Abel is selling some historic Toronto bottles on eBay


Above is a link to Abel’s antique bottle sale on eBay which may only be active for a few days longer (has it already ended?), at which point I will delete it and just keep the pictures here.  I do this as a service to all bottle collectors and the Canadian bottle collecting community in particular. I’m also helping Abel who has been very helpful to me.

I think the sales have already ended but its worth getting a second look at these gorgeous bottles,


G.S. (George Stephen) Ross Toronto C.W. (Canada West) Soda Water Torpedo Bottle

Click this thumbnail picture to visit the eBay sale and see the rest of the pictures and the history.
G.S. (George Stephen) Ross Toronto C.W. (Canada West) Soda Water Torpedo Bottle 

US $2,500.00

( 201380328119 )
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James Walsh & Co. 124 Berkeley St. Toronto Ca Hamilton Torpedo Soda Water Bottle

click the link to visit the eBay sale (ended) and to see all the associated images

James Walsh & Co. 124 Berkeley St. Toronto Ca Hamilton Torpedo Soda Water Bottle
US $750.00

1 bids
US $1,000.00

Buy It Now

This Auction Sale is For One Rare (James) Walsh & Co. 124 Berkeley St. Toronto Ontario Canada Torpedo Soda Water 1859-1876 Bottle Only!

This Great Torpedo Bottle is From The Collection of The Late Dr. R. Dean Axelson.

A Museum Quality (James) Walsh & Co. 124 Berkeley St. Toronto Torpedo Soda Water Bottle is Listed For $1,000.00 in His 2007 Price Guide.

This Bottle is in Mint Condition With no Cracks, no Chips, no Case-ware, no Scratches or Restorations.


Big Money Bottles Sold On eBay, May 2011

Hamilton’s Patent Stoneware – R. Johnson Greek St. London This pottery piece sold for: £6,310.99 (36 bids in total).
The bottle stands about 7” tall and it’s not a torpedo in the truest sense, it stands up on a level surface!
It’s thought to date from early to mid nineteenth century !
The bottle is glazed up to its shoulders; lip with some scratch marks and a bit of rust and dirt. The surface lettering reads: “Hamilton’s Patent R. Johnson, 15 Greek St. London”.

Royal Dalton Kingsware Whiskey Bottle – The Forty Thieves This is “The Forty Thieves” Kingsware pear shaped Whiskey Flask.
This very pretty whiskey bottle sold for: C $4,800.00 (20 bids in total)
The bottle stands about 8.5” tall and 4” in diameter
There is a small chip on the spout that must be mentioned.
But the paint and glaze are still in tip top condition.

H. Sproatt Toronto Torpedo Soda Bottle (Rare Teal)

This lovely old soda bottle just sold for: US $1,075.00 (17 bids in total)
It’s one of Canada’s earliest soda bottles, and was very likely made at Lockport Glassworks in New York, NY.
The piece dates from approximately the 1850s-1860s.
The glass is a rare teal colour which is odd because most Sproatt torpedoes are aqua.
The lightly polished glass is clean with very few, minor scratches on the surface.

Rare Lime Green Gurd’s Ginger Beer Bottle – Montreal, Canada

This lime green ginger beer bottle just sold for: US $1,175.00 (13 bids in total)
It stands approximately 9.25” tall
The potter mark reads as follows, “29 Buchan & Portobello Edinburgh” with two tiny iron pops
There’s a slight 1” line in the green on shoulder.
The product label reads: “Gurd’s Trademark Ginger Beer ‘The Perfect Drink’”
Hmmm I’d like to have one right now.

2010 Toronto Bottle Club Show and Sale

Sunday April 18th 2010 was a beautiful day for the Four Seasons Bottle Collectors club Toronto Bottle Show at the Humber College gymnasium in Rexdale Ontario. The show consists of about sixty dealers and has an attendance of over thousand people, but the room is filled with about a half million dollars worth of rare and valuable early Canadian antique bottles and glass.

Of course I wrote about the 2010 Toronto Bottle Show on Dumpdiggers.com and detailed the event, highlighting exceptional bottles, bargains and the best dealers that make it all happen. Year after year, this show gets better and better (except the bottles seem to be going down in price).

The article details ten different antique glass and pottery dealers alongside their favourite collectibles. I interviewed Tim Denton, Fred Spoelstra, Pete Bechtel, Dwight Fryer, Cliff and Donna Stunden, Kert Wrigley, Jamie McDougall, Bill Ash, Terry Matz, Richard St Onge and Bill Cook, Michael Anders, Tim Maitland, Marcus Johnson and closed the piece on Scott Wallace and Scott Jordan sitting pretty at the Maple Leaf Auctions table.

The article also chronicles my day’s traveling companion, Kelly Gadzala the Toronto Grunge Queen blogger who specializes in writing about finding vintage collectibles, clothing and keepsakes.

The Toronto Bottle Show is always an emotional experience for me – it breaks my heart to see great pieces of glass selling for ten or twelve dollars, and whenever I spot something that I have in my own collection I almost don’t even want to look at the price, as I’m sure it will always be priced to move here and cost much less than I paid, or had valued in my own head. I think it would be worthwhile to visit this show and spend forty thousand dollars buying the best pieces – it would be a great investment in the future.

The 2009 Toronto Bottle Show

At 6pm on Saturday April 18th the Four Seasons Bottle Collectors Club was busy setting up their annual show and sale. The Toronto Bottle Show is the largest antique glass bottle and pottery exposition (and tins, stoneware, insulators, ephemera and so much more) in Canada, with approx 75 antiques dealers and impressive attendance. There was a palpable sense of excitement in the empty gymnasium as I looked at all the empty tables… In just a few hours the dealers waiting outside would enter and display thousands of historic antiquities for show, sale and trade.

