Thanksgiving- Then & Now…

Thanksgiving is a time-honored tradition in most American households. As children, we learned the story of the first Thanksgiving shared by the Indians and the Pilgrims, just as our children learn it today. Families gather together over a “feast” and reflect on all the reasons we have to be grateful. Some things may never change, but as history tells us, some things may never be the same.

This past year has been unlike any I have lived through, and I am sure the same is true for you, and your family as well. One thing that is most likely missing are the adorable Thanksgiving plays that are usually held in elementary schools around the country. Many of us may not even be able to gather with family on this special day this year. With so many people having been isolated for nearly an entire year and with no end in sight, the holidays surely do not seem to hold the same magic they had in years past. Many of us have lost family members or friends to Coronavirus, while unfortunately, some have lost several loved ones to the global pandemic. This may leave you feeling there is not really much to be thankful for, or if you won’t be with family or friends this year, you might not see much point in going to all that trouble creating a magical Thanksgiving. So, what can we do to make this year’s Thanksgiving as special and memorable as earlier ones?

I have always loved this time of year and have fond memories from childhood of large family gatherings for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. I come from a pretty big family, but we have always been a tight knit group, and as a child, Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve dinners were shared with our extended family members. Thanksgiving was always held at my grandmother’s sister, Louise’s house, because she had the most space to accommodate the many different families created by my grandmother and her five siblings. Aunts, uncles and cousins, grandparents, and of course, parents and siblings, spread out throughout my great aunt’s beautiful and spacious home, sharing a meal and lots of love and laughter.

I was always enamored with my Aunt Louise’s house. Everything was just so glamorous to me, from the thick, shag carpeting to the shiny brass statues and various trinkets that adorned each room. I usually enjoyed my turkey with my cousins in the den, which featured an accent wall, decorated with a realistic, floor-to-ceiling photo wallpaper of a quiet and serene forest full of trees. In the center of the room was her gorgeous, all-white, Christmas tree that, year after year, lent its branches to dozens of bright red, feathery, bird decorations. My favorite thing about my aunt’s house, however, was by far the ceilings. I can almost hear your confusion as you read that last sentence, but don’t worry, you haven’t misread it; to this day, the ceilings of my ever-stylish and trendy great aunt’s home are one of the most vivid memories in my childhood. This is because the ceilings had been sprayed with multicolored glitter, which was now embedded in its popcorn-textured surface.

Reflecting back on it now, this may have been the first spark to light the fire for my love of vintage. I still would love to have those sparkling ceilings in my own home and one day I will! I can remember squinting one eye, and tilting my head, until the light hit those specks of glitter just right, transforming them into brightly shining stars in the sky of the forest in her den. Maybe you have similar memories of holiday meals served on Grandma’s fancy dishes that were only taken out of the china cabinet for special occasions, or special traditions your family always shared together. Thanksgiving, especially Thanksgiving of 2020, is the perfect time to make use of that beautiful, gold-rimmed china you inherited from Granny, or the cool, vintage goblets your parents bought when they were first married. Incorporating these favorite family heirlooms can be a much-needed reminder of simpler days, as well as of the love shared among families, for which we can all still be thankful for.

Even if Thanksgiving is a bit different this year, it doesn’t mean you can’t still spend it with the ones you love.

I also encourage you to make use of the technology we have today,  and host a Face time or Zoom Thanksgiving meal. This way, no one has to be alone, or lose out on the magic, and warm feelings that have always been associated with this time of year. Just imagine the surprised look on your sister’s face, when she notices the goblets the two of you coveted so much as kids, peeking out from the corner of her screen. After all, isn’t that the feeling we are trying to recapture through collecting yesterday’s treasures anyway? That overwhelming nostalgia that takes you back to a cherished memory.

How will your family be spending Thanksgiving this year? If you can’t be physically together, are you planning to take advantage of the technology we have today to enjoy a virtual meal together? What favorite vintage items can you incorporate into the non-traditional Thanksgiving of 2020? I can’t wait to see what creative combinations of yesterday, and today that we all can come up with, to ensure this Thanksgiving is still a special time for families.

Wait! That’s Worth How Much?!

