Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A recent dig

Here is a case gin bottle just out of the ground.  It struck me immediately as western, and has a more yellow green tone then the pictures show.  It is not embossed, has a flash in the lip, but it sure is one good looking bottle!

I haven't seen a lot of these and I'm wondering if anyone can tell me anything about it or the mold variant.  I didn't keep it in the pic so this is all I have picture wise.  No measurements.  The base has a circular concave push up about a half an inch deep with center dot.

Although a different age, (a little older that is), here is another interesting case bottle that was dug close by...

 Happy digging everyone, good luck out there!

Monday, February 23, 2015

From Bruce Silva over at Western Whiskey Gazette

A word to the wise.
Not everyone's interpretation of the English language is the same. Take the word "FAIR" for instance.

We get a pretty constant stream of emails from collectors and non-collectors in the WWG inbox every week. Most from non-collectors are the typical "I got such and such bottle - how much is it worth?" Most of the novices out there could care less about the history of a bottle, they just want to know if they can make a buck on it. And most of the inquiries are answered with "since it has Federal Law Forbids Sale or Reuse of This Bottle, there's little to no demand at this time", it's pretty cut and dry.

Once in a while though, one really takes the cake. We got an email a while back from an old guy. Years ago, he'd picked a AAA flask up out of the sage brush while hunting.  He was trying to find a value online. The WWG popped up in his search, and he contacted us, hoping that he'd get an unbiased opinion. He asked what his AAA OldValley flask was worth. It was mint, crude, and a very good example. He wasn't interested in selling it but wanted it's value for estate purposes. I gave him the history about the bottle and provided the figures quoted in Thomas, as well as what they'd been selling for recently at shows.

He also told me that a Craigslist ad also appeared in his online search from someone wanting to buy old bottles. What caught his eye was the photo of a clear flask embossed AAA in the ad. It read; "I will buy your antique bottles for cash - $100 (norcal)". He sent me a link to the ad. 


I pulled up the ad that he'd mentioned. It had pictures of a few bottles that popped up in the main window when you clicked on them. One line in the ad caught my interest. " Fair prices, quick response." I wondered, what exactly is a FAIR price? And what would this person base his idea of a fair price on?

And so, we shot him off an inquiry. It read; "Hi. I saw your wanted ad on craigslist. I've got an old bottle (the Rosedale OK in the photo) that says the same thing as the purple one on the right side of your pictures.

Only its brown instead of purple. It is clean and shiny and there's no cracks or chips. I'm sending along a picture of it. What can you tell me about it?"

His response was somewhat generic; "Your bottle is a bit different, but from the same distributors. The one you have is scarcer than the one I have in my ad. It is from San Francisco , probably 1890's or so. Very nice bottle. I would like to buy it, if you are interested. Let me know."

We replied " Thank you for the information. If I were to think about selling it, what do you think that it would be worth?"

This is his reply; "I would pay you $200 for it.

Keep in mind that Thomas quotes a mid book figure of $2000.00. My experience with this bottle is in line with Johns.

We opted not to reply. Sure enough, along comes another email from "SAM". "Any interest? Counteroffer?

When questioned about his offer, and why he asked for a counter, he replied in part, "Well, a couple hundred dollars, ... , is considered quite good in the bottle world. Very few are worth much more and they are very scarce. Also, condition and color are everything in glass and bottles are no exception. The whiskey bottle, if absolutely perfect, with little or no surface scratches would be worth more.

Fair?       Really?
Your thoughts?

(Feel free to comment - In fact we encourage it. All you've got to do is click on "comments" below)

Monday, February 16, 2015

Another Amazing Find

Just received this picture of a recently found cache of bottles by some mystery digger.
I don't have any information on the dig or the digger but thought I would share the picture
Best dig of western fifths in quite a while......WOW!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Fresh Out of the Ground

The early variant Circle Cutter with the plain reverse - appears to be near mint with no issues

Added a couple of close up pictures of the Circle Cutter after washing

Close up picture of the Circle Cutter applied top after washed with just soap and water

Look at that bold embossing and old amber color!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Steve Bird Passes

I was very sorry to hear of the passing of Steve Bird. Steve attended quite a few of the western bottle shows and I got to know Steve and his passion for collecting antique bottles. Steve always took the time to sit at my sales table and visit with me when he attended a show that I was selling at.

Steve Bird on right with brother in law Jerry Forbes
Steve collected antique bottles, antique firearms and anything old, that struck his fancy, and had some sort of history to it. Steve was a wounded Vietnam veteran that sacrificed a lot for his country.
I was proud to have known him and may he rest in peace - rs -

Another Western Star?

While I was checking out the various bottle related sites this morning I ran across this image on the Utah Antique Bottle Cliché. Sure looks like the western star that you see on some of the early western blown fifths.

This particular star graces the base of the Baja California Damiana Bitters bottle.
It appears that the Damiana Bitters was a hot property as several firms were selling the product. Naber, Alfs and Brune, Fleckenstein and Mayer, Winger and Shearer and possibly several other businesses were capitalizing on the popularity of this concoction of herbs from Lower California.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Long Neck Jakes

Here is a couple of Long Necks

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A Few More Jamaica Ginger's

For some reason, I have been lucky enough to dig or acquire some pretty Jamaica Gingers. This product must have been pretty popular as they seem to be in most earlier holes I dig. Here are some of my favorites...

A crude and deep colored McMillan & Kester, A second variant Mc Millan & Kester, a blue "W", a super bubbly, and green J.A. Folger, and a long necked E.Frese.

From the Marysville Daily Appeal February 2, 1860
That's all I have on E. Freese - rs -

Dr Barnes Ess. of Jamaica Ginger

The picture of the Dr. Barnes R. Hall Jamaica Ginger in the previous post got me to thinking about Jamaica Ginger bottles again. I fumbled through my "Jake" box to see if I had an example of the R. Hall variant. First out popped a.........

 Dr. Barnes Ess Jamaica Ginger J.R. Gates Proprietors
Next bottle out of the box was a ..........
Dr. Barnes Ess  Jamaica Ginger Shepardson & Gates Proprietors
and then a.........
Hall's Ess. of Jamaica Ginger
Darn there wasn't a R. Hall & Co. variant
Guess I will be looking for one at the next western bottle show - rs -

Monday, February 2, 2015