“This was not our biggest sale ever, that’s for sure, but what we offered were great bottles and a broad range of bottle types,” said Norman Heckler. “We had early glass, historical flasks, colored medicines, whimsey hats, bitters, inks, black glass and more. The quality of the bottles, combined with enthusiastic bidders, made for a highly successful auction.”
The auction went online March 17th and concluded March 26th. The vast majority of bids poured into the company’s website (www.hecklerauction.com), although telephone bids were also taken. The sale attracted more than 1,200 registered online bidders and 37,000 online views. By the time it was over the auction had grossed $465,000. The average per lot price was $4,835.
The Sunburst Snuff Jar was the top lot of the auction. Bidders were drawn to its rarity, deep yellowish green color, and condition. The bottle had come from the collection of Clarissa Vanderbilt Dundon, the daughter of pioneer collector Merritt Vanderbilt. The collection of mostly historical flasks has long been admired and sought after. Other important collections were also in the sale.
Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a 17 percent buyer’s premium.
Historical flasks and medicines did particularly well. In the former category, a light yellow olive eagle cornucopia half-pint flask, made circa 1815-1830 at the Pitkin Glass Works (Manchester, Conn.), fetched $39,780; and a brilliant yellow-green concentric ring eagle flask made circa 1818-1830 at the New England Glass Company (Cambridge, Mass.) hammered for $31,590.
Two other historical flasks posted identical selling prices of $22,230. One was a double eagle pint flask in a bright sapphire blue and made circa 1850-1855, possibly at the Kentucky Glass Works (Louisville, Ky.). The other was an early Pittsburgh (Pa.) district medium bluish aquamarine “Hard Cider” log cabin historical pint flask made sometime between 1820-1840.
Tops among the medicine bottles was an extremely rare rectangular yellow-amber bottle with beveled corners, made circa 1840-1860 for “Rushton & / Aspinwall / New-York - Compound / Chlorine / Toothwash”, probably manufactured at a Stoddard or Keene (both N.H.) glasshouse ($23,400). The runner-up spot went to a “Howard’s / Vegetable / Cancer And / Canker Syrup” medicine bottle, made circa 1846-1860 at a Stoddard glasshouse, rectangular in shape and bright golden amber ($15,210).
An “A. Mosher” oval form rich blue-green sarsaparilla medicine bottle, (probably made in the Albany, N.Y., area), circa 1845-1860 and having great whittle to the glass, brought $5,558; and an “I. Newton’s / Panacea / Purifier / of the Blood” (Norwich, Vt.) cylindrical yellow-amber medicine bottle, probably made at a Stoddard glasshouse, circa 1846-1860, commanded $4,388.
Rounding out the category, a “Mede’s / Mexican / Fluid / New York” yellow-amber medicine bottle in a most unusual six-sided form, circa 1850-1860, $2,457; and a “Drs. Peery & / Hamlins /Dead Shot / Vermifuge” small square-shaped medicine bottle, America, circa 1840-1860, in a light to medium pink puce, brought $2,106.
A free-blown, bulbous form miniature globular bottle, probably made in New England circa 1783-1830, in a medium yellowish olive color, standing 3 ¾ inches tall, realized $5,558; while a small free-blown egg form utility jar, possibly made by Coventry (Conn.) Glass Works circa 1783-1830, beautiful bright light yellow-olive, 3 ½ inches in height, sold for $2,340.
An early and rare “New Eng. Glass Bottle Co.” (Cambridge, Mass.) base embossed cylindrical rum bottle, made circa 1827-1845, in a deep yellow-olive color, 10 ¼ inches tall, garnered $5,850; and a “Fine / Black Ink / Made & Sold - By / J. L. Thompson / Troy N-Y” master ink bottle, America, circa 1840-1860, cylindrical and bright yellow-olive, sold for $4,388.
Returning to important flasks, a “General Washington” and bust “J. R. / Laird, SC. Pitt” and eagle portrait flask, made circa 1820-1840 at the John Robinson’s Sturbridge Flint Glass Works (Pittsburgh, Pa.), colorless with a lavender tint, soared to $28,080; and a deep peacock blue miniature scroll flask, America, circa 1845-1860 brought $5,850.
Heckler’s next internet sale (online-only)
Norman C. Heckler & Company was founded in 1987 as a full-service auction and appraisal firm. Today it is the foremost auction house in the U.S. for antique glass. In Oct. 2010, the firm set a record for an antique glass bottle at auction when a General Jackson eagle portrait flask went for $176,670. In addition to bottles and glass, the firm also offers early American antiques.
Norman C. Heckler & Company is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To inquire about consigning a single piece or an entire collection, you may call them at (860) 974-1634 or e-mail them at email@example.com. To learn more about Norman C. Heckler & Company and the May 12 internet auction, please visit www.hecklerauction.com.