– A rare Keene Glassworks Masonic/eagle flask in a deep purple amethyst became the top lot at Norman Heckler’s recent auction of Rare Flasks, Midwestern Glass, Bottles and Fine Glass, selling at $47,040.
The bottle, with a dark purple bottom section, lightening toward the middle and darkening again at the shoulders and mouth, was termed “exceptional” by auctioneer and American glass expert Norman Heckler.
“Though we have handled other examples of this mold and color,” states Heckler in the catalog, “we have never held as exceptional example as this one.”
The pint-sized flask, a GIV-1, had a sheared mouth and pontil scar.
Another of the top lots was a Wynkoop’s Sarsparilla bottle that was termed the “top bottle for most medicine collectors.” In a pleasing deep brilliant sapphire blue the tall rectangular half-gallon bottle had been recently discovered in a Connecticut home on a fireplace mantel.
An eagle/medallion flask in a brilliant medium yellow green color, “extremely rare and exceptional,” according to Heckler who further stated that it was “one of the most beautiful examples we have ever handled,” also brought a premium price. Bidding on the lot was spirited with it selling at $31,360.
Another flask to do well was a “The American System” steamboat/”Use Me But Do Not Abuse Me” example in a brilliant aquamarine that was also called one of the finest examples in the mold. Estimated at $10/20,000, the lot was hammered down at $20,160.
Other top lots included a Keen sunburst flask with expanded mouth that realized $4,710, and a Layfayette/Ma-sonic portrait flask in light yellow olive went for $8,400.
Heckler’s also recently conducted a live auction at the barn in Woodstock that took place in conjunction with a bottle show that invited vendors to display their wares in their large fields at no charge. The show saw nearly 50 dealers exhibitors set up their tables and display a wide variety of glass and antiques. It was also attended by a large crowd of glass and antique enthusiasts that showed up to pick the field and then attend the auction.
The show kicked off at 8 am while the auction began later in the morning. Norman Heckler, despite running mostly absentee auctions these days, proved that he had not lost his touch by calling an interesting and amusing sale.