Noname Antiques » 19 Most Valuable Antique Bottles Worth Money

19 Most Valuable Antique Bottles Worth Money

Did you know glass eventually turns into clay?

But this decomposition process can take centuries, so it’s possible to find bottles that are up to 2000 years old, back in Roman times.

That said, some old bottles are barely worth a few cents.

So let’s look into the most valuable antique bottles.

And if you find one, don’t rush to wash it – the sediments may add value!

Most Valuable Antique Bottles Worth Money

1. Giant Old Owl Drug Bottle W/ Grandpappy Owl Deep Cobalt Blue Bottle

Giant Old Owl Drug Bottle W Grandpappy Owl Deep Cobalt Blue Bottle

If you’ve ever visited a glass beach (or watched videos of these excursions), you may have noticed the sea glass is mostly clear, green, or amber, with a little blue. Maybe the other colors have already been scavenged, but it still makes a solid point about color and value.

  • Colour: Cobalt Blue
  • Year: 1900s
  • Value: $4,999.99

Purple, black, puce, cobalt blue, and green specimens make the most valuable antique glass bottle. And this owl bottle is the ideal example. It’s embossed with the Grandpappy Owl and TODCo, the emblem of The Owl Drug Company. It’s 9 ¼” tall and weighs about one pound.

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2. Antique Carved Yellow Peking Glass Chinese Snuff Bottle

Antique Carved Yellow Peking Glass Chinese Snuff Bottle

We assume all bottles are used for liquids like beer, water, juice, or soda. But collectibles may hold perfumes, poisons, or expensive oils. Snuff was also stored in bottles, and this Chinese artifact is a good example. It’s a bright shade of yellow to distinguish it from other bottles.

  • Colour: Yellow
  • Year: Unknown
  • Value: $199

This cute square bottle has intricate flowers embossed on each side. Its round heel juts out below the base of the bottle so it seems to be floating a few millimeters above the table. The bottle has its original cap, adding to its value. It’s made of mustard-colored Peking glass.

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3. Unopened Antique Dr. Jayne’s Alterative No 242 Quack Medicine Bottle

Unopened Antique Dr. Jayne’s Alterative No 242 Quack Medicine Bottle

Before modern medicine was calibrated, people used all sorts of things to cure ailments. You might try a traditional remedy from an indigenous community, and many of these worked. And medical shows toured the country offering largely sensational experimental solutions.

  • Colour: Clear
  • Year: Unknown
  • Value: $375

Some of these medicines ended up being patented and were quite effective. Examples of this include Listerine, 7Up, and various colas. But a lot of the time quacks bottled fakes in pretty bottles. So if you find an unopened bottle with the stuff still inside it, you’ll get a good price.

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4. Vintage French Green Set 1000ml (1 Litre) Size – Old Brasserie Bottles

Vintage French Green Set 1000ml (1 Litre) Size - Old Brasserie Bottles

You can sometimes find treasure in the strangest places. This set of six bottles had been repurposed to serve water in a restaurant. They probably thought it was a cute gimmick to offer water in cute green wine bottles, not knowing the true value of these antique items.

  • Colour: Green
  • Year: 1920s to 1930s
  • Value: $203.57

The bottles are embossed with the details of their French distillery, and they still have their porcelain swing tops. They’re in good condition because the restaurant kept them hygienic for their customers’ use. If you ever bump into one with the original wine still in them, save it!

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5. Nearly Mint Deep Cobalt Antique Quilted Poison Bottle w. Top

Nearly Mint Deep Cobalt Antique Quilted Poison Bottle w. Top

Today, we prefer clear bottles so we can see the liquid inside. And brands often use color psychology to pick the right shade for their juices, sodas, or drinks, so that clarity is essential. But in the past, darker bottles were preferred if the beverage could be damaged by sunlight.

  • Colour: Cobalt Blue
  • Year: Unknown
  • Value: $197

But in the case of toxic substances, it would be pretty easy to grab the wrong container. So poison bottles often had ridges or textural detail on the sides. This way, you could instantly identify them by touch. This could save your life when you reached for the bottle in the dark!

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6. Antique Chinese 1700s White Hetian Jade Snuff Bottle

Antique Chinese 1700s White Hetian Jade Snuff Bottle

Foreign bottles can be remarkably valuable. And with online sales and convenient global shipping, collectors and traders have easy access to international items like this Chinese treasure. The milky white color and unusual shape add to the visual value of this bottle.

