Saturday, December 31, 2011
What A Nice Way To End 2011
Walked around the back of the house to the front porch to see if my package from Sweden had arrived, and "I'll be gulldarned"! There it was!
Exercising as much patience as possible, I went inside the house, and grabbed my camera to photograph the scene for you. Thoughts that the box and its contents were a perfect way to end the Old Year, and begin the New with a post to the blog were in my noggin.
The mailing originated from Sweden. It is the third package to cross the Atlantic from Scandinavia in the last month. All three arrived here on Saturdays, after an approximately 10 to 14-day sending, crossing and arrival. Terrific.
Opening the box, it was good to know that nothing had broken. Having had the experience of hearing the sound of broken glass inside a newly arrived package, an exhale of happy breath, after giving a box of floats a shake - came out of me. On top, a layer of rolled up Swedish newspaper pages.
Underneath, a layer of confetti, and once removed...
Bubble wrapped floats.
After removing the wrapping from the first float, I was wonderfully surprised to find that the first Dog Neck was even smaller than a Swedish float that was sent to me from Roger Brun earlier in the fall. That was the smallest I had ever seen, and as you can see from the photo comparison, the new example is decidedly smaller. The larger example is 4 and 5/8ths. inches tall by 3 and 7/16ths. diameter. The smaller is 3 an 5/8ths. tall by 3" diameter. Both have the "flared, or Wide Prescription" Closure.
During my research into glass shapes, I've learned the names of bottle seals or closures, and looked forward to sharing this piece of information with you.
From the BLM website managed by Bill Linsey:
The thin version of the wide prescription finish is primarily and commonly found on medicinal and druggist type bottles and vials that date between 1800 and 1870, though the style dates back to antiquity (Toulouse 1969b). It is also found on some early to mid-19th century liquor decanters, utilitarian, ink, and cologne bottles (McKearin & Wilson 1978). This style was also used on chemical reagent bottles from the late 19th through early 20th centuries (Whitall Tatum & Co. 1902). Many early case gin bottles have a type of this finish which would be more appropriately called a flared finish (discussed below). When discussing medicinal bottles, the name wide prescription finish is most appropriate; when discussing other types of bottles, the more generic flared finish is preferred.
Now, we know that this finish was also applied to Swedish Dog Neck floats too. Thanks to our bottle collecting brothers and sisters, we can learn so much more about the production of utilitarian glass objects- specifically - glass fishing floats.
There is a bit of funny history that precedes this box of floats coming to me. At the end of summer, a Swedish sale of a batch of this type of float came up. Four of us wanted to get together to bid on and win the auction. After winning, we wanted to share the floats among ourselves, and to further share them with a few other collectors. One of our group was going to do the bidding. As has happened to all of us, at the end of the auction, our bidding partner was unavailable to bid, and the auction was sold to someone outside of the group.
Abject apologies were sent out, and all of us agreed, that that's the way the "float" crumbles. But our bidding partner was not giving up. After searching, inquiring, and getting an affirmative answer, our good friend, purchased almost all of the floats, and sent them to the rest of us, who then sent extras onto other friends. That was when we discovered that the floats in that auction were not what we thought they were: Doorknob, or Aland floats. They were the smallest version of Dog Necks we had seen at the time.
A bit of time passed, when suddenly, another auction of those floats appeared. OK! We were going to have another opportunity to try for a bunch. There were more collectors we hoped to pass examples onto via trades, etc. My partner and I were going to go for them. An agreement had been reached. My partner was going to bid in order to save the wire transfer fees that are incurred when sending money from one country's currency to another. At the closing time of the auction, my partner could not be available, and "Son of a Gun!!" we missed them again.
A couple of months passed. I had been wondering,
"would another opportunity arrive? Did the seller have more of them?"
One November morning, another auction of small Swedish Herring floats waited for me to find it. I decided to bid first, and ask questions later. Well, you know the outcome, and here they are in photos for your enjoyment, and mine. We've found not only a smaller sized Swedish Dog Necked float, but also the first 3" diameter Swedish round floats that I have in the collection.
Best Wishes to everyone in the New Year!