A Sampling of the Famous David P. Wilber Barber Bottle Collection

Gorgeous Barber Bottle in a fiery red and yellow amber double pattern – Wilber Collection

Mega collector and persona extraordinaire, Sandor Fuss, called me up yesterday all fired up about…and it was NOT about a world class historical flask or bitters bottle…are you ready…Barber Bottles. Apparently in his mineral business he crossed paths with David P. Wilber, who according to Sandor, has the definitive collection of Barber Bottles. Many are unique, extraordinarily rare and/or have records associated with them for price paid.

“barbers typically filled their own bottles or customers bottles with hair tonic, hair oil, bay rum, shampoo, and rosewater”

Sandor was kind enough to assemble some pictures and shoot them down to PRG for review, editing and posting. I frequently see Barber Bottles in the Glass Works auctions but quite honestly, up until now, have not been swayed. Well that just changed. I think you will have to agree, that these are some of the most gorgeous and incredible pieces of glass assembled in one grouping. I am really impressed with this collection.

Barber Bottles: From about 1870 to 1920, barbers typically filled their own bottles or customers bottles with hair tonic, hair oil, bay rum, shampoo and rosewater. Many were personalized with customers’ names on them—something you would not see in other types of bottles. The bottles came in distinctive colors and shapes so the barber could identify what was in each bottle. Many of them were highly decorative. These bottles stopped being made after the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act made it illegal to refill non-labeled bottles.

Read more on Barber Bottles: Barber Bottles : Beauties in Glass by Steve Charing

David P. Wilber with his favorite Barber Bottles, a unique matched pair..published…

World record price paid for this Barber Bottle – Wilber Collection

A small sample of the David P. Wilber Barber Bottle collection – the front row includes several of his best examples

Amethyst Barber Bottle with blue flowers – Wilber Collection

Bay Rum Barber Bottle with painted spider and web – Wilber Colection

White Milk Glass Bay Rum Barber Bottle with painted flowers and customer name – Wilber Collection

Ceruleran Blue Barber Bottle with pewter gold flowers and leaves – Wilber Collection

Dark Amethyst Barber Bottle with angelic Cherubs – Wilber Collection

Blue Milk Glass Barber Bottle with Cherubs and floral wreath – Wilber Collection

Cobalt Blue Barber Bottle with water goddess – Wilber Collection

Apple Green Barber Bottle  with fountain stars- Wilber Collection

Cranberry Barber Bottle with swirled neck – Wilber Collection

Emerald tubular tree Barber Bottle – Wilber Collection

Cranberry Lilac lava pattern Barber Bottle – Wilber Collection

Pair of Bay Rum bird with banner Barber Bottle with customer name – Wilber Collection

Great looking pair of cranberry and blue Barber Bottles – Wilber Collection

Tiffany signed Barber Bottle – Wilber Collection

David Wilber’s favorite Barber Bottles – Matching Pair Mary Gregory

Sapphire Blue Glass Barber Bottle – Wilber Collection

Yellow Barber Bottle with Drummer – Wilber Collection

Painted Milk Glass Barber Bottle with Children – Wilber Collection

Apple Green Barber Bottle – Wilber Collection

About Ferdinand Meyer V

Ferdinand Meyer V, President, Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors, is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and has a BFA in Fine Art and Graphic Design from the Kansas City Art Institute and School of Design. Ferdinand is the founding Principal of FMG Design, a nationally recognized design consultation firm. Ferdinand is a passionate collector of American historical glass specializing in bitters bottles, color runs and related classic figural bottles. Ferdinand is married to Elizabeth Jane Meyer and lives in Houston, Texas with their daughter and three wonderful grandchildren. The Meyers are also very involved in Quarter Horses, antiques and early United States postage stamps.
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