  • Colour: Off-White
  • Year: 1700s
  • Value: $1,800

It’s engraved with a poem written in Chinese calligraphy on the front and bamboo reeds on the back. All these characters are embellished with flecks of gold. The bottle weighs about 100g, that’s slightly less than a quarter pound. It stands 58mm by 52mm. That’s about 2″.

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7. Antique Amethyst Color Pickle Neck Bottle

Antique Amethyst Color Pickle Neck Bottle

Before you delve into trading bottles, it helps to know your antique bottling basics. For example, you may have read that purple bottles are among the most valuable antique bottles. So you may wonder why this one is priced so low. Well, lots of other factors are involved.

  • Colour: Amethyst
  • Year: Unknown
  • Value: $60

This triangular bottle and color draw the casual collector, but may not impress experts. The bottle has seams up to the lip, so it’s a newer machine-made bottle. And it has air bubbles, which are sought-after among handmade bottles but less desirable on machined bottles.

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8. Antique Mongolian White Hetian Nephrite Jade Carved Snuff Bottle

Antique Mongolian White Hetian Nephrite Jade Carved Snuff Bottle

The Mongolian Civilization dates back centuries. But earlier historians were … well … racist. They couldn’t accept that a non-white culture could be superior, so they theorized that these Asian peoples must have interacted with and acquired tech from the Caucasians of the past.

  • Colour: Off-White
  • Year: 1700s
  • Value: $1,800

Either way, these jade snuff bottles can sell for vast amounts. But given the amount of damage on this piece, it may not get that asking price. Still, this bottle affirms the wisdom of never washing the inside of a collected bottle. The contents can help authenticate the item.

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9. Antique Bottle of 1800’s “Aroma”. Very small 1.18”

Antique Bottle of 1800's Aroma. Very small 1.18”

 

With most things, bigger is better. But the most valuable antique bottles can be surprisingly tiny. Their size suggests they held highly prized liquids like expensive perfume, olive oil, or medicinal tinctures. This bottle has a collar and a cork which suggests it was worn on a cord.

  • Colour: Clear
  • Year: Unknown
  • Value: $55.55

This cord could have been slung around someone’s neck or hung from their belt. That way, you could carry it everywhere you go. You can see some white sediment inside the bottle and you should never wash it out. Residue can confirm what was in the bottle and when it was filled.

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10. Chinese Antique Agate Snuff Bottle Hand Carved Qing Dynasty

Chinese Antique Agate Snuff Bottle Hand Carved Qing Dynasty

There’s currently a lot of interest in indigenous items. Countries are seeking their treasures, and many are displayed in the museums of their colonizers. Meanwhile, Asian collectors are actively scouring auctions and excavations to buy back their national relics and artworks.

  • Colour: Amethyst
  • Year: 1800s
  • Value: $650

So if you can source authentic Chinese artifacts, you could quickly make bank. This pumpkin-shaped glass bottle is a solid example. It has its original lid, which helps. It’s believed to be a Qing dynasty piece made of agate, and its pretty pale purple color is a collector’s dream.

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11. Original Complete Antique Bon-Opto Eye Remedy Bottle, Label, Boxed

Original Complete Antique Bon-Opto Eye Remedy Bottle, Label, Boxed

You might laugh as you read the labels on those old quack medicine bottles. Often, a single tonic claimed to cure everything from balding to flatulence! But if you’ve looked at the fine print notes that come with modern medicine, you’d be surprised how little has changed.

  • Colour: Clear
  • Year: 1800s to 1900s
  • Value: $199.99

Those wispy slips of paper in impossible-to-red fonts are enlightening. They’ll assure you that your cough drops can heal seventeen other ailments! That aside, finding a quack bottle with its original packaging is a collector’s fantasy. You’ll get amazing prices for the shipment.

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12. Antique Rock Crystal Roman Perfume Bottle From Afghanistan Intaglio

Antique Rock Crystal Roman Perfume Bottle From Afghanistan Intaglio

If you’re buying a piece from a collector or prospector, they always intended to flip it. So they took good care of it and kept it in museum condition. But a seller like that has hundreds of pieces and you can’t be sure which ones are worth the asking price. Look for helpful clues.

  • Colour: Clear
  • Year: 19th Century
  • Value: $285

This rock crystal bottle is small, which implies its contents were expensive. And when you’re buying a premium item at the store, the packaging has to psychologically tempt you. This validates the price you’re paying. It’s why these perfume bottles have such intricate carvings.

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13. Antique Very Small Chinese Opium Bottle Empty 19th Century

Antique Very Small Chinese Opium Bottle Empty 19th Century

You’ve probably heard jokes about UK accents, and how they sound elegant even when they’re reading a laundry list. But did you know the British Empire was once the world’s biggest drug dealer? They used Chinese opium to expand their footprint around the world!