Last week, I discussed my top ten best selling vintage items. Most of the items from that list are, in my opinion, things that would obviously have appeal and resale value, such as the Fenton lamps and vintage goblets. But this week, I wanted to share a different top ten with you; my Top Ten Vintage Finds with Shocking Value!

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Top Ten Vintage Finds with Shocking Value

When I was first getting started in this fabulous world of vintage and resale, my knowledge of the items, and more specifically their value, was little to none. When family and friends would ask me how I knew what to buy for resale, I told them I “had a good eye” (which was and is true!). While this did help while doing the sourcing for TheVintageVixenShop, it did little to reveal an item’s worth. By not knowing the value of the stuff my good eye had led me to, I had no idea of how I should be pricing it, and also didn’t know what I should be paying for it! Often with thrifting, the latter is not so much a problem, but as I have gained more experience and learned more about the business, I can’t tell you how many times I have kicked myself for selling a rare or valuable item for far less than it worth simply because I hadn’t done the research or checked for price comparisons. Don’t be like me! You can learn from my mistakes so that when you come across one of these vintage treasures, maybe you will know a little bit more about what you’re looking at!

Rare 1970s Goddess Rain Lamp

1. 1970s Oil Rain Lamp

When I first came across one of these rare and gorgeous lamps, it was sitting on top of a pile of junk, tossed out by the side of the road at my grandmother’s house. She has been in real estate, and been a landlord for all of my life, and had always felt guilty throwing out someone’s belongings, even after they had been evicted for not paying rent. Because of this, she had amassed a fairly large stash throughout the years that was now stuffed in her crowded basement. She called and told me to come by and grab what I wanted to try and resell, so that’s just what I did. The lamp was the first thing I noticed. I had never seen anything like it, but knew enough to know that was a good sign! I took it home, and casually listed it on the selling app I had been using, and priced it at $44. It sold within 12 minutes of being posted, which was less time than it had taken me to figure out how to hang it and turn it on. I was elated with the quick sale until a couple weeks later when I saw one that had just sold on ebay for $480 plus shipping! I felt sick to my stomach, but I learned a valuable lesson, one worth $436.

Photo by KarmaKollectibles on Etsy

2. 1960s Electric Smoking Sailor Clock

This item was another from that same curbside pile at Grandee’s house, but thankfully one that I looked into a little more before posting it and selling for $65! Similar to a cuckoo clock, this punctual sailor enjoys a puff from his glowing pipe every half hour. This little desktop clock was also a quick sale and a pretty rare find.

Fenton Glass Butterfly Figurine

3. Fenton Iridescent Sky Blue Butterfly Figurine

This gorgeous little iridescent critter is a Fenton Glass figurine in a rare iridescent sky blue color. My oldest daughter actually spotted this one on a shelf at our local thrift store. I didn’t even know it was Fenton at the time, but the price was $1.51, and it was really pretty, so we took it home. I couldn’t believe my eyes when this one sold within the first couple of days of posting for pretty $69!

Oxblood Akro Agate Slag Glass

4. Akro Agate Slag Glass Oxblood Cigarette Holder

A dear friend asked me if I could sell this piece she had inherited from her grandmother. She said she wasn’t sure exactly what it was, but knew it was “the good stuff” since her grandma had run an antique shop back in her day. I was skeptical, but I took a few quick pictures of it and promised to post it the next day. After the oil rain lamp, I knew I had better do a quick search for price comparisons before I listed it. Even after seeing the recently sold prices of similar items on ebay, I was doubtful this small, strangely colored swirly red and white opaque glass cup would fetch anymore than $5, but I posted with a price that was closely in line with those recently sold values I found on eBay. The next morning, I awoke to find it had sold overnight for $65! Needless to say, my friend was pleasantly surprised as well!

Stained Glass Lamp

5. Vintage Electric Stained Glass Lamp

I saw this gorgeous, vintage, stained glass lamp, posted for sale on a local marketplace. It was being sold in a pair, along with another one just like it, for only $10! I couldn’t pick it up fast enough, and actually ended up purchasing several other items from the seller, including a groovy 1960s-70s avocado green crackle glass bubble lamp for just $5! I sold each of the stained glass lamps separately for $75 each and both were sold within the first week!

