From “Antiques Roadshow” to “American Pickers,” the airwaves are as jammed as an old South Georgia barn with people who are passionate collectors of stuff. But of all the things that the covetous covet, one basic collectible with enduring appeal is bottles.
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43rd Annual Atlanta Antique Bottle Show & Sale
9 a.m.-3 p.m. June 8. Smyrna Community Center, 200 Village Green Circle, Smyrna. $3. Children under 12 receive a free vintage bottle. Also, free bottle and pottery appraisals. 404-538-6057.
6 TIPS FOR COLLECTING BOTTLES
1. You don’t have to invest heavily to build a nice bottle collection. “At our show there will be bottles that are 100-plus years old for less than $10,” Atlanta Antique Bottle Show & Sale co-organizer Jack Hewitt said. There will also be some that go for thousands.
2. Try to learn about bottles before going on a spending spree. You can read up in reliable resources such as Antique Bottle & Glass Collector and Bottles and Extras magazines. The Federation of Bottle Collectors has an informative web site at www.fohbc.org.
3. Rarity, condition and color are the three greatest factors in determining a bottle’s worth, show co-organizer John Joiner said.
4. The world of bottle collecting is vast, so it’s best to focus initial collecting in one area, building expertise before expanding into others.
5. Survey the entire bottle show before making a purchase. That way you can look for pricing on comparables and glean background from dealers. Prices are negotiable.
6. You, too, can have your own “American Roadshow”-type moment: At yard sales and even antique shops where proprietors aren’t knowledgeable about bottles, it is possible to score one worth a lot more than what you pay. A friend of Joiner bought a square bitters bottle at a Macon yard sale for $1 that later resold for $12,500.