Published: September 14, 2004
The renowned bottle collection of the late Fred Weck was offered recently at Glass Works Auctions, with hefty prices paid for the select examples.
Fueled by a highly sought-after grouping of 119 historical flasks in a wide variety of desirable colors, the 257-lot absentee auction grossed $520,800.
Weck had been a collector of flasks and bottles since the early 1970s that “put together a very well orchestrated collection,” according to Glass Works principal Jim Hagenbuch. “The overall quality was very good, you could see that he knew what he was doing,” he said. The collection was well rounded with Weck accumulating an “excellent assortment of flasks in a mix of scarce to rare molds and rare colors.”
More than 850 registered bidders competed for rdf_Descriptions from the Weck collection with 110 being successful bidders claiming the 250-plus lots. Asked about how the sale was received by collectors, Hagenbuch commented, “As the English would say, ‘It went over the moon.'”
The top lot of the sale came as a quart-sized Corn for the World flask in a medium yellow topaz with vibrant puce striations swirled throughout was offered. Estimated at $4/5,000, it sold to Alabama collector Tom Lines for $22,400, including the 12 percent buyer’s premium.
A rare pint flask from the Monongahela or Pittsburgh glass houses, a GII-9 embossed with an eagle/eagle with snake in colorless glass with amethystine tint, did well at $15,680.
Other top flasks included a half-pint hour glass Masonic, GIV-29, in olive green, ex-Blaske collection, that was knocked down at $14,560, an Albany Glass Works Washington/ship in sapphire blue $13,440, while a half-pint Pittsburgh eagle/eagle in deep cobalt realized $12,320.
Several scroll flasks in good color also commanded premium prices with a quart sized GIX-2 flask in deep cobalt selling at $15,680, while a yellow-green GIX-11 example brought $5,040. A rare GIX-40 miniature scroll flask in a deep blue-green color, 25/8 inches tall, one of three ever seen by Hagenbuch, sold well beyond estimates bringing $8,960.
Proving once again that color is everything, a Jenny Lind calabash in a deep blue-green sold at more than three times estimate at $11,200, in stark comparison to similar Jenny Lind calabash in aqua that realized $40. Another example was a Kossuth/frigate in a dark olive green that sold for $15,680, the same bottle in aqua brought $235.
Other calabash bottles in unusual colors included a yellow-green Jenny Lind at $4,480, an aqua sheaf of grain calabash with lots of copper striations selling at $3,080, a Jenny Lind in sapphire $3,080 and a hunter/fisherman in teal sold at $1,792.
A nice selection of cornucopia flasks also demonstrated the value of color as they soared well above the average $150 price for an amber example. A light sapphire blue cornucopia flask sold at $4,760, a yellow-green example $2,576 and a blue-green flask realized $1,680.
The selection of good colored bitters was impressive, especially in the log cabins. Leading the large group was Drake’s six-log in a medium emerald green color that carried a presale estimate of $7/9,000. The lot received substantial interest with it selling to a Houston collector for $17,920. Other Drakes to do well included a light yellow-green six-log example at $6,720, and a medium yellow green four-log example at $4,200.
Another highpoint of the bitters collection was a Kelley’s Old Cabin in a dark olive green that sold for $8,960, while a Warner German Hops bitters bottle with intact label sold well above the $400/600 presale estimate at $5,600.
All prices include the buyer’s premium.
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