A Brief History Of Antique Bottles
The history of glass blowing can be traced back to the 1st century BCE in modern-day Syria. There, ancient craftsmen from the areas of Sidon, Hama, Aleppo, and Palmyra figured out how to heat up sand and blow it into various types of bowls and bottles that could be used both as everyday cooking and storage tools and as luxury items.
Pretty soon, these Syrian craftsmen started exporting their blown glass creations throughout the Roman Empire and the practice of glass blowing also spread soon after.
Are Old Whiskey Bottles Worth Anything
A valuable item does not need to be old and rare. You should value an item according to what others will pay for it and how much you can collect. As opposed to wine, whiskey doesnt age or get better with time. It is still possible to taste whiskeys from decades ago the same way they taste now.
Rare Antique Butte Montana Milk Depot Tin Top Bim Bottle Chicago Creamery Co
It is a rare piece because it contains two brands embossed on its surface. The first and main one is for the company that produces both the bottle and the milk.m which is Chicago creamery. At the same time, the other brand is for a depot. The bottle is a hand-blown piece that dates back to the 1800s.
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A Deeper Look At Bottles Condition
As mentioned above, condition is a major factor in determining the value of an antique bottle.
But the glass itself isnt the only thing to look for in a bottle. The condition of the label, closure, and contents can also affect its value.
The label is important because it can help you identify the bottle and learn about its history. A damage label decreases the value of a bottle, so look for one thats in good condition. This is easily the frailest part of any antique bottle, finding one with an intact label is quite challenging.
The closure is another thing to consider when evaluating a bottle. The most common closure for antique bottles is a cork, but you might also find ones with metal screw caps or glass stoppers.
As a general rule, the older the closure, the more valuable the bottle is. This is because closures were often replaced when a bottle was reused. So a bottle with its original cork is more valuable than one with a replacement.
Finally, you need to consider the contents of the bottle. As you can expect, an empty bottle is worth less than one thats full.
Fun fact: Whiskey thats 100 or even 200 years old is still drinkable, provided it was properly stored. If you find one thats been kept sealed, its most likely kept its flavor intact. If its been opened and then not properly sealed, itll probably taste funny. But its still drinkable.
Antique French Glass Milk Bottle With Brown Decoration
Unlike the previous sets of American or British milk glass bottles, this one is from a French dairy known as ferme dis auberpines. The design on this piece consists of the brands name, along with slogans written in French. And an image of the cow on a farm, all Etched in the color brown or purple.
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Determining The Jim Beam Collector Bottles Worth
When determining the value of the Jim Beam collector bottle, you must check its condition. Collector bottles with missing labels or parts, or cracked and broken, wont likely be as valuable as those in pristine condition.
All Jim Beam bottles also come in a box or case, so consider yourself lucky if you could score one that still has its box fully intact.
That said, its not like bottles with missing parts or boxes arent valuable some people are still likely to get them, especially if they want to complete their collection.
Evaluating An Antique Liquor Bottle
Now that you know how to identify an antique liquor bottle, its time to learn how to evaluate it. This is important because not all antique bottles are created equal.
There are a few factors you need to consider when evaluating an antique bottle:
There are a few other factors that can affect the value of an antique bottle, but these are the most important ones to consider.
As far as prices go, you can expect to pay anything from $60 for a common, mass-produced bottle in good condition to $20,000 for a rare, hand-blown bottle in pristine condition.
Of course, there are always exceptions to these rules. The most important thing is to buy what you like. After all, youre the one who has to live with it!
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Go To An Antique Shop
If your old collectible bottles are indeed valuable and have resale value, the store will happily take them off your hands and give you a decent price for them. The main benefit here is the ease of the whole process you can literally just search online for the closest antique shop to your home and drive the bottles there.
There are a couple of drawbacks too, however, such as the fact that the antique shop may decide that they cant resell your bottles and that they wont give you the best possible price . Still, the ease of this method is understandably tempting for a lot of people.
Most Valuable Antique Bottles: Value And Price Guide
Since the 1970s, the popularity of collecting antique bottles has been growing at a very rapid rate. The resurgence of antique bottle collecting is due to numerous factors however, a major contributing factor is the increasing popularity of online auctions.
