Collectible bottles often earn nicknames Antiques: 'Pyro,' for example, refers to pyroglaze, while 'cop tops' are molded to look like a policeman's head.

November 23, 1997|By Ralph Kovel and Terry Kovel | Ralph Kovel and Terry Kovel,KING FEATURES SYNDICATE

If you go to a bottle show, you might hear collectors and dealers mention "pyros," "umbrellas," "cop tops" and other unfamiliar terms. Over the years, collectors have given different types of bottles nicknames.

"Pyro" is short for "pyroglaze" -- colored, enameled lettering. Pyros are usually soda bottles or milk bottles made after the 1930s.

Cop tops are milk bottles made about 1930 with an unusual neck. In the days before homogenized milk, the cream was separate from the milk, and a bubble top held the cream. The glass of the bubble tops was molded to look like a policeman's head, thus the "cop top" designation.

An umbrella is a type of ink bottle. Makers during the 19th century called them "fluted cone stands." An umbrella could have from six to 16 sides, but most are eight-sided. The bottles earned their nicknames because below the neck they resemble umbrellas.

I paid $20 at a tag sale for a cast-iron stand that was used by a cobbler. It is 22 inches high and flares out at the base. It came with four cast-iron "shoes" -- sizes A, C, E and G -- that fit into a series of grooves on the top of the stand. The stand is marked "Enterprise Mf'g Co. Phil'a, U.S.A. Pat. Dec. 24. 95. No. 7." What can you tell me about my purchase?

You have what is known as a "last," which was used to make shoes. Shoe lasts were widely used by 1785. The earliest ones were made of hardwood. Enterprise Manufacturing Co. of Philadelphia was founded in 1864. It made cast-iron tools and kitchen equipment, including meat choppers, coffee mills, nutcrackers, cherry pitters, trivets and irons.

Your last is worth about $40.

I have a Rose Leaves pattern pressed-glass goblet. It's clear glass with a plain stem and rim and a pattern of small rose leaves around the bottom two-thirds of the goblet. What else was made in this pattern?

Your goblet, made by an unknown manufacturer, dates from about the 1880s. It is worth about $25. The Rose Leaves pattern has been seen only on goblets.

Write to Kovels, The Sun, King Features Syndicate Inc., 235 E. 45th St., New York, N.Y. 10017.

Pub Date: 11/23/97

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