Auction # 100 The Curt Paget CollectionWhen I first saw the advertisement for the collection of Marysville dug bottles I was pretty excited to see what all was going to be auctioned. Like most all of the early collectors I had read about the Marysville digs that were taking place during the downtown renovation project.
When my auction catalog arrived I poured over the first 54 lots (the items from the Paget collection) hoping to find something to add to my collection of early western distributed bottles. To my surprise every time I saw something of interest it has some sort of problem.
Now I'm not a real picky collector and do have some bottles with in-making issues and post manufacture damage but those bottles were dug by me and I can live with them because I un-earthed them.
Now - paying hard earned money for damaged bottles that someone else dug just doesn't float my boat. The more I looked at the 54 auction items that were up for bid I saw a recurring theme...problems with condition of the auction items.
1. “OLD BOURBON / CASTLE / WHISKEY / F. CHEVALIER & CO. SOLE AGENTS”, (Thomas #8), California, ca. 1875 - 1880, yellowish olive amber pint, 7 5/8”h, smooth base, applied single collar mouth. A 4” long vertical crack stemming from a potstone follows the mold seam from the corner of the base up into the body. Very rare, and one of the most desirable of all California whiskey flasks. Fortunately due to the location of the crack the flask display’s as in perfect condition.
The above Lot #1 has a 4" long crack that, according to the auction description "follows the mold seam" and "display's as in perfect condition. It would be more accurate to describe this crack as runs alongside of the mold seam and can be seen to the left of the embossing when displayed.
As I went through the catalog I started to keep track of the condition and description of the auction lots. Some of the descriptions were, to say the least, creative.
"about perfect (in the right light a very faint ‘rainbow’ type flash can be seen in the applied mouth."
"about perfect (a very tiny bruise is on the side of the lip)."
"Some minor wear and ground lines exists but no damage, otherwise in perfect condition"
The overall count of the condition of auction items 1 through 54 included:
9- damaged bottles
13- with some kind of stain or haze
5- with wear, ground wear or "the usual tiny ground imperfections"
1- repaired bottle
and 6 bottles that did not receive bids.
A little math concluded that of the 54 lots for auction a whopping 52% of the items had some sort of issue with condition.
I sure hope this is not the future of what we have to look forward to in upcoming auctions
- rs -
21. “LONDON / JOCKEY - CLUB HOUSE / GIN” - (Jockey on a race horse), (Denzin, LON-12), American, ca. 1850 - 1860, deep grass green, 9 3/4”h, iron pontil, applied tapered collar mouth. lightly cleaned to perfect condition, and having a number of attractive glass swirls throughout.