THE MOST VALUABLE SPRING WATER BOTTLES

Saratoga Style bottles, so named for the Saratoga Spring in New York state, are the most valuable of the Spring Water bottles. Like in other categories, color is the determining factor.  Pontil age Saratoga Style bottles are uncommon.  The most commonly found pontil Spring water was from Clark & White. At that time, there were relatively few companies distributing their products nationally or even over a broad area until the 1860s when railroad transportation opened more markets.  Dozens of the owners of spring began to bottle and sell their water on the national market.  The golden era for these bottles ranged from 1860-1880.

 

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Early Spring Water pontil examples like those shown above often sell for $800-1200.  Collectors of Saratoga bottles like the crudity of these examples.  The above are both Clark and White Company.  Clark & White produced a variety of styles and sizes over their multi-decade existence.

 

 

Quart sizes in the standard Saratoga shape shown above come in an amazing number of variations in color and embossing.  One thing that makes Saratoga Spring or Mineral Water bottles so collectible is the wonderful range of colors these bottles were made in.  Examples in odd colors or slight color variants can easily double or triples the value. Aqua spring water bottles are often the least valuable.

 

Pints might even be more collectible as they sometimes have pictures embossed instead of letters.  The letters stood for the different springs from which the water was bottled.  Each spring had its own unique mineral content and boast were made of the healing properties of spring water.  Hotels were built at the sites of many of the Springs and it was fashionable to spend a week at the Spa and not only drink, but bathe in the water as well. Some of the more famous Springs are Congress & Empire Springs, Deep Rock Springs, Highrock Congress springs, Vermont Springs, G. W. Weston & Co. and many others.

 

Related to but different from the Saratoga Style bottles are the later period Spring Water bottles.

Colored examples from the 1880-1900 era are rare compared to the earlier bottles.  Good examples like these will sell in the hundreds of dollars.
Blount Springs was a Southern Spring and these bottles despite being somewhat common bring several hundred dollars.  
Less valuable but more common are the aqua spring water bottles in gallon and 5 gallon sizes.  these turn of the century bottles may have interesting pictures embossed.  those without any such embellishment will typically bring $30-75.

Original Poland Spring Water bottle circa 1890 - $100 Value.

Similar bottles in clear often sell for less than the aqua examples.  

 

I have not seen many reproductions in this category. One bottle which has been reproduced several times is the Buffalo Lithia Water bottle with an embossed lady.  These are always old if they are in clear or aqua glass, some old example in deep teal are known but the new ones can be found in a range of colors. New Poland Water bottles were made by numerous companies over a period of several decades in the 20th century.

 


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DIGGER ODELL'S SARATOGA & MINERAL WATER BOTTLE PRICE GUIDE 2010


REFERENCES:

Digger Odell’s Saratoga and Mineral Water Price Guide, 2003.

 

Swanner, Grace Maguire, M. D. Saratoga Queen of Spas, North Country Books, Utica, New York, 1988.  (Not specifically bottle focused but great history.)