How To Identify Vintage and Antique Brown Glass Bottles

Bottles have been collected here and there. Bottles that date back decades ago that were handcrafted and tend to have intricate and delicate designs. In contrast, the bottles of today are mass-produced to address the growing demands of consumers.

Bottle collectors are very much interested in antique bottles for reasons like the history of the bottle, as well as the durability and aesthetic value of the bottle. These antique bottles are rare and definitely have gone through a lot. Thus, in terms of historical and aesthetic value, such bottles have an edge over mass-produced modern bottles.

There are different colors of vintage or antique bottles. One common and very much sought-after colored bottle is the amber or brown bottle. You can easily identify such bottle through its distinct characteristics.

  • Color. Obviously, the color should be brownish or amber. Many of bottles with this color are beer bottles. It is colored brown because there is the need to preserve the freshness of the beer. Also, the dark coloring protects the drink from the sun’s rays that may damage it. Another very important point about the color of the bottle is that it determines the age of the bottle. The darker the color of the bottle, the older it is.
  • Process. Hand-blown and mouth-blown bottles are considered antique bottles. These bottles are somewhat uneven. They have flaws, thus making them imperfect. Mouth-blown bottles are made somewhere during the 1800’s. What makes these bottles collectors’ items is that they aren’t obviously machine-made, unlike the bottles of today. Though flawed, such bottles also show the hard work of those who made these bottles. These bottles are not for mass production, which makes these bottles somewhat rare or uncommon to the enthusiasts. Collectors seek them out because the rarer the antique or bottle, the more precious and valuable it is for collectors.
  • Features. Some features of the bottle itself become a determinant whether or not it is an antique. If you look at the tip of an antique or vintage brown bottle, you’d see that the opening of the bottle is done by hand. This implies that what you will see in the tip or the opening is a misshapen, flawed, and imperfect tip. For example, the bottles of the 1800s are hand-fabricated. The reason for this is that during that time, a cork was used to cover the opening of the bottle. So, they hand-fabricate each bottle to suit the cork to the mouth of the bottle. During the 1850s the, lip of the bottle was designed for a screw top. This means that the lip is somewhat tapered or sheared. Another feature that would help in identifying the authenticity of the bottle is its base. The base should have a mark. This mark will tell you the location where the rod (which was used to heat and shape the bottle) was broken off.
  • Bottle stoppers. Bottle stoppers can tell if the bottle itself was vintage or antique. A screw top would definitely identify the bottle as an antique. Bottles with a screw top dates way before 1920.

A little reminder though: there are some people who try to deceive bottle collectors by repainting the bottles. Some unscrupulous people have tried and succeeded in auctioning fake antique bottles online. Thus, you ought to be informed on how to properly and correctly identify vintage and antique brown glass bottles.


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