View Full Version : New to this but need help...I have a huge 40 yr-old collection!

03-04-2013, 06:29 PM
Hi Collectors!

I have been toting a cache of bottles that I collected 40+ years ago as a teenager in Central Arizona. Most are from area mines near Prescott and the Verde Valley. I'm considering selling now, as storing these for any longer seems pointless. Question is: Where do I go from here?

I've no idea where to begin with sorting through them all. Some may be worthless and others??? I'm guessing I have somewhere between 250-300 bottles. I have five crates containing maybe 50-60 bottles each. They are 'as found' and few if any ever displayed or cleaned. They were always wrapped and carefully stored.

I've spent quite some time researching Ebay and various bottle sites, some good-some bad, and have learned quite a bit about bottles (and collectors!) already.


I've carefully photographed about 30 bottles. Some are older, and some newer. I thought I'd post a link (https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=5AACAB43829E9DC9!150&authkey=!AA88wacZbZFCOpw) to the myriad of photos and see if anyone would be interested in pursuing them and forwarding me any comments or advice.

Main question at this point is: CLEAN or DON'T CLEAN, meaning only with soap and a brush right now (as apposed to tumbling, etc.).

So here's the link if it didn't work above: https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=5AACAB43829E9DC9!150&authkey=!AA88wacZbZFCOpw

Thanks for any assistance and advice your community has to offer!



03-04-2013, 08:00 PM
soap and a brush wont hurt the glass at all. there look to be two or three decent bottles in that lot you have picures of. the big wine/whiskey bottle is my favorite of the group

jays emporium
03-04-2013, 08:08 PM
I hate to tell ya but you've already spent more time on those bottles than they are worth. When you said 40 year collection from Arizona I was expecting to see some Hutchinson sodas, maybe some blob tops, Bitters, Western Whiskeys. Just my wild imagination I guess.
I only saw one bottle in the pics that is worth more than a dollar or two. That is the Los Angeles drug store bottle. That might be a $15-20 bottle. The rest are mostly 1920s-30s and have little collector value. I wouldn't bother washing them. Maybe put them on Craigslist and someone local might want them.
Sorry for the bad news. Maybe someone else will confirm my opinion or maybe they will spot something I missed.

03-04-2013, 09:04 PM
Absolutely, positivly agree with Jay. Sorry.

03-04-2013, 09:27 PM
you have a couple in there that i would pay about 2 bucks apiece for other than that and the one mentioned above.......well might try e-bay,at least in that batch. Great Pics BTW

jays emporium
03-04-2013, 09:50 PM
BTW, Richard, where are you located? If OSU stands for OHIO State, I'll be in Zanesville this summer and could maybe go through the bottles for you. If it is OKLAHOMA State, I don't get there often.

03-04-2013, 09:53 PM
Welcome Osuche. Sorry to pile on but I concur with the others. There were a couple of bottles that were okay. For the most part, I wouldn't take them if you gave them to me. Sorry.

03-04-2013, 11:23 PM
Thanks for your help everyone!!!

So sounds like I should just go through and look for the older/unique ones, take a quick photo and go from there...? I'd be looking for those that are not machine made or molded? Maybe unpack them all and take a group photo? Your group seems to be able to cull quickly...

I recall a few in the batch to be from local (Prescott) pharmacies.

@ Jay: I'm a Beaver from Oregon State, right now near Salem, heading soon to Anchorage, hence reducing the storage...


jays emporium
03-04-2013, 11:40 PM
Oh, I forgot about the OSU Beavers. Prescott drugstore bottles go for about $20 each but there is one that is embossed EVERYTHING CURATIVE that sells higher because it is considered a CURE bottle. If you have that one it's definitely an ebay bottle.

03-04-2013, 11:46 PM
Cool have fun in anchorage,just moved down from there due to health reasons not because of any desire to leave Alaska LOL
If you just want to get rid of any of them I'm always game but then I'm a new collecter anyways i take just about anything lol and think it's grat (wife thinks I'm nuts though)

RED Matthews
03-04-2013, 11:54 PM
Hello Richard, I have sent you some material to read over to decide whether your bottles have value or should be recycled. There are a lot of them that will have some interest to collectors and a lot of them that are best suited recycled. I realize that - that is a tough pill to take down but I got the same reading from other posts on this thread of thoughts.
I have collected and studied glass making, and (worked in the glass industry for about 40 years) for a total of about 76 years at this point. That is my track record of learning about glass making. I probably have seven hundred collected specimen pieces of glass work and a library of over a hundred books I have read on glass making history. So I have taken the liberty of giving you my two cents. RED Matthews

03-05-2013, 10:36 AM
I am new at collecting as well, but I will tell you, these guys (and gals) know their stuff! Whatever they tell you I would trust! They will tell you if they don't know so you don't have to worry about them pulling your chain! Red has SO much info! He is a great help!

Good luck! I hope you have some that are worth some big bucks! =)


03-05-2013, 01:03 PM
Thanks everyone for your valuable advice!

@Red: Did receive the email and found it very helpful and informative. Bet you've seen a few bottles in your day!

