Thursday, December 19, 2013

Fall Finds #7

I recently asked a fellow digger if he could post some pictures of his extremely rare Parker’s Vegetable Bitters Cranston, RI.  Someone had found a pair of them digging in their basement.  They had damaged one in the process, which my friend owned.  I could hardly believe it when he posted pictures and said I could have it if I wanted it.  I was honored at the offer, and convinced him to accept a nice RI bottle in exchange for this exciting bottle.

On as slightly less exciting note, a new Warwick Bottling Works Arctic, RI version emerged.  This aqua ABM example has no slugplate.

Another familiar face was a Geo. B. Harris Centreville, RI.  This example had a period after Centerville and no period after the I in RI.

I was happy to finally get my second Caproni Bros. Co. Atwells Ave. Providence, RI whiskey.  I have a half pint, and this pint turned out to be an unlisted variant.  The listed version has two numbers for the address and does not have ‘1/2 pint” embossed.

A leftover at the river dump caught my eye before I left.  It was a J.C. Conley & Co. Phenix Rhode Island strap sided whiskey.  The base, slugplate, and top were intact, but pretty much everything else was missing.  The nasty stain didn't help either.  I was excited to discover that this was an unlisted quart size!  Despite digging 95% broken bottles at this spot, it was worth continuing in the hopes of finding something like this whole.

Fall Finds #6

The Coventry, CT bottle show is usually held in the spring, but they also had a second show in November.  While chilly, it was still worth braving the elements.  I was happy to find a nice W. H. Grimes Co. Pawtucket, RI quart whiskey.  It was listed with a hyphen between the two address numbers in this size, but not with “to”.

I was completely surprised when lightning struck twice.  Just down the road from the Coventry show was a group shop.  Of all the blobs I could have found, there was a Wm. H. Grimes Pawtucket, RI on the shelf!  It is listed on as a crown top, so this blob was new.

A return to the river dump produced some nice criers.  A Caproni Bros. Spruce St. Providence blob had a large hole on the backside.  The embossing style, similar to a George B. Boyden, has a nice graceful look and is unlisted.

Even more painful to find was a M. Lenahan & Co. Family Liquor Store Providence, RI quart whiskey.  It still hurts to think about that large base corner hole.  There are no quart size Lenahan bottles listed.

A medicine I found many years ago finally showed up again.  A Russell’s White Drops (in clear) was made my William Russell Jr. of Providence.  This product was for babies and unfortunately contained 15% alcohol.  When new laws in the early 1900s required a list of the ingredients for patent medicines, nearly all of them went out of business.  This bottle come in clear and aqua.

Fall Finds #5

A fairly unassuming RI medicine is simply marked Purogen.  I mentioned discovering that it was a product of the Wilcox Co. in Wakefield, RI back in Late Summer Finds 2012 (#1).  Since then a nice assortment of sizes and minor variations have been found (mostly dug) by local diggers.  I noticed this version has the W.T. Co. trademark on the base, and the front embossing is noticeably different.

I have come across yet another (I was tempted to add an “ugh” here) Geo. A. Peckham & Co. Grocers Supplies Providence, RI.  This one has all the correct punctuation except there is no apostrophe in Grocers and no comma after Providence.  My 13th variation!
 (picture to come)

A recent dig at a massive town dump was quite a bust.  However, on my way out, I noticed a soda bottle discarded by a previous digger.  While badly damaged, I was excited to see it was a brand new deco soda marked Drink Me, United Mineral Water Co. Providence, RI.  The United Mineral Water Co. has some machine made crown top sodas, but I never knew they created their own brand!
 PS- if it doesn't break when I clean it, I will upload a better picture!

An impromptu river wading session led to the discovery of a fun (though sometimes frustrating) river dump.  Among many broken examples, I finally found an intact J.C. Conley & Co. Phenix, RI whiskey.  Small town RI whiskeys are pretty tough to find, and this pint size was unlisted.

At the same dump I found a damaged American Bottling Co. Providence, RI handmade crown top soda.  These are a dime a dozen, at least the blob tops and machine made crown top examples are.  I was surprised to discover this example was unlisted with a crown top!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Fall Finds #4

My last antiquing run was shaping up to be a bust despite multiple stops.  In the last shop I saw a very sad looking wooden crate with some large bottles in it.  I almost did a jaw drop when I saw the first one was embossed Lobello Spring Water Prov. RI!  I have a few crown top sodas from this company, but a half gallon mineral water was unheard of.

Also in the crate was a nearly identical Rose Spring Water Providence, RI half gallon jug.  While this one is known it is rare and still unlisted.  There might be around a dozen RI mineral waters (jug-type) around, and these two are some of the best!  I gingerly carried the crumbling crate to the counter, and secured the exciting finds.

A fellow digger recently gave me an uncommon S.H. Farnam Westerly, RI quart blob soda.  I almost didn’t catch it, but when I looked at the embossing I realized it was an error!  All of the other Farnham bottles have an H in Farnham.

I bought a bunch of RI bottles really cheap from the same digger.  Among them was a Thos Grimes & Co. Providence, RI pint whiskey flask.  I have the listed half pint, but this size is new!

I love how sometimes you see a bottle you’ve never seen before, and suddenly they start appearing like magic.  Fellow collector David C. found a W.R. Greene Apothecary Providence, RI medicine recently at a dig site in Providence.  I was excited since I didn’t have a square one yet, and sure enough that same week what did I come across?  Another one!  It is a smaller size, both of which are unlisted.

