Some of you may have heard thru the grapevine that I happen to collect Paterson N.J. stoneware, this LONG WINDED post is about my newest acquisition.
Back in 2010, about a year after I started collecting glass bottles, I got my first Paterson stoneware jug thanks to my mentor giving me a call about one being sold at a local sale at a record store of all places. Since that day I am now up to about 275 stoneware jugs and bottles from Paterson. My research thru the years led me to finding Adolph L. Schwarz having the largest liquor store in N.J. at the turn of the century, that's where this post becomes relevant.
While my first Paterson jug was acquired in 2010, it wasn't until July 1, 2012 when I acquired my first script Schwarz 1/2 gallon with the attractive diagonal name in cobalt blue glaze, with the ink stamped "REGISTERED" above the script and "PATERSON N.J. / THIS JUG NOT TO BE SOLD BELOW IT". Then in March 2014 I acquired the same style jug without any of the ink stamps, then in June of 2018 I acquired another jug similar to the first one, but "REGISTERED" was in larger hollow letters instead of the single line letters seen on the first jug.
By this time I was made aware a jug that had a cobalt stripe around the neck, I was also made aware of another 1/2 gallon jug with a body that was grey, and that had a cobalt top that went from the lip to about 1/3 the way down the jug, including the handle, thanks to a pic from longtime N.J. stoneware collector Henry Cross had sent me from his collection. So it became my mission to to hunt those "last two" know variants down so I could have a "complete set of 5".
Then a few weeks later in June of 2018 yet another "new variant" was offered to me by the owner of an antique shop here in N.J., he is a longtime friend of my mentor, and I couldn't get to the store fast enough. This now meant there were actually 6 1/2 gallon variants, and not the 5 I thought there were. On the base of the jug in black marker it says "J.E. Riley's / Vinager Jug", research showed he was a train engineer in Paterson, a central hub when it came to locomotive building in the U.S.A., needless to say I was elated, and it made me crave the 2 remaining jugs more than ever.
Well as luck would have it a Facebook friend I made from the area, who also happens to collect stoneware, shared a pic of the 1/2 gallon with the blue band around the neck in October of 2018. I didn't ask if it was for sale, nor did I offer to buy it, I simply said how nice it was and that it was one of two I needed to complete the "set of 6". The next day he was kind enough to offer it to me, and of course I jumped at the chance, leaving me with only the Henry Cross variant to find to complete the set. As luck would have it in May of this year a Facebook friend had PM'd me about a jug he saw at an antique show and sale about 1-1/2 hours from me the day before, he wasn't sure if it was still there, but I had to take the ride just in case it was. As soon as I walked in the pavilion the dealer was in there it was, I ran over and grabbed it, as I stood up I saw another SUPER RARE N.J. jug that I knew was of great value, but that's a story for another time.
Since it was late in the day I made a fair offer for the jug and the seller accepted, I cradled that jug like a newborn baby all the way back to the car, My "SET OF 6" 1/2 gallons from Schwarz was COMPLETE!! Or was it????
I tag 99% of my photos with "Paterson N.J. bottles wanted - Epackage@msn.com", this has lead to hundreds of emails over the years from people looking for values, or when I'm lucky, looking to sell what they've found. 3 weeks ago I got such an email from a niece woman in Maryland, and when I looked at the pics my jaw dropped, it had the blue band around the neck, a short tailed "Z", and "A.L. Schwarz / Paterson / N.J.", a variant I have never seen, the only question I had for her being "How tall is it????" When she told me 9" I knew there were now 7 Schwarz 1/2 gallons, but I made sure to keep my composure until I knew why she had contacted me. It turned out she owned the jug for over 40 years, took it with her to all 4 houses she had owned, and had given it to a neighbor to sell for $10 at the neighbor's garage sale that weekend. LUCKILY the neighbor told her "this is not a $10 garage sale item", and told her to research it online.
Well her Google search brought up dozens of pictures of Paterson stoneware, 90% of which had my "Want Ad & Email" at the bottom of them. She asked for a value and if I was interested, and I was happy to tell her what I thought it would bring on Ebay and I made her an offer, which she very happily accepted. I was lucky enough that Facebook bottle collector Eric Gunn travels thru Annapolis for work where she lives, because she had never shipped stoneware before, and that scared us both, and Eric was kind enough to pick it up and ship it for me. Today it arrived safe and sound, it's as nice as the day it was made, but I will not "assume" this makes a "Complete set of 7" 1/2 gallon Schwarz jugs based on how this has all played out over the last 7 years. Paterson seems to be the land of never ending bottles and stoneware, and I'm very thankful and honored to have the majority of them...
Wow, Nice find. Congrats. I wish I could find more Detroit Jugs like that but they seem pretty obscure. LEON.
Paterson and Newark N.J. seem to be the centers of the script jug world, just added this 1903-04 2 gallon from Louis E. Hellthal, the only known variant of his jugs to ever appear as well, the "unicorns" just keep coming... lol