Vintage Lucite Grapes

6. 1970s Lucite Grapes

While I have always adored these iconic 1970s lucite grapes, I had no idea the price they would hold. I purchased these from another local reseller for $8 because I had always wanted a set. I held onto them for a while, until I came across another set, in a different color scheme that I preferred. I told myself I did not need faux grapes on every surface of the living room, and decided to sell my first set. I checked price comps and listed it with a price in line with what others were selling it for. Just a few short days later, I was packing up the grapes to ship them to their new owner, who had just paid $54 plus shipping for them. I had already definitely caught the vintage bug by this time!

Antique Wine Bottles

7. Antique 1800s Glass Wine Bottles

These black glass antique wine bottles are circa the early to mid 1800s, and were part of one my very first sales on Etsy with TheVintageVixenShop. I had found these bottles, along with many others, in a Rubbermaid tote that was being thrown out during a clean-out of one of my grandmother’s rental properties. Having already sold some of the other bottles, I did fortunately realize their sales potential, and had taken the very best pictures I could manage with my iPhone, and posted them up on Etsy for sale. While I had expected the bottles to fetch a nice price, I had no idea what they would lead to. One day, shortly after listing them on Etsy, I received a message from a person inquiring about the bottles, and whether or not they could be shipped quickly to Hawaii. Eager to make a sale, I quickly responded to the message, answered her questions about the bottles, and assured her I would ship that same day to ensure a quick delivery. This was exactly what she wanted to hear obviously because it led to her asking if I had any more bottles like these. She explained that she was working for the T.V. show, Magnum P.I. Hawaii, and was looking to buy lots of antique wine bottles for an episode of the show that was to be set in a wine cellar. I ended up selling her every bottle of this type I had, for a total of almost $500! I was ecstatic.

1960s-1970s Fostoria Glass ashtray

8. 1960s-1970s Fostoria Glass Ashtray

This funky, 1960s-1970s, avocado green glass ashtray by Fostoria is large and heavy, and just so beautiful to me. I discovered it “in the wild” at a local thrift store. The tag read $2.02 and so into the cart it went. I had sold one of these same ashtrays previously in a different color, and hoped this one would sell just as easily. It did sell quickly as I had hoped, and for a price of $48! I have since sold several of these in my shop, and I am always pleased to find another one!

Scarce Anchor Hocking Uranium Depression Glass Pretzel Jar with lid, circa the 1930s.

9. 1930s Anchor Hocking Pretzel Jar with Lid

This was another piece I purchased from a local reseller, for just $20. This huge, glowing green glass jar was advertised as a vintage glass candy jar. It had been listed for nearly a year before I gave in and bought it. Seeing it in person, I cursed myself at being so stupid for not buying it sooner. What if someone had beat me to it?! I wrapped it up carefully in bubble wrap, and placed it in the cardboard box I had brought along and set it down gently in the seat next to mine. I remember turning the key in the ignition, and the sound of the car’s engine roaring to life suddenly made me feel the need to be very protective of this huge bundle of neon, green glass and so I buckled the box into the seatbelt for extra protection during the less than ten minutes’ drive back to my house. After doing some research, I determined it was not actually a candy jar, but rather a very rare, depression glass pretzel jar that had once been part of a set that came with matching mugs for beer. I also learned that finding one in such excellent condition, that also included the original lid, was extremely rare. In fact, I couldn’t even find another one with a lid listed for sale anywhere online. This left me unsure what to price this piece at, but I knew the value was drastically cut when selling a covered dish without its cover, so I checked to see what just the jar without a lid had been sold for recently, and priced mine, with the lid, at double that price. It sold the very first day it was listed for $185, and remains the one item I wish I had kept for myself.

10. 1980s Real Butterfly Taxidermy Display

This vintage, 1980s beauty was another local thrift shop find, and one that I purchased simply because I thought it was pretty and the price was reasonable enough. I brought it home, and put it on the end table by the couch in the living room. I thought it looked perfect, and was also a really cool find, worthy of being shown off. When my husband came home from work that day, he was horrified to see, what he referred to as “a box of dead bugs”, just sitting there in the living room. He is used to me bringing home weird things, and so he cautiously asked if “that thing” was being sold or kept. He tried to hide his excitement when I told him I wasn’t sure yet. When the kids got home from school that afternoon, all three had similar reactions to their father’s, and my girls were especially displeased with the cruelness that had been involved with killing these pretty butterflies, just to put them in a glass box to be used as decoration. Not wanting to hear the woeful tale of these poor butterflies each and every day, I decided I would check price comparisons and list it for sale. I was shocked at the recently sold eBay prices of similar items, but knew better than doubt the value of these vintage treasures. I sold this one within a week of listing it for $69!

