Published: August 9, 2017
SPRINGFIELD, MASS. — A distinguished eastern Tennessee family’s three-generation collection of antique American glass bottles and flasks went up for auction with no reserve on August 3 at the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel. New Market, Tenn.-based auctioneer John W. Coker, on his way back home from the event conducted in conjunction with the Federation of Bottle Collectors’ annual convention at the hotel, said, “We had three bottles do really well.”
Coker’s auction of the Frank M. Hodges Jr and Hodges family collection took place in the hotel’s third floor Longford Reception Room. “While the auction was not actually affiliated with the convention, the Hodges family collection was so important, we believed it made sense to move the sale from Tennessee to where the largest concentration of bottle collectors would be,” said auctioneer John Coker. “We also wanted to support the club and help promote attendance at the convention.”
From the crown jewels of the collection — nine Double Eagle hand-blown whiskey flasks — the trio of bottles that brought top-shelf prices included an amber double eagle with large pontil on base 6½ inches tall and 3¾ inches wide that sold for $96,000, a green double eagle that took $78,000 and another amber double eagle realizing $66,000.
The term “Double Eagle” refers to the attractive bas-relief eagle motif embossed on both the obverse and reverse sides of the bottle. Dating from 1810 to 1830, the nine were estimated from $2,000 to $50,000 each, depending on rarity, and all opened with a $50 bid.
Packed with rarities in original condition, the 100-lot estate collection spanned a timeline from the Eighteenth–through Twentieth Centuries and included New England and Southern bottles and flasks, medicine and advertising bottles and inkwells. The collection was inherited by the consignor, Frank Hodges III, upon his father’s passing earlier this year. He represents the third generation of a family that has had a deep involvement in antiques and the documentation of eastern Tennessee’s history.
“This collection’s origins go back 90 years to antiques dealer Frank Hodges Sr, but the bulk of the collection was amassed over a 60-year period by his son, Frank Jr, who was a respected clock expert and very knowledgeable antiques dealer. The collection had never been displayed publicly and was 100 percent intact. It was never picked,” said Coker.
Prices reported include the buyer’s premium. For information, www.antiquesonline.com or 865-475-5163.
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