EARLY PITTSBURGH DISTRICT DOUBLE EAGLE HISTORICAL FLASK (CIRCA 1820- 1840) SOARS TO $57,330 AT NORMAN C. HECKLER & COMPANY’S AUCTION #120

. April 4, 2015

The flask was the top lot in an internet auction that ended on March 18th and grossed $335,669.

WOODSTOCK, Conn. – An early Pittsburgh district double eagle historical flask, made between 1820 and 1840 in Pittsburgh, Pa., and boasting a bright yellow green color with an olive tone, sold for $57,330 at Auction #120, an internet auction conducted by Norman C. Heckler & Company that ended March 18th. The bottle was the top lot in an auction that grossed $335,669.

Series of six textile scenes titled “Ode to the Drunk” (American, circa 1860-1880), with each depicting a stage of alcoholism ($7,020).

Series of six textile scenes titled “Ode to the Drunk” (American, circa 1860-1880), with each depicting a stage of alcoholism ($7,020).

“That double eagle flask had it all – color, rarity and condition. It was one of the finest, most rare and desirable flasks we’ve ever sold,” said Norman Heckler of Norman C. Heckler & Company. “The selling price came as no surprise.” The pint-sized flask, GII-5, had a sheared mouth, pontil scar and light exterior high point wear.

The auction attracted 1,391 registered bidders, who placed 957 bids, as nearly all the action was driven through the company website, www.hecklerauction.com. A few phone bids were also recorded. All but three of the 94 bottles were sold, as prices generally met or exceeded their pre-sale estimates. Fully eighteen bottles were sold for $5,000 or more.

“I would have to call this a very successful auction overall,” Mr. Heckler said. “The market for collectible bottles, like with many areas of antiques, has its ups and downs; however, right now it is generally strong, and I think the prices in this auction bore that out. Collectors aren’t afraid to spend to acquire what they want. Flasks, bitters, black glass seals – all of these did very well.”

Following are additional highlights from the auction, which featured a balanced mix of flasks, bitters, black glass, free-blown bottles, inks, medicines, pattern molded examples, whiskeys, sodas, mineral waters and pressed glass. All prices quoted include a 17 percent buyer’s premium.

The sale’s runner-up lot was a “North Bend – Tippecanoe” historical cabin bottle, probably made by Mount Vernon Glass Works (Mt. Vernon, N.Y., circa 1840). The 5 ¾ inch bottle, one of only a few known (and possibly the only one with a long “stovepipe” neck) featured a log cabin form, a deep green emerald color, applied round collared mouth and pontil scar. It gaveled for $25,740.

A “G. W. Stone’s (Lowell, Mass.) “Liquid, Cathartic & Family Physic” medicine bottle, made circa 1860-1870 by a Stoddard glasshouse in Stoddard, N.H., rectangular and with no pontil, in fine condition, went for $18,720; and an eagle-sunburst historical flask, like the top lot also early Pittsburgh district and made circa 1820-1840, colored a medium-bluish aquamarine, hit $14,040.

Still another early Pittsburgh district example – this one a pint historical flask showing an eagle with a snake in its beak, colorless with a vaseline tint, GII-9 and nicknamed the “Snake of Corruption,” rose to $11,700; while a prospector and eagle pint historical flask made by Arsenal Glass Works (Pittsburgh, Pa., circa 1865-1867), colored a bright yellow-green, brought $8,190.

A “Three Kings” Beads and Pearls pint flask made by Pitikin Glass Works (Manchester, Conn., circa 1815-1830), with a diamond diapering pattern, medium yellowish-olive in color and with a sheared mouth, fetched $9,360; and a cylindrical, bright orange amber “Pure Old Rye” whiskey bottle (Milton J. Hardy, Mfrs., Louisville, Ky., circa 1874-1879), realized $6,435.

Four very different bottles all posted identical selling prices of $7,020. The first was a “Jenny Lind” (and bust) factory portrait Calabash flask, probably made by Ravenna Glassworks in Ravenna, Ohio (circa 1845-1860). The second was a 15 diamond, pattern molded flask, made in America between 1840 and 1860, brilliant ruby red in color and having a flattened bulbous form.

The third was a free-blown lily pad milk pan, probably made by the Redwood Glass Works in Redwood, N.Y. (circa 1833-1850), cylindrical flaring to the rim, with five Type 1 lily pad decorations and colored a brilliant aquamarine. The fourth was a series of six textile scenes titled “Ode to the Drunk” (American, circa 1860-1880), with each depicting a stage of alcoholism.

Four other lots also posted the same final price – of $5,265. One was an early pattern molded flask in the diamond daisy pattern, by Stiegel’s American Flint Glass Manufactory (Manheim, Pa., circa 1763-1775), just recently found. Another was a figural bitters bottle (“The Fish Bitters, W. H. Ware, Patented 1866,” American, circa 1860-1880), fish form and with an amethyst tone.

The third was an English applied seal wine bottle “W. Daubeny, 1776”), cylindrical and colored a deep olive green, just shy of 9 inches tall, with a large seal just below the shoulder, in superb exterior surface condition. The fourth was a George Washington-Zachary Taylor portrait flask, made by Dyottville Glass Works (Philadelphia, Pa., circa 1840-1860), medium sapphire blue.

Rounding out the auction’s list of top lots was a pair of bottles that each brought $5,850. The first was a George Washington with bust and eagle portrait flask (“J. R. Laird, SC. Pitt”), made by John Robinson’s Sturbridge Flint Glass Works (Pittsburgh, Pa., circa 1820-1840). The second was a Samuel M’Kee & Company (Pittsburgh, Pa.) scroll flask, aquamarine, circa 1845-1860.

Norman C. Heckler & Company’s next auction (#121) will be a live event, held on Friday, April 24th at the firm’s barn auction venue at 79 Bradford Corner Road in Woodstock Valley, Conn. (zip: 06282). Pictures and descriptions will be posted on the website about a week prior to sale. Then, an internet auction (#122), will be up and online on May 18th and will close on May 27th.

Norman C. Heckler & Company was founded in 1987 as a full-service auction and appraisal firm. Today it is the foremost auction house in the U.S. for antique glass. In Oct. 2010, the firm set a record for an antique glass bottle at auction when a General Jackson eagle portrait flask went for $176,670. In addition to bottles and glass, the firm also offers early American antiques.

Norman C. Heckler & Company is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To inquire about consigning a single piece or an entire collection, you may call them at (860) 974-1634 or e-mail them at info@hecklerauction.com. To learn more about Norman C. Heckler & Company and the upcoming auctions #121 and #122, please visit www.hecklerauction.com

Category: Auction News

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