A Sampling of the Famous David P. Wilber Barber Bottle Collection
25 January 2012
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