Most Valuable Antique Bottles, Ranked
You can find old bottles just about anywhere. They are sold in flea markets, found in old barns and sometimes even dug up from backyards intact.
While most are just pretty and decorative, some do have real value. From little-known brands that no longer exist to the biggest soda maker in the world, these are the most valuable antique bottles sold in recent years.
26. U.S. Army Hospital Department Bottle
Bottom line: U.S. Army Hospital Department bottles have been popular with collectors for decades, as they were made only during the Civil War (1862-1865).
Hospital Department bottles were manufactured in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Baltimore, Maryland; and possibly St. Louis, Missouri. They remained in use until the 1870s.
24. Luna Bottling Company Hutch Bottle (Tie)
Bottom line: We don't know much about the Luna Bottling Company, outside of being located in Hartford, Connecticut, around the turn of the last century.
A "hutch bottle" is a Hutchinson soda bottle with a wire stopper inside the neck and blob of the bottle.
24. Callahan Whiskey Bottle (Tie)
Bottom line: This unusual purple bottle was made by the John F. Callahan & Co., located in Boston, Massachusetts, in the late 1800s. John Callahan also made Callahan’s Famous Home, Old Kentucky Club House Whiskey, Walnut Rye and Walkhill Rye.
Callahan made his brand by blending whiskeys delivered to him by rail, following in the tradition of authentic Irish whiskey.
23. Dodge Brothers Hair Tonic Bottle
Bottom line: The Dodge Brothers story is lost to history, but we know this bottle dates back to about the 1860s.
It appears to have carried something to "Melanine Hair Tonic," which may be what we now know as melanin, which makes our hair the color that it is. When melanin production slows, our hair turns gray.
22. Globe Fruit Jar
Bottom line: This fruit jar with white swirls was patented on May 25, 1886. Globe was made by the Hemingray Glass Company in Covington, Kentucky.
The company was mostly known for its insulators, but they also made many other items — kerosene lamps, and tableware, among them. The Hemingray Glass Company closed in 1967.
21. James Clarkin Soda Bottle
Bottom line: Little is known about the James Clarkin Company other than it was located in New York City.
The bottle is a "blob top," which was popular from the 1890s through the 1910s. Its stopper was a horseshoe-shaped wire attached to a thick rubber washer — when it was pulled up, it made a seal.
20. Willington Eagle Bottle
Bottom line: This 1860s-era bottle from Willington Glass Works is a whiskey flask. Willington Glass Works initially produced a wide variety of glassware and bottles for everything from inkwells to sodas and wine.
The company also made utility bottles, rolling pins and assorted tableware in shades of green and amber, like the bottle above, which sold for top dollar in February 2023.
19. Pontil Bitters Barrel Bottle
Bottom line: This amber bottle dates back to the 1860s and is a definite holy grail item for bottle collectors.
It reads "That's The Stuff" and and appears to have once held a medicinal liquid.
18. Shaft and Globe Bottle
Bottom line: Th eBay seller of this bottle claims it was made in the 16th century in what today is Belgium or Germany.
The bottle pre-dates the invention of the corkscrew and has a blowpipe pontil scar. What was in it remains a mystery.
17. Three Violets Rye Whisky Bottle
Bottom line: According to the eBay listing, this bottle dates back to the 19th century.
The rye inside was likely a special blend to the Savoy Hotel in Price, Utah, that was torn down sometime in the 1960s to make way for a parking lot.
14. Doc Stork Milk Bottle (Tie)
Bottom line: This rare gallon milk bottle dates back to the early 1900s and is from the Ashland Sanitary Milk Company in Ashland, Kentucky.
There are other items found online from this company that are less expensive and in smaller sizes, like the one-quart bottle.
14. Piper Cub Milk Bottle (Tie)
Bottom line: Kyle's Superior Dairy of Pennsylvania made these and other bottles while in existence. The Piper Cub milk bottles are the most expensive collector's items from the dairy.
If you want something from this particular brand, you can find bottles without the Piper Cub graphic for $30 to $50.
14. Dr. Kilmer's Cough Cure Bottle (Tie)
Bottom line: There's a full bottle of Dr. Kilmer's in the Smithsonian, such was his influence in medicine.
Homeopathic practitioner Dr. Sylvester Andral Kilmer had a number of remedies for whatever ailed people at the end of the 19th century. His cures were a mix of roots, herbs and plenty of alcohol, which was likely how users stopped feeling any pain.
13. Miner's Damiana and Celery Compound Bottle
Bottom line: Miner's was owned by the Toiletine Company, which was started in 1885 by Benjamin Franklin Miner in Hoosick Falls, New York, before moving to Montague, Massachusetts.
He made a number of products and sold his shampoos, lotions and flavor extracts throughout New England, traveling by horse and buggy. The company went out of business sometime in the early 1970s.
According to the bottle, this compound of damiana and celery was used for "nervous diseases."
12. Dunbar's Wormwood Cordial Bottle
Bottom line: This bottle dates back to about 1860 to 1880. The cordial was used for digestive ailments and was said to have a bitter taste.
Wormwood is also used in absinthe, which was banned in the U.S. in 1912 due to its alleged hallucinogenic properties. The ban was lifted in 2007.
11. 19th-Century Gold Poison Bottle
Bottom line: Medicine bottles with "poison" (today, addictive and/or deadly substances) were made differently, so they could not be mistaken for any other type of bottle and were sometime produced in bold colors.
While this one is clear, the skull and bones emblem lets everyone know what's inside.
10. 1858 Mason Jar
Bottom line: This blue-tinted mason jar used for canning brought in big money on eBay.
It reads, "Mason's 2 Patent Nov 30th 1858." It's liner says, "Consolidated Fruit Jar Co. New York."
9. Green River Whiskey Jug
Bottom line: Sold in February 2023, this jug dates back to the 1800s and has the original cork still inside.
Green River is one of the oldest distilleries in the U.S. It was destroyed by fire in 1918 and was planning on making a comeback, but Prohibition thwarted that plan. It wasn't revived until September 2020.
8. Allens Red Tame Cherry Bottle
Bottom line: This bottle was made in the 1890s and finding one with its label and cap intact is quite rare.
This soda was non-carbonated and made from fresh cherries and cherry leaves in Fostoria, Ohio.
Allen's Red Tame Cherry also made soda glasses, which go for a lot less money, should you wish to buy something with this branding.
7. Mobiloil A Motor Oil Bottles With Rack
Bottom line: How cute is this little set dating back to 1911? The bottles in the rack were never used (a rarity) and have their original caps intact.
The set sold on Oct. 17, 2015.
6. Crockett's Amygdalin Hair Lotion by R.H. Hall
Bottom line: In the 1860s (long before the FDA existed), R.H.Hall began his hair tonic business in Nashua, New Hampshire, and claimed his "secret formula" came from a destitute Italian sailor.
He not only sold the tonic, but trading cards and key chains to push his brand.
5. California Grapine Bottle
Bottom line: The value of this long-defunct soda bottle went through the roof in 2015.
It dates to the 1910s with an intact and clear label. California Grapine was made by the William Beatty Company in Los Angeles.
There are sometimes glasses and labels that come up for sale and are more accessible to collectors.
4. Coke Christmas Bottle
Value: $10,000 to $25,000
Bottom line: During the 1920s, this bottle design was submitted to higher ups at Coca-Cola, who requested prototypes of an easy to hold bottle.
The visible and embossed horizontal band in the center made for an easier grip.
3. Coke Display Bottle
Bottom line: Made by the Metropolitan Art Glass Company, this oversized display is over 100 years old and has all its original leaded glass intact, despite having some minor cracks.
It is still very much in working order and sold in 2019.
2. Modified Coke Bottle
Bottom line: Also sold at auction in 2019, this bottle was a modification of the one produced by Earl Dean in 1915.
With a middle as wide as its base making it less curvy, it's the only test bottle that still exists today.
1. Prototype Coke Bottle
Bottom line: In 1915, Coke announced a competition for the design of its bottles, when its co-founder, Benjamin Thomas, suggested the need for a bottle that was different than any on the market.
Enter Earl R. Dean of the Root Glass Company of Terre Haute, Indiana, who found a sketch of a cocoa pod in a local library and designed a prototype based on that.
Dean's bottle was never mass produced — its bottom was smaller than the middle — but with a few tweaks, his design became the bottle (and brand) we know and love today.