Help evaluate 3 old bottles

My Father, who passed away at 100 years old in 2015, left a large collection of old bottles (over a thousand). We are trying to figure out the best way of selling most of the collection. We do not know much about the bottles, so I thought I might post here to learn a bit about some of them. My Father never bought bottles; all were found, either in the Florida Keys or in several North Atlantic states from Virginia to New York.

I am beginning to photograph the bottles and would appreciate whatever information and comments you may be able to offer about them on the basis of these photos:

This aqua bottle is about ~4" tall; it is heavily whittled; it is embossed: "Patented MCH 6 83" on side; "BIXBY" on bottom.

My Father thought this bottle to be very old -- circa 1750 -- and hand-blown; it is about 9" tall. The surface of this bottle is very rough and discolored. It appears to be brown or dark amber. Below is a photo of the bottom, with the description that it was found on Content Key in July 1973:

We have several case bottles:


  • I visited my grandparents many times during school's winter recess - they had a place in the Keys. I recall visiting a shop in Marathon that was full of black glass found by the owner - probing in the mangrove flats.

    The Bixby shoe polish bottles are very collectible because they are found in many colors - aqua is the most common.

    Your black glass bottle is indeed 18th century - its degraded surface reflects being buried in mud for a long time. Glass of this era, most of which is found in a small # of shapes, is common but nonetheless collectible with solid value. That particular example is not as valuable as one in perfect glossy condition but has an attractive appearance.

    The case gin bottles are also quite common - the presence or absence of a pontil mark on the base indicates age and affects value.

    You might try posting a few group shots for discussion.
  • Thank you, Chris! I have one of the probes made by my Father and did accompany him on many excursions into the mangroves.

    I have taken a photo of some of the bottles I have cleaned. Our home was severely damaged in Irma; the bottles, although most survived, need cleaning. It is pretty slow going, as the house is in ruins. The bottles are survivors!

    Photo tips are much appreciated, as I have many bottles to go and time is limited.

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