Hello, new to the forum with somewhat of a mystery bottle that I found recently in an obscure antique shop in Asheville, NC. I've searched rather exhaustively and cannot find another example so I'm hoping the knowledgeable folks on here will have an answer. The bottle is colorless and stands 10 1/2 inches tall. Bubbles throughout.
I'm no help whatsoever, but it would sure look good in a run of different cabin molds. Looks 1890ish to me. Never seen one like it in my 45 years of collecting. Maybe someone more knowledgeable will be able to help out.
Thanks for your reply, Sandchip. We usually collect and display a lot of cut glass and flint glass such as the early 3 ring decanters and this bottle really appealed to me because it has that look and feel of early flint glass. I was surprised when I found it but it was just pure dumb luck on my part by being in the right place at the right time as it had literally just been brought in. The woman at the front desk told me that the seller took a booth in that shop so she could start selling off some of her late father's antique collection and that he had been an avid bottle collector for years, but the daughter really didn't know anything about bottles or even how to price them. I'm definitely going to keep a watch on that booth!
The closest log bottle to this one that I can find anywhere is the "American Life Bitters" bottle. The American Life bottle features a top window(however embossed) above a cathedral-esque door. The bottle I have features basically the same arrangement. Could this bottle possibly be an obscure variant of Peter Iler's American Life Bitters?
Anything's possible, but I have to doubt it. Judging from the rarity of the American Life, I tend to think that Iler probably didn't stay in business long, and his bottle being earlier with an applied top, I doubt that he would've been in business long enough to have changed his bottle design in later years to one blown in a full-height mold with a tooled top, if my reasoning makes any sense. Whoever made your bottle, if indeed it was used to bottle a proprietor's product like bitters, whiskey, etc., then I would also suspect that he, too was unsuccessful. It's fascinating to consider that the ones that were such huge successes for so many years like Hostetter, Davis, Townsend, Emerson (Bromo-Seltzer), etc. left behind so many bottles that theirs are relatively common and hence, less valuable. The poor entrepreneurs who failed left behind bottles that bring huge money nowadays. If only they could've cashed in back then, what their bottles bring today, they would've been rich men. Oh, the irony of life at times! With that said, one thing that would suppress the value of your bottle, even if it's the only example known, is the lack of embossing. The other is its age which appears to be late 1800s. An applied top and maybe even a pontil scar would undoubtably drive the desirability/value higher. With all my blathering on, it's still a beautiful bottle that would look fantastic in a run of different cabin molds.
Thanks Sandchip, I knew it was a shot in the dark but it's just so hard to find any comparables anywhere. I was hoping someone would recognize it and say "Oh that's a ________ bottle made by _____" lol but I guess it may actually be one of a kind and never seen before, which is actually pretty exciting in of itself. It would be nice if I could find an early advertisement with an example of this bottle on it but I've not had any luck so far. The only other comparable I can find is a variation of a Drake's Plantation bottle with a similar top. I'll post a pic of it. I've read that the Drake's bottles were being made up until about 1890. Not saying it's a variation of a Drake's by any means, just has a similar top to a one of a kind(as far as I know) Drake variant.
My first thought was "bung hole". You see it on some barrel figurals to represent where the spigot would be inserted, but I've never seen one on a cabin. Probably not what it is, just what popped into my mind.