Find the value of antique bottles & jars
You may have come across an old bottle or jar while digging in the yard, or up in an attic somewhere. Or maybe your grandma’s pantry housed a glittering array of glass bottles and jars. They look old; they’re certainly pretty; could they be worth something?
HOW TO FIND THE VALUE OF AN ANTIQUE JAR OR BOTTLE
First, identify the manufacturer, age, model, and condition of the bottle. Then, search for those details to try to find similar antiques to learn even more about your potential treasures. Finally, search marketplaces to see what similar antique bottles and jars sold for.
Still having trouble? Our Glass Specialists can uncork the secret of turning vintage bottles into bucks and determine what they're worth in no time. Photographic close-ups of such details on your bottle or jar, along with any marks or numbers, should be sent along with pictures of the piece itself. The more info our experts have, the easier it will be for them to complete the appraisal.
Results delivered to your inbox
First-time customers! Where can we email your FREE discount code?
TYPES OF ANTIQUE GLASS BOTTLES & JARS
There are dozens of categories of collectible bottles, including milk bottles, soda bottles, beer bottles, flasks, ink bottles, perfume bottles, liquor bottles, snuff bottles. Some bottle categories are sexier than others, like bitters bottles (which often come in a variety of shapes) and pictorial flasks.
Although glass bottles date back thousands of years – the ancient Romans used them – most collectors realistically focus on the late 1700s to the early 1900s, when hand- or mouth-blown bottles reigned.
HOW WAS YOUR ANTIQUE GLASS BOTTLE OR JAR MADE?
Machine-made bottles were invented around the turn of the 20th century, and by 1915, represented roughly half the bottles in existence. On average they are worth much less, though they aren’t uncollectible: 1930s soda bottles and milk bottles in particular have their fans. Others focus on fruit jars (jars are essentially bottles with wider mouths), especially those made by Mason or Ball.
Hand-crafted bottles interests collectors more because no two models are exactly alike, even if they came out of the same mold. Among these, the rarest and most prized bottles include those in interesting shapes or unusual colors, with dire warnings (e.g. medicine or poison bottles) or other interesting applied color labels.
Embossing accounts for a lot of a bottle’s popularity, as does local geographical appeal: Some collectors focus on pieces made in the American West. Color and age also help determine value or collector interest.
And everybody wants a bottle with a pontil mark on the base – a little glass or iron deposit, signifying the bottle was held with a pontil rod during manufacture. This little scar, which adds immensely to the value, is an indication of the bottle’s age: After the Civil War, they didn’t use pontil rods anymore.
MAXIMIZE THE VALUE OF YOUR ANTIQUE GLASS BOTTLE OR JAR
As with most collectibles, condition is (almost) everything with bottles and jars. Unlike most collectibles, though, cosmetic improvements are welcome. Cleaning old bottles brings back their luster and sparkle, and increases their value. Wash them in room-temperature water and dishwashing liquid or vinegar, letting them soak overnight. Scrub gently with soft-bristled bottle brushes. There are commercial products that remove mineral buildups and lime scales, and copper wool pads can safely remove rust.
SELL BOTTLES ONLINE
StuffSavvy can match you with partners to get you the most value for the bottle you'd like to sell. This is a good option once you know the value you can expect from the sale.
FIND PLACES TO SELL USED BOTTLES NEAR ME
StuffSavvy can also match you with local resale options to sell your antique glass bottles & jars. This service is available through your Glass Specialist.