It started with a birthday (sort of). We had cake and candles, and wrapping paper was flying, and I ripped into one box to find...bottles. There were three of them, about fourteen inches high, each a different color and shape. One had a triangular base; another was round and very tapered; the third had a pattern that looked like waves. I loved them, but I was confused. I did not collect bottles, so it seemed like a random sort of gift. As the festivities wound down, she pulled me to the side and asked if I wanted her to get me something else. She worried that I did not like them. Of course I liked them (they are fabulous), but I asked her why she chose to give them to me in the first place. She looked surprised. "You've always loved colored glass. Every time we go somewhere, you look at, pick up, or comment on the big glass bottles." She had me there. My mother was right. (And in my childhood home, a victory boogie just took place. I promise never to admit it again.)
I had never really experienced deep thoughts about colored glass, particularly Mid-Century bottles, but I suppose that I was a collector in denial. It took my mother's gift of three bottles (three being the number of the counting for making a collection official, if you will remember an earlier post) to make it real. I looked at my bottles, and loved them, and devoted myself to finding them some friends.
Now, I realize that I began this story with a birthday party, but really, it starts with my great-grandmother. I spent a lot of my childhood at her house, which was where I trained diligently in the art of plundering. Her house was stuffed to the rafters with stuff, and I loved to find it. All of it. And one of the things that I found was a 1960s amber glass bottle with a stopper. I was positive that it used to have a genie inside, and she assured me that the genie was on vacation. I loved that bottle. I would look at it at least twice during every visit, to see if the genie was back yet. (He never did come back. I assume he's living the high life on a beach somewhere. But, I digress.) Anyway, the memory of that bottle was archived and filed in the part of my brain devoted to meaningless childhood details, and my mother's bottles whispered to that same neglected lobe.
And so, I had to acknowledge what my mother had always known. I love big glass bottles. It is one of my more carefully curated collections for two big reasons: limited display space, and the cat. I cannot buy a bottle with a very loose stopper, for fear that tragedy will strike the first time a stray cat meows from the flower bed. And, I don't want to get into the habit of buying large bottles that will instantly have to go into storage. Large bottles are difficult to store. I also try to vary the colors, although I tend to gravitate toward blues and greens. Interesting stoppers are a must. Blenko makes my heart beat faster.
I go for long periods of time without finding any interesting bottles, and then I'll find a shop that has five or six great ones. They just aren't very common in my normal shopping range. But, we recently traveled to Ohio, which will forever be known as The Land of Big Glass Bottles. They were everywhere, and not just in twos and threes, but in dozens. I saw thirty-six different Mid-Century bottles in a single day, ranging in size from eight inches to around three feet in height. It was Mecca. And I couldn't buy any, because they were either too expensive or too delicate for a road trip through multiple construction zones. Even now, I'm getting depressed about all of those bottles that I will never own....
|from ShootingCreekVintage on etsy.com|
But, I suppose it's for the best. I have limited space, after all, and I live with a cat who is insane. I just dream of the day when I have a huge window, with all of my bottles sitting in front to catch the sunlight in the morning. I hate it when my mother is right.