the 1870s to maybe 1890s, are made of colorless (clear) glass, are mouth-blown (aka "hand blown" or "hand made") in two-piece molds and have tooled single collar lips/finishes. Click HERE to see another different view image of the group.  All of these bottles are in very good condition with just a bit of haze from having been buried. Other individual bottle details follow:

-The shoe is 2.75" long, with the lip/opening being the toe of the shoe.  It has a minuscule touch (literally) of roughness in one small spot on the lip which can't really be seen but felt slightly.

-The "pipe" is 3+" long with fancy embossed hatch work around the bowl which has a segmented embossed bulbous cover.  There is also fancy fluting on the stem of the pipe.  The lip is very crude - almost looks applied, but I think it was just sloppy tooled.  There is a short "cracking-off" (the blowpipe) shallow flake just below the base of the lip which is smooth to the touch and simply an in-making crudeness feature. (The image above - click to enlarge - of the pipe has the shoe behind it to take an upright shot.)

-The "flask" (also with the shoe behind to make it stand up) is the only one with embossing. That is an embossed circle of rays with an inner circle having the letter "D" inside.  No idea what it stands for and the body is fairly wavy and crude. The bottle stands up fine on a flat surface; it is just being propped up with the shoe because of the cloth squishiness of my photo background.  It stands right at 3" tall and only about 3/8" deep at the base front to back...held very little perfume.  It also has two rings on the neck - one at the base and another about halfway up the neck.

Nice set of perfume bottles - a popular bottle collecting genre - and all for one price.  $35 


Three 19th Century English Stoneware "Bulk" or Powdered Ink Bottles -  These bulk ink bottles are definitively English made and, I guess, filled?  (I believe the P. & J. ARNOLD /LONDON impressed in the stoneware was the user - ink merchant - of the bottle?)  This listing includes all three of the stoneware or ceramic (depends on whom you ask) pictured here.  These were all found in the downtown Portland (OR) urban renewal area back during the late 1960s.  They are hard to date as such were made throughout much of the 19th century and into the early 20th according to Faulkner's excellent (and out of print like most good bottle books) book on ink bottles.   They note that these bottles were often shipped to the US and around the world as ballast in the holds of sailing ships.  Not sure that is true though I've heard it stated for round bottom & torpedo soda bottles also. (I've also heard that bricks and rocks were another form of ballast.)

Starting from the left in the image we have a wide, flaring mouth English-made bulk powdered ink bottle.  It is 6.25" tall, about 2.75" in diameter and has the same light brown glass top to bottom like all of these offerings.  It has small flake on the top of the mouth (click view of the mouth to see such) but is otherwise perfect.  I believe these wide mouth stoneware bottles were used for the powered ink that one could mix with water to reconstitute.

The middle bottle is about 9" tall and has no pour spout - just the short flared collar you can see in the images.  The impressed verbiage is as follows:  VITREOUS STONE BOTTLE / J. BOURNE & SON. /PATENTEES / DENBY & CODNOR PARK POA...(can't read the end that word) / NEAR DENBY / P. & J. ARNOLD / LONDON   Click middle bottle to see the the taller (middle) bottle's impressed inscription up close.  The bottle is in about perfect condition but does have a very, very faint hairline in the lip on the right side which may be a crack? It is essentially invisible and nothing is missing but it is there.  This bottle holds about a quart I would guess and is about 3.4" in diameter.

This is a smaller bulk ink with a bit different impressed verbiage.  Specifically it reads:  VITREOUS STONE BOTTLE / J. BOURNE & SON. /PATENTEES / DENBY POTTERY / NEAR DENBY / P. & J. ARNOLD / LONDON  Click bottle on the far right to see a close-up of the impressed inscription of the smaller pour spout example.   Click close-up of the upper portion of this same bottle to see the pour spout closer and the flake chip on the side of the lip.

