MOST VALUABLE APOTHECARY BOTTLES

Digger Odell Publications © 2007

These collectibles have wide appeal to a number of specialized collectors. Again, the factors affecting their value include rarity, color, size and age.  The oldest examples are not American but European.  Early Apothecaries would have brought their bottles from the Continent in the 1600-1700s. 

American examples are more often plain clear or flint glass with applied labels under glass which were affixed to the jar or bottle by the local druggist.  Every 19th century drugstore in America had these bottles along with display globes which were put in the windows to attract attention.

Counter-top product display jars often bring the highest prices.  These bottles are less available because they were made in smaller number than the Flint glass label jars and bottles.

American Show Globes like these bring thousands but are never seen in color other than clear. Nearly all the Druggist ware was made of clear glass this was desirable so all could see the contents.

Local proprietors put paper labels on the bottles and manufacturers sometimes had specialty jars made with glass labels, but most were clear glass.  To protect the contents of some chemicals druggist sometimes ordered amber or cobalt glass but not in the styles shown above.

 

MOST VALUABLE BOTTLES

So much of the druggist glassware was made in clear glass that colored examples sell much easier.  Many colored apothecary jars found in today's market are foreign. 

apothecary Jars some of them are very early going back to the 1600-1700s. Labels were regularly painted on and examples with the original paint bring a premium often selling in the hundreds of dollars

 

European Apothecary

European Apothecary

European Apothecary

These Apothecary are late 19th century early 20th century and sell for $30-50 each.

Typical clear Apothecary bottles need labels in perfect condition to be valuable.  The cobalt example is circa 1880-1900. The pair might bring $150

COUNTER TOP PRODUCT JARS OFTEN BRING HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS.  THERE ARE GOOD REPROS OUT THERE SO KNOW WHERE THE ITEM CAME FROM.

  UNEMBOSSED EXAMPLES  
 

Syrup Bottles are popular those with famous names bring the most.

REFERENCES

Odell, John. Digger Odell's Official Antique Bottle & Glass Price Guide Poison and Apothecary Bottles

Hume, Ivor Noel. Artifacts of Colonial America . New York . Vintage Press. 1969.

McKearin, Helen, and George S. American Glass. New York: Crown Publishers, 1956.

McKearin, Helen, and George S. Two Hundred Years of American Blown Glass. New York: Crown Publishers, 1950.

McKearin, Helen, and Kenneth M. Wilson. American Bottles and Flasks and Their Ancestry. New York : Crown Publishers, 1978.

Van De Bosche, Willy  Antique Glass Bottles, Antique Collector’s Club, 2001.  (European focus)