Fall Finds #3

After running some errands I decided to jump in the river again.  I found a few bottles, but nothing of particular note.  A common Mt. Hope Dist Co. Providence, RI blob was almost a guaranteed double.  I was again surprised to see it was yet another variant!  The listed version has Registered embossed arching up on the shoulder, and this one has it embossed straight.  That’s variant #12!

The Keene Show is one that is at my outer limits of how far I’m willing to drive for a bottle show.  Last year was my first time there, and it was so fruitful I put it on my “must attend” list.  I got a few nice doubles this year, along with some sales.  The only newcomer was a nice G.P. Harvey & Co. Newport, RI squat soda.  The listed version has Geo. P. Harvey spelled out (just a little less abbreviated).  (Note: This might be RI-1085, but “squatty” is used to describe the shape, which seems to refer to a shorter neck and abrupt shoulder, as opposed to this sloping shoulder version).

Another extremely common RI deco soda is the ubiquitous Kerona.  I almost accidentally picked one up on a friend’s table, and was taken aback to see the embossing was one sided!  These usually have Kerona embossed on the front and back shoulder, but this one simply had a blank spot on one side.  It goes to show one should never assume!

Another fairly common RI medicine is marked D. & M. Co. Providence.  I got this one in a lot of RI bottles.  At 6” it was an unlisted size.

Another find from the “box lot” was a Scientific Improved Beef, Wine Iron Providence, RI.  These heavily embossed medicines show up semifrequently.  The subtle difference for this one was a missing comma after Providence.  

Fall Finds #2

My most recent visit to the tidal river produced some decent bottles.  I was particularly excited to find a Turbitt & Orme Wickenden St. Providence, RI soda.  This ABM crown top has “two cents will be paid for the return of this bottle” on the heel, which is a very early use of the “return for deposit” phrase.  I have a handmade version of this bottle, and both are unlisted!

I was recently getting ready to sell some of my common duplicates, and came across a Red Fox Beverages Providence, RI art deco soda.  These bottles are so common I have started to leave them at my dig sites, but that might have been a mistake.  I double checked the heel embossing, and one reads “Registered Cap. 7-1/2 Oz.”  No listed version has registered spelled out, so I added it to the Fox family.

Another dreadfully common bottle is the Berry Spring Mineral Water Co. Pawtucket, RI.  The radiant cross on the front and variety of bottles they made help keep things interesting though.  This common pint size bottle has 16 Fl. Oz. embossed on the back heel instead of the normal One Pint.  That makes it my 11th version!

The last bottle club meeting produced an Eagle Bottling Co. Warren, RI crown top soda.  I had mentioned finding one of these a few years ago a few posts back, so while I thought I already had it, I was still happy to see a bottle from Warren.  My first version has 8 Fl. Oz. embossed on the heel, but you can clearly see where it was erased inside the slug plate.  This bottle turned out to be the un-erased version! 

Also present at the meeting was a nice Star Soda Bottling Works East Providence, RI ABM crown top.  While I have four different bottles from this company, something looked different.  Sure enough, this was RI-1527, but my version was a very light aqua, and this one was a dark grayish aqua.

Fall Finds #1

Today I will finish up the Westerly digger's collection purchase from last week.  I came across the listing on Craigslist, and a cobalt medicine bottle stood out like a sore thumb.  Due to insufficient resolution, the bottle’s identity remained a mystery until I saw it in person.  I was excited to confirm that my best guess of a Frank L. Powell Chemist Newport, RI medicine was correct!  Excluding the Caswell Hazard bottles from Newport, cobalt RI pharmacy bottles are very hard to come by.  This example was nearly 7” tall, making it an unlisted size.  The seller was asking a pretty steep price for all of the bottles, but this is the one that made the purchase worthwhile!

A day of antiquing in Newport led me past a consignment shop I decided to check out.  After browsing through typical Salvation Army type fodder, a shelf featuring dirty bottles snapped me out of my doldrums.  I picked up an art deco soda, and to my amazement saw it was embossed Surf Club Ginger Ale Co. Middletown, RI!  With the exception of milk bottles, this is the only embossed bottle from Middletown, which makes it pretty special.  The owner of the shop used to do a lot of dredging, and this was one of the bottles he found years ago.

I finished my trip with a debated stop at the Eagle’s Nest antique center in Portsmouth.  While it is a nice center, most of the bottles are quite overpriced, and the turnover is very slow.  I was excited to find a The Washington Co. Providence, RI whiskey bottle I had seen a few years back here.  It wasn’t priced yet, and the next time I visited (much to my despair) I could not find it.  Luckily it was just tucked away, and the store owner took a satisfying $20 off of the scary sticker price.  The listed version is a 30oz. example, and this one was 15oz., which helped justify the still higher than average price.

September 29 was the Lowell Bottle Show, and it was the first time in two years I went at the start of general admission.  I probably missed a lot of good early buys, as the pickings were pretty slim.  I came across a damaged Albert H. Sydney Providence, RI soda.  For $1 I couldn’t leave it there.  When I compared it to my other examples, I found there was a random period after Sydney, making it a new variant.

One of my rules when browsing shows is to always check the boxes under the dealers tables.  Quite often they have bargain bottles, and this time was no exception.  I was very excited to find a squat Henry Wilkens Tivoli Providence, RI beer bottle.  As far as tall (ca. 9”) RI beer bottles go, this is one of the toughest to find.  This midsize 7-1/2” example was a brand new version that I’m sure other beer bottle collectors would envy.