All three for one price for this nice set of about perfect stoneware bottles.  Great decorator items!?  $40


J&IEM "Igloo" ink bottle - This ink bottle is of a style called "igloo inks" by collectors, though I have no idea what period glass makers called them.  Actually, this prompted me to take a quick look at the 1880 reprint catalog I have from Whitall, Tatum & Co. and they referred to them a "teapot ink" bottle.  The catalog also illustrates an example with the panels on the lower side - like this example - and called it a "fluted fountain stand."  So I guess that is the proper period glass maker terms for these bottles. (Still learn something new about historic bottles pretty much every day!)  They are also called "turtle" inks by collectors and in William Covill's 1971 book on ink bottles he referred to them as "domed, with offset neck ink bottles."

This mid to late 19th century style of ink bottle didn't seem to make it into the 20th century as I can't find an example in any of the early 20th century bottle makers catalogs I have.  The Faulkner's note in their great work on ink bottles from the early 2000s that the latest reference to the use of this style was in an advertisement in 1893 by the company that used this bottle (below).  I suspect that the style lost out to the popularity of cone inks.

These are not rare bottles but popular with collectors due to their unique shape; a shape used by numerous companies.  This example is embossed J&IEM on five of the 10 lower side panels.  Those initials stand for J. & I. E. Moore who operated out of Warren, Mass. beginning in 1865, according to Covill's book.  He also noted they used the style for "over 30 years" placing the end of these in the mid to late 1890s.

This example is about 1.5" tall to the top of the neck and a bit over 2" in diameter; it dates from the 1870s based on context it was found decades ago.  Condition of this bottle is about mint with just a touch of haze in the bottom of the bottle.  The roughly "cracked off" neck (cracked off from the blowpipe) is typical of these bottles made up into the early 1880s.  This example has that type of "finish" if you can call it that.  The only "finishing" done on the lip was to grind it a bit to make if somewhat smooth.  That is what appears to have been done to this particular example though the cracking off resulted in an in-making dip which shows in the second image and is typically seen with these earlier J&IEM igloos.   After the early/mid-1880s they had similar looking finishes but the makers(s) took the time to re-fire the cracked off surface and more finely tool the orifice.  In any event, a nice example of the style.   $25


CRANE & BRIGHAM / SAN FRANCISCO Florida Water bottles - These two bottles are excellent examples of scarce/rare Florida Water bottles produced (blown) and used in San Francisco in the 1870s.  Both are pictured to the right (click to enlarge).  The following is from Bill & Betty Wilson's 1971 book 19th Century Medicine in Glass - "This firm started as Crowell, Crane and Brigham in about 1856.  It was originally established by Eugene Crowell several years earlier as a retail drug store.  In 1859 Crowell & Crane pulled out and started their own business, which lasted for only two years and Crowell sold his interests to William H. Brigham.  The firm of Crane & Brigham became one of the largest in San Francisco.  Henry A. Crane retired in the early 1880s but lived on to the grand old age of 82 when he died in 1922."

The earlier company (Crowell, Crane & Brigham) was responsible for two of the great and extremely rare (I've never seen either in person) 1850s Gold Rush era embossed bottles from San Francisco: the cobalt blue, mug based, iron pontiled soda bottle embossed C C & B / SAN FRANCISCO and the rectangular, blowpipe pontiled medicine bottle embossed on three sides with CROWELL, CRANE & BRIGHAM - SARSAPARILLA & - YELLOW DOCK - both of which date from the 1856 to 1858 period.  As there were no glass makers in the West (or even west of the Mississippi) at the time these bottles were blown somewhere in the east and shipped around the horn to San Francisco.  Then they were filled, used and eventually tossed with few of the extant.  In any event, these two Florida Water bottles date from the 1870s with the smaller one possibly being from the very early 1880s.  Both were found in the downtown urban renewal areas in Portland, OR. back in the late 1960s.

Although neither are embossed as to contents, the shape of them is of a type that was used about 100% of the time for that particular product - a type of inexpensive perfume/cologne which some claimed to have medicinal properties.  Typical of the style, the neck is about as tall as the body in both sizes. 