22-pc. lot of uranium glass I purchased at a local thrift shop on half-price day for less than $3!

I have had so much fun discovering yesterday’s treasures and learning their history, and of course, I have enjoyed the profits of reselling them in my Etsy shop. I am hopelessly addicted now and hope I will be treasure hunting, and adding to this list for many years to come!

Top 10 Best Selling Vintage Items

  1. Vintage Lamps! Nearly every type of lamp can be a best seller including floor lamps, table lamps, or hanging chain lamps. 1970s oil rain lamps, aka Goddess Lamps, can fetch as much as $500 on eBay! A gorgeous Art Deco table lamp easily sells for $400. Fenton “Gone with the Wind” lamps however, are the holy grail.
Vintage wicker baskets are a staple in any bohemian themed setting.
  1. Wicker Baskets! Boho Hippie decor is on trend right now and baskets of any size, shape, or color, are a staple in this style. Actually pretty much anything wicker could be a bestseller in any vintage shop!
  1. Art Glass Figurines & Paperweights! The tiny trinkets made by Murano Glass, Fenton Glass, or Fire and Light Glassware, are considered to be priceless treasures to the right collector. A simple recycled glass heart paperweight made by Fire and Light Glassware has a not-so-simple price tag of $90!
Fostoria 1986 Yellow “Virginia” iced tea goblets
  1. Vintage Glassware Goblets! Many styles of vintage glassware are highly collectible and coveted by today’s shoppers. I sold a set of eight (8) Fostoria 1986 yellow glass water goblets in the popular “Virginia” pattern for $140!
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  1. Vintage Sewing Baskets! These vintage household items are especially valuable if they have pull-out accordion shelving, or are still stuffed with vintage sewing odds and ends.
  1. Vintage glass ashtrays, table lighters, cigarette holders, or smoking sets (which generally include all three) are extremely desirable to many collectors.
  1. Costume jewelry! Sparkly rhinestone brooches, crystal aurora borealis chokers, clip-on earrings, or earrings with screw backs. Be on the lookout for Bakelite jewelry or other items and items made from other popular vintage synthetic materials, such as Lucite.
  1. Decade Trends/Fads— Hopefully you never threw out those Garbage Pail Kids trading cards from the 80’s or your beloved Russ Troll dolls from the 90s because they can bring a nice payday your way today. In 1980, fiber optic flower display lamps with a wind-up music box were all the rage and according to eBay price comparisons, they’re still going strong, selling for close to $80-$90 each in good working condition!
This is an antique glass blob-top soda bottle with Hutchinson stopper, circa the 1800s.
  1. Antique Glass Bottles can be some of the most valuable items being sold in vintage stores. Dating these artifacts can be confusing but is well worth the effort since some bottles can be worth as much as $6000! For help identifying a glass bottle refer to the post Antique Glass Bottles in our blog
  1. Seasonal home decor! Vintage Halloween or Christmas decor items have surprisingly high values and will almost sell themselves with a good photo and accurate descriptions.

Compotes, Comports, & Console Bowls…

Photo by Valeria Boltneva on

If you’re anything like I was, your knowledge of the various different types and sizes of vintage glassware is probably limited. I had no idea there was a different piece for nearly every type of beverage one could enjoy with a meal. I figured there had to be a better way to differentiate them in my listings than calling them tall glass or small glass, so I headed to Google to figure it out. And now I’ll share with you what I found so that you’ll be shopping for console bowls and goblets in no time.

To begin to set your table, the most basic drinking glass you would need would be the goblets, which will be footed and have a stem. The water goblet is generally slightly larger than the wine goblet. An iced tea goblet will be footed, but generally not have a stem. You may also see a footed juice glass, which looks like a miniature version of the iced tea goblet. There are also many different types of stemware used for adult beverages, such as champagne flutes, claret wines, cordial glasses, and liquor cocktails. Also used for the various adult beverages, are several types of flat drinking glasses such as the old fashioned glass, the double old fashioned glass, and the highball glass. Tumblers are another type of flat drinking glass, however their intended purpose is for general use.

