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.
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
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 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 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