Bottle Collectors Gather in Chico

Mar 8, 2013 8:01 PM

Most of us have thrown away or recycled hundreds of glass bottles in our lifetime.
It is the same thing Americans have done for generations, but there are now collectors that are working to preserve some of the bottles that would otherwise be lost to history.

There are thousands of pieces of old glass on display at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds as part of 47th Annual Antique Bottle, Jar, Insulator and Collectibles Show
And most of the bottles come with a story, Like the bitters bottle Ron Brock cleaned after finding covered in barnacles and mud at a concord flea market.

"I've got $3 invested in it, but I hope to get over $5,000 for it," Ron Brock said.

Believe it or not, that bottle isn't even close to the most expensive piece on sale this weekend.
While many of the old soda bottles sell for just a few dollars, some pieces that date back to the mid 1800s were prices in the tens of thousands of dollars with the most expensive topping out at nearly $50,000.

"It just depends on the rarity of a particular color and a particular item," Clint Powell said.

For the collectors that have been scouring garage sales, flea markets and even old dump sites, the discarded glass is viewed as treasured artwork.

"They are great examples of handmade, hand blown pieces of glass," Show organizer Randy Taylor said.
"To tell you the truth, I look at my bottle collection more than I watch TV," Brock said.

Many of the collectors at the bottle show say the hobby isn't necessarily about making money. It's more about the search and the stories connected with their favorite pieces.

"It seems no matter how long I do this, I find something I've never seen before," Powell said.
"When you research the companies that made them, You are really researching your community history," Taylor said.

The bottle show is open Saturday from nine to four.
Admission is free to the public.


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