Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Antique house of glass bottle collectors heaven an auction to remember
I am fortunate to live in an area where selling or collecting antiques and collectibles has always been popular.
Weekends were spent going from one auction to another.
Spring through Fall , treasures in box lots and rows upon rows of merchandise that actually were the contents of a family's life.
So many stories to tell about those days.
I happened upon a pamphlet today while going through some boxes in my cabinet. The pamphlet belongs to a bottle I have downstairs in my country store collection. The pamphlet was upstairs in my cabinet under thick heavy books. This was to flatten the pamphlet without worry of tearing it.
When I happened upon that piece of paper, my thoughts turned back to a Saturday many years ago.
The first auction I went to that day was not good, everything was too modern, too bland.
As I stood at my litte truck , trying to decide where to go next, someone walked up to me and said they were surprised I was not at so and so's auction down the road.
That's all it took , I immediately got into my little truck and went to that auction.
Needless to say , there was no parking . The house was along the road and everyone had parked at least a mile or more on both sides of the road.
No problem, instead, it made me move even faster. I kept thinking , oh my, what am I missing !
When I finally arrived to the yard of the house where the auction was being held, all I could see were people and rows upon rows of boxes. Some of my friends were already loading up piles of these boxes with huge smiles of content on their faces.
Then I heard someone whisper to the other, where did all those bottles come from...are they really old bottles of medicine ?
My heart beat a tune of delight , and my eyes became a radar.
I went to the back of the house to examine what had not been sold yet. Most times, the best items are sold last . Thankfully this was the case with this auction.
That back yard was full of big cardboard boxes of wonderful bottles. My kind of bottles.
I collect advertising , so, I collect bottles that have the original labels.
I was in bottle heaven that day , no kidding.
Most of those boxes had bottles in the original box with the paper pamphlet still wrapped around the bottle.
I could hear the auctioneer's call come closer as he was finishing calling the items in the front yard.
I could hear the prices , and thought , oh my, things are going really high.
Because the prices were so high, I quickly went from box to box and picked out my very favorite lots , and noted them in my mind . Prices as high as what I heard, I knew there was no way I could buy the whole back yard of bottles. I wanted all of them , but had to be selective.
The excitement was exhilarating. I can still feel the cool air that fall day. I can still see the crowd of bidders moving along with the auctioneer toward the back yard.
My mind cleared itself of all thought but those lots selected and stored in my memory.
And the bidding began. I stood my ground , and stayed close to each box...the calling was fast, the bidding was fierce.
When I would succeed in getting one box, I had to hold it and move along with the crowd so I would not loose my place. After two boxes, my feet became hands and pushed the boxes along as I kept bidding on the boxes I wanted.
Thankfully, a few fellows helped me when I could not shuffle the boxes with my feet anymore. Pays to be a little lady, the men will help nice little ladies .
By the time it was all done, I had about 10 boxes of fabulous bottles.
I never had to walk on a treadmill in those days to keep fit. Hauling 10 boxes of heavy glass bottles will keep one very fit indeed.
Not only would I load the truck myself , but unload it myself when I got home too.
Like a pirate with treasure chests of gold, I would trust no one to carry that wonderful load. It was a labor of love.
I sold most of those bottles through the years , but still have more than a few.
I never did find out who the person was that collected all those bottles.
Whoever it was, did not display them. Instead it appeared the bottles were stored for many many years in those cardboard boxes.
So, it was a person who enjoyed the hunt for the treasure. To seek and find the bottle that was kept by many hands through time. To hold that bottle and know it had survived is a sensation that only a treasure hunter can understand.
Although it was an estate auction , the other items were scarce , a few chairs, a bed, and an old couch, not much more...except all those bottles.
I am sure on cold winter nights that fellow slept warm and snug because with all those boxes of bottles lining the walls of that little house, no wind could surely get though.
That little house still stands. Whenever I pass that little house , I smile with warm good wishes for the soul that once lived there.
It was a house of glass, glass bottles that is.
And those bottles are now with other treasure hunters who understand the pleasure of holding yesteryear's past in the form of a bottle