Moving on from the glasses, we have the beverage serving containers such as pitchers, which are used for serving water, tea, or any other cold or iced beverage, decanters, which are used for serving and storing wine or liquor, and creamers, which are used for serving cream to individual cups of coffee or tea. The coffee or tea of course would be served in a cup and saucer.

You may be already be aware of the purposes of having different sizes plates, such as the largest plate in the set is usually the dinner plate, the next size down is known as the luncheon plate, next sometimes you have the salad or dessert plate followed by the bread and butter plate, and finally the saucer to be used with a tea or coffee cup. Vintage glassware snack plate and cup sets could also usually be purchased in most patterns. A single, larger, usually round, plate is called the chop plate.

Vintage Milk Glass Snack Plate and Cup Set of the 1950s.

To keep in the tradition of making things as difficult as possible, there are also several different sizes of bowls, each with a different intended purpose. The most basic of bowls was the cereal bowl. The fruits/dessert bowl is usually the smallest in diameter and more shallow than the cereal bowl. Also included in many set is the soup bowl, which usually has a diameter similar to the cereal bowl, but is a more shallow bowl. The largest, single bowl is used for serving and is called the vegetable bowl.

When browsing for your vintage glassware pieces, you may have come across a compote, which is a footed bowl used to serve fruits, nuts, or sweets that may or may not come with a lid, or a canister, which is cylindrical container with a lid for storing dry ingredients. Cheese and Butter Dishes could come with either a dome cover or a rectangular one. A comport dish is similar to a compote dish, but is usually less bowl shaped and more flat like that of a bon bon tray, which is a mostly flat dish without a stem used for serving desserts or other sweets. Tiny, round or oval bowl-like dishes are called salt dips and were used for serving salt to individual guests. Console Bowls could be used as a centerpiece for your table and are meant to be filled with fresh fruits or flowers.

Amberina Moon and Stars tea canister with lid by L. E. Smith

Of course this is only a short overview of the many different shapes, sizes, and styles of vintage glassware and there are many more I have not included, but these are the basics. Often, one could even acquire candlestick holders, salt and pepper shakers, bud vases, ashtrays, and candy dishes to match their favorite glassware patterns. Each of these pieces would also come in a variety of shapes and sizes by specialized names as well naturally.

I hope this will help you on your next vintage treasure hunt! Until next time…

A Brief Overview of Vintage Glassware

vintage carnival glass

Typically, the word vintage is used when referring to something that is at least 20 years old, and the word antique is reserved for describing an item that is 100 or more years old. This means that for an item to be considered an antique, it must have been produced no later than 1920, and items that were produced after 1920 through the year 2000, are vintage. Yes, you read that correctly. Items from the year 2000 are now considered vintage. Let that sink in for a minute. 😉

Green Depression glass

Obviously, 100-year-old glassware was, is, and probably always will be coveted by collectors and have significant value, so let’s stick to the more vintage styles. Beginning with the Great Depression of the 1930s, we have what is called Depression Glass. Pretty straightforward, huh? Depression glass can be collected in many different colors including clear, green, pink, yellow, blue, red, and purple. Many patterns of depression glass feature etched designs, such as flowers or birds. Some well-known glass producing companies of that time were Hazel Atlas, Federal Glass, US Glass, Jeannette Glass, Macbeth-Evans, Anchor Hocking, and Cambridge.

Glassware of the 1940s took a sharp turn and etched flowers were replaced by more modern themes, featuring geometric designs and neat, straight lines. This style is called Art Deco and is a favorite of many, myself included. Art Deco looks like The Great Gatsby. Lamps and powder dish lids of the 1940s often displayed nude men and/or women as the design theme. The lime green color first made popular by Depression glass was still a favorite during this decade as well.

Mid-Century Barware Glasses & Ice Bucket Set

The decades of the 1950s-1960s are known as Mid-Century, and glassware pieces from this time period are the favorites of many collectors. To get an idea of what this style looks like, think old Hollywood glamour. Shiny, gold accents adorned everything, and all of life was a spectacular display. Snack plate sets were all the rage and no home bar was complete with a great set of barware glasses.

