The Color Yellow – A wide range of shades




(above) Yellow figural whiskey bottle and Suffolk Bitters from the Meyer Collection

The Color Yellow A wide range of shades

02 April 2013

YellowColorChartYellow is an important color in bottle collecting but is usually, for some odd reason to some, less desirable than the ‘prettier’ blues and greens. It is actually a very tough color to obtain in many bottle areas such as bitters, medicines, flasks and ink bottles. When I walk my rooms and look at my shelves, many of the yellows have a degree of amber in them, which is probably the most common bottle color besides aqua. It is only when you focus on finding the purer yellow color shades do you really start to see and understand the beauty and range of yellow.

Yellow is the color of gold, butter, or ripe lemons. In the spectrum of visible light, and in the traditional color wheel used by painters, yellow is located between green and orange. Yellow is commonly associated with gold, sunshine, reason, optimism and pleasure, but also with envy, jealousy and betrayal. It plays an important part in Asian culture, particularly in China [Wikipedia]

Yellow is a misunderstood color with a wide range of possibilities. You may hear people describing a yellow bottle as yellow amber, apricot, citron, goldenrod, lime, saffron, lemon yellow, straw, olive yellow, school bus yellow, light yellow, canary, mustard, harvest gold, rye, ginger ale etc. To illustrate my point, I have created a gallery below of the wide range of yellow shades represented in antique bottles and related glass collectibles.


Gorgeous picture of a master ink and three umbrella inks in various shades of yellow – John April

Shades of Yellow


Yellow in Nature


Pantone Matching System


Yellow in Bottles and Glass


Free-blown Globular bottle in  straw yellow with olive tone – Glass Works Auctions


Two shades of yellow ‘spool’ and ‘beehive’ insulators. Spool is in the Meyer Collection.


Scroll Flask, “LOUISVILLE, KY. – GLASS WORKS“, (GIX-6), Louisville Glass Works, Louisville, Kentucky, ca. 1845 – 1855, olive yellow quart, red iron pontil – Glass Works Auction #92


Three shades of yellow NATIONAL BITTERS (figural ear of corns) – Meyer Collection


Eagle-Eagle (GII-25) in yellow – Glass Works Auction #92


Two yellow beer bottles – ADLER & MAYER PITTSBURG, PA and a W F GRICKLER BATAVIA, NY – Meyer Collection


SUFFOLK BITTERS (figural pig) in lemon yellow – Meyer Collection


TRADE MARK LIGHTING fruit jars in two shades of yellow – Meyer Collection

YellowOld Sachems_Meyer

Two very different shades of yellow OLD SACHEM BITTERS AND WIGWAM TONIC – Meyer Collection


Yellow ‘Swirl” and Gold Mercury Raised Quilt Lightning Rod Balls – Meyer Collection


Stiegel type scent bottle in light straw yellow – Glass Works Auctions


LONDON JOCKEY CLUBHOUSE GIN in a bubbly citron – Ex. Meyer Collection


Two shades of yellow SKILTON FOOTE BUNKER HILL PICKLE bottles – Meyer Collection

Read More: What is Puce or ‘Pooce’ as some call it?

Read More: The Color Purple or Amethyst in Antique Glass

Read More: Not Brown – Old Amber “Harvey’s Prairie Bitters”

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.
This entry was posted in Advice, Bitters, Color, Figural Bottles, Inks, Questions and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply