Glenn Poch's Bottle Collecting Newsletter 5

Newsletter #5
July 1995
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Things I need from members of this Newsletter:

1) More bottle stories, and information on areas of your specialty
(diggin stories, show reports, knowledge of specifics)
..
2) For Sale & Want Ad's- many collectors are reading this newsletter and
may have what you want for sale or may be wanting something you have! If
you want me to include auction bids on a piece let me know and I can put
an item up for sale that way!
...
3) E-mail addresses of individuals you have come across when using the
internet who collect bottles and glass.


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here's a diggin' story submitted by Lewis Noah - (thanks Lewis!)
__________________________________________________________________________

 Report on the first dig of the season.

Our dig team consists of three people, John Robb, leader, Lew Noah
head mole and Tee Noah bucket toter. You may have read our report
in AB&G last year after our dig at General Sheridans boyhood home.
Well the first dig seems to set the standard for the year. We did
the homework/research and found a nice old town near Columbus Oh.
The structure is a double 1840's brick with long lots. The owner is
very interested in the history of his site and as usual we emphasize
this point.
To the dig. We post hole to determine age and the first thing we see
is pontil fragments, Oh Boy! Down we go. About three feet in we hit
bricks, lots of bricks, this looks like the Privy was made of brick and
then collapsed into the hole when a new one was dug. Under and amongst the
bricks are shards of outstanding bottles. Flasks of forest green, Fruit
jars very pontiled but very busted. We hoped to get thru the brick to
a open spot near the bottom but it was not to be. Between some bricks
we pulled a couple of pontiled three and four inch tall spice bottles
with no embossing. Now one thing that does not break easy is a marble,
two came out one large solid core swirl and one 5/8 inch solid core
swirl both red and white with yellow ribbons on the surface. Book
list is $175 and $200 so not a bad first dig.
As I stated this seemed to set the tone, BRICKS BRICKS and more BRICKS.
A total of 5 Holes on the lot and all with bricks and busted bottles.
More digs to come as we have two yards next to this one to work on.
John, Tee and Myself are members of the Central Ohio Bottle Club which
meets the second Tuesday of the month at the Granview Heights Library
during the evening 7 to 9. Other interested parties are always welcomed
so drop on by.
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Bonnie Briggs submitted a question concerning a fruit jar she found (as
I'm not one who is up on the fruit jar market I present it to the members
out there who are!)

It has Atlas Strong Shoulder Mason on the front, beaded, ground lip, no mold
numbers, but, it has a screw-on rim
with a glass insert.  The insert has Atlas across the top and at the bottom
are the initials EDJ.  I've been through the Red Book, and can't find any
mention of EDJ inserts.  Any help I can get identifying this would be greatly
appreciated.

Thanks,

Bonnie Briggs
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anyone with helpful information for Bonnie can submit the information to
me and I'll pass it along to her!
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The following is a article taken from the San Francisco Chronicle "For
that Touch of Glass": by Anne Gilbert; Wednesday December 13, 1989.

Next time you go to a garage sale, it may pay you well to plow through
the box of seemingly junk glass.  Even if you don't think any of the
pieces marked from 50-cents to a dollar are anything special, at those
prices what have you got to lose? you might strike it lucky and come up
with a mid-19th century "Harrisons/Columbian/Ink" master ink bottle.

 Considered rare, the 12-sided, one gallon, cobalt blue bottle recently
sold for $26,000 at Skinner's October 7th auction of Early American
glass, bottles and flasks.  Then there was the sugar bowl (circa
1820-1840) that sold at the same auction for $2,420.

 To the average nonglass collector it would look like a very plain,
squat, blue sugar bowl.  To the serious collector it was unmistakably a
freeblown, deep sapphire blue Pittsburgh Sugar Bowl.

 When it comes to spotting those early glass treasures, clearly beauty is
in the eye of the beholder . . . that translates into heavy money.