The larger bottle has three of the distinctive curved "R's" in the spelling which are firmly attributed to an unnamed mold maker/engraver working in the Bay Area from the late 1860s into the early 1880s.  This person created scores of - maybe several hundred - molds for embossed bottles that have this type "R".  Click on the image to the immediate left to see a larger version showing the embossing.  Most of the bottles attributed to this mystery mold maker/engraver (don't know if he did both or not) were clearly embossed as being from the West (typically California, Oregon, & Nevada) like both of these bottles or used by companies historically known to be operating in the West.  The smaller example has no "R's" in the embossing to curve though the "look" of the embossing is identical to its larger brother so it is certainly a product of the same mold maker.  Both were blown in the type of deeper blue aqua glass commonly seen with bottles blown at the San Francisco Glass Works or Pacific Glass Works or the combined company (San Francisco & Pacific GW) after merging in 1876.  The larger example is very much the "fiery" deep aqua color with the smaller one being a bit more muted but still of the same look in general.

The larger example is very scarce but more abundant than the smaller size in my experience.  It is embossed CRANE & BRIGHAM / SAN FRANCISCO vertically inside a deeply indented panel.  It is 9" tall, has a crudely applied "oil" style finish or lip, and smooth somewhat indented or domed base.  Click close-up of the applied lip to see such.  This bottle is a beauty and one of the finest example I've ever seen.  It has no post-production issues, i.e., no chips, cracks, pings, nibbles or even really any staining as the "fire aqua" glass from the Bay Area during that era was quite resistant to staining or patination.  The glass is fairly crude with decent whittling, a few bubbles and neck stretch marks. There are even a few specs of the original foil capsule showing on the upper neck!  Great example.  $85

The smaller and rarer example is also embossed vertically inside a deeply indented panel in a much more abbreviated manner (not as much room as the big bottle) with  C. & B. / S. F. although that says enough to make it certain to have been Crane & Brigham.  It is 6.25" tall, has a tooled "oil" style finish or lip, and a more proportionally indented domed base than the larger example.  The glass is a medium blue aqua and the neck is crude and a bit wavy on the inside from the use of the lipping or finishing tool.  The bottle is in very good condition though does have a bit of staining inside the shoulder, a bit of outside light dullness and a small flake at the heel on the backside.  Click close-up of the heel to see the latter issue.  Overall a nice example of a very rare SF Florida water (a recent sale of a mint one on eBay was for $280+).  $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


LOW'S / EXTRACT - This is a small bottle found decades ago in the urban renewal portion of downtown Portland, Oregon.   Based on that fact and that I can't find any information on it, I believe it to be Western (CA.) in origin (the product contained in the bottle) but I can't say that for sure.  I used the bottle as one of many to illustrate the "Flavoring Extracts" section of the Food Bottles & Canning Jars typology page on my educational Historic Glass Bottle Identification & Information website as it is a variation on the them of the "ball neck extract" bottle that was popular during the last half of the 19th century through at least the first third of the 20th.  Below is the verbiage from that description:

LOW'S / EXTRACT -  This relatively early (1860s to 1870s), ball neck extract bottle was probably used by a Western American (likely San Francisco) business as these bottles seem to be found only in the West; this example was excavated in Portland, Oregon (empirical observations).  It is 4.8" tall, has a early crudely tooled "prescription" finish and blown in a cup-base mold (both consistent with smaller bottles having these attributes earlier than larger bottles), a lack of mold air venting and overall crudeness commensurate with the relatively early manufacture. It was made with a non-manganese dioxide decolorized glass that actually has a straw tint possibly indicating the glass was decolorized with arsenic and/or selenium.  Click base view to see such; this image also shows the straw tint to the glass.  Click side view to see such.  Both these images show that the bottle is basically rectangular in shape with widely beveled and inwardly curved corners.  This is a shape indicative of the earlier, pontiled and non-pontiled (like this example) extract bottles used in the United States from the 1850s to possibly early 1880s (empirical observations).

