Kelly's Old Cabin bitters bottle could fetch $75,000 at American Bottle Auctions A Kelly’s Old Cabin bitters bottle, patented in 1863 and one of only a handful of light green examples known, is expected to sell for $35,000-$75,000 at American Bottle Auctions. The sale ends Aug. 19
signs of their 1870s production in both texture and character, and are rarely offered at auction.
The second is a Wm. Bodmann (Baltimore) Cathedral pickle jar, quite possibly the first Cathedral pickle jar made in the U.S. (circa 1842) and possibly the prototype for every Cathedral pickle jar made thereafter. Graded high at 9.9, the open pontil, four-sided, half-gallon pickle jar would be a centerpiece item for any serious collector of Baltimore glass (or food) containers.
A medium to deep amber Barkhouse Brothers & Co. Gold Dust Kentucky Bourbon fifth bottle (John Van Bergen, Sole Agents), made circa 1871-1874 and graded 9.9, should hammer for $5,000-$8,000. A deeper shade of amber than is normally seen (but still easily seen through), the gorgeous early blown variant has a strong strike and tons of whittle, adding to its desirability.
A pretty Double Eagle historical pint flask (GII-118), graded 9.8, a sparkling, whittled, pristine blue example is expected to make $3,000-$6,000. The crudity, color, condition and rarity will put this flask at many people’s must-have list. Also, a Saratoga Seltzer Spring Co. (Saratoga, N.Y.) pint , beautiful emerald green with loads of bubbles and whittle, should hit $3,000-$6,000.
A Lafayette/DeWitt Clinton half-pint flask (GI-81a), a rare variant of a Lafayette flask in a beautiful light to medium olive green color, graded 9.7, is expected to hit $3,000-$6,000. The flask has great overall whittle and crudity. The same pre-sale estimate was assigned to a Pacific Congress Water Springs (Saratoga, Calif.) water bottle with embossed jumping deer, graded 9.7.
Rounding out just some of the sale’s expected top lots are a Merriam’s (Sonora, Calif.) bottle with applied top and graphite pontil, made in 1852 and graded 9.5 (est. $3,000-$6,000); a Fine Old Gin label-under-glass bottle with a picture of a woman (circa 1887-1900), graded 9.5 (est. $2,000-$5,000); and a J.C. & Co. Pineapple bitters bottle, graded 9.5 (est. $2,000-$3,000).
Target balls are a small but growing genre of collectible, popular among well-to-do hunters and gun enthusiasts, but gaining in popularity among bottle collectors and general hobbyists. Target balls had a short, colorful life, bursting on the scene around 1876 before fading out by 1895. American Bottle Auctions has featured them before. There are five in this auction.
During their brief but illustrious lifetime target balls, somewhat similar in size and shape to glass Christmas tree ornaments, were stuffed with feathers and sawdust and catapulted from spring-loaded traps to be hit by shooters. They’d explode in the air in a feathery, dusty cloud, as a bird would. The fact is, target balls were introduced because the bird population was declining.
American Bottle Auctions is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign a single bottle or an entire collection, you may call them toll-free, at 1-800-806-7722; or, you can e-mail them, at email@example.com. To learn more about American Bottle Auctions and the auction #56 ending August 19, please log on to www.americanbottle.com.