Antique bottle sources

Once upon a time (a long time ago) engine motor oil was bought in glass bottles. Clear and colored glass was used in the bottle manufacture. The bottle labels were mainly paper but some manufacturers use embossed labels. As most of these bottles were used in garages breakages were inevitable so few of them still exist in pristine condition. Any that still remain are quite valuable (several hundred $’s for a perfect specimen) and there may be a garage long forgotten and closed down that may have a veritable treasure trove of used oil bottles that are antiques.

The price you might expect to pay will depend on the condition of the bottle, the type and color of the bottle plus how old it is. Cracks, chips and blemishes will reduce to price to be paid although some restorative work can be done, especially with discoloration. Some bottle types to look out for would be any Mobiloil Gargoyle bottles, Shell bottles, Mona Motor Oil bottles, Mid Continent Oil bottles, Waddam oil bottles and Havoline glass bottles with spouts. There are many more including some I have yet to learn about. Visiting the auction houses regularly is a great way to improve one’s knowledge of antiques of all kinds. You may be tempted to buy in the early visits but it is best to wait and build up your knowledge base first.

Other glass of interest to collectors might be stained glass or glass with a high lead content. Crystal glasses sparkle brightly due to the lead content and collectors of crystal would be proud to own an original ‘Waterford’ crystal piece made in Waterford, Ireland. Bottles for babies were made of glass before the big switch to non breakable plastic bottles. This trend is changing yet again with the return to glass bottles for babies, so if you still possess an old glass baby bottle it is likely to be antique and very collectable.