The bottle is just under 5" tall and has a tooled one part finish which is somewhere between the "bead" and "prescription" style.   It also has the ring on the neck which was typical of extract bottles and was referred to as a "ball neck" instead of a ring.  Click close-up of the neck and finish to see such.  As noted in the excerpted paragraph above, it dates from the 1860s to 1870s based on the context it was found which included pontil scarred medicine and hair dye bottles.  Even though quite likely used by a Western concern, the bottle was likely blown in the East if the dating I noted is correct as it would have possibly pre-dated the first glass company in the West.  This is all based on speculation and circumstantial evidence but I think certainly possible.  The bottle itself is in essentially perfect condition with just a few virtually invisible wisps of water staining on the inside.  Interesting and quitet scarce extract bottle!  $25



Miscellaneous Collectibles


Rarely seen, oval J. H. CUTTER WHISKY tray!  This is one of those items that I don't really collect but ended up with it many years ago as part of a trade for an Oregon bottle.  It is a metal serving or advertizing tray which measures 16.5" top to bottom and 13.75" at the widest side to side.  The center is dominated by a sailing vessel (see next paragraph) which has MOORMAN on the bow as the boats name.  Cool! (Click on the images to the right for a closer look at the details.)  The narrow banner coming off the upper main mast has C. P. MOORMAN & CO.  To quote John Thomas's Whiskey Bottles of the Old West - "Charles P. Moorman was a partner of John H. Cutter in the manufacture of Cutter whiskey in Louisville, Kentucky and the only person besides John Cutter (who) knew the secret of distilling J. H. Cutter whiskey"  (Thomas 2002). 

Side note:  Having served in the U.S. Coast Guard 50 years ago (where did the time go?) I am aware that their largest ships were referred to as "Cutters" - I having spent 2 or my 4 years on the U. S. Coast Guard Cutter Winona.  It was, of course, diesel powered with no sails...though not likely faster that that sailing "cutter" if the wind was up!  A search online finds that the illustrated ship is indeed a single masted "cutter" style sailboat and that the name is also used to refer to a vessel used by a  "governmental enforcement agency" - like the USCG.  Click the following link to a Wikipedia article on the subject:  cutter discussion.  So the illustrated ship fits the brand name perfectly!  But I diverge... 

The sail also has the words OLD / CUTTER / WHISKIES.  Within the inset portion of the tray is an upwards arching J. H. CUTTER  above the "cutter" and WHISKY (without the "e") below.  Below that is a hard to see (due to the black lettering riding the dark waves) C. P. MOORMAN & Co. LOUISVILLE, KY.  This can be seen in a close-up of the lower part of the tray at the following link: lower tray close-up.  Arching upwards on the reddish tray rim at the top are the words FROM SUNRISE 'TILL SUNRISE" with the rest of that thought  located downward arched at the bottom of the tray rim - GLADDENS THE INNER MAN".  I'll bet that was true since the empty Cutter whiskey bottles certainly have gladdened me for decades!  Click upper tray close-up to see that half of the tray.  Both middle edge sides of the tray also have the monogram with the entwined letters C. P. M. Co. for C. P. MOORMAN & Co.  Click close-up of the right side monogram to see such.

J. H. Cutter whisky must have been good stuff as the product was wildly popular in the West and likely the rest of the country also.  As the noted John Thomas book outline, there were many different bottles made for selling the product - and that book only covered the earlier examples, i.e., the "glob top" cylinders and flasks.  The brand seems to have disappeared with National Prohibition like so many brands did, though there is a company in California producing a whiskey with that old name in recent years having purchased a bottle at Costco a couple years ago.  Not bad stuff!

As the images show, the tray isn't in perfect unused condition as it was certainly used to serve patrons of some late 19th to early 20th century saloon somewhere in the West where this was found.  That is used until National Prohibition made the world much less fun from the mid-1910s in some Western States (like Oregon) to complete nationwide prohibition in 1920.  The tray shows many small spots of rust which are likely wear points from the tray distributing beer and whiskey...with the sloshing of those products helping the rust along with the tray likely being washed hundreds of times.  The back of the tray is painted black with a similar scattered density; click back view to see such.  Overall the tray is completely and easily readable and 95%+ of the graphics quite decent.  Not sure what a more perfect example would sell for by I've priced this one at what I think is a reasonable price given it's iconic name, brand and cool graphics.  $295