Amberina “Moon and Stars” by L. E. Smith

In the 1960s, one particularly popular glassware maker, L. E. Smith popularized a line of vibrantly colored glassware pieces, called Moon and Stars. It was available in red, green, blue, amethyst, amber, clear, pink, and a new color, called amberina, which was a rich red hue that faded into a golden yellow.

Vintage Avocado Green Glassware Set

In the 1970s, color schemes became more earth-toned and glassware was produced with names such as amber, topaz, and avocado green. Popular design motifs included flowers, trees, leaves, and anything else one might find in nature. Barware glasses were still popular as well as heavy stoneware dinner plates made in Japan. Many of these designs featured daisies or a bouquet of some other type of flower.

1985-86 Fostoria Yellow “Virginia” Iced Tea Goblets

Fostoria glassware dominated the 1980s. The beloved glass house had been in business for just shy of a century when they closed their doors for good in 1986. Fostoria had been the first company to launch a national advertising campaign and had also produced glassware for all U.S. presidents from Eisenhower to Reagan.

The 1990s were a fun time for glassware. Libbey Glass produced tumblers with all sorts of fun themes, like these, featuring sassy white cats or colorful, crayon-drawn fish. In my experience, glassware from 2000 (which if you remember, is technically vintage) doesn’t have anywhere near the demand of the earlier decades. Many people are still using their glassware from 2000, or have only recently upgraded their old set. More popular styles can have resale value however if they are marketed as replacement pieces.

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Where Should I Start? Perhaps 100 B.C.?

Antique Glass Bottles

Wow! My first official blog post for TheVintageVixenShop! While deciding what to cover in this first post, I thought it probably best to just go back to the beginning, which brings us to the beginning of TheVintageVixenShop. I mentioned finding the box of antique glass bottles in my introduction and I will just share a litttle bit of what I learned in my research.

Glass blowing and bottle making have been practiced by humans since almost forever, however, like everything else, the process and technique has changed a bit as time went by and new technologies became available. By understanding when certain technology was being used we can determine approximately when a piece of glass was produced. There are several features of the bottle that we can observe and use to find its approximate age. The features you need to be aware of are what is referred to as mold seams, the base of the bottle, and its lip, or finish.

History of Glass Bottles

Glass bottles were first created using a blowpipe tool and a man’s own hands and mouth. The hot liquid glass is placed at the end of the tool and then held in your hand by the opposite end of the blowpipe, into which one would blow to create the inside shape of the bottle. From there, manipulation of the blowpipe makes creating the shape of a bottle possible. Bottles made using this technique are referred to as “mouth-blown”, or free blown.

All bottles that have been mouth-blown will display certain characteristics which allude to their production process. Mouth-blown bottles will usually be somewhat imperfect, will almost always exhibit evidence of a pontil scar, which is the point of the glass bottle which had been attached to the blowpipe during manufacture and then broken off once the glass had cooled, and will not contain any embossing. To determine if the bottle before you was mouth-blown, first turn it over in your hands; are there any vertical or horizontal lines running down or across the surface of the bottle? If so, these are referred to as mold seams, and indicate that the bottle was not mouth-blown and instead was created in a mold. Next, look at the bottom of the bottle. If your bottle has a pontil scar, this is where you will find it. There are a few different types of pontil scars which can be created on bottles during production. The earliest processes of glassmaking created what is called an open pontil. It resembles a circle usually with somewhat rough edges. Later techniques would also create the iron pontil, improved pontil, and the sand pontil. Mouth-blown bottles may also exhibit what is referred to as a “kick-up” base, which is looks like what is says; it appears the base of the bottle has been kicked in or kicked up. This kind of base is especially common in bottles used for wines.

Parts of a Bottle

Bottle Molds

The first type of molds used in the U.S. were three-piece molds, and began to be used around the year 1830 and continued through the 1850s. Bottles produced in this mold will have a horizontal mold seam which begins where the body and shoulder of the bottle meet and goes all the way around the bottle. Also visible, there should be two parallel vertical lines along either side of the bottle. However, no mold seams will be present below the shoulder of the bottle.

