Antique Ships In Bottles



2015-06-26 11:17:45

Antique Ships In Bottles are original model ships placed inside glass bottles.


Brief history and description

A ship-in-bottle is a type of mechanical puzzle (also known as the impossible bottle), for which a miniaturize ship, boat or vessel is placed inside of a clear glass bottle.

In order to place the ship inside of the bottle, the masts of the ship must be rigged with strings and then folded down. The ship is then forced through neck of the bottle using the strings, and then opened like an umbrella by pulling the strings once it enters the body of the bottle.

Guide for collectors

Due to the fact that created a ship-in-bottle takes a great deal of patience, skill and care, restoration is not recommended.

Ship-in-bottles which contain elaborative or decorative scenes and items (such as lighthouses or houses) sell for much higher prices at auctions, as well as ships which were modelled after famous boats or vessels (such as the Titanic).

The official websites for the Ships-in-Bottles Association of America and the European Association of Ships-in-Bottles both have information regarding the history and value of ship in bottles as well as any upcoming exhibits.


MV Auctions in Buzzards Bay, MA sold an antique ship-in-bottle from the Arctic Expedition of the Bear of Oakland (circa 1933) which was crafted by F.B.Overbrook for $550 in July of 2008.

Myers Fine Art in St. Petersburg, Florida sold a three-mast ship-in-bottle (circa late 19th century or early 20th century; 9" in length; 3.5" in diameter) featuring an elaborate town scene and a lighthouse for $350 in March of 2005.

MV Auctions in Buzzards Bay, MA sold an antique ship-in-bottle (circa 19th century; 10" long) for $175 in December of 2008.

Dirk Soulis Auctions in Long Jack, Missouri sold a three-mast ship-in-bottle featuring a lighthouse inside of a three-sided clear glass dimpled 8-inch bottle for $90 in August of 2009.

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