Barber bottles

In the 19th century, barbers filled their own bottles with hair tonic and oil, bay rum, shampoo and rosewater. The bottles came in distinctive colors/shapes so the barber could identify what was in each one of them.

Barber bottles stopped being made after the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act made it illegal to refill non-labeled bottles.

The bottles listed here were sold by Green Valley Auctions, Mt. Crawford, Va., in January 2008. The GVA specialty/catalog division is now maintained under Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates, www.jeffreysevans.com.

Hobbs, No, 323 Dew Drop / Hobnail Barber’s Bottle, blue opalescent, ceramic pourer, polished pontil mark. Hobbs, Brockunier & Co. Fourth quarter 19th century. 6 3/4 inches high, with 3 3/4-inch diameter overall. Loss of one hob and chip to two others, lowest row of hobs with multiple flakes.      $120

Hobnail barber’s bottle, cranberry opalescent, rough pontil mark. Late 19th/early 20th century. 8 1/4 inches high, 4 1/4-inch diameter overall. One flake to a hob and several with manufacturing roughness.      $144

Inverted thumbprint barber’s bottle, amber, polished pontil mark. Fourth quarter 19th century. 7 inches high, 3 1/4-inch diameter overall.      $34

L.G. Wright, Swirl barber’s bottle, cranberry opalescent. L.G. Wright Glass Co. Second half 20th century. 7 inches high, 3 1/2-inch diameter overall.    $120

L.G. Wright, opal rib barber’s bottle, opalescent. L.G. Wright Glass Co. Second half 20th century. 7 inches high, 3 1/2-inch diameter overall.      $115

Seaweed/coral barber’s bottle, blue opalescent, polished pontil mark. Late 19th/early 20th century. 7 inches high, 3 1/2-inch diameter overall. Pattern flake.      $345

Stars and stripes barber’s bottle, opalescent, polished pontil mark. Late 19th/early 20th century. 6 7/8 inches high, 3 1/2-inch diameter overall.    $373

Swirl barber’s bottle, blue opalescent, polished pontil mark. Late 19th/early 20th century. 7 inches high, 3 1/2-inch diameter overall.    $195

Swirl barber’s bottle, cranberry opalescent. Late 19th/early 20th century. 7 inches high, 3 1/4-inch diameter overall.    $184

Vesta/hobnail in square, barber’s bottle and tumbler, colorless opalescent, bottle slightly tinted. Aetna Glass & Mfg. Co. Fourth quarter 19th century. 6 3/4 inches and 4 inches high. Bottle with the partial loss of one hob and a flake to another, also some interior dirt/residue.      $92 both

Victorian, enamel decorated barber’s bottle, cobalt blue with white enamel stylized floral decoration, rough pontil mark. Late 19th/early 20th century. 7 1/2 inches high, 3 3/4-inch diameter overall.    $46

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Information about shaving mugs, barber’s bottles and much more is found in the 43rd edition of Warman’s Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide for 2010, now available for $27.99 at www.krausebooks.com.

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More Images:

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Seaweed/coral barber's bottle, cranberry opalescent, polished pontil mark. Late 19th/early 20th century. 7 inches high, 3 1/2-inch diameter overall. $452. Photo courtesy Green Valley Auctions, Mt. Crawford, Va.
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Victorian, enamel decorated rib optic barber's bottle, green with polychrome floral decoration, rough pontil mark. Late 19th/early 20th century. 7 1/8 inches high, 3 1/2-inch diameter overall. $56. Photo courtesy Green Valley Auctions, Mt. Crawford, Va.
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Warman's Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide for 2010 is now available for $27.99 at www.krausebooks.com.

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