Published 15th December 2008
I am always fascinated by the ethereal process that turns practical household objects into 'Art' or desirable 'Antiques'. Sounds like an alchemist's dream doesn't it? So it is that antique wine bottles are keenly sought, and strangely not for their contents as they are invariably empty!
A recent sale at our rooms in Exeter was a good demonstration with prices from a few £100's to just shy of £3,000 for a Cornish example bearing a seal for 'T.Lanyon Gwinier, 1721', not bad for rubbish I would say.
Strictly speaking these were high status items used for decanting and serving the contents of a gentleman's cellar, hence their owner's desire to mark them. Early examples circa 1680-1720 were hand blown into wooden moulds and are often referred to as 'onion bottles' in deference to their shape although I can't help thinking the next evolution in shape circa 1720-40 known as 'the bladder' has a more appropriate resonance for an antique wine bottle.