Question: My unmarked purple Booz bottle resembles a brown one listed for sale online. The seller claims hers is an original worth $500. I was told all original bottles are embossed "C.B." representing Clevenger Brothers glass factory. I would appreciate information about Booz bottles. - B.R., Clermont
Answer: The original iron mold for "E.G. Booz's Old Cabin Whiskey" cabin-shape container - one of the most reproduced early American bottles - was created for Philadelphia bourbon distiller, Edmund G. Booz, by Whitney Glassworks in Glassboro during the late 1850s. Initially made by Whitney for Booz in dark amber and olive-colored glass, rare aqua and clear glass bottles later expanded an inventory available until 1870.
In 1930, brothers Henry, Lorenzo and William Clevenger opened their Clayton, Glou-cester County, glassworks where they made affordable, high quality "authentic reproductions" of early American and old South Jersey glassware including the Booz whiskey bottle. Reproduced bottles and pressed glass items were mold-blown or free-blown until after World War II, when all pieces were mold-blown. Most 1930s Clevenger copies are variations of originals, often somewhat heavier and rarely identified. By 1939, amethyst, blue and green items were offered while red, orange, Vaseline and milk glass products were added during the 1940s.
After Clevenger Brothers was sold to James Travis in 1966, the familiar "C.B." mark was embossed on the firm's products including limited edition items and special models made for organizations as well as commemorative events. Clevenger Brothers closed in 1999 and factory contents were sold at auction in 2009.
Close-up photos of your bottle show a neck with little or no lip, a common discrepancy associated with reproductions made in China and other countries. You may want to check for the presence of additional inconsistencies found on fake bottles such as thick distorted glass, a large molded pontil mark, fantasy mold seams, misplaced periods and letters, faint embossed design details and an inaccurate roof line.
Recent Booz bottle values include $3,250 paid for an original amber example, $305 for an unmarked 1930s amber, $250 for an unmarked 1960 amber, $25 for an amethyst with C.B. mark, $12 for a 1990s museum edition with C.B. mark and less than $10 for foreign knockoffs.
Question: Can you tell me about my gold bangle bracelet with catch marked "MSCO?" - B.M., Stone Harbor.
Answer: Your pictured bracelet's catch was made by M.S. Company of Attleboro, Mass., a firm that has produced jewelry findings since 1913.
Similar wide, gold-filled bangles with embossed decoration were made from the late 1920s until World War II. The bracelets presently sell for $30 to $200, based on maker, design, condition and gold karat.
Alyce Hand Benham is an antiques broker, appraiser and estate-liquidation specialist whose consulting firm, Treasures Unlimited, is based in southern New Jersey. Send questions to: Alyce Benham, Life section, The Press of Atlantic City, 11 Devins Lane, Pleasantville, N.J. 08232. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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