 What makes the discovery of authentic early 19th century so rewarding
are the obstacles.  Reproductions ... some very good and others that
often slip by even an experts eye, have been around since the early part
of this century.  Add to this, that even in its day, many glass companies
copied each other.

 Time was, as recently as a couple of years ago when the average
collector could go to an auction like Skinner's or one of Bourne's yearly
early glass auctions, and expect to spend a couple of hundred dollars.

 However during the past few years rarities have often quadrupled in
price.  Examples from New England and Pittsburgh glasshouses, are
especially pricey in color . . . from the tableware, to flasks.

 "Sandwich" is still a magic name in glass, once it proves to be
authentic.  A pair of Sandwich opaque blue candlesticks sold for $4,180
at that skinner auction.  However, the "lacy" period Sandwich glass lags
behind in prices.

 Many of the problems for early glass collectors can be blamed on the
Clevenger Brothers and Emil Larson . . . master glass blowers.  During
the 1920s and 30s they made reproductions of Steigel glass as well as
early flasks, including the famous "Booz" bottle in the shape of a log
cabin.  There were pitchers, Lilypad vases and bowls, and 3-mold
decanters. Colors were authentic.

 At the time they advertised the pieces as reproductions.  However in no
time at all they had been sold and resold as "authentic."

 Now, 60 years later they keep coming back to confuse novice collectors.
Some differences, other then signs of wear are important clues. "Old"
pieces are lighter in weight, and the glass is thinner.   The flasks made
by Larson had no seams.

 Many of today's museum reproductions are sold not only in museum gift
shops, but in a secondary market as antiques.  Look on the bottom for
evidence of removal of the museum name or new manufacture date, that
appear to be scratches.

 While the ideal learning process would be "hands on," in a seminar,
trial and error purchases can be helpful . . . if the items are cheap. 
Major museums, such as the Metropolitan in New York have a fine
collection of glass, and the gift shop has reproductions.

Write to Skinner, 357 Main Street (Rt. 117) Bolton, Mass., 01740 or
Bourne Auctions, P.O. Box 141, Hyannisport, MA 02647 for prices of
auction catalogs and dates.

****************************************************************

This article got me thinking of reproduction bottles and the confusion
they present within the glass market. I'm hoping those of you that have
bought reproductions and fakes can e-mail me with your stories, hopefully
we can learn more about them and how to tell real from fake. I know of
many fake examples but still get confused when I see some of them, cobalt
masons?.  I was at a antique shop this weekend when I saw a eagle-grapes
flask GII-55 in a emerald green - my first instinct when I saw it was
that it was fake, but then I began to question myself - it did have a
inside stain that looked old, it did have a very small potstone (no
radiation), very little wear though and kind of a strange pontil (not
open or graphite) the mold mark stopped at the neck.  I looked in the
book in my car and discovered this flask was reproducted by Clevenger
brothers and in two varients one that says clevenger brothers along the
sides and another that did not.  It listed the reproduction as being poor
glass with many bubbles and with a crude mold used.  Re-examining the
bottle Monday I am 99 percent sure that my first instinct was correct. 
Last year I found a minature three-mold decanter at a garage sale for .25=

cents it also had a light stain and looked very good as far as detail, I
liked the piece but the embossed M.M.A on the bottom led me to think that
it was not real, after some research I learned that MMA stands for
Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Candy containers are being reproducted alot
and I still would like to know how to tell the reproductions from the
real ones.  I still buy reproductions today because of the upward
potential if I'm right, the bottle or jug may cost me $50 at times but
even if there is a chance its real many of those items would be worth ten
times or more that amount.  I will include the articles from Anyone that
writes me with their items and stories in the next issue.

Harmer Rooke Auctions is a good place to find quality examples, they mail
a absentee auciton about four times a year with 1000 lots or items for
sale.  The phone #201-882-0004, 1-800-497-0088, 32 East 57th St. New
York, NY 10022.  Auction #68 closes tommorow June 24th  at 6:00 pm est.

--------Glenn

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