Colorful German made Penney Brothers Family Liquor Store Portland, Oregon advertising plate - In the early 1900s, with the Temperance Movement gaining ever increasing clout with the American Public, those that sold or distributed spirits (or beer) were vilified by an ever increasing percentage of the public who agreed with the "Prohibitionists."  They contended - not without some validity - that the products available from or in bars, saloons, breweries and liquor stores were a curse on society and needed to be abolished.  It was particularly hard on the families at home when dad was hanging with the guys at the local saloon spending his hard earned dollars on the "demon rum."  I remember from reading it somewhere that it - National Prohibition - really only reduced alcohol consumptions by about half as people found ways to get their drinks one way or another including by prescription from doctors. 

One of the ways that liquor stores attempted to legitimize or maintain their existence was to rename their stores adding "family" to the name.  In the case of this advertising plate, such is noted in the banner below the second story windows which reads KENTUCKY WHISKIES, PENNEY BROS. FAMILY LIQUORS.  Click on the image to the right to view a larger version of the image.  There were many "family liquor stores" in Oregon (most in the Portland area) including Gulley's Family Liquor Store (FLS), Kelley's FLS, Kline Brothers FLSDoane & Ruhnke FLS, Carlson Brothers Wholesale FLS (Astoria, OR.) and others including Penney Brothers...and that list just includes those that used business name embossed bottles at some point during the first decade and a half of the 20th century!

John Thomas noted in his wonderful 1998 book "Whiskey Bottles and Liquor Containers from The State of Oregon" that Penney Brothers  bottled their liquor in at least two sizes (pint and half pint) of "Eagle" style flasks. Both are embossed in a plate mold the same as follows:  PENNEY BROS. / FAMILY / LIQUOR HOUSE / 379-381 / E. MORRISON ST. /PORTLAND, ORE.  View his write-up at the following links: image 1, image 2.  The wholesale side of the business was at 379 Morrison St. (probably the left door) and the retail side at 381.  Both sizes of flasks are not often seen; I've never had an example.  As with all liquor companies in Oregon it went out of business when Oregon banned liquor (and beer) in 1915 - five years before National Prohibition went into effect.

The plate has great detail of the two address number (like embossed on the flask) building that housed the business. With a magnifying glass one can see that there are popular whiskey brands noted above the windows of the wholesale (left side) - OLD CROW, I. W. HARPER, and HERMITAGE.  The right retail side windows have WHISKIES,  FAMILY (and something not readable), FAMILY LIQUORS and WINES.  The windows show little bottles lined up on rows of shelves.  There is also a sign to the left of the left 2nd story window that says HOTEL then an unreadable name which may be MORRIS (connected somehow to Morrison street?). In short, the detail included in the graphics is amazing.  Below the nice color graphics is the lettering PENNEY BROS, PORTLAND ORE, EAST 287-PHONES-B 2426.  I'm not sure what the last half of that lettering means.  The address is in what was the city of East Portland prior to being incorporated into Portland proper in the 1890s I believe.  Thus the "EAST"?  The 287 is not noted by Thomas as their address at any time but the PHONES-B 2426 must be a period style phone number?  An intriguing mystery there!

This plate is in wonderful condition being about a 110 years old.  It is just under 7" in diameter and the only wear is a bit on the tips of some of the rick-rack points on the outside edge of the plate.  The reverse has a small marking indicating it was made in Germany like so many late 19th and early 20th century decorative or advertising plate were made.  Click on the following link - back view of the plate - to see the reverse side.   Click close-up of the Made in Germany marking to see such.  Great addition to an Oregon bottle collection and to go along with your Penny Bros flask if you have one.  $50


English made "hat whimsy" made in the bottom half of a three-piece ale bottle mold - This is one of many interesting bottle related "oddities" I've accumulated over my many years of bottle collecting.  Hats blown with the assistance of a bottle mold were a fairly commonly performed task during the mouth-blown bottle era. I've seen all kinds of interesting items through the years made from molds designed for an array of different bottles but altered by the glass blower into whimsical items for their own personal satisfaction or sale. 

For example, the molds for various early American (pre-Civil War) geometric ink bottles were often used to initially form the shape and surface design of small hats with the brim of hat being hand formed with some type of tool.  (Click geometric ink bottle to view such a bottle not made into a hat.)  Those type of molded "hats" were commonly made for sale by the glass company I believe.  I've never seen a "hat" - as collectors call these - made from a English ale bottle mold...but here is an example.

This unusual but large "hat" example was made with the lower portion of a larger three-piece mold ale bottle mold (upwards of a quart) leaving the top two pieces open. (It is also possible that the upper two halves were removable.) The lower portion of a typical three-piece mold does not have any vertical mold seams since it was one solid piece.  The body of this very large "hat" indeed has no mold seams in evidence.  To see what a three-piece mold would look like, click on three-piece mold illustration to see such on my educational Historic Glass Bottle ID & Information Website.

Click view of the hat with a ruler to view such showing that the hat is about 6" tall whereas the entire mold would have produced an ale bottle that would have been around 11" tall.  Click hat and large ale bottle side by side to view such showing what the style of bottle which the complete mold would have produced; the pictured bottle is 11.5" tall.  (Note: The larger comparison bottle is almost certainly English made but probably produced 30 or more years prior to the hat.  It does, however, make for a decent comparison as the same style in large and smaller sizes were made into the early 1900s.)   Both the hat and the large ale bottle have the same 2.9" diameter at the base which must have been a standard for that sizse of ale bottle blown by English glass works.

And to round out the history behind this bottle molded hat, the base has the embossed makers marking C. S &  Co LD.  That is the makers marking for Cannington, Shaw & Co. of St. Helens, Lancashire, England who used that particular marking from 1892 to 1913.  Click Cannington Shaw & Co article to view the extensive article on my other website on this particular English glassmaker.  The base also has the number 1351 which is a mold tracking or catalog number of meaning only to the glass company.

Isn't that some interesting history?  The "hat" glass is a nice medium olive amber with a bit more green than amber to my eye.  It is in perfect condition with no issues whatsoever which is not surprising since it was made to be retained and used for decorative purposes, hold pencils, cut flowers or whatever the owner wished to use it for.  I suspect it is likely a whimsy made by a gaffer (blower) at Cannington, Shaw, & Co. as a gift or for some now unknown utilitarian use.  Cool item!  $125


DR. MORSE'S INDIAN ROOT PILLS advertising Confederate Currency - Here is another medicine go-with 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 item for the famous patent medicine in the late 1800s I would estimate.  Of course the back of the bill is not like was printed up for the Confederate nation.  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..." (wouldn't want to get to "giddy" with a headache).  This advertisement is a good replica of a Confederate bank note from a few decades earlier 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


MICHAEL J. OWENS GLASS COMMEMORATIVE BUST - Here is a great "go-with" for a bottle collection which was procured long ago to illustrate on my other educational Historic Glass Bottle ID & Information Website.  This was produced a few years after the death of Owens in December 1923.  Click HERE to view an image of Mr. Owens removing and inspecting a beer bottle from one of his early automatic machines.  Click the following link to see the video clip from which that still image was apparently taken.  The video is on my noted educational website and was provided to me by a now retired engineer who worked decades for the Owens-Illinois Glass Company in Alton, IL.   (The clip may need to be downloaded to play on your computer.)

Film clip of an early Owens Automatic Bottle Machine in operation.

This glass bust is embossed around the lower edge near the base with 1859 M. J. OWENS 1923.  A bit of history about these is found at the following link on the National Depression Glass Assn. website  -  http://www.ndga.net/rainbow/1976/76rrg09c.php  These were produced by the Owens Bottle Co. at their Heisey Plant in Newark, Ohio in 1927, a few years after Owens death.  They were made using a "pressed glass" method - a process invented in the 1830s and used...well, likely used in some modern form today to make non-bottle glassware.  Mr. Owens "Owens Automatic Bottle Machine" was a blow-and-blow type machine that used a two mold process for forming a bottle.  Take a look at the film clip; it is fascinating!

