Rare Western bottles will take center stage at Holabird Western Americana's August 6th auction Rare Western bottles will take center stage at the annual auction of the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors, scheduled for Saturday, August 6th, at the Lion’s Gate Hotel in Sacramento, Calif.
News-Antique.com - Jul 18,2016 - SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Rare Western bottles will take center stage at the annual auction of the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors, scheduled for Saturday, August 6th, at the Lion’s Gate Hotel in Sacramento. The event will be part of ‘49er Bottle Jamboree and will coincide with the FOHBC's 2016 Sacramento National Antique Bottle & Expo, at the same venue.
“This year we’re doing something different by presenting a wide variety of bottles and related pieces that help define Western collecting,” said Fred Holabird, president of Holabird Western Americana, based in Reno, Nevada, the firm conducting the auction. “We solicited bottles that are an iconic representation of the genre from different areas – and in the West, that isn’t easy.”
In all, 193 lots will come up for bid, the vast majority of them from the Western United States. These will include 60 whiskeys (featuring the two expected top lots in the sale), 50 sodas (to include many rarities), 45 medicines (featuring rare colored examples and some fantastic Owl bottles), five bitters and ten miscellaneous bottles (to include a cobalt blue grenade and inks).
“Bottles from some of the Western states are so rare that it’s difficult to find collectors who want to part with their gems, and we can’t blame them,” Mr. Holabird said, “but somehow, some of the most cherished pieces imaginable have found their way into this auction. Some are literally unknown to the bottle collecting world. Some are from non-collectors. Most are great rarities.”
The two whiskeys expected to do well include a green Thomas Taylor & Importers (Virginia City, Nev.) fifth, one of only two examples known and one of the earliest embossed cylinder Western whiskey bottles. It dates to around 1865-1870 and is being offered at auction exactly as it was discovered in the early 1970s in Reno. The bottle is estimated to realize $15,000-$25,000.
The other is an early yellow-green Gold Dust Whiskey (San Francisco, Calif.), circa 1871-1874, one of only eight known and literally flawless – 100 on a scale of 1-100, having never been in the ground nor mishandled (the original cork is still in place). This relic from the California Gold Rush, one of the oldest of the Western embossed whiskey bottles, should bring $10,000-$20,000.
One bottle from the miscellaneous category expected to generate much excitement is a Harkness “Fire Destroyer” grenade bottle (or ribbed glass bottle form hand fire grenade). The 6 ½ inch tall bottle, possibly the finest one known, is a deep cobalt blue in color, with red puce bands running through the glass. It has no chips, cracks or scratches and is expected to garner $5,000-$8,000.
The expected top lot of the sodas category is a W & B Shasta (Shasta, Calif.) Superior Mineral Water bottle, deep cobalt blue, with a fluted base and applied top. It is one of maybe a half-dozen or fewer Shasta bottles known, as the company only existed from around 1855-1860. As a result, it is regarded as one of the all-time