A small but select grouping of flasks, figural bottles, fruit jars and other glasswares were sold during an absentee auction conducted by Norman C. Heckler and Company on March 14. The auction was “well received,” according to Norman Heckler, who further commented that he was “very encouraged to see that there was real strength in the marketplace for the good things.”
The top lot of the auction came as a rare concentric ring eagle flask believed to have been made at the New England Glass Works in Cambridge, Mass., was offered. The rare bottle had been consigned by a New York collector who related that it had been found in Canada, where several nicely colored examples have been discovered over the years.
The flask, circa 1820‱830, is an unlisted variant of the GII-77 flask to which Heckler assigned an “A” to the end of McKearin’s identification number. In a one-pint size, the flattened canteen-shaped bottle, decorated with concentric rings graduating toward a circular central panel with embossed eagle, was in a brilliant medium green color with an unusual amber mouth. The flash measured just 7 inches tall and was in “great” condition. Heckler cataloged it as an “extremely rare mold” and he also called the exceptional flask the “finest possible example.” Estimated at $15/30,000, the flask was bid to $37,950.
Big prices were paid for tiny bottles as a selection of freeblown miniature glob bottles captured the attention of collectors. “They came to me in a shoebox,” stated Heckler of the collection of miniature bottles and flasks, several of which were sold in a previous auction. A 3-inch-wide and 3¾-inch-tall glob with an applied string lip in a yellowish-olive color was thought to have been made in New England, circa 1783‱830. Bidding on the lot was brisk with it selling above estimates at $3,162.
A somewhat smaller glob that measured 2½ inches tall and 1½ inches wide, also New England, was termed by Heckler as “one of the finest miniature globs” that he has ever seen. More than 25 bidders chased the little olive green bottle, with it finally selling for a believed record price paid at auction of $4,025. The last of the miniature globs was a 25/8 nch-tall example that was in an unusual light yellowish green color, and it sold for $1,495.
While the miniature globs did well, so did an oversized example with a hefty 10-inch-tall bottle selling at $977.
An unusual “J.A.D. 1829” glob-shaped Scottish seal bottle with vertically applied strings of rigaree was actively sought by collectors. Thought to be the only known example, the rare bottle was bid to $6,900.
Several inks were offered, with a patterned cone ink in a conical form with a draped pattern attracting interest. The rare bottle, 3¾ inches tall, with a pontil mark and in an attractive deep cobalt color, sold at $5,750. A smaller draped cone ink, 21/8 inches tall, in a light medium green color, also did well, selling at $1,265.
Another of the bottles to attract a great deal of attention was the Chittenango “White-Sulphur Water” mineral water bottle, one of just a handful of examples known, that sold for $9,200.
A Sandwich blown three-mold decanter in an attractive cobalt blue was offered. The rare piece, in the GV-8 pattern, retained the original blown stopper and sold for $4,600. A pair of colorless blown three-mold peg lamps in the GII-33 pattern also did well. The pair retained their original tin burners and were termed by Heckler a “great rarity in lighting and blown three-mold glass.” Bidding on the lot was active, with the pair selling above estimates at $3,967. A blown three- mold salt in cobalt, GII-24, sold for $1,265.
A couple fruit jars in the auction brought premium prices, with an early Hemingray Manufacturers jar topping the list. The fruit jar had been made in a three-piece mold, was in a sapphire blue color, had a depressed wax-seal mouth and a tin top. Standing nearly 6 inches tall, the quart-sized jar sold at $5,175. A Van Vliet 1881 smooth base jar in a pint size, glass top and with the metal yoke clamp, went out at $2,645, while a Doane’s Great Air Tight Preserving Jar with a reproduction closure brought $3,162.
Bitters bottles included a Drakes Plantation Bitters in a rare bright yellow color that sold at $2,415, a William Allen’s Congress Bitters in a modified cabin form that brought $3,450, and a Greeley’s Bourbon Bitters barrel bottle in a reddish puce color that realized $977.
A Dr Townsend’s in a teal blue did well, selling at $2,300.
A couple of items that were not made of glass made their way into the sale, with an Anna Pottery brown glazed stoneware railroad flask in the form of a pig eliciting strong bids as it sold for $5,462. A Bennington pitcher in a flint enamel glaze was also actively bid, selling at $1,265.
Heckler’s next absentee auction will take place in May. Two live auctions will be conducted by the firm this year, the first in June and then again over Columbus Day weekend and in conjunction with the annual glass flea market hosted at the Heckler homestead. For further information contact Norman Heckler, 79 Bradford Corner Road, Woodstock Valley CT 06282, 860-974-1688 or www.hecklerauction.com .