Six Bottle, Flask & Glass Hat Whimsey Collections Head to Auction

This National Bitters bottle from the collection of John April and boasting an estimate of $2,500 to $5.000 could well be the auction’s top lot.

WOODSTOCK, Conn. — An impressive selection of more than 200 antique bottles and flasks from several prominent collections will be offered at absentee Internet-only auction slated for May 13 through 22 by Norman C. Heckler & Company.

Billed as the May Opportunity Auction, it will be open to online bids, with no printed catalog or callbacks. Phone, fax, absentee, postal mail and e-mail bids will also be accepted.

Headlining the sale will be bottles from the collection of John April, a broad-based collector and fan of early bottles, and 42 pictorial and historical flasks from the collection of Mike Roberts, an expert on Washington-Taylor and double-eagle flasks.

Also offered will be rare antique bottles from the collections of Dr. Paul S. Andreson, Ralph Finch, Gary Hatstat and Bernie Robert—all dedicated lifelong collectors. Bidding will officially begin on Mon., May 13, at 9 a.m. EST and conclude on Mon., May 22, at 10 p.m.

“There really will be something for just about everybody and at price points for all levels of collector,” said Norman C. Heckler, owner of Norman C. Heckler & Company.

A group of eight scroll flasks from the Mike Roberts collection will also come to auction.

The Mike Roberts collection will feature a group of eight scroll flasks, all made circa 1845-1860, probably by Louisville Glassworks of Kentucky, and carrying pre-sale estimates ranging from $500 to $4,000; and a half-dozen cornucopia-urn pictorial flasks, some dating to 1820-1840 and a few made by Lancaster Glass Works of New York. These are estimated to bring $200 to $800 each.

The expected stars of the Ralph Finch collection are fancy and figural cologne bottles, to be offered in multiple lots. All are attributed to the Boston and Sandwich Glass Works and were made in the mid-to-late 19th century. They are estimated to fetch $300 to $1,000 per lot.

The Dr. Paul S. Andreson collection boasts numerous free-blown and pattern-molded glass hat whimseys, possible by makers hailing from the East Coast to the Midwest. A Pitkin Glass Works of Manchester, Conn. whimsey was made circa 1787-1830 and features a cylindrical hat form and nice medium olive amber color and is estimated to fetch $600 to $1,200.

The top lots of the entire sale could very well come from the John April collection. Expected to do well are a National Bitters figural bottle in the form of an ear of corn, circa 1860-1880, in fine condition and in a brilliant yellow color, with an estimate of $2,500 to $5,000; and a Clark’s Superior Record Ink master inkbottle, made in New England around 1820-1848, with an estimate of $2,000 to $4,000.

Previews will be held from April 22 to May 21 at Norman C. Heckler & Company’s gallery facility. There, bidders will be able to inspect the bottles being offered, during regular business hours of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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