Barrel Series – The Mysterious Blue Barrel


06 July 2012 (R•092016)

Apple-Touch-IconAHere is a great figural barrel that many collectors consider very desirable because of the form, size and color. The barrel is larger than most bitters barrels and really jumps out in a crowd whether an example shows up at a bottle show or positioned within a collection. Why do I call this bottle mysterious? Like many bottles, far too many, I can not tell you who made the bottle, what it contained or where it was made. Most collectors consider the contents either whiskey or bitters.

Pictured below are some examples spotted throughout my travels. I remember my friend Jerry Forbes, ‘hawk eyeing’ an example at the FOHBC Memphis National last year during Early Admission. He purchased the bottle within seconds as he wisely knew, someone else was positioning themselves to do the same. My advice, if you see an example, try to get it. This bottles balances out and compliments any collection of early American glass.

FIGURAL BARREL, Deep Sapphire Blue, 10″ Tall, Bitters type Figural Barrel Bottle. American, circa. 1860-1880. Barrel form with ten rings above and ten rings below a wide center band, applied square collared mouth. Smooth base Great color. Good form. – Norman Heckler Auction 61, Lot #60, June 2003 – Meyer Collection

Read More: Is there a Blue Embossed Bitters Barrel?

Unembossed Blue Figural Barrel spotted on the shelves of the great Ferraro Collection (Connie & Bob Ferraro)

Unembossed Blue Figural Barrel, Deep Sapphire Blue – spotted at the 2012 Baltimore Antique Bottle Show

Blue Barrel part of the Jerry Forbes booty from the FOHBC National Show last July in Memphis, Tennessee

Unembossed Blue Figural Barrel, Deep Sapphire Blue – spotted at the Houston 2011 Bottle Show

Unembossed Blue Figural Barrel spotted on the shelves of the great Feldmann Collection

Blue Barrel dominating this picture – Jeff Burkhardt collection

Blue Barrel from the Meyer Collection. This is the source picture for the Peachridge Glass web site.

Blue Barrel showing up in the Dr. Daniel Bennett Collection at American Glass Gallery.

Blue barrel spotted at the FOHBC 2012 Reno Expo – Dave Olsen


Unembossed Barrel, (unlisted), American, ca. 1865 – 1875, cobalt blue barrel, 10”h, smooth base, applied mouth. A tiny chip is off the side of the lip. A pinhead in size flake is off a lower ring. An impressive ‘splashy’ barrel that adds a lot of pleasing color to any bitters collection! Purchased from Gary Eichhorn at the 1988 FOHBC Expo in Las Vegas. – Glass Works Auctions (Bob Ferraro Collection) Session 1

Read More on Figural Barrels

Barrel series – Original Pocahontas Bitters

Figural Barrel Series – Hall’s Bitters

Greeley’s Bourbon Whiskey Bitters – aka Vertical Greeley’s

Peach colored Bourbon Whiskey Bitters added to Color Run

Greeley’s Bourbon Bitters – A Great Boston Bitters Barrel

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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