Collecting old bottles is a fun and exciting hobby for many people. With the right knowledge, you can find real value in an antique piece. Antique bottles are valuable collectibles that are often sought after by collectors due to their rarity, beauty, and history. In some cases, antique bottles can fetch thousands of dollars in auctions.
But old bottle identification is not a simple process. Why? Because, the value of an antique bottle is determined by the bottle’s age, condition, rarity, color, shape, provenance, embossing, and other such significant factors. This article will explore each of these factors to give you a better understanding of what contributes to the value of antique bottles.
The age of an antique bottle is an important factor when determining its value. Generally, the older the bottle, the more valuable it is. Bottles from the 18th and 19th centuries are highly sought after by collectors, as they are considered to be the most valuable.
To determine the age of old bottles, one must look for identifying marks such as names, trademarks, and other markings. These marks can provide useful data about the manufacturer and the approximate age of the bottle. A numeric sequence can also provide clues regarding a bottle’s age.
Colorful bottles, such as those with cobalt blue or aqua glass are often more valuable than clear or transparent bottles. Colored glass bottles are more valuable than those made from clear glass. For example, a rare shade like teal blue can be worth several thousand dollars in comparison to the same bottle featuring clear plain glass. Such glass may only be worth a few thousand dollars at an auction.
Color makes all the difference; for instance, a teal blue bottle will vary in value compared to an aqua or green bottle of the same age and condition. In fact, it’s not uncommon for an identical antique bottle to be valued differently due to its color. The hue of the glass is probably one of the easiest features to notice for collectors.
Why is the condition of an old bottle important to determine its value? Because, collectors will often pay more for a bottle in excellent condition, as bottles that are cracked, chipped, or damaged in any way can significantly reduce their value. But, beware. Don’t be fooled by bottles that are in too much of a pristine condition. Why? Because they could be a replica of an antique and not an original. To be safe always opt for an appraisal by a professional, like those from Appraisily.
One other way used for old bottle identification, especially hand blown ones is looking for a pontil mark on the bottom. These pontil rods indicate that the bottle was made by a glassblower.
Another way is to look for a smooth even bottom with no marks indicating that it was mass produced. If the bottle has an attached rod, look for a pontil mark where the rod meets the base of the bottle. Pontil marks indicate that the bottle was hand-blown and is likely of significant value. However, even if the bottle is from a mass produced, machined process, it may still have antique value if it’s old enough.
Markings and Trademarks
One should start by looking for any markings on the bottle that may tell its age or intended use. Old glass bottles can often be identified by seeing the glass manufacturer’s marks and a logo or mold marking.
In many instances, the mark may be a combination of numbers and letters that refer to a particular glass company. There are also code mold numbers which can help date the bottle. For example, one US company used a year date code which was placed on the side or lower heel of every bottle they produced.
Rarity and Shape
The rarity of an antique bottle can also influence its value. If a bottle is rare, it can be more valuable than a more common bottle. Rarity can be determined by the number of bottles produced or the number of bottles still in existence.
Wondering how the shape of an antique bottle can affect its value? Well, some shapes, such as the classic flask shape, are more desirable than others and this is what adds to their value in the antique market.
The provenance of an antique bottle is also one of the major factors that influences its value. Provenance is the history of the bottle, including who owned it and where it came from. If a bottle has a documented provenance, it can be more valuable than one without.
The embossing on an antique bottle can also affect its value. Embossing is when a bottle is molded or pressed with a design or logo. Bottles that have embossing on them can be more desirable and valuable than those without.
Considering factors like the ones above will give you a good idea of the value of old bottles in the antique market.
If you want to avoid potential fraud in valuation when collecting vintage bottles, use a price guide as a general reference point. It will help you decide what you should pay for various types of old bottles.
Many times, much variation exists between value and price due to market conditions. The idea is to consider several physical characteristics of old bottles to determine their value and then confirm their identification with a realistic price estimate.
Also opting for an accurate evaluation or old bottle appraisal can prevent you from being scammed. An appraisal can be done by someone with expert knowledge of old bottle identification. For expert online appraisers contact professionals at Appraisily.