Heisey collection of pig pottery bottles brings $125,000

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EAST GREENVILLE, Pa – A rare and unusual collection of pig-shaped figural pottery bottles sold for $125,000 at a recent Glass Works Auctions. Of the 333 lots in the auction, 55 were from the collection of Gene Heisey, who passed away in 1987. His wife, Joann, kept the collection intact for nearly 25 years.

‘Gene Heisey’s collection represents what is probably the last of the old time original pig collections dating back to the early 1970′s’ said Jim Hagenbuch, owner of Glass Works Auctions. “In the early years of bottle collecting most all the pottery pigs were in bottle collections,” said Hagenbuch. “Today most are in stoneware and folk are collections.” All prices reported include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.

Anna Pottery pig bottleThis pottery pig bottle made by Anna Pottery for Horace Greeley’s 1872 Presidential Campaign sold for $21,850.

Of the 11 pottery pigs in the collection, lot 1, made by Anna Pottery for Horace Greeley’s 1872 Presidential Campaign brought the most. Selling for $21,850 it was the highest priced item in the auction.  ‘A wonderful pig flask, and very political, thought to be one of only two known examples’, Hagenbuch said.

A rare salt-glazed pig incised, ‘J.O. Sanders, Dealer in Wines Liquors and Cigars, Eberton GA (Georgia) 1883′, sold for $13,800. Hagenbuch attributed the exceptional hammer price because “very few pigs were made by Anna Pottery for Southern companies.”

amber glass bottle pig BerkshireThis Berkshire Bitters pig in amber glass sold for $6,325.
Civil War bottle General Lee TravellersThis bottle embossed with the likeness of Robert E. Lee on the front and the words ‘Travellers – Bitters’ on the side panels sold for $12,650.

A Railroad and River Guide pig made by the Texarkana Pottery sold for $10,925. ‘Texarkana only made a fraction of the pigs that Anna did”, Hagenbuch said, “most of the time they are usually auctioned as being made by Anna.”

Of the glass pigs in the Heisey collection, a Berkshire Bitters pig in amber glass, sold for $6,325.

Another auction highlight was a bottle embossed with the likeness of Robert E. Lee on the front and the words ‘Travellers – Bitters’ on the side panels. It sold for $12,650, setting a record price for the bottle. “You won’t find this in your high school history book but Traveller was the name of General Lee’s horse at the end of the Civil War,” Hagenbuch said.

A rare teal green color pillar mold decanter attributed to a Pittsburgh District glass house sold for $11,500 and a rare American ‘bullet head’ demijohn, circa 1780 – 1815, hammered for $2,875.

The total auction gross was $368,000. The 55 lots from the Heisey collection sold for $125,350 with 21 lots receiving no bids.

For more information about future auctions visit Glass Works Auctions.

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