I should point out that what I pulled from storage may not be representative of what's there...only the first ones on the top of the crate. Since they are all individually wrapped in pages of the Medford Mail Tribune, (cir. 1983) and even a few still in the pages from The Prescott Courier (cir. 1970's), unwrapping them is a bit like x-mas...

@Jay: Some of those treasures you mentioned might be in there...we'll see!

Now I have a better idea as to how to go about paring down the load and moving on...

I'll update this post as I move along.

Thanks once again!


03-05-2013, 05:38 PM
Hey - Know what, they may not have much monetary value, but on the other hand people collect for all sorts of reasons. I pick up a bottle and cannot help but think who touched this, used it, bought it, where has it been all the years and all the events this bottle has existed through. Yea, I may have a few that are worth a few $$ (maybe) but to me the joy of the bottle is not associated with its monitary value. Well, sounds like your not going to be able to retire on the bottle collection (so sorry), but they're still pretty "COOL". I would take em in a "Skinny Minute" if we were closer. Good Luck . . . sure someone will love to add them to their collection.

03-07-2013, 06:00 PM
If you have any West Virginia Sodas I'll buy them.

03-10-2013, 04:55 PM
Well I took a while...but I went through, hand washed, semi-sorted and photoed the five boxes of bottles. Sure are some pretty ones in there and most are in remarkable condition! Shamefully, I chipped one of the nicer ones with - of all things - a tooth brush; a tiny pontiled stamped medicine [:(]. From what I could research, it was rather scarce....

My favorites are the two Brisley Drug Co (http://sdrv.ms/XekyXx) bottles from my hometown of Prescott. They are in perfect shape. I could only find a bit of history about them here (http://www.fohbc.org/PDF_Files/AZ_PatMed.pdf):

PRESCOTT, A.T. [Fig. 2] Another very rare territorial marked bottle with some nice fancy lettering.
Harry Brisley came to Prescott from Tempe in 1890 and became a partner at Dr. Robert Robinson's drugstore. In 1893 Brisley became sole owner of the then Mountain City Drugstore. A second store was opened in Jerome, Arizona the following year and in 1895 Brisley moved his Prescott store into the Burke Hotel. In 1899 a further move occurred with the purchase of the old Corner Drugstore. This store as well as most of the town's business district was destroyed in 1900 in a great fire. Brisley soon rebuilt and continued to run his store until 1925.

Another favorite (there are many) are the two purple ink(?) bottle lids (http://sdrv.ms/14KnzMX); one has the 'N' in 'NY' reversed!

@MisterSilverSearcher: I do have 25+ pop bottles, some very old but all now belonging to my daughter...they are from Flagstaff, Phoenix,. Prescott, and quite a few from Mexico. The closest to your location is one from Corpus Christi TX...sorry.

@tangomango: I agree[;)]: They're all wonderful bottles close to my heart as I can recall where some were found in my travels 'round the mountains and deserts of AZ on my old trail bike. The original plan was to build a home with a window dedicated for displaying these beauties someday...but...well, that's another story...

Have fun perusing the hundreds of photos (http://sdrv.ms/14KnzMX) I sure there's something you'd all enjoy seeing and some "recyclables" as well.

Thanks for your valued opinions!



03-10-2013, 04:58 PM
PS: The Brisley photos are still uploading[:(]

03-10-2013, 05:47 PM
So that's were i lost my JD bottle LOl Lots of Very Cool jars in There.thanks for posting them,still enjoying looking through them

03-10-2013, 05:47 PM
Bottles lol

03-11-2013, 10:44 AM
Yeah, that JD miniature is cool. I think the 'Bottled for American Airlines" is nice too!

03-14-2013, 03:01 AM
I'm new to collecting an I would definitely take the advice that the members have given.
I'm sure that they are right about the values or lack thereof. They are also right that bottles are just cool and people like different things for different reasons.

it is hard to get bottles and build a collect where I live (Miami) and I would be interested in buying groups/types of bottles if they were cheap enough. Let me know if you would sell groups of colbalts, groups of embossed bottles, groups of ambers or some funky shapes cheap. If so I'm interested.

03-14-2013, 03:37 PM
Hi David, I'll let everyone know once I decide how to deal with all these. I should've done this when I had the time last year! Now, I have to get myself to Anchorage ASAP and this is turning into quite a project! I'll PM you once I get to that point of selling off groups or lots.
Thanks! Rick

03-28-2013, 10:02 PM
Hey everyone; I decided to start listing what look to be some of the nicer and hopefully, more desirable bottles on FleaBay...

If you perused through my snapshots (wow!) and had a favorite (even if I couldn't give it to you...[;)]) PM me or post here, as I really 'dislike' [:@] eBay and their new policy of floating my $$ for two-plus weeks!

If I'm not really attached and it's worthwhile I'll part with them [:(] Besides: How many of these could survive the AlCan to Anchorage???

I'll keep adding to the list in the next couple of days, so here's the link: OSUChE's Auctions Index (http://www.ebay.com/sch/osuche/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_from=&_ipg=&_trksid=p2047675)

Thanks for all your continued help,