Tuesday, May 31, 2011

2 Western Blown Eastern Jakes

Here is a couple of Jakes, Blown in the West for the Eastern concern?

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Well, someone had to be the first to unearth a good bottle. This is my first good find of the year. (Damn Weather!) Two weeks fresh out of the ground from Roseville, Cal. A clear applied top whiskey embossed, Kohlberg & Cavagnaro wholesale liquors Stockton, Cal. .....Who's the next lucky guy. Happy Hunting!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Those great 1860s!

I have been out digging every week since late Winter. Other than a few less than noteworthy bottles, and dozens of even less noteworthy vessels recovered, it has been very slow in the "finding" department. I have not really heard of anything significant being found as of yet by my normal circle of friends...maybe this week is the week.

When I am feeling like the "bottle loser" which is fairly often, it is nice to sit in my office and admire the beauty of the western glass that means so much to me. Do any of you do that too?

Here are four beauties which were all made about the same time...late 1860s. What a fantastic time for San Francisco artisians to create such incredible works of art! To think of the odds of these bitters being blown, handled, packaged, shipped, filled, shipped again by wagon or mule, consumed, discarded, and dug up 130 + years later! It is amazing that they survived at all, let alone being gathered up by someone who sold them back to the glassworks to be crushed up and beginning the cycle again.

I am heading out again in a few days to dig a hole I probed last week...the quest continues.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Charles Langley

Alfred, James, and Charles Langley were born in Staffordshire, England in the first quarter of the 19th Century and in 1849 followed the world to California in search of gold. Unlike most adventurers, they were unprepared for gold fever, but - being two chemists and an accountant - they were well equipped to treat fevers of another kind.

By the time the gold rush slowed to a ramble, the two eldest Langley brothers were ready to move on. Leaving Charles in San Francisco, Alfred and James travelled north with the new wave of gold seekers and wasted no time in opening the first wholesale and retail drugstore in the rapidly growing town of Victoria, British Columbia. Charles remained in San Francisco and was married to Helena who birthed one child, Charles Jr, born in 1857.

Following is what I believe to be the timeline of Charles Langley's doings in the wholesale drug business of San Francsico.

1854-1855: Hogg & Langley
1855-1861: C & AJ Langley
1861-1865: C Langley
1865-1869: Langley Crowell & Co
1869-1879: C Langley & Co
1880-Post 1900: Langley & Michaels

Charles Langley died on July 26, 1875 at the age of 51.

Based on the above timeline and Warren's research, we can safely deduce that the clear "C Langley" variant was blown in 1865 only while the aqua variant was blown after 1869 (but no newer than early 1870s based on emprivical analysis).

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Few More 1860s Western Extracts

Here are three of my favorite early extracts. Like most people who dig for bottles, I find them quite frequently. The Smith & Davis was found among open pontiled wines, and medicines. It has a tooled top, but is actually one of Oregon's earliest embossed bottles.It is likely eastern made, and is early 1860s. The Low's is extremely crude, and barely stands up. it is full of champagne bubbles, and was recently dug in a small pit which also contained open pontiled pickles, and utilities.I believe it is western blown, circa 1867. Both of these examples have tooled tops. The Langley's looks similar to Andrew's example, and has the large applied top. I have seen these little extracts in yellow tone to deep canary yellow, shades of light green, and with a purple tint. This is a great way to put together a nice color run without needing a second mortgage.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

San Diego 2011 Antique Bottle & Collectibles Show

Save The Date

San Diego 2011

Antique Bottle & Collectibles Show & Sale

Saturday June 11, 2011

Al Bahr Shrine Temple

DISPLAYS 5440 Kearny Mesa Rd RAFFLES San Diego, CA 92111

Two Floors, 9,000 Sq. Ft. 100+ Tables
Come For The Day, Spend The Weekend
Close To Hotels, Beaches, Sea World & The Zoo

Dealer Set-up 7:30 AM

“Early Bird” 8:00 AM $10.00

General Admission 9:00AM – 3:00 PM $2.00

Kids under 12 free with adult

Mike Bryant Chairman

INFO: Jim Walker (858) 490-9019




Here are some bottles that don't garner much love, but are certainly on the scarce side.  Fresh from a mid to late 1860's privy, these extracts were a pleasant surprise once cleaned.  I am aware of the other western blown extracts such as the Frese and Lows, but I have heard a few others exist. 

Can anyone explain why clear variants of the same bottle blown around the same time usually have tooled tops while the colored versions are applied ???