I’d caught onto the whole eclectic-mismatched-bottles-and-jars trend early on in planning, and started collecting random glass receptacles way back in February. I was off to a bit of a slow start — began my hunt at local thrift stores, but was really only uncovering old glasses and non-vasey-vases. There wasn’t anything with that antique thing goin’ on — no milk bottles, no old soda bottles. In retrospect, I’m not sure why I thought I’d find that stuff for a buck or two at Salvation Army, but I was nonetheless set back by my initial finds.
Then, in March, MOH Ginger and I drove out to Mount Dora, about two hours from here, to go to what was promised as the flea market to end all flea markets: Renningers. With 117 acres of random stuff, surely I’d be able to kick start the antique portion of my centerpiece collection. And kick start it I did.
I must say, there are some crabby, crabby folk out there when it comes to pricing milk bottles. One guy demanded $10 for two half-pint bottles, then walked away before I could even say no. When I chased him down, he said I could sell them at my garage sale and make my money back. Um, what garage sale? I was definitely naive for believing I could buy 45 old bottles and jars for like $20, but c’mon, dude. There were better deals to be had.
I carted back about 15 bottles and jars that day, after dropping only about $30. And then I hunted high and low, not only at Goodwill and Salvation Army, but at local antique malls and other flea markets. I’ve amassed a collection I’m pretty proud of, and I’m hoping it’ll make for some excellent centerpieces.
I do have moments where I wonder if I have quite enough variety, or enough big vessels, to get the look I’ll like. I wonder if I have too many generic pieces that won’t pair well with the older vessels with more character. But in the end, I think I’ll be super happy with what our florists will be able to do with the collection.
First, there are the cut glass containers – glasses, decanters, and the like. You know, for a bit of texture.
The two bottles at either end of this one both date back to somewhere between 1930 and 1950 — they have embossed marks “Federal law forbids sale or reuse of this bottle.”
Then there’s the “generic” collection — mostly oil and vinegar bottles, vases that aren’t of the typical shape (I was striving for ones with a vaguely vintage or antique shape), etc.
I got pretty excited when I found these following fellers — but it appears they’re nothing more than dime-a-dozen supermarket water carafes. Nonetheless, I like ’em and they have that faint milk bottle feel, so they stayed.
Now, my favorite: The bottles with character.
Apologies for the filthiness of some of them — I still haven’t gotten around to washing them out. Soon… soon.
I tried doing a bit of dating on some of these bottles, but I didn’t get very far. There are so many factors, and so little can be found online. But I found myself really drawn to these little things — so much so that I couldn’t stop buying them. There are Listerine bottles from the Lambert Pharmacal Company; beer bottles from The Consolidated Bottling Co. in Lima, OH, and the Independent Brewing Co. of Pittsburg; a medicine bottle bearing the mark J. Credick druggist; and half a dozen milk bottles from the Volusian County Store, Sangamon Dairy Products Co., and more.
Does it appear I have enough bottles for about seven centerpieces — and enough variety to keep it looking vintage modern? I’m just worried it will come off looking cheap and dumb and slapped together with no style. I am indeed my own worst critic.
Did you go all cuckoo with collections for any part of your wedding decor? Once you start, are you unable to stop — like me?