Many would say that Blown Glass Bottles are the most valuable of all bottles because of their historical significance and age.  Early examples are rare. You are not likely for run into one at a yard sale.  Collectors have been searching for these since the early 1900s. Most of the surviving examples were made from 1790-1830.


You might see dealers using certain keywords when describing items they have for sale such as “Stiegel” “Keene”, “Stoddard” or “Sandwich” glass. These terms are often used loosely and buyers who are not experts in a given type of glass should be wary. Many reproductions of early blown bottles can be found. Mexican reproductions have been around for more than fifty years and can easily fool a buyer.


Many of the items made in America’s early glass factories were not bottles but plates, bowls, cups, decanters, creamers and goblets.  But many bottles were produced in this early stage of American Glass History


Characteristics of these early bottles include a lack of embossing but they may have raised patterns. Many were blown without the use of molds.  When mold were used they usually only imparted a pattern to the body of the bottle which would have been shaped and formed by the blower. 

The illustration above shows typical lip styles of early American blown glass. These bottles are always pontil marked.



          Pattern Mold Bottles

These beautiful hand-formed bottles were dipped into a cup shaped metal mold with a pattern which was then expanded as the bottle was blown larger and shaped. the patterns were often ribs and were often swirled to the left or right and sometimes even dipped in a second time or second mold to add a pattern.


Bottles such as those shown below would be quite valuable, selling in the $800-$2500 range or more.


Pitkin Flasks

These highly sought after pint and half pint flasks were blown using the German Half Post method in New England Connecticut area in the 1810-1830 period. Recently they have become very popular and prices have escalated into the thousands.  They are distinctive with their swirl and rib pattern. Most examples sell in the $1500-2500 range.



Chestnut Bottles

These blown bottles from the 18th and 19th centuries are flatten on the sides.  They are blown without the use of molds and formed by the blower.  They are relatively common and usually sell for under $1000.


Three Mold Geometric Pattern Bottles and decanters

Most collectors would be lucky to ever see one of these fine and early blown bottles. They are rare and very valuable worth in the thousands of dollars.  Blown in eastern glasshouses these are prized by collectors as among the finest examples of Early American Glass. Many of the decanter had patterned blown stoppers.


Free Blown Glass


There is a great variety of what is called free blown glass.  It can be very difficult to distinguish particular types and for this reason the collectors are often highly specialized collecting a single glasshouse or region.


Midwestern Blown Glass

These early bottles blown in the 1800-1830 era are typical of Ohio and Western Pennsylvania style blown bottles.  The most desirable specimens are called Swirls (left) or Club (right) bottles and have a pattern in the glass of swirled ribs.  In colors other than aqua they command top prices in the thousands of dollars.  The most valuable example is cobalt blue. Most aqua globular bottles sell in the $200-$400 range.


Nailsea Glass

Often found in this country but blown in Europe, Nailsea flasks have a characteristic looping or swirls of color. They often sell for under $500.

Stove Polish Bottles

These are very popular with collectors as they plentiful and still affordable examples of early blown bottles.  The most valuable stove polish bottle would be labeled or embossed. Unlabeled examples can be purchased for $90-$150



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The pictures below are bottles made in since 1930 that often fool the beginner. These bottles are not among the most valuable Blown Bottles. Got a question about your piece of glass? Ask Digger. Email me at jaok20@bottlebooks.com


New Bottles the Collector might mistake for American Blown Glass


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.


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Digger Odell Price Guides

Volume 6 and Flask Price Guide