Through the years, I have found numerous bottles: many colors, shapes, sizes and bottles that once held a variety of products. I recall finding a figural bottle about 10 years ago that I thought might bring a huge profit, only to find out it was a reproduction of a very early bottle.
I bought a book on bottle collecting a while ago and it has proven to be quite helpful. I have not been able to locate any that are worth too much but the tips have made me avoid some costly expenditures. It gives a lot of information on how to date a bottle. One of the most helpful was how to look for reproductions by watching the pontil marks: the “scar” left on the base of the bottle where the rod was drawn away.
The book recommends that you find one area of collecting, perhaps soda water, medicine bottles, or milk bottles. We’ve sold quite a few milk bottles at flea markets and on the Internet, most in the $15 to $25 range. We once attended a farm auction and three gents in bib overalls were bidding on the same milk bottle. After heavy bidding, it sold for $220! Hubby and I hurried over to view this fantastic find, only to see a plain, clear bottle with orange lettering for a dairy with a simple name like “Brenner’s.” To this day, we’ve never found one with such a high value, and we probably never will.
Bottle collecting is huge and the people who know what they are doing, with some luck, can probably gather a nice collection. Several antique malls we’ve frequented lately have mentioned that glassware sales are improving, including Depression glass, so maybe now is the time to read up on this area of collecting. You can find them in a wide variety of areas, they’re quite affordable, and if you collect a color such as cobalt blue or green, they are fun to display.