Friday, March 28, 2008

Blenko Bent Neck Cruet

The Bottle that changed my life

It was our first snow of the season, and I was determined to begin a new adventure in my life, so I bravely set out for my first consignment auction.

It wasn’t like I didn’t know anything about antiques! I mean I knew what Carnival Glass was and if something looked old, it must be an antique. I grew up around them most of my life while my grandparents were busy tending to their own store.

Well anyway, na├»ve or not, I began going through the items outside and I found one box with an old 1908 “Ball Blue” bottle in it along with several other bottles. I waited in the bitter cold until the auctioneer reached where I was lurking over this one box that I wanted.

Bidding began, and of course, I gave him the first dollar bid! I remember thinking in the back of my mind, “Hey guys, I just won this box for a buck and there is a Ball jar in there that is worth much more then that!” To my surprise the bidding kept on going! There was one other lady who knew that jar was in there and it took thirteen bids before I finally obtained my prize.

After I won the box of bottles, I felt kind of guilty and asked the lady bidding against me what she was bidding for in the box. She wanted to take the larger bottles and put lights in them for her deck. My gut feeling was that I should keep them, so I politely told her that she could find bigger bottle like them on the internet, and I moved on.

When I got home I exuberantly showed my husband my winnings and then began to search the internet to see what I had won. That was one of the biggest shocks of my life! Did you know that there is more to antiques then Ball Jars and Carnival Glass?

As I searched I found that I had purchased a purple oxidized bottle that contained tincture of lemon and sold for $10.00, a Bail Wire “Blue Ball” jar from 1908 that I sold for $1.00, an old whiskey bottle with “Federal Law forbids sale or reuse of this container” that I still own, an Old World Italian Wine Cooler that I still own, and the above Blenko Bottle!

I am amazed at what I found out about this Blenko. The color is Amberina and the pattern is referred to as the bent neck made in 1950.This piece is 13 inches long and 14 ½ inches around the base. The condition is great with no cracks, chips, or air bubbles. The base is ground smooth with a high pontil that remains rough. The opening is ground smooth and grounded on the inside to accept a stopper. The stopper is a mushroom shape, solid, and the bottom portion is fully grounded. It is a rarity to find these cruets with their stoppers yet.

This cruet was a winner of the “Good Design” award from the Museum of Modern Art; the 948 bent neck decanter began as a mistake. When Winslow Anderson was working on a batch of 920 decanters—a straight necked decanter in the exact same shape as the later 948—one of the straight decanter's necks drooped turning this mistake into a production design proved to be a successful move for Anderson, as the 948 decanter became a seminal piece for Blenko and their modernist era designs. This item carries a value of $150.00 to $200.00!

So what have I learned? Never ever assume anything when it comes to antiques or vintage items!

I thank you for taking the time to read this article and invite you to my store at:


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