Whats more, antique bottles stand on their own as attractive handmade objects, and on the oldest pieces especially those made before 1900 no two pieces are alike. Bottle collecting, however, is not always easy it tends to be complicated to people who do not understand the value of different antique bottles.
The most valuable antique bottle was sold in 2011 at an auction for $250,000. The second most valuable antique bottle was sold on April 14, 2019, for $108,000.
Yet another extremely valuable antique bottle was sold on November 21, 2019, at $84,000. Collectors interested in more affordable yet valuable antique bottles often spend between $1,000 and $15,000.
In this detailed guide, we will take a deeper look at the most valuable antique bottles. Whats more, we will help you understand the price for each of these bottles.
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Identifying An Antique Liquor Bottle
The first step in collecting antique bottles is being able to identify one. This can be difficult because there are so many different types of liquor bottles, and not all of them are considered antique.
To make things simpler, we can break liquor bottles down into two categories: mass-produced and hand-blown.
- Mass-produced bottles are easier to identify because they will have a seam that runs up the side of the bottle. This is where the two pieces of glass were joined together during production.
- Hand-blown bottles will not have this seam because they were made by artisans who blew the glass by hand.
Another way to tell if a bottle is mass-produced or hand-blown is by looking at its bottom. Mass-produced bottles will have a smooth, even bottom, while hand-blown bottles will have an irregular bottom with a pontil mark.
The pontil mark is a small scar on the bottom of the bottle where it was attached to the blowpipe during production. This mark is usually round or oval-shaped and can be either smooth or rough.
Once youve determined whether the bottle is mass-produced or hand-blown, you can start to narrow down its age.
Mass-produced bottles were first introduced in the early 1800s, so any bottle with a seam is likely to be from this time period or later.
Hand-blown bottles, on the other hand, were produced until the early 1900s. After that, most bottles were mass-produced.
Dr J Cornwall Brewing Co National Beer Bottle
The second most widely famous high-value bottle is notably multiple times less expensive than the first entry its the Dr. J. Cornwall Brewing C. National Beer Bottle. Though, its worth noting that this is just a single bottle compared to the two above. Still, at $420, this remains a very valuable antique due to its rarity and brewery.
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Online Resources On Bottle Antique Bottles
Its impossible to think of anything without requiring the touch of the internet. And free resources can help you in narrowing down the field at once. There are some nice websites to cover antique bottle identification/valuation with precise information.
Antique Bottles: It explicitly deals with antique glass bottles for manufacturer information. Excellent info on identifying marks, pricing & pictorial depiction comes in the site. And the markings on the bottom cover distinctive pontil & production symbols.
Bottle Book: There are good picture collections on machine marks, mold lines & pontil marks. It covers type, manufacturer & age for evaluating the market value. In total, the resources can definitely enlighten your pricing skills on antique bottles.
Collectors Weekly: A great online source to shape your knowledge on antique bottles. There are several points on essential considerations for precise purchase. and you should look into the interviews as well as photos to match the details at once.
More bottle Marks: It contains a deliberate table of marks to confirm the bottles antiquity. The marks from different manufacturers should check the bottom part. But only the common ones to deal with old bottles made the list, skipping minor ones.
Pictures & videos are definitely louder than words, regardless of the context. Its the same with antique bottles on proper pricing for purchase/sale.
How To Identify Old Bottles
You found an old bottle with no label or no embossing? No problem. Understanding how to identify bottles through trademark identification is the answer to your question.
A common 1880-1890 whiskey bottle with no label or embossing can be identified by its trademark on the bottom of the bottle.
When selling at Bottle and Collectibles shows, the most asked questions are: What makes a bottle old? and What makes a bottle valuable? But, the question that usually leads to a discussion about the importance of trademark identification is: How can I identify a bottle when it has no label or embossing?
While bottle collectors rely on certain factors to determine age and value, such as condition, color and rarity, in addition to mold types, seam lines, and pontil marks, trademarks are often overlooked. Trademarks can provide the collector with additional valuable information toward determining history, age and value of the bottle, and provide the collector a deeper knowledge of the glass companies that manufactured these bottles. I have been collecting bottles for nearly 50 years and on many occasions, trademarks have been a big factor toward unlocking the mysteries of the past.
The bottom of a common whiskey bottle shows it was manufactured in San Francisco, as shown by the SF & PGW trademark.
Union-Clasped Hands-Eagle With Banner whiskey flask, 1860-1870.
