Early blown glass Masonic/eagle flask brings $17,360 at American Bottle Auctions An extremely rare Justus Perry early blown glass Masonic/eagle flask, made circa 1822-1840, sold for $17,360 in an Internet and catalog sale held April 27-May 6 by American Bottle Auctions.
News-Antique.com - May 21,2012 - (SACRAMENTO, Calif.) – An extremely rare Justus Perry early blown glass Masonic/eagle flask, made circa 1822-1840 by the Keene-Marlboro Street Glass Works and desired by collectors for its fabulous blue and purple coloration, sold for $17,360 in an Internet and catalog sale held April 27-May 6 by American Bottle Auctions (www.americanbottle.com).
“Every once in a while an ultra rare bottle passes our way and this time it was all the way from England, when I was contacted by a pottery collector in Manchester,” said Jeff Wichmann of American Bottle Auctions about the flask. “If we had offered the same bottle in its usual aqua, it probably would have fetched $500. A chip to the lip kept this one from bringing even more.”
The flask was the top lot in an auction that saw 195 bottles – most of them made between 1850 and 1900, the period most coveted by collectors, when superior embossing techniques were employed – change hands. The average bottle price w $1,500 and the auction grossed just under $300,000. “In all it was a great sale,” Wichmann said. “All categories fetched nice high dollars.”
Those categories included rare “territory” sodas (from when states were still territories), bitters, western whiskeys, medicines, gins, early flasks, historical flasks and early blown glass. “The territory bottles did especially well, but like I said, the news was good for all categories,” Wichmann said. “We were fortunate to get in some rare and desirable pieces for this auction.”
A little over 1,000 total bids were placed online for the 195 lots, by 233 registered online bidders, who accounted for an 86 percent sell-through. The rest came from phone and absentee bidders. “Some bottle auctions feature one or two major pieces that get all the attention, plus some sub-par bottles,” Wichmann said. “Not this auction. Just about everything got fought over.”
Following are additional highlights from the sale. All prices quoted include a 12 percent buyer’s premium.
The second top lot in the sale wasn’t a bottle at all. It was a target ball, the Victorian-era, Christmas ornament-like balls that were stuffed with feathers and sawdust and catapulted from spring-loaded traps, to be hit by shooters. This ball, a great purple example made by the Johnston Great Western Gun Works of Pittsburgh, with heavy bottom and strong embossing, hit $12,880.
An 1850s Wynkoop & Company Tonic Mixture (N.Y.) bottle, never opened and with a partial label reading “Wynkoop’s Fever and Ague Exterminator,” blue, very crude and with a nasty tubular pontil, realized $8,400; and an Old Pioneer whiskey bottle in a beautiful yellow amber color, graded a perfect 10 out of 10 for condition and with loads of whittle, made $6,720.
The auction featured two pineapple bitters – one applied top with graphite pontil, the other with an unusual open pontil. The latter proved to be the more popular draw, in part due to its richer green coloration and its near-perfect 9.8 grading. It fetched $6,160. The other, a slight variance of its cousin