View Full Version : BoTtLe BoOkS?

07-27-2008, 11:11 PM
Hey Everyone!

I just joined this forum... and I'm so happy I found it!

My question is about bottle books; price guides, identifications, history, etc.

The only book I have right now is by Michael Polak and is called "Bottles Identification and Price Guide", and it is the 4th edition.
Over the past 4 years that I have been collecting antique bottles and using this book, I have become increasingly disappointed with it. I know it is impossible to list all the bottles ever made (wouldn't that be something?!), or even all the bottles in the U.S., however I feel like this book is missing alot of popular and noteworthy bottles. I have also noticed many gramatical and punctuation errors that make me question Polak's reputability.

As I've been searching the internet to purchase a new and possibly more extensive bottle book and/or price guide, Polak's name comes up often. It makes me think: "If he's written so many books, then he must be extrememly knowledgeable about this topic and trustworthy.", but it also makes me think: "If he's written so many books, shouldn't he have it right by now?".

Does anyone else feel this way about Polak? Maybe it's just that one book I have. Maybe I'm being demanding and unrealistic. Maybe there is a better book of prices and identifications that someone recommends? Not jars, not jugs, not Avon bottles... just bottles - I would love that!

Thank you for any and all information, opinions, and recommendations you can give me... remember; no reply post is too small!

07-28-2008, 03:26 AM
i cannot agree more with ya, flo. i go into the book stores looking for bottle price guides and there is the book you mentioned. what a disappointment! i have an older book i use, its old but thorough, at least i can get an idea. we could sure use a price guide forum on here. anyways, welcome to the forum!!!!!!!!!!!


07-28-2008, 10:30 AM
Any bottle books that try to "shotgun" all catagories of bottles are taking on a huge task that will be tough to do well.
You are better off figuring out what catagories you want to collect first then buying books to match you interests.
Take advantage of the large amount of free info on the web first.
Bill's website will give you more and better info than you will find in most bottle books and its FREE.


some other sources of books. The Auction Price Report books are pretty good sources of values...but not cheap.

07-28-2008, 12:08 PM
Depending on the category, there are several good books out there put out by "experts". Bill Hamm has a very good one on bitters, Barnett has a good one on western whiskey's, Thomas also did a good job on his whiskey book, and there are several others. When I get home from work today, I will post the titles in my library and if anyone want's lookups, just ask. When I first joined this forum I asked if we could start a forum for book/guides. People have said it's a good idea so hopefully one will materialize.

glass man
07-28-2008, 04:48 PM
Some good books on bottles will not give prices,but the rarity of a bottle.EXAMPLE:COLLECTING ALL CURES:BILL AGEE

07-28-2008, 09:53 PM
Here is a list of my bottle library, I have a "couple"........

1. The Bottle Book - A comprehensive guide to historic, embossed medicine bottles, RICHARD FIKE (2006)
2. Bitters Bottles, CARLYN RING/W. C. HAM (1998)
3. Bitters Bottles Supplement, CARLYN RING/BILL HAM (2004)
4. The Standard Old Bottle Price Guide, CARLO & DOROTHY SELLARI (1997)
5. A Look at California Hutchinson Type Soda Bottles, PECK & AUDIE MARKOTA (2000)
6. Western Blob Top Soda And Mineral Water Bottles, PECK & AUDIE MARKOTA (1994)
7. The Best of the West, Antique Western Bitters Bottles, JEFF WICHMANN, (1999)
8. Antique Bottle and Glass Collector Magazine Price Guide, Volume 2, Bitters Bottles, DIGGER ODELL, (1995)
9. Antique Bottle and Glass Collector Magazine Price Guide, Volume 8, Whiskey's, DIGGER ODELL, (1995)
10. Udderly Beautiful, A Pictorial Guide to the Pyroglazed or Painted Milk Bottle, JOHN TUTTON, (2007)
11. Here's to Beers, Blob Top Beer Bottles 1880-1910, BYRON & VICKY MARTIN
12. Whiskey Bottles of the Old West, JOHN L. THOMAS, (2002)
13. The Collectors Guide to Civil War Period Bottles and Jars, MIKE RUSSELL, (3rd Editition, 1998)
14. California (Embossed) Drug Store/Pharmacy Bottles & Dose Glasses, EDRICK J. MILLER, (revision 5, 2005)
15. Ketchup, Pickles, Sauces, 19th Century Food in Glass, BETTY ZUMWALT, (1980)
16. Warman's Bottles Field Guide, MICHAEL POLAK, (2005)
17. Western Whiskey Bottles, No. 4, R. E. BARNETT, (1997)
18, 19, 20, 21. Bottles Identification & Price Guide, MICHAEL POLAK, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Editions (1997, 2000, 2002, 2006)
22. Official Price Guide to Bottles Old & New, Tenth Edition, HOUSE OF COLLECTIBLES, (1986)
23. Collecting Bottles, CECIL MUNSEY, (1970)
24. Soda Pop Collectibles Price Guide, 2nd Edition, ALLAN PETRETTI, (1999)
25. The Book of Bottle Collecting, DOREEN BECK, (1974)
26. Early Bottles of Sonoma County, FRANK STERNAD, (1973) (photo copy)
27. A Bottle Collector's Book, PAT AND BOB FERRARO, (1966)
28. Drugstore Collectibles, PATRICIA McDANIEL, (1994)
29. The Hedden's Store Handbook of Propietary Medicines, JAMES SEELEY WHITE, (1974)
30. Bottles and Bottle Collecting, Shire Album #6, A. A. C. HEDGES, (1975) (reprinted)
31. 1000 Fruit Jars, BILL SCHROEDER, (1999)
32, 33, 34. Kovel's, volumes, 6, 11, and 12 (1982, 1999, and 2002)
35. Bottle Pricing Guide, HUGH CLEVELAND, (1999)
36, 37. Official Price Guide to Bottles, JIM MEGURA, (1998, 2000)
38. Old Mining Towns.......Old Bottles, P. C. IELATI, (1964)
39. Old Time Bottles found in the Ghost Towns, LYNN BLUMENSTEIN, (1974) (my very first bottle book)
40. Antique Bottles, MARVIN AND HELEN DAVIS, (1968)
41. + numerous bottle magazines..........

07-28-2008, 10:01 PM
What??? No Kovel's???

07-28-2008, 10:28 PM

What??? No Kovel's???

#32, 33, and 34, I know alot of people don't like Kovels but what can I say?

07-28-2008, 10:55 PM
Thanks everybody for all the input! I've already looked into a few of your suggestions and have found them very helpful (much more than what Polak has offered me in his 4th edition ;) )!

07-29-2008, 01:40 AM
damn wilkie!!!!!! that is quite alot

08-02-2008, 06:36 AM
I agree with glass man

08-02-2008, 05:51 PM
Very nice collection. I like how you listed them on your website, very easy on the eyes.[;)]