Washington-Clay portrait flask bings $52,650 at Norman C. Heckler & Co. A historical portrait flask showing strong busts of George Washington and Henry Clay, made circa 1840-60 by Bridgeton Glass Works (N.J.), soared to $52,650 in an auction held by Norman C. Hekler & Co.
bluish cast, a sheared mouth with strong rim and a pontil scar.
Stiegel bottles, always a hit with collectors, were also in the sale. These have long been desired for their beauty and because they date back to pre-Revolutionary War America. These items are beautiful and interesting, high-quality bottles (made by a Baron Von Stiegel, who brought to America an army of skilled German workers while the U.S. while still in its infancy).
One Stiegel bottle that wowed bidders was a relatively scarce, 225-year-old example in the Diamond Daisy pattern that soared to $16,380. The bottle had a marvelously strong mold impression, a pure and crisp amethystine color (that was more vibrant than most examples), and a near-perfect condition. The pattern molded pocket bottle was made circa 1774.
Returning to historical flasks (which dominated the top ten for prices realized), a pair of bottles posted identical selling prices of $30,420. The first was a Washington portrait flask, mde by the Albany Glass Works (N.Y.) circa 1848-1850. The half-pint flask had an extremely rare light golden yellow color, boldly embossed bust of Washington and lettering in great condition.
The other was a Washington-Taylor portrait flask made by the Dyottville Glss Works (Philadelphia, circa 1840-1860). It was a common bottle mold in a most uncommon and quite beautiful medium-to-deep claret color. “The market today is all about color,” Mr. Heckler said. “The condition and mold impression simply add to the attractiveness and desirability of an item.”
Rounding out the list of top lots is another Washington-Taylor portrait flask, made by the same glassworks company at around the same time as the above example. It realized $29,250. The quart flask was ginger ale-colored, with apricot striations. “The wild color striation on an otherwise common bottle became a much coveted lot for its obvious eye candy,” Heckler said.
Norman C. Heckler & Company’s next Internet and catalog auction is slated to go online March 7 and will conclude March 21. The sale will feature a rare and diverse grouping of early glass, bottles, flasks, pottery, antiques and select Americana. The next after that one, with bottles, flasks, pottery and Victorian Art Glass, will go online May 16 and end on May 30.
Norman C. Heckler & Company was founded in 1987 as a full-service auction and appraisal firm. Today it is the foremost auction house for antique glass. In October 2010, the firm set a record for an antique glass bottle at auction when a General Jackson eagle portrait flask sold for $176,670. In addition to glass Heckler’s also offers early American antique objects.
Norman C. Heckler & Company is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To inquire about consigning a single piece or an entire collection, you may call them at (860) 974-1634; or, you can e-mail them at email@example.com. To learn more about the company’s upcoming calendar of auction events, please log on to www.hecklerauction.com.