Overbrooks Premium Old Fashioned Egg Nog , 1945. Trademark B Brockway Glass Company, 1933-1988.
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Why You Should Never Sell Your Empty Vintage Bottles
Trust is critical in buying secondhand, Walpole says, so he has a small, close-knit network of folks hell go to when he is looking for a specific bottle.
“I really want to know where this bottle came from,” he says, “and who had it before or how they procured it.”
Here’s why: there are people in this world who will take old bottles and refill them with new whiskey and pass them off as the real deal.
So, “the worst thing you can do with your old bottles is sell them on eBay,” Walpole says. If you must, he adds, its recommended that you drill a hole in the bottle so it can’t be filled, or scratch the label to prevent that kind of underhanded deals.”
The Macallan 1926 Michael Dillon $153 Million
You might have noticed that the most expensive whiskeys are evolving into a theme. After a month, a November London auction has set a new world record for the most costly whiskey with The Macallan 1926 collection.
The design on this bottle was hand-painted by well-known Irish artist Michael Dillon who is known for his historical decorations. It is true that there is only one bottle like this in the world. This was regarded as one of the whiskeys landmarks.
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S Dykes Dairy Youngsville
Unlike most previous bottles on this list, this one is a slightly larger option than the one quart. You can also tell from its wider mouth, sealed via a wide cardboard cap and a metal bail at the bottleneck.
Its condition is pristine. There are no cracks, signs of scuffing, or apparent damage on the Etched label.
Is It Whisky Or Whiskey
You may have wondered why some brands use the word whiskey without the letter E.
Both spellings are accepted depending on the region theyre from. In the United States and Ireland, whiskey with an E is preferred.
In other countries, including Scotland, Canada, and Japan, whisky without the E is the norm.
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Where To Sell Rare Antique Milk Bottles
- An increase in your chances of getting a customer
- It is affordable to sell with
- Convenient to use.
However, it comes with its flaws. Such as lack of assistance with valuing your antique glass milk bottle piece, as youd enjoy selling via an auction. A pricing dispute is also likely to occur. And as a buyer, you cant physically examine your milk bottle before making a purchase.
Apart from peer-to-peer online marketplaces, you can take advantage of your physical stores and marketplaces such as estate sales, auctioneers, garage sales, and your local antique store.
Determine What Type Of Bottle Youve Got
There are three broad categories of antique bottles youd want to look into:
- Clear glass bottles they had limited circulation at the end of the 19th century but became more popular later on. This means that mid-19th century clear glass bottles can be highly valuable today but newer ones are less rare and therefore less valuable.
- Colored glass bottles due to automation, many glass colors simply arent in use anymore. This means that some colorful antique bottles are exceptionally rare and highly valued by collectors. Some of the colors you can see in older bottles include amethyst, cobalt, amber, aqua, olive greens, various non-olive greens, black, milk glass, purple, red, and others.
- Embossed bottles many antique glass bottles will have embossing somewhere on the bottle of the bottle or along its body. This embossing can be used to prove the age of the bottle but its also a very highly-valued perk in and of itself. Both it and the makers marks are often located in the front or at the base of the bottle too.
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Price Guide For Rare & Allocated Bottles
This is the third year that weve brought you our much renowned Bourbon Brown Book. The feedback that weve received from our readers over the years is that this guide not only helped people understand the current market trends and prices, but to also refresh their memories on all of the rare releases over the past year so you can go back and try to find them if you missed them.
If 2020s secondary bottle market saw prices explode, then 2021s secondary market have seen them go supernova. While many would argue that secondary price increases dont look like theyll ever slow down, there are some indicators that hint were approaching some sort ofceiling.
How To Care For Jim Beam Decanters
Fill the insides with hot water and mild soap and shake them up to form a rich lather. This lather helps clean places and angels where your hands cant touch.
For the outside, get a soft washcloth and gently clean to get rid of stains, be careful not to wash too hard as the paints may come off.
Rinse with warm water after washing and leave to air dry. Keep out of reach of children to avoid breakage. Remember, you need the parts intact to get the most out of your antique decanters.
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Additional Identifying Points For Valuation
Theres no way to skip the aforementioned points to confront genuine antique bottles. Still, extra details often make the final call to decide the actual value. And professionals to deal with antiques pointed out specific minor info.