January 28, 2021

Antiques & Collecting: Look for labels under glass

Most glass bottles identified the contents inside with embossed letters on the container or a paper label. But a special group, usually apothecary bottles or special gifts, were made with “labels under glass.”

The medical bottles usually had a label with a name written in black in a fancy type style, gold leaf trim, plus a solid glass cover for the label. It was made to fit into a shaped indent on the side of the bottle, making a smooth bottle with a protected label.

There also were bottles with labels under glass made with color pictures of attractive women, season’s greetings or other messages used for gifts, or barber product containers displayed in barber shops. They were made from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s.

Decorative “back bar” bottles were often whiskey bottles refilled with colored water when the whiskey was sold. They were probably made before Prohibition.

Condition of these bottles is important. The glass label may crack, and the glue used for the paper label discolors.

A small, round flask with a label under glass picturing a girl was in the recent sale by Glass Works Auctions in East Greenville, Pennsylvania. It was made at the end of the 19th century and sold for $468.

I have many Beanie Babies bought back in the ’90s, when they were the craze. I have many originals, including the purple Princess Diana bear. A couple of websites listed it for several thousand dollars, which I hardly think is possible. Where can I find out a true going value?

The first Beanie Babies were issued in 1993 and sold for $5 each. Ty Warner, the creator of Beanie Babies, began retiring a few of the plush toys in 1995, and prices rose as collectors tried to find them. Some people collected them as an investment and paid several times the retail price for certain ones.

The first Princess Diana Beanie Babies were made in August 1997, two months after Princess Diana’s death. They were made until April 1999. Proceeds were given to the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund.

Although there are online sites asking as much as $135,000 for the “first edition,” a First Edition Princess Diana bear stuffed with polyvinylchloride is listed on Amazon for $39; a bear with polyethylene pellets for $22.

Current Prices

Decoy, goose, wooden, black, white, tacks for eyes, 11 1/2 x 9 inches, $125.

Pie crimper, whalebone, fluted wheel, turned handle, 1800s, 6 1/2 inches, $220.

Dr. Pepper cooler, “Good for Life,” white print, green, metal handle, 14 x 12 3/4 inches, $450.

Sewing box, mahogany, inlay, checked banding, open winged eagle, banner, 1800s, 8 x 12 3/4 inches, $625.

Tip: In snowy weather, make tracks both in and out of your door. One set of tracks leaving the house is an invitation to an intruder. Or, perhaps you could walk out of the house backward.

Terry and Kim Kovel

For more collecting news, tips and resources, visit www.Kovels.com. © 2021 King Features Synd., Inc.