• 4
    Dec

Victorian Trash for Christmas: A Fine Pin Cushion Doll

For almost 40 years, I have been on my hands and knees, digging through trash. It is to the point where more people know me by my “a.k.a.” name—The Downeast Digger—than by my actual name. It started innocently enough, as my older brother towed my sister and me out in the trailer of our old […]

Read More
  • 3
    Aug

EBay has changed the Face of Bottle Collecting (just like every other Collectible)

For those of us who have been collecting enthusiasts for more than 30-plus years, the advent of eBay was a colossal game-changer. In my specialty—collecting antique American bottles—it has certainly been the case. In the 1970 and ’80s, someone who bought and sold bottles—or dug them out of the ground like me—had two places to […]

Read More
  • 6
    Jul

Read My Lips… There’s Treasure in Your Back Yard!

Almost any time I mention to someone that I dig for antique bottles, the first words out of their mouths is something along the lines of: “… you’re kidding! Well, as a matter of fact, one time we were digging a hole for a new water pipe behind our house and the back hoe started […]

Read More
  • 7
    Apr

A Holy Grail of New England Bottles, a ‘Stoddard Flag Flask,’ Found

Yes, that headline is correct, and I’d love to be able to say I was the one who found it. I didn’t, but the next best thing is for a friend of mine to have dug it up. He did, and I was able to see it and hold it myself. My friend, whose name […]

Read More
  • 2
    Feb

That ‘Doggone’ Rug: How Some Typos can be turned into Collectible Gold

There are times when attention to detail seems to have gone to the dogs. At least, that’s the opinion of Bob Gualtieri, the sheriff of Pinellas County, Fla., who ordered a large green rug from American Floor Mats. The rug was to feature the Sheriff’s Office logo: a black, gold, and blue star emblazoned with […]

Read More
  • 22
    Jan

Digging on Antique Bottle: Start Your Collection with Glass Ink Pots

Many advanced collectors of early American glass bottles will tell you the category they first started collecting was ink bottles. Their diminutive size and alluring colors and shapes catch the eye of anyone with an appreciation for detail and a fascination with the early glass-blowing trade as it developed on this continent. For a beginner […]

Read More
  • 6
    Nov

‘Stay Extraordinary’ Coke Bottles may be Unique, but are they Collectible?

When Coca-Cola of Israel announced it was packaging more than two million bottles of Diet Coke, each in a differently patterned shrink-wrap coating, I thought it would be interesting to investigate. The “Stay Extraordinary” ad campaign’s media release says the company wanted to “convey to Diet Coke lovers that they are extraordinary” by creating one-of-a-kind […]

Read More
  • 7
    Jan

Q & A with Harry Rinker: Silver-Plated Furness Bermuda Shaker

QUESTION: I have a silver-plated salt or pepper shaker from the Furness Bermuda line. It measures approximately 3 1/2 inch high. The bottom is marked “Triple deposit, Mappin & Webb, Prince’s Plate, London & Sheffield C60/28.” The hallmark is an “m” inside a shield. What is its value? – K.J., Bozeman, Mont. ANSWER: In 1874, […]

Read More
  • 4
    Dec

Q & A with Harry Rinker: Vinturi Wine Aerator, Remington Model 12 Pump-Action Rifle

QUESTION: I collect antique bottles by finding them when walking alongside the river banks in my area. This summer I came across an odd piece. It appears to be a piece of tube of some sort. It measures 3 5/8-inches in length. There are no manufacturing marks on it. The glass is clear and appears […]

Read More
  • 22
    Oct

It’s All in the Marks: Identifying Baccarat Crystal and Glass

Baccarat has built a worldwide reputation for making perfume bottles, barware, quality stemware and chandeliers. Baccarat has a history dating back to the early years of the 19th century, beginning with the production of crystal in 1816. Prior to that time, the company’s main production was mirrors and window panes. Baccarat received its first royal […]

Read More