Saturday Night Set-Up
I laboured right alongside the other members of the Four Seasons Bottle Collectors Club on Saturday April 18th to help set up the show. The entire episode is the subject of this article, Dealers Night at The Bottle Show which also chronicles the excitement of watching Malcom and Newf unpack and sell three years of dug treasure to ready buyers and collectors that were the other dealers.

Sunday’s Bottle Show
On April 19th 2009 the morning sun warmed the faces of several hundred people outside the gymnasium at Humber College in Rexdale, Ontario as they waited to enter the building and marvel at all the beautiful glass inside.

Dealers included,
Michael Anders,
Dean Axelson and Judy Axelson,
John Barclay and Marie Renault,
Brett Bloxam and Jackie Bloxam,
Robert Brak and Linda Brak,
Mark Clayton and Candice Clayton,
Bill Cook and Bill Ash,
Abel DaSilva and June Ng,
Ron Demoor and John Dunbar,
Mike Emre and Barbara Emre,
Bob Falle,
Ray Ruddy,
John Finlay, Dave Marrotte,
Dwight Fryer and Earl Fryer,
John Goodyer and Mark Wilson,
Frederic Hartl and Jean-Marc Helie,
Bob Hayward and Tyler Hayward,
Grahame Hudson and George Jones,
Ron Hunsperger and Russ Hunsperger,
Barbara Jackson and Randall Mathieu,
Adam Jarzabek, Steve Vasda,
Marcus Johnson,
Scott Jordan and Paul Marchand,
John Knight, John Knight sr,
Robert Lloyd, Blake Woods,
Ed Locke, Sheryl MacKenzie,
Tim and Jim Maitland,
Michael Malanowski and Caitlin Malanowski,
Terry Matz and Evelyn Matz,
Malcom Mcleod and Newf,
Jamie McDougall,
Glen and Cynthia Moorhouse,
Morris Marlowe and Wendy Marlowe,
Steve Mouck,
Robin Newton-Smith, Richard Clark,
Jason Pfeffer and Barb Pfeffer,
Norm Playtor and Jackie Playtor,
Collin Potter and Jennifer Potter,
Michael Rossman and Jan Rossman,
Fred Spoelstra and Bill Comer,
Cliff Stunden and Donna Stunden,
Scott Wallace and John Wells,
Roger Warren and Carol Warren,
Jack Welton and Judy Welton, and Kert Wrigley.

Readers can find more pictures and stories documenting the 2009 Toronto Bottle Show in the Dumpdiggers Library.

Big Larry digs a hole in Toronto’s history

Big Larry is a professional excavator with a backhoe and a reputation for finding early Canadian glass and pottery. He brings thirty years of digging experience to the Diggers’ collective. He also brings a healthy sense of humor – here’s a picture of Big Larry on the job, in the oldest part of Toronto (east of Yonge st, south of Queen).

April 25th 2008 was an exciting day. Big Larry was removing some suspicious soil under the parking lot behind 252 Adelaide St E, which any knowledgeable local historian will tell you is the site of Toronto’s very first post office (circa 1834). The Town of York website hosts the story of Toronto’s first post office amid the trappings of so many dedicated historians; this page is a veritable treasure trove of facts and information concerning James Scott Howard. The dig site also contained something valuable – what Larry found in the ground is important.
It was a small hole, and not even that deep, but look at the stratigraphy. On the morning of April 25th 2008 it was possible to see the shifting sands under this great city right back to 1834 when this exact spot was a mini marsh with cattails and bullfrogs. Look carefully and note the bottom is clay and layers of top soil and finally gravel and asphalt as each generation used and improved the property. And of course let’s notice that log at the very bottom of the hole. That’s not a fence post, or a foundation beam… According to Big Larry that post is the mooring of a small dock which may have existed here on the south side of a swampy pond almost two hundred years ago. The piles may have once supported a wooden dock or retaining wall – the whole mess was covered in and filled over in the 1830s and the land supported the busy post office and Toronto dentist. Big Larry was just doing his job; he was digging a hole in a construction site. But like the wise old man, Larry keeps his eyes open all the time – especially when he’s working in history. As I watched him, he watched the hole. After a glimpse of ash, and the flash of glass, Larry jumped out of the cab and down into the pit, to grub knee deep in the mud on a hunt for the prize. And it was worth it – from the depths of time Big Larry retrieved a ‘Riddel & Burns / 406 Yonge St / Toronto’ aqua torpedo bottle.
How did this bottle get here? The site is not a dump, but may have been dumped on all the same… This bottle was probably pitched into a water filled ditch sometime in the late 1860’s or early 1870s by someone who wasn’t interested in collecting the deposit. TimBits tells me that the bottle was made in 1869 by Francis Ridell and AW Burns, the proprietors of the beaver soda company. It was one of the last torpedo bottles made, before they came back into fashion again briefly in the early 1900s.

This is a very rare bottle; even good information is hard to find.
When Dumpdiggers went searching about for data on these two early Toronto beverage makers, we rediscovered the Canadian Bottle Lover’s pages, and their wonderful photo gallery collection of early Toronto sodas.

But there’s no Riddel & Burns torpedos on display here; the only similar specimen is a broken ‘bowling pin’ squat soda.

When Larry cleans and tumbles this piece I hope to do a follow-up on Francis Riddel & AW Burns. Anyway Big Larry, nice find.