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Glass Bottles, Decanters & Flasks
The most elegant manner in which to store and serve a liquid, antique glass bottles, decanters, and
flasks hold their own tradition within the larger field of glassmaking. Serving functional needs, these
antique glass vessels are also imbued with breathtaking beauty by reflecting some of the most celebrated
techniques and trends in glassmaking history.
The concept of a hollow cavity created from glass dates back to some of the earliest days of glass
blowing. However, the notion of specialized forms of bottles and decanters did not become popular until
the 17th century, as elegant settings demanded equally refined glassware to store liqueurs or other
The popularity of bottle and decanter glassware grew over the course of the 18th and 19th centuries. It
was augmented in part by the early 1800s development of technology to produce regularized glass bottle
and flask shapes. The evolution in glassmaking technologies as well as the evolving taste of glassware
consumers is revealed in antique glass containers, from more utilitarian bottles and flasks to elegantly
One of the world's oldest intact glass bottles is the Speyer wine bottle, which is also one of the
world's oldest surviving bottles of wine. Dating to the 4th century A.D., the bottle was unearthed in 1867
near Speyer, Germany and still remains sealed in the city's history museum
Some of the most collectible antique American flasks are early 19th century historical flasks. So named
for the fact that they bore images of famous American figures, these flasks chronicled major moments in
One of the highest prices for a glass bottle and flask was achieved at a Christie's Paris sale in 2009. The
vessel, created by 20th century designer Maurice Marinot and shaped after a flattened gourd, sold for