Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information
Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information


They were the two top lots at Norman C. Heckler’s Premier Auction #133 that ended March 16.

WOODSTOCK, Conn. – A very rare Masonic historical flask showing the iconic crossed keys and star soared to $56,160 and an equally scarce “Firecracker” pint historical flask with a bust of George Washington, one of a few known, went for $49,140 at Premier Auction #133, an internet auction held by Norman C. Heckler & Company. The sale began March 7 and ended March 16.

The top lot of the auction was this rare Masonic historical flask showing the iconic Masonic crossed keys and star ($56,160).
The top lot of the auction was this rare Masonic historical flask showing the iconic Masonic crossed keys and star ($56,160).
In a numerical anomaly, exactly 133 antique bottles came up for bid in Auction #133, and by the time it was all over the sale had grossed more than $500,000. Lots were varied, to include historical flasks, inks, bitters, early wine bottles, utilities, medicines, blown glass, sodas, mineral water bottles and even a few poisons. Most sold within range and many sold above the estimates.

“This was one of our premier sales, where we try to have a little something for everybody, from the novice to the seasoned collector, and I believe we achieved that goal,” said Norman Heckler of Norman C. Heckler & Company. “We always strive to offer bottles that are significant to the categories they represent. In this sale, historical flasks led the way, generating the most interest.”

The Masonic flask that sold for $56,160 was the top lot of the auction. It was produced circa 1820-1830, probably by Coventry Glass Works (Coventry, Conn.). It had a light to medium olive yellow color, with a sheared mouth and pontil scar. Some light exterior wear on the compass and square didn’t deter bidders a bit. They were attracted to the bottle’s rarity and excellent condition.

The historical “Firecracker” flask with a bust of Washington on the front and “E Pluribus Unum / T.W.D.” on the back was made circa 1820-1830 by Kensington Glass Works (Philadelphia, Pa.) to commemorate the deaths of founding fathers John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who both died on the same day: July 4, 1826 (as noted on the flask). The bottle, which sold for $49,140, had a medium amber color with a strong olive tone, an extremely rare color for this flask mold.

Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a 17 percent buyer’s premium.

A deep fiery plum amethyst pint historical flask embossed with cannon image, and with “Genl. (Zachary) Taylor Never Surrenders – A Little More Grape, Capt. Bragg,” made circa 1830-1850, probably by Baltimore Glass Works (Baltimore, Md.), realized $22,230; and a very scarce early George Washington bust flask, one of only a few known, made circa 1820-1840 by Frederick Lorenz, Mfgr. (Pittsburgh, Pa.), in a greenish aquamarine color, knocked down for $22,230.

Keeping in the category, a brilliant sapphire blue historical flask showing a portrait of George Washington and a sailing frigate, made circa 1848-1850 by Albany Glass Works (Albany, N.Y.) and exceptional in all aspects, was purchased for $18,720. Also, a George Washington-Zachary Taylor quart portrait flask in a rich cobalt blue color, made circa 1840-1860 by Dyottville Glass Works (Philadelphia, Pa.), with beautiful bright coloring and in fine condition, brought $7,020.

Sunburst flasks were a hit with collectors. Tops in the group was a pint example made by Keene Marlboro Street Glassworks (Keene, N.H.), circa 1815-1830, in a unique, lovely color variation: a bright yellow green at the mid-body, shading to a deeper green with amber striations in the base, shoulder shades from deep amber to a black mouth. It sold for $24,570. Also, an early Pittsburgh (Pa.) district sunburst historical pint flask with an eagle graphic, circa 1820-1840 in a rich and beautiful bright blue-green, a rare flask with great early form, hammered for $9,360.

The sale’s top lot wasn’t the only Masonic flask up for bid. A brilliant yellowish-green half-pint Hourglass Masonic flask, made circa 1815-1830, probably by Coventry Glass Works (Conn.), a rare mold with wonderful glass clarity, fetched $24,570; while a rare half-pint portrait flask showing Gen. Lafayette with Masonic arch and emblems, made circa 1820-1830 by Mount Vernon Glass Works (Mount Vernon, N.Y.), medium olive green in color, realized $7,020.

A pair of portrait Calabash quart flasks, both showing a bust of Louis Kossuth and the vessel “U.S.Steam Frigate Mississippi, S. Huffsey,” made circa 1845-1860, possibly by the Isabella Glass Works (Brooklyn, N.J.), and each exhibiting a detailed mold impression, gaveled for $16,380 (in a brilliant grass green) and $8,775 (in a brilliant yellow amber with an olive tone). The base of both of the bottles was embossed with, “P.H.Doflein, Mould Maker, Nth 5t St 84.”

A pint factory portrait flask for the “Wheat Price & Company Manufacturers, Wheeling, West Virginia,” made circa 1820-1840 and light blue-green in color, a rare bottle in fine condition and with great glass clarity, went to a determined bidder for $9,945. Also, a scarce pint colored scroll flask in a deep purple amethyst, made circa 1845-1860, possibly by John Robinson & Son, Manufacturers (Pittsburgh, Pa.), in fine overall condition, went to a happy collector for $8,190.

A cylindrical, medium olive amber blacking bottle for “T. Addeman / Prov., R.I.,” made circa 1846-1860, probably at a Stoddard glasshouse (Stoddard, N.H.) and with a partial original label that read, in part, “Liquid Oil Polish,” breezed to $12,870. Also, an early form freeblown open salt bowl, made circa 1815-1830 by Coventry Glass Works, medium yellow olive, hit $7,605.

Norman C. Heckler & Company’s next auction (#134) will be a live event, held on Friday, April 29th in the firm’s barn auction venue at 79 Bradford Corner Road in Woodstock Valley, Conn. (zip: 06282). Then, an internet auction (#135) will be online in late May and close in early June.

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 [email protected]. To learn more about Norman C. Heckler & Company and the firm’s calendar of upcoming auctions, please visit