As you can see by my last blog, I’ve been buying an awful lot of bottles, and digging relatively few. Well, that can happen when you exhaust all of your good dumps. Luckily, there are always more! My good friend David who I mentioned earlier was generous enough to invite me to his “secret” dump which was sadly closed to digging a few months later. The good part was we were able to dig a few times, and unearth a bunch of gems. Included in my unlisted RI finds were a Kalkman Pharmacy Inc. Newport, RI in an unlisted style, a H.E. Taber PhG Wakefield, RI in unlisted size (David commandeered my hole after that one), and an unlisted size of a Watson’s Pharmacy Opposite Casino Narragansett Pier, RI. Oh, and there was also that extremely rare Wakefield Mineral Water Co. C.A. Flanagan Manager Wakefield, RI that I found. It is unlisted, but two were known to exist until that day, and mine was an undocumented small size! David found his fair share of unlisted RI bottles and other great finds, though it’s hard to beat unlisted locals!
A few blogs ago I gave you the lowdown on the Caswell Hazard bottles. I hadn’t seen any in the longest time, until ebay delivered again. I found one of the Labor Omnia Vincit bottles from the Hazard Hazard era in an unlisted clear. Honestly it looked ugly in the pictures, but with clear Caswell Mack and Caswell Hazard versions listed, this one was obviously the rarest of the bunch. I was able to get it cheap, and while it needs a tumble, it’s a superb addition that David Andrews doesn’t have yet!
Every now and then, with the proper amount of effort, you will get very lucky. I was happy to learn this lesson during a visit to the Scituate Art Festival. Upon arriving I noted at least 20 yard sale signs, and kicked myself for not getting up at 6AM. I browsed the booths and some yard sales with a friend, and was heading to my car when I spotted a jug on a table. This yard sale was set up back from the road and on a hill, so it was probably less visited. The homeowner wanted $100 for the honestly cool Rice & Starkweather Providence jug, but being a poor college kid didn’t help. I then noticed a box of what appeared to be junk bottles. After removing some, I found myself looking at dirt-covered pontiled bottles! Sure they had lip chips and such, but I assembled a group and made an offer, which he accepted. He the proceeded to tell me he had more, and to come back tomorrow.
It was to my fortune that when I arrived late after work the next day, he had forgotten to bring the bottles. He made the quick run to his house, and presented me with a large basket of bottles. Right on top I was amazed to see two emerald green squat sodas! One was a J. Harvey Providence, and the other an E. Jenckes with no town. After finding another superb bottle, I bought the lot for $40. While the Harvey was listed and had a small lip chip, the Jenkes bottle was a mystery and had an unfortunate chunk out of the lip. After a lot of research I discovered it was from Providence, RI! I then noticed the faint sand pontil which made it even better. Unlisted pontiled sodas are what collectors dream about, and this time the price was right!
Some of you will remember my déjà vu post when I found two etched beer bottles in rapid succession. Well, go figure, but I seem to be making this a habit! Jan Boyer invited me to a house call in Wickford from a couple who found a bunch of bottles in a crawl space. It sounded great, only all the bottles were screw cap junkers. Except for one, which was an embossed Charles A. Gladding Providence, RI druggist bottle. Usually common, this one had Gladding’s name in cursive, Charles spelled out (most are abbreviated Chas.), and Oz. and CC measurements on the sides. It also had an unknown trademark F.F. & Co. on the base. Jan let me have it and he took a nice local milk. A week later I noticed a neat medicine bottle on ebay. It was a W.S. Bennett & Co. Prescription Druggists Warren, RI. Bennett was the only druggist with an embossed bottle from Warren, so I was excited to win this unlisted version. Upon receiving it I noticed it looked a lot like that Gladding bottle I had, and sure enough, it was exactly the same shape and height! It even had that trademark on the bottom, which I’ve never seen again. I was later able to identify the trademark as Fox, Fultz & Co. of Boston who were listed in the Boston directory as bottle makers.