Thinking about starting an antique whiskey bottle collection? Do you know what to look for and where to find these treasures?
Collecting old whiskey bottles can be a fascinating hobby if you know what you’re doing, and with time, as your collection grows, these vintage bottles will most definitely add a touch of the eclectic to your home decor. Whether you’re looking to display your antique whiskey bottle collection in your den, kitchen or bar, you can be sure these bottles will be an ongoing topic of conversation for you and your guests.
The cost of starting an antique whiskey bottle collection will vary depending on how rapidly you want your collection to grow, but generally, the initial investment required is fairly manageable. Knowing what to look for and where to find these beauties will help you find the very best price without sacrificing the quality of your collection.
Types of Antique Whiskey Bottles
With any type of antique collection, the general rule of thumb is that the older the piece—provided it’s in good condition—the more it is typically worth. The same can be said of antique whiskey bottles. Without exception, the most valuable types of whiskey bottles are those which were made before Prohibition came about in 1919. Fortunately, these are fairly easy to spot due to their unique shapes.
The end of Prohibition coincides roughly with the beginning of machine made bottles. Prior to this, whiskey bottles took on a variety of shapes including:
- Figural. Bottles shaped as various figures such as animals and famous people.
- Barrel shaped. Many of the older whiskey bottles were fashioned in a short, barrel shape.
- Engraved. Before fancy paper labels came about, many of the older whiskey bottles were hand-engraved. Finding one of these engraved bottles is particularly fortunate.
Where to Find Antique Whiskey Bottles
Now that you know what to look for, you’re ready to start hunting pieces for your new collection. This can be a very enjoyable process if you know where to look. Here are some suggestions:
- Antique Stores. Visiting antique stores, those close to your home and those you come across while traveling, is a great way to begin your collection.
- Online Auction Sites. Online auction sites, such as Ebay, regularly feature a wide variety of antique whiskey bottles from around the world.
- Garage Sales. They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and never has this been truer than when it comes to antiques. Garage sales can be an absolute treasure trove for the antique whiskey bottle collector.
- Flea Markets and Swap Meets. You never know just what you’ll find at a flea market or swap meet. Take the time to visit your local flea market about once a month and see if you can’t get lucky.
Collecting antique whiskey bottles can be a fun and exciting hobby, and in some cases, a very profitable one as well. If you have the time, go online and learn all you can about this fantastic hobby and then follow the tips above to begin adding to your collection today.