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Sunburst snuff jar may rise to $40,000

Heckler Auction is bringing a selection of 96 pieces of glass to auction beginning March 17, with potential top lots in the form of an early 19th century Sunburst snuff jar.

WOODSTOCK, Conn. — Heckler’s absentee Auction 108 will offer 96 exceptional glass

snuff jar

Sunburst Snuff Jar manufactured by Keene Marlboro Street Glassworks (Keene, N.H.), circa 1815-1830 (est. $20,000-$40,000). (Photo courtesy Heckler Auctions)

items in a compact but potent sale, beginning March 17 and ending March 26 (at 10 p.m EST). A full-color catalog is available for viewing at

“This auction includes exceptional pieces in a surprising number of bottle collecting categories including early glass, historical flasks, colored medicines, whimsey hats, bitters, inks, black glass and more,” said Norman Heckler.

A number of remarkable pieces will be coming from the Clarissa Vanderbilt Dundon collection of historical flasks. Mrs. Dundon is the daughter of pioneer collector Merritt Vanderbilt.

Perhaps the most noteworthy piece of the collection is a Sunburst Snuff Jar manufactured by Keene Marlboro Street Glassworks, circa 1815-1830. The deep yellowish green bottle, incredibly rare and in virtually perfect condition, has a presale estimate of $20,000 to $40,000.

Three flasks carrying identical presale estimates of $15,000 to $30,000 are also pegged to draw intense bidding action. The first is a very early, unusually colored Concentric Ring Eagle historical flask, made circa 1818-1830 by New England Glass Company.

The second is a Washington Bust and Frigate portrait flask (circa 1847-1850) in a brilliant yellowish olive, manufactured by Albany Glass Works. The third, a light yellow olive Eagle-Cornucopia half-pint historical flask, is an early rarity from the Pitkin Glass Works, circa 1815-1830.

Rounding out the flasks category are two examples, both expected to realize $4,000 to $8,000. The Double Eagle historical pint flask, made around 1850-1855, possibly by Kentucky Glass Works, is a beautiful and popular brilliant sapphire blue. The second is a sea green concentric ring eagle historical quart flask, made circa 1820-1830.

The hat whimsies portion of the sale is represented by standout pieces such as an

hat whimsey

Octagonal hat formed from a utility mold glass bottle, made in America circa 1840-1860, bright golden amber (est. $1,000-$2,000). (Photo courtesy Heckler Auction)

octagonal hat formed from a utility mold glass bottle, circa 1840-1860, bright golden amber in color (estimate $1,000-$2,000), and a light green pattern molded glass hat whimsey, circa 1820-1840 (estimate $500-$1,000). Additional feature lots include:

• Many early medicine bottles including a “Rushton & / Aspinwall / New-York” medicine bottle, circa 1840-1860 with a presale estimate of $7,500 to $15,000

• A yellow green ear of corn “National Bitters” figural bottle, circa 1860-1880, which is expected to fetch upward of $3,000

• Several ink bottles and inkwells, such as a late 18th century unusual square form inkwell with an estimate of $1,500 to $3,000.

Editor's Recommendation: Warman's Bottles Field Guide

This handy guide explores the world of bottles with an examination of 20 different categories. Inside this pocket-sized book you'll find:

  • 1,500 listings for Ginger beer bottles, food and pickle bottles, whiskey bottles, bitter and milk bottles, among others
  • 300 color photographs
  • Auction and show realized values

Learn more >>

Previews will be held from until March 15 at Heckler’s showroom, located at 79 Bradford Corner Road in Woodstock Valley, Conn.

To learn more about the upcoming Auction #108 or consigning a piece or collection, visit, call 860-974-1634 or e-mail


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