  • Colour: Clear
  • Year: 1800 to 1890
  • Value: $150

Back then, the poppy seed derivative could cure cholera, dysentery, and other ailments. They didn’t talk about its recreational use until much later when it became illegal. The size of this Elixir of Opium bottle tells you how precious the substance was though. And still is.

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14. Ancient Soda Bottle Siphon Bulbous

Ancient Soda Bottle Siphon Bulbous

Today, we take it for granted that we can grab sweet and/or frozen snacks from a vending machine or dairy aisle. But as hard as it is to imagine, these products were once made by hand and took hours to complete. This includes goodies like ice cream and fizzy drinks.

  • Colour: Clear
  • Year: 1900s
  • Value: $218.97

Soda was siphoned in bottles like the one pictured above. And it was quite a process to achieve the right level of sugar and bubbles. Don’t even talk about how they figured out ice and texture. Finding an antique bottle like this in mint condition can be rather profitable.

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15. Antique Poison Bottles Blue & Green Hexagonal Kh Shape Embossed

Antique Poison Bottles Blue & Green Hexagonal Kh Shape Embossed

We’ve talked about the texture of medicine bottles. Yes, the bottle might have its contents embossed on the sides – and that’s the case here. But remember, they didn’t use electric lights back then. And you may not have a lamp or torch handy in that dark pantry or store.

  • Colour: One blue, one green
  • Year: 1800s to 1900s
  • Value: $159.99

So the bottles had unique shapes and ridges that your hand would recognize. These two bottles have slightly different styles. They’re both boxy and hexagonal, but the green bottle has additional ridges at its two front-facing corners. The lids may have been labeled too.

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16. Sampson Mordan Double Ended Scent bottle Solid Silver Gilt & Amethyst

Sampson Mordan Double Ended Scent bottle Solid Silver Gilt & Amethyst

Chances are you’ve heard of reversible jackets or duvets, but why would a perfume bottle be double-sided? Well, remember that back then, perfumes were hand-pressed and imported, not commercially made. So with a two-ended bottle, you could buy various different scents.

  • Colour: Purple
  • Year: 1870
  • Value: $654.71

This bottle is purple, which we’ve established as one of the most valuable colors for antique bottles. The caps have gilded detail and intricate carvings, and you can see the perfume divider through the glass – it’s about halfway down. Plus, the bottle comes in its original box.

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17. Antique Dutch Onion Green Glass Bottle 18th Century

Antique Dutch Onion Green Glass Bottle 18th Century

These days, we infuse anti-UV protection into exterior products like paint, roofing materials, and even car components. And while this technology didn’t exist in the past, they knew that sunlight can damage certain types of food, medicine, or alcohol, so they used dark bottles.

  • Colour: Black (aka Olive Green)
  • Year: 18th Century
  • Value: $225

Many of these bottles seemed black but they were really olive. You can tell by holding it up to the light and looking through it – you’ll see a green tinge. This bottle has that green-black quality and a curious bulbous shape that is both visually appealing and financially appeasing.

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18. Pair of Vintage Antique Unique Design Wine Glass Bottle

Pair of Vintage Antique Unique Design Wine Glass Bottle

When you find an antique bottle, something about it catches your eye. It might have an attractive color or an unusual shape. But these features weren’t just for decoration. A rounded bottom suggests the bottle was carried in a pocket or purse. It didn’t need to be flat.

  • Colour: Green
  • Year: 1930s
  • Value: $135.99

And a kicked-up bottom (meaning the inside of the bottle had a conical hollow at the base) meant the liquid contained sediments. This residue could settle in those tapered sections of the bottle, leaving the fluid clear and preventing particles from reaching your spoon or mug.

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19. Antique F E Morgan apothecary bottle w/ Glass Stopper Translucent

Antique F E Morgan apothecary bottle w Glass Stopper Translucent

As an antique trader, finding a branded bottle is a true delight. These logos and embossed marks make it easier to identify the origin and age of the piece. And since these directly influence your asking price, it makes your process far more effective. Here’s a good example.

  • Colour: Purple
  • Year: 1800s
  • Value: $112.99

This color is highly sought after. And now that you know it’s an F.E. Morgan bottle, you can check price lists and inventories to verify the date and time. It’s an apothecary bottle, so it probably held something medicinal that needed to be protected from sunlight. It has its lid.

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Do you have tips on digging up the most valuable antique bottles? Tell us in the comments!

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