As noted, these are a pressed glass item which was frosted to give it a nice appearance.  It is a bit under 5" tall and about 5" wide at the base.  This example is essentially perfect with no post production issues besides a small, extremely shallow flake on the base resting surface which was a function of the base being ground smooth (like a mouth-blown canning jar).  It barely shows as a pin prick reflection to the upper right of the base in the base photo at the following link - Base View.  Great historic item which are quite hard to find.  $50


Oregon Centennial Beam Bottle - Yes, this isn't near as old as the other bottles on this website. 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 62 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.)


ONIZED CLUB playing cards 1943-44 - Here is an interesting glass maker "go-with" for bottle collectors.  Alton, IL. was the main office and factory for the relatively "new" (at that time) Owens-Illinois Glass Co.  The company was formed from an assortment of different, previously independent glass companies during the first few decades of the 20th century, consummating in 1929 into the Owens-Illinois Glass Co. which is still in business today and probably still the biggest producer of bottles in the US.  For more information on the company see the two part article on the company on my educational Historic Glass Bottle ID & Information website https://sha.org/bottle/pdffiles/OwensIllinois2018Part1.pdf and https://sha.org/bottle/pdffiles/OwensIllinois2018Part2.pdf

In the early 1930s (1933 I guess) the company and its employees formed the Alton Onized Club.  Lots of pins and other knick-knacks were made for various events and occasions over the years including the 10th anniversary of the club itself in 1943.  These playing cards were made for that occasion and the backs read "The Symbol of Co-Operative Friendship ALTON ONIZED CLUB (O-I in superimposed on the old flattened diamond shape which was inherited from the Illinois Glass Co) 1943-44 10th Anniversary." There is two decks of what look to be unused cards since they are stiff, unbent and unsoiled looking.  Both decks have all their 52 regular cards (ace through king) and a 53rd advertising card for the company that produced the cards Duratone Playing Cards.  Click HERE to see that advertisement card on top of the rest of the cards.  The tan colored deck does not have any jokers, the blue deck has one...so I guess not totally complete. 

The condition of the box of cards it pretty good with some wear here and there but nothing too bad.  See the other images of the box of cards as follows:  box with the cover lid upback of the box.  The top "lid" part of the box is padded and has a white and green speckled look (shows behind the lower part in the image to the right).  A quick check of eBay found no equivalents to this box of cards but lots of other club mementos; looks like one could make quite a collection out of such souvenirs.  As a bonus, I'll throw in a metal ONIZED club pin!  For scale, it is about 1.5" left to right.  Click HERE to see an image of it.  $15


CALIFORNIA Insulator - That is embossed boldly (first image) on the lower part of this interesting insulator.  I admit that I know very little about insulators except that they are big hunks of glass (usually) and highly collectible.  This is one of only a couple that I've had for years and I have no idea how I ended up with it.  I have only one other insulator - the very popular (with collectors), pony style, and deep blue aqua E.C. & M. S.F. which was used on telegraph lines in the West (and BC) in the 1870s to early 1880s I believe.  The history is what attracted me to that one since it was made by some San Francisco glass company of that period.

A quick check of the internet and David Whitten's great website on bottle and insulator makers indicates these were produced in Long Beach, CA. by the California Glass Insulator Co. (and subsequently renamed California Glass Works) whom operated for a short time from 1912-1916.   See the following link for a bit more information:   https://glassbottlemarks.com/california-glass-insulator-company   They made an assortment of different insulators in an assortment of colors including many shades of purple/amethyst like this example.

The offered insulator weighs about 1.25 lbs, has the period typical threading on the inside (click base view to see such), is a smoky amethyst glass (a really great color in bottles! possibly sun colored?) and is pretty near perfect shape for an insulator in my limited experience.  The skirted base is about perfect with only some minor roughness at the mold seam line - likely manufacturing related.  There is two "dings" on the back side which show in the second back view image.  Click close-up with dings pointed out to see such closer.  Otherwise the insulator has no staining, noticeable scratching or other issues.  Nice!  $25



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