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Rarewares, Antiques and Collectibles Researcher
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 32873
Experience:  Antiques dealer for 12+ years and collector for 30+ years specializing in American and European porcelain, glass, art, furniture, coins, watches, sterling silver, pocket watches, and jewelry.
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How to identify age of old bootle with silver cap?

Customer Question

how to identify age of old bootle with silver cap?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Antiques
Expert:  Nora replied 3 years ago.
Hi There~
My name is ***** ***** I am here to help with your question.
At your convenience, please send photos.
When evaluating an item, photos are essential to helping me come to a correct assessment.
There may be an +Add Files button or if there is a toolbar with a paperclip icon showing above the box where you type in responses, then follow the steps on this link for sharing photos:
I look forward to seeing the images. If you are unable to send photos right away, that is fine – there is not a time limit here.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Nora, I have an old family heirloom brown glass bottle that I was given by my mother. It is strange in as much as it appears to have a silver stopper (I don't think it is pewter) which is not hallmarked.

It seems to have some serious age because the bottom is worn very flat... party as part of the manufacturing I suspect, but much by usage. My great grandmother was the first in our family to own it and has never been used in the family so all the wear is older than about 100 years.

The bottle is crudely made with various bubbles and indentations from manufacture. Its quite misshapen. Seems odd that a low quality glass bottle would have a silver stopper unless glassmaking was in its infancy when made. I am really interested to know where it was made and how old it is. What purpose it is for. Value is of not much interest. I guess its £50 - 100.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: I still need help.
I have been asked to provide feedback but I do not seem to have received any answer to my question about the old glass bottle. Am I doing something wrong?
Please let me know.
Expert:  Nora replied 3 years ago.
My apologies for the confusion, you may have received an auto-response. It is not necessary to leave feedback until an answer is provided.
Have you had the metal tested for silver yet?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No, but it tarnished just the same as other items that I have which are hallmarked and it doesn't tarnish like pewter that I have also. I do not know how to test it for silver. Is there some simple test? Not sure why it would be important to the age as to what metal it is?


Expert:  Nora replied 3 years ago.
Hi There,
I will opt-out and your question will open again to all the experts. If someone knows the answer they will post a response to you here. You do not need to re-list your question and this does not cost you extra.
I will not be able to respond back after opting-out.
I do hope you find the information that you seek.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

OK, no problem. There is no particular hurry. I would imagine that this would require the services of someone specialising in glass.

I will wait to hear from somebody.


Peter Fox

Expert:  Rarewares replied 3 years ago.
Peter,This is an English blown glass chestnut bottle made c1870. These bottles were used mostly for whiskey. They are called chestnut because of the color, not because they held chestnuts. The bubbles in the glass, the applied handle and the bare iron pontil (the pushed up bottom) authenticate it as an old piece of blown glass. A bare iron pontil is created when the pontil scar is erased by a large, hot iron ball making the indented space on the bottom of the bottle. It was more normal to have a cork in these bottles since the lips were uneven hand blown, but European bottles with silver collars did start showing up here (America) at the end of the 19th century. This piece has a value of $250.00.
Expert:  Rarewares replied 3 years ago.
I see that you have read my answer. Please do click the stars to rate me and close out the question.
If you ever have other items that you wonder about, you can start a new question and put 'hiCustomer#39; so that it will be saved for me. I do glass, china, porcelain, jewelry, silver and signed art. You never know what you might have!