What would you like to see in a bottle book?


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I am considering putting out a new PRINTED medicine guide in 2112 (assuming the world doesnt end).
I have put out a CDROM price guide for many years but people are always asking for an actual paper book.
I would appreciate some feedback from forum members about what they would like to see in a bottle book.
Answer as many questions as you can. If you dont want to post the answer here you can email me mknapp@antiquemedicines.com
A lot of effort goes into this so I want to try and get it right.
My feeling at the moment is to do something similar to the Fruit Jar Redbook in phyical format (large paperback).

1. What size book is best , a large 8 1/2 x 11 (thinner) or a small handbook like Kovels/Polak size (thicker)?

2. How important are photos, are drawings ok?

3. Would you want actual average values, dollar price ranges, a relative rarity indication, or no values at all?

4. What type of binding is preferred? Paperback stitched, paperback spiral/comb, hardback stitched?

5. What level of bottles should be included? Rare, Common, All?

6. Would you still want a cheaper CDROM option?


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I think it defintely should have some photos, but all descriptions dont need photos. . Also, there should be some common bottles listed, but mostly rare. Just my opinion and the book sounds like a great idea.


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I think a book would be an excellent idea. I know as a newbie collector I'm always looking for reference guides to help me out. I think drawings/descriptions would be ok, I know i'm learning to identify my jars by the drawings in redbook. I would like to see actual average values for bottles, (what they've really been bringing). I know some books are way out of the ballpark compared to what I see on ebay, flea markets, etc. As far as what bottles to put in, some of both would be good. I'd like to see some of what I'm likely to be finding when I'm out and about, but it would be nice to know some of the rare ones as well in the unlikely event I would come across something rare. Hope this helps - just the humble opinion of a newbie [:)]


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I want to make something beginner collectors can use, not just advanced collectors.
So all opinions are important to me. Thanks


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1 larger is better, 2 photos are better, but much more costly to print which would bring up the cost of the book, I think a good selection of photos for rare or colorful bottles but the majority of examples drawn out. 3 yes to values and price ranges and yes to rarity... 4 Hardback 5 all. 6 yes


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5. What level of bottles should be included? Rare, Common, All?

I think if you include as many bottles as possible, it will be more useful to more people. I don't know if expert collectors would get tired of leafing through pages of commons, trying to find out about a rare one, but I'm sure all us novices would appreciate a well-listed guide.. a bigger book costs more, of course.. more royalties for you..


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How about some privy diggers in action. [8D]. And a section for "dug" bottles,not just. Attic mint stuff.


Well-Known Member
If you made a book, Matt, I'd buy it in a heartbeat. When I'm out and about, the most common embossed bottles I find whose values I don't know are medicines. I come across medicines all the time I've never heard of, and I never know if I should buy them. Sometimes it's worth the gamble, and other times I get burned.

I don't have a redbook, but I think that they used a successful model for pricing a sector of collecting, based on all the good things I've heard about it.

I'd say any bottles worth less than $10 in good condition should be in a giant list, like this website has. If I see a bottle on that list, then I'll know not to pay much for it.

Bottles worth more than $10 deserve their own individual entries. By this I mean typical shapes/sizes, with average price for each, and "EXACT EMBOSSING/ FOR/ EACH BOTTLE". Obviously it should be alphabetized by product, sort of organized like a bird field guide. I'd like a small book that I can carry easily when I walk through antique shops. Pictures are nice, but I think they should only be used where needed. I think concise descriptions of the shape/color should be enough. "Rectangular, 5" aqua, embossing on front panel", etc. should be enough.

I'm really looking forward to you putting out a book, Matt. You'll be doing the hobby a great service. Everyone here would like to thank you! Thanks!

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