The “Star of Baltimore”

You just have to love these umbrella style inks called the ‘Star of Baltimore” or ‘Baltimore Star“. Different from an Umbrella Ink in that the sides are concave and create the form of a star when viewed from the bottom.

At a recent Baltimore Antique Bottle Club meeting, Phil Edmonds casually gestures with a small cornflower-blue bottle with a sunburst-shaped bottom, a mid-19th-century ink bottle type known as “The Star of Baltimore” that he found on a privy dig. “This is probably a $1,500 bottle,” he says.

Quote from Baltimore City Paper 29 February 2012

Typically pontiled (made by a glassblower by hand, and have a telltale mark on the bottom called the “pontil scar” where the rod that held the bottle in place as it was formed was snapped off) and dug primarily in the Baltimore area, the Stars were a product of Baltimore Glass Works which was known for producing glass in a variety of unusual colors, particularly from the 1840s to the 1860s. At its peak in the 19th century, glass production was Baltimore’s third-largest industry, in part because of the vast, varied output of Baltimore Glass Works, a factory based in Federal Hill.


In their midst, he also found an amber open-pontil scalloped or star umbrella ink in perfect condition.

Quote from Christmas Isn’t Just for Kids!
But for dedicated bottle diggers, too!by Andy Goldfrank

A few great pictures to look at…..

Beautiful yellow green Baltimore Star Ink -

Baltimore Star Ink Bottle in a rich olive green - April Collection

Similar to figures 139 and 140 in Covill's book. This Baltimore Star example is a blood amber/puce color - Antique Ink Bottle Hall of Fame

Dark Sapphire Blue Baltimore Star - April Collection

Pontil mark on the dark sapphire blue Baltimore Star - April Collection

About Ferdinand Meyer V

Ferdinand Meyer V 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. He 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. Ferdinand is the past 6-year President of the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors and is one of the founding members of the FOHBC Virtual Museum.
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