Folk Art & Whimsies in Bottles

Folk Art, Bottle Whimsies and Ships in Bottles have captivated imaginations and intrigued collectors since they first appeared. We find them prominently displayed on mantles, in bookcases, and on desks as a collection or an individual specimen. They are wonderful conversation pieces that never fail to raise the question, “How did they put this in a bottle?” They have proven to be a strong investment over time and the outlook for increasing values and collectability looks very bright and growing stronger.

While some art forms have been around for thousands of years, the first bottle whimsies did not appear until translucent glass bottles and containers were developed and generally available to the public. The earliest clear bottles were very rare, expensive, and prized possessions. In time and as they became more available, it is not surprising that craftsmen found these bottles to be excellent containers for their creations. They learned how to carve their folk art into small pieces that would fit through the small neck of the bottle so that they could be reassembled inside. The artists loved the challenge and were soon building nearly anything that could be imagined inside the container using homemade tools and learned techniques. Common among the items crafted were chairs and other furniture, fans, reels, niddy-noddies, winders, religious scenes, patriotic themes, scenes with people and animals, clipper ships and other nautical dioramas, to name a few. To complete the bottle and protect its contents, amazing and intricate stoppers were developed, often with cross pieces going through the wooden stopper inside the bottle making it impossible to remove. The custom stands on which the bottles rest are often works of art themselves.


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708 - Cross and Religious Symbols in bottle

708 - Cross and Religious Symbols in bottle

This barber's Lanolin bottle contains a cross and many religious symbols associated with the crucifi..

$90.00

741 - Jesse Jackson Chair in bottle - SOLD

741 - Jesse Jackson Chair in bottle - SOLD

This chair in a bottle was made by Jesse Jackson who made these to sell to tourist in the ..

$60.00

742 - Cross and Religious Symbols in bottle

742 - Cross and Religious Symbols in bottle

This handmade wooden cross in a bottle has many of the elements commonly found in these religious bo..

$140.00

749 - Crucifixion Scene in bottle

749 - Crucifixion Scene in bottle

This is a wonderful crucifixion scene of a hand carved wooden  figure of  Jesus hanging on..

$190.00

770 - Apples Novelty Shop Chair in bottle

770 - Apples Novelty Shop Chair in bottle

This is a handmade wood & twine chair inside old Morticians Bottle Co Bottle. The wood chair has..

$75.00

781 - Roscoe Axton Chair in a Bottle

781 - Roscoe Axton Chair in a Bottle

This chair in a bottle is made by R C Axton, who was Roscoe C. Axton, born in Kansas in 1885, d..

$110.00

789 - Jesus on the Cross in a Bottle

789 - Jesus on the Cross in a Bottle

This amazing and beautiful crucifixion scene in a bottle has a cast metal figure of Jesus hanging fr..

$300.00

812 - Jesus on the Cross in a Bottle

812 - Jesus on the Cross in a Bottle

This Crucifixion scene with Jesus on the cross built in a bottle was made by an anonymous artist who..

$525.00

865 - Buddha Shrine in a Bottle

865 - Buddha Shrine in a Bottle

This is a wonderful Buddha shrine built in a bottle. Buddha is seated on a platform raised from a pe..

$275.00

866 - Cross and Religious Symbols in Bottle

866 - Cross and Religious Symbols in Bottle

This scene in a bottle was possibly made by an Australian Aborigine native. It contains a cross and ..

$80.00

925 - 1800s Glass Bead Winder in a Bottle

925 - 1800s Glass Bead Winder in a Bottle

This is a rare example of a glass bead winder built in a bottle in the early 1800's. It is believed ..

$250.00

929 - Jesse Jackson Chair in a Bottle

929 - Jesse Jackson Chair in a Bottle

This is a chair in a bottle with a cloth woven seat.  The chair is made from pine and is approx..

$0.00

943 - Altar Scene in a Bottle

943 - Altar Scene in a Bottle

This is a unique piece of folk art featuring a church altar scene in a bottle. It is a scene depicti..

$325.00

944 - Church in a Bottle

944 - Church in a Bottle

This is a tranquil pastoral scene of a large church or perhaps a cathedral on a green lawn built ins..

$90.00

955 - Cowboys and Horse in a Bottle

955 - Cowboys and Horse in a Bottle

This is a great Old Quaker liquor bottle with two cowboys and a horse made from wood. One man is on ..

$375.00

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