specialising in South Australian antique bottles








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wanted to buy...

Always looking for bottles from South Australian companies, prefer items to be clean and with no damage










What makes a good bottle?

I have been regularly asked this question and really there is no simple answer. First and foremost bottle collecting should be about what you like so realistically you don't have to find or buy expensive items. But that aside there are some general rules that can be observed with bottles however there are always exceptions to the rules and it would pay to get an expert to help you out if in doubt. So with that in mind the following will help explain what makes a bottle worth something.

Eye appeal

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and this is so with bottle collectors, who often have varied tastes in bottles. However what everyone agrees on is if a bottle is well embossed or emblazoned with a company logo or design it will be much more sought after than shall we say a plain Lamont or Codd patent.
When looking for embossing, company names etcetera, the size of the embossing is important, bottles with embossing on or around the base or shoulder in small non attractive writing will be far less desirable than those with a bold trademark. An item such as the black horse whiskey has maintained a steady value, in part due to its impressive embossing more so than its rarity.


Rarity plays an important part in bottle collecting. Often the value of a bottle decreases when more of them surface. For example, the average Rosella sauce bottle is common and you would be lucky to get $5-$10 for it, yet get an amber rosella sauce bottle and you could expect to pay $100+ or over $1000 for a chutney in amber glass, these items are hard to find. Further if you are in possession of an item that may be one of only a couple known, collectors will pay to get one for their collections, but then do you really want to sell it?


As mentioned above rarity helps determine a bottles value and going hand in hand with that is the bottles condition. A badly stained, chipped or damaged bottle will not have good resale value, and will only fetch a portion of the price of a good example. While it is great to have that missing piece for your collection, unless it is almost the only one in existence price will remain low. So if you are not fussed about the items condition you do not have to pay through the nose (hopefully). Probably the best advice that can be given in relation to condition is to buy what you an afford - if buying, bottles can be polished so that may be worth bearing in mind for those rarer pieces but some people will tell you polishing to can loose value of the bottle.

Historical significance to an area

Many collectors like the history associated with bottles from times gone by, Bottles produced for early pioneering business can hold significance for some, and the importance of that company or 'Owner' to a particular place town or state can never be overlooked. Often the proprietor's of a business were people who held important positions within their community. As well as significant family ties to an area or business, some people collect bottles with their family namesake on.

So therefore

So from the above information it can be simplified a little more, plain glass bottles in clear, green and amber generally have little value and appeal, black glass and cobalt fair somewhat better and are always seen as desirable. At this time screw tops are considered too modern to collect so if you have room and age on your side put them in storage as their day will come. Of course those with great colour and embossing will still have some value or significance today.

As a general rule the larger the embossing or writing on the bottle the better, but be aware some rare sauces and some bottles by other companies are only embossed across the shoulder. Embossing such as 'John Lamont makers' or 'Ross Belfast' refers to the maker of the bottle and is generally considered low in desirability when it is the only embossing on the bottle.

A company may have made many different bottles and some of these variants are rare, so I again state the importance of having items checked before disposal. For example, Holbrook's, Lee & Perrin's, Rosella & Rob McEwin sauce bottles are generally common, Pickaxe brand bottles, MBCV, Perth glass works and more can fall in this bracket but be aware that all have some rare variants of colour and styles floating around.
Again I stress that bottle collecting is about your taste not others so if you like it keep it. This article is meant as a rough guide to help people asses what they have in their shed or uncle John's carport justt remember if in doubt check it out.



Black horse whiskey great eye appeal helps maintain value