American Bottle Auctions (Antique bottle dealers)
American Bottle Auctions is an online auction house dealing with rare and collectible antique glass bottles. Based in Sacramento, California, the company specializes in bottle produced between 1850 and 1900.
The company has revolutionized antique bottle sales in recent years by becoming the first auction house to both produce free full colour catalogues and hold online auctions. These two innovations enhanced the way in which bottles were bought by collectors, as a bottle's true colours (which have an enourmous effect on their value) could be seen for the first time without attending an auction in person.
They have also introduced a numbered grading scheme for bottles similar to that used by trading card and coin collectors.
The company’s website offers a wide variety of information about the hobby, along with a comprehensive price guide to thousands of different bottles.
History and expertise
The company was founded in 1990 as Pacific Glass Auctions by bottle collector Jeff Wichmann, one of the world’s foremost experts on the subject.
In 1999 Mr. Wichmann published a 132-page book entitled ‘The Best of the West - Antique Western Bitters Bottles’ which is now considered to be one of the top resources for researching the history, and value of, antique western bitters bottles.
He has appeared on several television programs as a guest expert including a Travel Channel special called Cash and Treasures, and is a regular guest speaker at bottle collecting events around the country.
Jeff's bottle photography is considered by most to be the best in the business. His photographs have been published in numerous national publications, including 'Kovel's Antique Bottle Price Guide', 'Warman’s Antique and Collectible Price Guide' and 'Bottles' by Michael Polak.
In 2001 the company changed its name to become American Bottle Auctions.
AS of April 2011 the company had conducted 51 bottle auctions in its history, with the 52nd scheduled for May 2011.
- A mint condition Brown's Celebrated Indian Herb bitters bottle, patented Feb. 11 1868, sold for $36,960
- An olive green 1857 Bryant's Stomach Bitters bottle, sold in 1998 for a world record price of $68,750