Antique Seltzer Bottles
Antique Seltzer Bottles are collectible bottles designed to dispense carbonated water.
Brief history and description
A seltzer bottle (also known as a soda syphon/siphon or a syphon seltzer bottle) is a device that dispenses carbonated water, and its origins date all the way back to 1790 in France when the concept of an "aerosol" was used to pressurize carbonated beverages. However, it wasn't until 1892 when the modern syphon was created in an effort to help maintain the pressure of carbonated liquid inside of a bottle, thus preventing the soda from becoming flat.
Notable auction sales
Pewter-top seltzer bottles
Old Barn Auction in Findlay, Ohio sold a clear powter-topped seltzer bottle for $350 in November of 2007.
Metal-covered seltzer bottles
Pioneer Auction Gallery in Portland, Oregon sold a lot of four metal-covered seltzer bottles with wire mesh coverings (circa 20th century) for $650 in October of 2011.
Coca-Cola seltzer bottles
Morphy Auctions in Denver, Pennsylvania sold:
- A 12-inch amber Coca-Cola seltzer bottle (circa 1920s) with a Spigot on top marked as Wagner for $500 in June of 2006.
- A blue 13-inch Coca-Cola seltzer bottle with its original blue cap for $400 in September of 2005.
- Two clear 12-inch Coca-Cola seltzer bottles from Richmond, Indiana featuring a "quaker-man" on the front for $475 in January of 2007.
Dr. Pepper seltzer bottles
Morphy Auctions in Denver, Pennsylvania sold a pink, 12-inch Dr. Pepper seltzer bottle with its original etching for $350 in April of 2004.
Bronzed seltzer bottles
Doyle New York sold two French, bronzed and mounted seltzer bottles (30.75" in height) each of which are mounted as a two-light lamp for $1,400 in June of 2006.
Root beer acid-etched seltzer bottles
Morphy Auctions in Denver, Pennsylvania sold an acid-etched root beer seltzer bottle (circa 1910 to 1920) featuring the image of a cow's head on the center of the bottle (10.5" in height) for $400 in May of 2007.
Wire mesh-covered seltzer bottles
Crescent City Auction Gallery in New Orleans, Louisiana sold a lot of four seltzer bottles (circa 20th century) with wire mesh coverings for $550 in April of 2011.
Green seltzer bottles
Rich Penn Auctions in Waterloo, Iowa sold a green glass seltzer bottle from the Whistle Bottling Co. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (with a spigot marked as "Lane Cleo Cola Bottling Co."; circa 1900s; 12.5" in height) for $550 in April of 2007.
Guide for collectors
Antique seltzer bottles are typically very thick due to the fact that they needed to "withstand" the pressure of carbonation. Because antique seltzer bottles were built in a way so they could be used continuously over a long period of time, finding a seltzer bottle in good condition does not necessarily mean it will be considered rare among collectors. As a matter of fact, it is quite common to find antique seltzer bottles that are still usable, however, the purchasing of co2 cartridge replacements is recommended.
Root Beer, acid-etched seltzer bottles, on the other hand, are considered to be extremely rare among collectors.
Restoration of an antique seltzer bottle is not recommended.
For more information regarding antique seltzer bottles, visit Aunt Judy's Attic.