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Antique Trader Bottles Identification and Price Guide (Antique Trader's Bottles: Identification & Price Guide) Paperback – Bargain Price, January 12, 2009

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About the Author

Michael Polak, an avid bottle collector since 1976, has amassed a collection of nearly 3,000 bottles, and has written for a variety of antiques publications including Antique and Auction News and The Antique Trader Weekly. He lives in Long Beach, California, with his wife, Jacqueline. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Antique Trader's Bottles: Identification & Price Guide
  • Paperback: 552 pages
  • Publisher: Krause Publications; 6 edition (January 12, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0896897338
  • ISBN-13: 978-0896897335
  • ASIN: B00AZ8KRJQ
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,832,319 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Polak is known as the "Bottle King" for good reason. With nearly
40 years in the hobby and a personal antique bottle collection of more
than 3,000 bottles, Polak is a leading authority on bottle collecting in the
United States.

He has written more than 10 books on bottle collecting and has contributed
numerous magazine and newspaper articles on the subject. He is a member of the
Los Angeles,San Diego,and the Las Vegas Bottle Clubs, International Perfume Bottle Assoc.(IPBA),and the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors.

In addition to writing a regular column on bottles for Antique Trader magazine,Polak has also been published in Writers Digest, Scouting Magazine and Nevada Magazine, and other antique publications. He is a public speaker on the subject of antique bottles and the former Public Relations Director for the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors.

On March 2,2013,Mike participated in a Digging Trip on the Big Island of Hawaii in Honokaa, Hawaii.To view a video of the diging trip, go to: www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUa-MFDuw-U

During the Memorial Day weekend (5/24-5/27/2013), Mike witnessed the excavation of Wyatt Earp's "Northern Saloon" site in Tonopah Nevada. This dig covered a five week period and resulted in finding 618 Bottles and numerous Coins, Tokens, Poker Chips. For the entire story, go to www.AntiqueTrader.com and search for the article "Dig unearths bottle treasures at Wyatt Earp's Northern Saloon in Tonopah, Nev." dated July 24, 2013.

On June 21, 2014, Mike returned to the Wyatt Earp "Northern Saloon" site in Tonopah Nevada for 2 days of digging and metal detecting. During the digging, he found 5 "Vienna Bakery - Tonopah, Nev." tokens, Circa 1905-1907.

During the August 1-3,2014 Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors (FOHBC)National Antique Bottle Show held in Lexington, Kentucky, Mike received the following award that reads as follows: Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors - Commends- Mike Polak - Author- First Place- 2014 BEST TRUE STORY - "Wyatt Earp's Northern Saloon and Tonopah, Nevada" - Published in the "Bottles & Extra". This is the official magazine of the FOHBC. The article was published in the November/December 2013 Issue.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By jacqueline pace on April 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
I've been an Antique Bottle Collector for approximately 10 years and have bought all of the previous editions of Bottles: Identification and Price Guide. While the other 3 editions have been excellent and a great help, the 4th Edition is by far the best of the group. The front part of the book with respect to how to understand bottle collecting,the history of bottles and glass, and digging for bottles (which I do) is an excellent update. In addition, the updated pricing sections along with the photographs, both black & white and color, are also extremely helpful. I find that the other area that provided a great deal of help is the back section of the book. The Trademark Section, Glossary, Clubs and Dealer Guide, and Bibliography. Overall, Mr. Polak has done a great job providing a super updated 4th Edition. The book makes mention that it has been called the "Bottle Bible" and I can understand why. It's been extremely helpful to myself and many of my fellow bottle colletors.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 23, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As a novice bottle collector, this book was recommended to me by a friend. I found this book to be extremely informative. Mr. Polak knows his material and has presented it in a reader friendly fashion. I highly recommend this book to others.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
I have a copy of this book, along with dozens of other books on antique bottles and collecting them. It is one of the least worthwhile of them all, and I am including books published in the 1960s with more listings, better photos, etc. The book shows mainly bottles that are more easily found in the West, and chances are that the bottles you want to find info on will NOT be listed. (Of course, no book can list them all, as there have been hundreds of thousands of different bottles made-just in the US alone). But Mr. Polak's book is a hyped mess of misinformation, fuzzy b&w photos (although he does include a lovely centerfold layout of several beautiful bottles in full color!!) and a "quick course" on identifying the age of bottles which is almost useless, as the problem of learning the true age of a bottle is not always as simple as he makes it sound. The list of glass factory marks has been copied from other writers who copied from Julian Toulouse's book on bottle makers' marks, and some of those are in error just as he first presented them in 1971. Production dates of bottles listed must be taken with some caution. Some of the bottle club information is very outdated, having been lifted from old magazines that are 20+ years old. Information is often vague, with little explanation of exact condition, damage, or the exact embossing variant being referred to, which can make a HUGE difference in the value of a bottle in some cases. I think every bottle collector should have a copy, but mainly as another checklist they can refer to, in order to help find out what all is out there in the field of antique bottles that they MIGHT eventually run into at antique malls, bottle shows, yard sales or by digging them themselves. Values are mostly overrated, some are too high, some are too low.Read more ›
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on March 16, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a very difficult book to use. No index, bad alphabetizing of lists, no cross referencing. It lists mostly high-end bottles, and ignores others. It has pages of useless content. e.g. bottle club listings, bottle dealers, etc - all things that are out of date a month after publication and best found other ways. That space could have been used for something useful, like an index. I recommend this to no one.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
The begining of this book has lots of useful information including digging and diving for bottles. However, I was disappointed with the amount of pictures. The descriptions for most bottles were vague. I rated it a 2 because of the extensive listing of Jim Beam bottles. If you collect Jim Beam this would be a worthwhile book.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By "aprilw77" on September 23, 2002
Format: Paperback
Don't buy this book. It is a waist of money and time. I have a lot of old bottles and can't find one of them in this book. It says it is the best book for bottle collectors. If it is, why can't I find even a Vicks Vapo Rub cobalt bottle in it?? I am very dissatisfied.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 3, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I just bought this book, on the recommendation of a friend of mine who is a serious collector. My collection is limited to sports collectibles and other oddities. Still, when I looked through the book, I could very easily find what I was looking for. This book was NOT AT ALL intimidating for a novice collector. Mr. Polak has obviously done his homework.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Autumn on June 19, 2012
I had received this book along with the field guide for Valentines Day (romantic! lol). The guide it's self has some very valuable information in it including how to dig and dive for bottles, basic knowledge on determining the age of a bottle, how to handle and clean bottles and some other information that's quite useful. However that's about where it's usefulness stops the book mostly covers bottles that rarer and harder to find. The prices in my opinion are a little over the top. More like what an antique dealer would try to make you pay and less of what it's worth to the "mass market" (I'll use that term loosely because I'm not sure there's a whole lot of bottle hounds left)

If you're an amateur collector, I don't recommend this book at all. Most of the bottles in this book are rare and expensive, some are ones you'll probably never see and most are one's you'll likely never own. The descriptions for bottles that have no picture (which is ALOT) can be vague and if you're fairly new to bottling I could see this book as being a bit overwhelming and a bit discouraging if you don't have an endless money pocket.

the book is broken down into 3 major sections

The intro: which is where I think the most valuable info is at, which included the things I mentioned earlier about bottle digging, handling, age etc.

Old bottles (pre 1900): which includes medicines, hand blown,sodas, poisons and a whole lot more. I found it strange that there was only a small section on milk bottles, While I personally have no interest in them I know a handful of people who collect milks and not much else..

New bottles: this section is mostly dominated by Avon bottles and even more so by jim beam bottles there is easily 20 pages of nothing but jim beam bottles...
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