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Rare, Beautiful Examples of Early Glass, Flasks and Bottles Up in Heckler’s Online Sale

by Special to WorthPoint (03/06/14).

This Sunburst Snuff Jar from the Clarissa Vanderbilt Dundon collection of historical flasks, is expected to realize between $20,000 and $40,000 in a compact but potent online sale to be hosted by Norman C. Heckler & Company, beginning March 17 and ending March 26.

WOODSTOCK, Conn. – Nearly 100 examples of exceptional glass items will be up for bid in a compact but potent online sale to be hosted by Norman C. Heckler & Company, beginning March 17 and ending March 26.

“This won’t be our biggest sale ever, but I’m extremely pleased with the quality and rarity of the bottles and glass being offered.” said Norman Heckler. “This auction includes exceptional pieces in a surprising number of bottle collecting categories including early glass, historical flasks, colored medicines, whimsy hats, bitters, inks, black glass and more.”

A number of the more remarkable pieces will be coming from the Clarissa Vanderbilt Dundon collection of historical flasks. Mrs. Dundon is the daughter of pioneer collector Merritt Vanderbilt. This vast collection has been admired and sought after by many great collectors over the years.

Perhaps the most noteworthy piece from the Vanderbilt Dundon collection is a Sunburst Snuff Jar manufactured by Keene Marlboro Street Glassworks (Keene, N.H.), circa 1815-1830. The deep yellowish-green bottle, incredibly rare and in virtually perfect condition, has a pre-sale estimate of $20,000 to $40,000.

Three flasks carry identical pre-sale estimates of $15,000 to $30,000. The first is a very early, rare and unusually colored Concentric Ring Eagle historical flask, made circa 1818-1830 by New England Glass Company. This brilliant yellow-green flask is accompanied by profuse correspondence dating to the 1950s from George and Betty McKearin, as well as J.E. Nevil, concerning the proposed purchase of the flask (though they were not successful).

The second flask is a Washington Bust and Frigate portrait flask (circa 1847-1850) in a brilliant yellowish-olive, manufactured by Albany Glass Works. The third, a light yellow-olive Eagle-Cornucopia half-pint historical flask, is an early rarity from the Pitkin Glass Works (Manchester, Conn.), made circa 1815-1830.

Another important half-pint flask is a Lafayette–DeWitt Clinton portrait flask, from Coventry (Conn.) Glass Works, circa 1825. This flask is rare because it has two rings at the bottom rather than three, and it is estimated at $2,500-$5,000.

Rounding out the flasks category are two examples, both expected to realize $4,000-$8,000. The Double Eagle historical pint flask, made around 1850-1855, possibly by Kentucky Glass Works (Louisville, Ky.), is a beautiful and popular brilliant sapphire blue. The second is a sea-green concentric-ring eagle historical quart flask, made circa 1820-1830, probably by New England Glass Co.

This early, rare and unusually colored Concentric Ring Eagle historical flask, made circa 1818-1830 by New England Glass Company, could sell for $15,000 to $30,000).

This extremely rare “J.L. Thompson / Troy N-Y” master ink bottle has a pre-sale estimate of $2,000-$4,000.

This beautiful ear of corn “National Bitters” figural bottle, with an early multicolored painted surface, circa 1860-1880, could fetch $3,000 to $6,000.

Of the eight hat whimsies in the auction, two are particularly noteworthy. One is an octagonal hat formed from a utility mold glass bottle, made in America circa 1840-1860, bright golden amber in color (est. $1,000-$2,000). The second, an example from the Dr. Paul S. Andreson collection of hat whimsies, is a bright light green pattern molded glass hat whimsey with 16 ribs swirled to the right, probably made in Midwest America circa 1820-1840 (est. $500-$1,000).

There will be 13 early medicines in the auction. A “Rushton & / Aspinwall / New-York” – “Compound / Chlorine / Toothwash” medicine bottle, circa 1840-1860, probably made by either a Stoddard or Keene glasshouse (est. $7,500-$15,000) stands out because of the unusually large flared mouth which is particularly interesting because it has no damage despite its delicate nature. Another standout lot is a beautiful bright golden amber “Howard’s / Vegetable / Cancer & / Canker Syrup” medicine bottle from a Stoddard (N.H.) glasshouse, circa 1846-1860 (est. $6,000-$12,000).

All four black glass bottles in the auction are fine examples. One is a sealed wine bottle, probably made in England circa 1820-1830, which is historically significant because it was made for the Massachusetts politician Jonathan Mason (est. $600-$1,200). Another English sealed wine bottle in a deep olive green reads “Jno Croad-Esqr.-Keyham / 1797”, with an estimate of $800-$1,600. The deep olive green “T Bailey” sealed wine bottle was probably made in England between 1760 and 1770 (est. $1,000-$2,000). The base embossed “New Eng Glass Bottle Co” rum bottle is the only American black glass bottle in this auction, estimated at $600-$1,200.

This “Rushton & / Aspinwall / New-York” – “Compound / Chlorine / Toothwash” medicine bottle, circa 1840-1860, probably made by either a Stoddard or Keene glasshouse, has a pre-sale estimate of $7,500 to $15,000.

Among the seven bitters in the sale is a beautiful yellow green ear of corn “National Bitters” figural bottle, with an early multicolored painted surface, made in America circa 1860-1880 (est. $3,000-$6,000). A “Brown’s Celebrated Indian Herb Bitters” Indian queen figural bottle, circa 1860-1880 catches the eye in a brilliant golden yellow with a topaz tone estimated at $1,000-$2,000.

There are a number of rare and exceptional ink bottles and inkwells in this auction. A “J.L. Thompson / Troy N-Y” master ink bottle in a bright yellow olive is unlisted and extremely rare with an estimate of $2,000-$4,000. The unusual square form of a Pitkin type inkwell probably from Manchester, Conn., circa 1783-1830, estimated at $1,500-$3,000, should draw attention. Another master ink bottle to take note of is the “North & / Warrin’s / Fine Ink” circa 1840-1860, dark grayish/blue-green in color (est. $500-$1,000).

Among all these exceptional bottles is a little gem. A rare utility item in a freeblown egg form will catch the fancy of many a collector because of its distinctive shape. The little light yellow olive bottle was probably manufactured at a Connecticut glasshouse and is only 3 ½ inches tall (est. $400-$800).

Previews will be held until March 15 at Heckler’s showroom, located at 79 Bradford Corner Road in Woodstock Valley, Conn. There, collectors will be able to inspect the bottles being offered during regular business hours of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. To schedule an appointment or to order a color catalog, bidders may call 860.974.1634.

Norman C. Heckler & Company was founded in 1987 as a full-service auction and appraisal firm. Today it is the foremost auction house in the U.S. for antique glass. In Oct. 2010, the firm set a record for an antique glass bottle at auction when a General Jackson eagle portrait flask went for $176,670. In addition to glass, the firm also offers early American antique items.

Norman C. Heckler & Company is accepting quality consignments for future sales. To inquire about consigning a single piece or an entire collection, call 860.974.1634 or e-mail to info@hecklerauction.com“>info@hecklerauction.com. To learn more about the upcoming Auction #108 slated for March 17-26, visit the Norman C. Heckler & Company website.


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