Friday, May 26, 2017

Timothy and Christine Hill Collection at Heckler's

Woodstock, Connecticut, May 26, 2017. One of the most beautiful parts of the country at one of the loveliest times of the year!
Norman C. Heckler & Co. is going to be selling the collection of Timothy and Christine Hill over the course of 2017. The Hill collection of bottles and related antiques was varied and very large, but with definite concentrations in historical flasks and veterinary medicine bottles. The Hill collection sales started on Friday with a large, well-attended live auction in the Heckler barn, which included some unusually fancy lots.

Norm Heckler Sr. gets the auction going in front of his old George S. McKearin, Inc. sign.

Ernie Eldridge, antique dealer and mayor of Windham, Ct,  took over conducting the auction at times.

"Dr. Lesure's Famous Remedies," goony veterinary medicine cabinet. Not really my thing, but apparently that was a $3500 plus 17% buyer's premium plus 6.35% sales tax for a total of $4355.03 and nearly the most expensive item of the sale goony veterinary medicine cabinet.

Radium Radia medicine bottle with contents (brown, not obviously luminescent) and box. Probably not actually an ionizing radiation hazard?
 And here's some of the good stuff:

GI-85 LA FAYETTE COVETRY [sic] C-T / liberty cap pint flask, Hill collection ex Brown collection. Crude, huge bubbles, in fine condition.

GV-9 railroad / eagle pint flask, Coventry Glass Works. Nice green color, good impression in a mold where the embossing is usually pretty lumpy, and it went for cheap.

GVIII-16 sunburst flask. Generally considered a Coventry product, but there is supposedly some evidence from dug shards that it was (also?) made at the Pitkin Glass Works.

GIV-16 masonic arch /eagle flask.
GIV-16 base.
The highlight of the auction was an aquamarine GIV-16 masonic flask, which went for around $5300 with buyer's premium. The manufacturer of these rare and handsome bottles is obscure; it's possibly a Coventry product, but the design of the eagle with banner and oval and the relative frequency of aquamarine examples, suggest that a New Hampshire glass works might be more likely. Norm Heckler commented that he collected GIV-16s when people thought they were from Coventry, but then sold them off when collector opinion shifted to a Keene origin.

The next Heckler online auction (#151), opening July 3, will be a large sale and include a lot more material from the Hill collection. It hasn't been organized into catalogue form yet, but everything was laid out for inspection in the online auction shed, and I spotted some good Connecticut and New England glass:
There are some Coventry ink bottles and early New England utilities in there, along with some half pint Coventry historical flasks.

Pint Coventry railroad and sunburst flasks, Willington eagles and a half pint New London anchor / eagle, in among a whole lot of other stuff.

Westford traveler's companion and sheaf of wheat flasks, with Coventry and Willington eagles, etc. etc.

GI-33 WASHINGTON / JACKSON pint flask, Coventry Glass Works.This was one of the Connecticut bottles that jumped out at me: not common (but a number have suddenly been cropping up in auctions lately), and usually seen in dark, muddy olive colors, not this sort of clear, light "chestnut glass."

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Museum of Connecticut Glass 2017

Center of the National Historic Glass Factory District in Coventry, Ct: the old University of Connecticut agricultural experiment barn, the Capt. John Turner house (both MoCG property) and the Nathaniel Root house.

 The Museum of Connecticut Glass started their 2017 schedule of public events with the annual antique glass and bottle show. Tours were also offered of the John Turner house, which was built ca. 1812-1813 by one of the incorporators of the Coventry Glass Works.

The sales field at the Coventry glass show, May 20, 2017.
  In spite of some cool, cloudy weather with a few drops of rain for the first half of the show, there was a great selection of glass up for sale, and a decent turnout of buyers, though it possibly wasn't as busy as some other Coventry shows in recent years. There was a conflict with another area glass sale, which probably didn't help, at least from the seller's point of view.

Stoneware, case bottles and more on offer.

Some of the good stuff: Willington, Westford and New London flasks.

A Coventry DEWITT CLINTON / LAFAYETTE half pint historical flask, GI-81.

There weren't many New England Pitkin flasks available at the show this year, but in June there will be a chance to check out one of the best collections of Pitkin flasks anywhere...

Connecticut or New England Pitkin-type flasks. 

Next month's Museum activity will be a display of Pitkin-type flasks and related early American glass, with expert Dana Charlton-Zarro on hand to share her knowledge of the subject. This will, I believe, be the first time that Dana has traveled to the Pitkin homeland in Connecticut to give a public talk about her favorite antique bottles, and it should be a special opportunity to see and learn about a beautiful and widely admired class of early glassware. The Pitkin display will be held Saturday, June 17, 1:00-4:00 at the Museum of Connecticut Glass.

Future MoCG open houses will be held the third Saturday of each month, 1:00-4:00, through the autumn. Special exhibits will include:
July 15 - Victorian glass tableware manufacture in Connecticut, with Nick Wrobleski (tentative).
• August 19 - Coventry Glass Works flasks and other antique Connecticut blown-in-mold glass.
• September 16 - early Connecticut freeblown and pattern-molded tableware, whimsies and other rarities, with Tom Marshall.
• October 21 - TBA.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Heckler Auctions Spring 2017

The Heckler property, April 2017.
The Heckler & Co. live auction season started up last week, with a nice selection of old bottles, other glass and a bit of stoneware. There were some of the more common Willington, Westford and Coventry flasks up for bidding. I picked up a matched pair of early dip-molded New England snuff bottles.
The live auction setup inside the barn, Norm C. Heckler in the vest.
Heckler's absentee auction 148.
Heckler's also had their May online auction up for previewing. As usual, there are going to be some quality Connecticut bottles included in the sale.

Coventry Glass Works pint sunburst flask, GVIII-3.
The GVIII-3 Coventry sunburst in this sale has excellent glass quality and a fine color on the greener side of olive, but some minor cooling cracks in the shoulders. Another notable Connecticut sunburst flask in the sale will be a GVIII-5a, probably from the Pitkin Glass Works; quite a rare flask but not quite a perfect example.

BY A.A. COOLEY HARTFORD CON blacking bottles, with insect powder and smelling salts bottles.
Two examples of what is thought to be a boot-blacking bottle made in Coventry, embossed A.A. Cooley, will be on offer. These come up for sale on a pretty regular basis, but the ones here have strong embossing and are probably better than most. 

GII-64 pint eagle flask, Willington Glass Company.
This Willington eagle flask is another relatively common bottle, but in a warm amber that stands out from the usual run of murkier, olive-amber Willington glass.

GII-68, pint eagle/anchor flask, New London Glass Works.
This New London flask is a warmer, lighter, cleaner shade of amber still. This color and quality of glass probably would have been nearly impossible for an earlier factory like Willington to achieve.