You should have been there.  Over three hundred bottle dealers from all over the country converged on the Syracuse Convention Center for two fun filled days of bottle looking, buying, selling and trading.  As far as National shows goes this one, while not the biggest, offered lots of variety and quality for collectors.  Friday the show opened from 1-5 PM with early buyers being let in at the same time as the dealers for set-up.  Saturday morning saw a long line of eager attendees waiting for the opening bell.  

One thing that distinguishes a National Show is its ability to attract top notch displays.  Here's a sample of what you could have seen.

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Hostetter Bitters

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Orange Crush Display

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Flask Display

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Figural Display


A display at a national show is a unique opportunity to see bottles you have never seen before. Most of the bottles shown in the displays were collected over many many years.  To see all of these top of the line bottles presented in one showing was a visual delight.  This National Show was in Syracuse and only a few hours away from Lockport, New York the home of the Lockport Glass Works.  Lockport was known for Merchant's Gargling Oil.  These bottles are very popular with collectors because of both their age and their color.  "Lockport Green" is the term used to describe the wide range of teal and emerald colors blown at the glassworks.  New York also seems to have quite a number of stoneware gingerbeers.

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Southern Face Jugs

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Hotchkiss Peppermint Extract

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Merchant's Lockport

There was lots of activity around the tables and sales were reportedly good.

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View of the Hall

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An Offering of Bitters

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Black Glass Table

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Goodies for Sale

If you have never been to a bottle show then you are missing a treat.  Jim Mitchell, a Florida dealer was selling a table full of bitters shown above.  He had various barrel bitters in unusual colors, Indian Queen Figural Bitters and the National Ear of Corn Bitters.  Some tables specialized in certain items like the black glass shown above while others had a general line of merchandise.  there were tables of ACL sodas, Milk bottles, Historical Flasks, medicines and almost anything bottle collectors might be interested in purchasing.

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WOW- a puce Hostetter's Bitters.  An offer for an undisclosed amount was in the five figure range for this one-of-a-kind beauty.  I'll bet you have never seen one of these.  I hadn't.

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Dann Louis (cure collector) and his wife talk with Jeff Campbell (bitters collector).  Jeff is well known for his attractive lighted table display.

Below (far left) Adam Koch, a well known Ohio dealer and show chairman for the Columbus, Ohio Show held in February talks with Ed Harrold a collector from Sarasota, Florida.  In addition to doing the Sarasota bottle show, Ed and his wife travel to many Northern shows selling a wide range of quality bottles (second from left).  

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Shown above at at the (far) right are Jim Hagenbach, publisher of the Antique Bottle and Glass Collector Magazine and the GlassWorks Auctions and his assistant (third photo) Jesse Sailer. Together, along with Jim's wife Janice they publish a great monthly magazine. If you can't get a show then definitely get a copy.  Check them out online at