I thought so too. I thought it too good to be true. And I analysed the label several times, trying to figure out if it was old or newer.
I determined it was fairly old-- Possibly correct for the bottle. And I let its condition stop me from thinking harder.
Here is what is WRONG with the label:
1. The label is perfectly centered on the plate-mold and is fairly straight. Typically, labels on very old bottles are found tossed on haphazardly (this mostly applies to round and small labels) and without thought on where the seam is or what angle it is at. More modern bottles still often don't give a damn where the seam is.
2. The label's printing does not reflect expected age of closure. This was my main issue, but I'd seen similar printing not 5 years after when this closure was last reportedly used (1895.)
3. Periodically in spots, you could see the adhesive used to apply the label leaking out of the edge. Typically, the adhesives used were biodegradable and would not show up 100 years later. Often, the labels will just fall off.
The label is about 1914-1920 due to company. The closure is a Thatcher closure, circa 1883-1895. This is a later Thatcher closure.
It is possible but unlikely that this bottle, with an Oregon label, was bought or stolen for use years after its East-coast use (Thatcher closure supposedly was only used in New England area.)
Other signs to BE CONCERNED about:
1. Many labels are added on after the fact. Pepsi bottles in recent years have had old labels copied and thrown onto old bottles. If the label looks superb but the bottle has issues-- like white staining, dirt in it, scratches, etc-- then the label was likely added on in the last 20 years.
2. If a label tells you the ounces, and you're suspicious of it, pour water carefully into it up to where its neck begins and pour that into a measuring cup. Do the ounces about match up?
3. If the label looks like it was made so cheaply that it can't be real, well, it probably isn't.
Signs NOT to be too concerned over:
1. A label over another label or embossing. Many companies pirated bottles and threw their labels over other labels or embossing. Common practice.
2. A label so beat to Hell that it almost detracts from the bottle. This, though, kind of deceived me. My label is in fair shape but is missing portions, has holes and clear signs of wear in it.
3. A bottle, like medicines, with its original box-- or one very common that it isn't likely to be faked.
Other label information:
1. It is very immoral but common to put a label on a bottle, for display purposes or to sell, and go to sell it without alerting the customer. Sadly, the customer is less likely to let it be know that the label is fake or an original added on later. We could avoid this by etching the bottom of the bottle with FAKE LABEL, but that is not something most of us would do.
2. Some companies, though mostly in the modern era, have one-uped fakers. Sebewaing Brewing Co. used a fascinating system of putting dates on their beer by notching the label in a special machine. The month and day are notched on either side of the label. New old stock added on after the Brewery went out typically is not notched. So, sometimes fakers will fail.
3. Do not be fooled by a beat-up, worn, damaged label. If it is suspicious, be suspicious. I made an error in wanting the bottle badly enough to not look at all signs.
This is thankfully my only label added on later.
Last edited by Robby Raccoon; 03-01-2016 at 10:35 PM.
That's great info, and good practical advice. I looked at a 1930's-50's paper labeled whiskey collection last week, which had a few older meds, with labels, and it was a good hands on lesson , to identify these old paper labels. Even 50 to 80 year old paper labels stored inside, were chipping and slipping off the bottles. This is the oldest labeled bottle ,with tax stamp, a Memphis pre-pro whiskey, I've found inside a rusty can, from a hilltop trash pit.
Just wanted to add , that there are many pre-pro Jack Daniel labels , floating around and for sell on ebay. Since many JD pre-pro bottles are $300 to 700 dollars, the fake labels add nothing to their value. Same for amber SS Coca-Cola.
I have it wrapped in newspaper tightly and boxed inside. It is extremely fragile, bear. I've had people suggest a clear coat or lacquer spray , but instead I keep it out of direct sunshine. I have found a couple more , but the labels fell apart.
And there also is my dilemma. I restore books but won't do anything I cannot undo. But it is difficult to protect a deteriorating label without sealing it.
Sometimes, when lucky, they become as ACLs-- part of the glass, and therefore stay on. I saw a really rare paper label on a rare stolen bottle. It was dug and had for 15 years above ground stayed on the glass it is bonded to.
The old clear-coats turned yellow-brown with time. They worked to keep the label on and intact, but they turned very dark. So there's fear that the modern ones aren't any better.
My own solution to paper labels...buy mylar plastic bags meant for comics/magazines, etc. These are large enough to hold a given bottle with a paper label. Before I "invested" in mylar bags I had wrapped all my labeled bottles in tissue paper. Supposedly tissue paper is acidic and is supposed to destroy old paper/labels. After 15 years none of my paper labeled bottles had any damage from the tissue paper.
As far as fake paper labels, always look out for labels "going the wrong way". Labels were always pasted on to read from top to bottom. Labels pasted on a bottle sideways or labels pasted on a bottle shape never used for the particular ingredient listed on the label -- are very likely fake/pasted on later labels.
Read through the old Whital-Tatum catalog -- specific bottle designs/shapes were always used for certain products. Perfume bottles were a certain shape, Florida Waters, druggists, olive oils, bay rum, whiskey/whisky, poison, jamaica ginger, sodas --these bottles were offered by the glass blowers in distinct/certain shapes.
Yes, there will be exceptions but not all that off-shape: whiskeys with olive oil labels, druggist bottles with soda labels, unembossed cylinders with jamaica ginger labels, etc. You will not see an olive oil bottle legitimately "re-labelled" with a perfume label, for example.
Yes, of course there will always be exceptions. But purveyors of products back in the 1800s were well aware of certain bottle shapes indicating certain contents, as the glass house catalogues indicate.
So other than experience and common sense there are ways to differentiate fake/mismatched labels to non-appropriate bottles.
And nothing like finding an straight side amber Certo bottle with a fake 1910 Coca-Cola label , price tag stating, "Rare Coca-Cola bottle, bottled by Certo Bottling Co. $75.00". Saw that back a couple months ago, but phone battery died, after I came back, it had sold!
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