Friday, September 2, 2011

Antique Glass Bottle

glass wine bottleThere are many different categories of antique glass bottle available to collect. There are flasks, medical bottles, ink wells, milk or soda bottles too. If you are serious about collecting old glass bottles, you should learn as soon as possible, how to identify them and spot fakes. Many bottles have the name of the maker stamped or pressed onto the glass, which is a great help. Another easy way to tell if the piece is reproduction, is to look at the lip of the bottle.
Glass BottleThose that were made before 1870 have a very poorly made lip and you will be able to easily spot seams and marks from the making process. These seams and poor quality designs stopped being made after 1880, when new processes make the manufacture of them much better. During the 1800's, the most popular color for glass makers was green, or 'Aqua' as they called it. There were other colors, but this was the most commonly used. By examining the bottom of the glass bottle, you can see the 'pontil marks' which are from the making process. If the bottle does have this round and rough piece of glass present, then it was made before 1855. After that time, new tools were used to create smoother and cleaner separations from the 'holding rods' used when the bottle was made.
evianThe real revolution came in the 1920's when machines were used to make glass instead of people. The mark left by the bottle making machines is called the 'Owens Ring' and is larger than the pontil marks, but is also very smoothly made. Apart from the color of the glass, the markings on the bottom and the kind of lip it has, you can also tell lots about the glass from the patent number, which should be stamped on there too. There are many guides and websites that list these different kinds of markings and you can find out lots about each type and manufacturer. If you are interested in how much a particular piece of glass is worth, make sure you first check to see that it is genuine. Secondly, look for any cracks, chips or damage that might reduce the value. You will also want to consider the rarity of the bottle, kind of glass or markings, the age, design or color when making a decision to buy a piece.
Glass BottleBottles that still contain liquids or substances and have not been opened are worth far more than just the bottle on their own. Also, bottles with the original painting or label on fetch more value too. If you already have a collection, then you will need to ensure that they are kept safe. Antique glass breaks very easily and you could lose several pieces with one accident.
One option is to keep them in separate boxes, surrounded in padded material, which will absorb any knocks or bumps. You could also buy or build a display cabinet to show off the pieces too. A good tip to keep the bottles clean is to keep them away from sunlight or bright halogen bulbs. These bright lights can cause the glass to fade over time and make the labels peel and fade too. This will have an effect on the value of the bottles too.

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