The next type of mold used was the separate base plate mold, from the 1850s through the 1880s. These bottles will have a distinct mold seam ridge on the heel of the bottle, but no mold seams on its base. During this same time period, “keyed” and “hinged” molds were also being used. This brings us to another bottle feature to observe to when determing age, the finish, which is the lip or mouth of the bottle. Applied finishes were formed by hand and can be somewhat crude in appearance. “Keyed” and “Hinged” mold bottles usually are finished by what is called sheared or cracked off the lip of the bottle. They also display mold seams on the base of the bottle which split the bottle into two equal and symmetrical halves. In addition to the mold seams on the base, any of the four types of pontil scars can also be seen.

Post-Bottom Molds were used from the 1840s to 1900s and exhibit a finish that may have been either partially or completely molded. Mold seams will run straight down to and around the heel to become the bottle’s side mold seams. A round mold seam will also be centered on the bottle’s base.

Beginning in the 1830s, a new type of finish adorned glass bottles called the “blob-top” and resemebles just what the name suggests. It appears a blob of glass was placed on the neck and manipulated to form the lip of the bottle. True Blobs are said to have been produced in the 1850s, before the invention of the Hutchinson bottle stopper in 1879. These bottles were used primarily in soda water and sometimes for beer. Both body and base embossing were the standard during this time and a blob-top bottle which exhibits no embossing is unusual. With this new bottle finish, new methods of forming a bottle’s finish were created as well. Bottle finishes could now be applied (1880-1885), or tooled (1880s-1910s). Blobs were produced in a post-bottom mold and display a ground iron or improved iron pontil.

The “Codd” bottles produced from 1873 to 1910 didn’t see much success in the United States, except in Hawaii. These bottles have applied finishes and a glass marble stopper.

From 1880-1890, a peculiar type of bottle was produced with a “blob” type finish and a rounded base. These bottles are known as torpedo bottles and were created using a hinge mold. Turn-Mold Bottles were produced from the 1880s to the early 1910s. As a general rule, these bottles will have no embossing on their bases and kick-up bases are commonly used. These bottles will also not feature any embossing on the base, nor will they exhibit evidence of a pontil scar.

In 1892, Crown Cap bottles were introduced and had eliminated competition from all other finishes by 1920. Applied finishes on these types of bottles indicate foreign manufacture. This paved the way for the invention of the semi-automatic bottle machine which brought the era of mouth and mold blown bottles to a screeching halt. After the 1940s, nearly all bottles are produced by machines and are not nearly as coveted by collectors.

It is a lot of information to take in but also so fascinating to me! What’s your favorite style of antique or vintage glass bottles?


Welcome to the blog page for TheVintageVixenShop! I started this blog to hopefully connect with others who share my love for all things vintage. This includes collectors, treasure hunters, and other resellers as well. This will be a place for me to share information, showcase new items from the shop, and document and share my favorite finds from my own treasure hunting!

I opened my Etsy store in March of 2019 after first selling on some other smaller platforms. TheVintageVixenShop had small beginnings and a limited inventory of really great things that I unfortunately knew very little about. Attempting to create my listings only emphasized how much I had to learn. I had acquired a large and diverse number of collections from a home clean-out and although I knew some of these things had to be somewhat rare or valuable by the look of them, I didn’t really even know what they were. I couldn’t get past the title because I had no idea what to call anything!

I dove into my research head first, starting with antique glass bottles of all shapes, sizes, and colors. I was fascinated by the history of each and every bottle! I was in awe of the glassmaking processes and all the how’s and why’s behind a bottle’s color or design. I have always enjoyed learning about history and realizing just how old some of these bottles were amazed me! Many of these fragile glass bottles had survived for hundreds of years already! The concept was nearly impossible to even imagine. I held in my hands, the same medicine or remedy bottle that a worried mother had measured cough syrup from for her crying toddler, nearly 200 years before! Incredible!

I learned as much as I could about all kinds of bottles from the “quack” medicines of the 1800s to Ball mason jars! Eventually, my interests and knowledge expanded to include not just antique bottles, but also vintage glassware and other treasures from days gone by. I am by no means an expert and I still have so much more to learn and discover. I am however an avid collector and vintage enthusiast and I am so excited to discover the history behind each item I find. I hope you can maybe learn a little something from me and I can’t wait to learn from all of you!

Please visit to view available listings.

Some of the first bottles I acquired and sold through TheVintageVixenShop on Etsy.
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