Antique bottle and glass enthusiasts will want to mark their calendars for Thursday to Sunday, July 28th through July 31st. That’s when the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors (FOHBC) will hold its 2022 National Antique Bottle Convention in Reno. The show and sale event will be held at the Grand Sierra Resort.
“I’m pleased to announce that this year’s convention will be held in our Western Region, in the ‘Biggest Little City in the World’, and be our first national event after a two-year pause due to the pandemic,” said Ferdinand Meyer V, past three-time president of the FOHBC and one of the driving forces for the event. “Along with the traditional bottle show and sale will be educational seminars, a judged bottle shootout competition, silent auction, cocktail party and banquet, membership breakfast meeting, displays, team bowling event, bottle appraisals, youth events, raffles and many other activities.”
Mr. Meyer implored everyone to “come see some great Western glass and pottery from the major Gold Rush cities of the West and towns in-between, for just five dollars general admission on Saturday and Sunday. It’s a wonderful way to learn about American history from the 1800s through the turn of the century.”
The many events will make for a packed itinerary. People don’t have to be an FOHBC member to attend, but membership is encouraged and available at the show, plus online, at www.fohbc.org. There will be two very special exhibits at this year’s convention:
• Top 25 Western Whiskey Cylinders: This display is expected to attract a special grouping of bottles that will easily approach $1 million in total value. Such a display may never happen again and, with the help of the collecting community, will provide an attraction that, alone, is worth attending the Reno 2022 Convention to witness.
• Artifacts from the S. S. Central America: Come see this once-in-a-lifetime exhibit of recovered artifacts from the S.S. Central America known for its vast cargo of gold. The ship sank in a storm in 1857. There will be bottles, Gold Rush jewelry, firearms, luggage tags, photographs, currency, gold pokes, clothing and a treasure box and lid.
This year’s FOHBC show is a must-attend for antique bottle and glass enthusiasts and members of the many antique bottle clubs scattered across the country. Diggers and pickers will also find the show of great interest. Antique bottle collectors are very passionate about a category of collecting that’s enjoyed a meteoric rise in popularity in recent years. There will even be a free appraisal table for people to bring in their finds and possessions.
The convention schedule will kick off with the semi-annual FOHBC Board Meeting slated for 8 am to 12 o’clock noon on Thursday, July 28th, in the Carson 1 Room. A VIP Reception & Dealer Registration will take place from 4:30-6:30 pm, followed by an evening Reno Shootout bottle competition in the Grand Salon and Crystal Ballroom.
The Reno Shootout will be a friendly competition that will compare and judge three types of bottles (all entrants are welcome; limit three bottles per category per person). The judging events will be for the ‘best’ J.F. Cutter star shield type whiskey fifth; Bay City Soda Water Company bottle; and the Old Sachem’s Bitters and Wigwam Tonic. The merits of each bottle will be judged by a panel of veteran collectors experienced in each type.
Day 2, on Friday, July 29th, will begin with an FOHBC membership breakfast meeting from 7-8:30 am, followed by a series of educational seminars, four in all, that will run from 8 am to 12 noon. The subjects are varied and fascinating. The topics and speakers include Morgan Oyster Beds Bottle Finds (John Shroyer); Marbles (Jeff Wichmann); Grace Brothers Brewing Co. (John Burton); and Dr. Charles Craig, Dr. John Henion and Hulbert H. Warner: Their Connections, Lawsuits, Competition and Eventual Business Demise (Michael Seeliger). Presenters will be organized by seminar coordinator Eric McGuire. Questions regarding the seminars may be directed to Mr. McGuire via email, at [email protected].
The aforementioned exhibit displays will be on view for three days, July 29th thru 31st. Friday and Saturday, July 29-30, will also feature a Silent Auction, in which attendees can bid during the convention on 50 to 100 lots displayed at a secure area on the Summit Pavilion showroom floor. Anyone wishing to consign a bottle to the Silent Auction (minimum value: $100) may contact Richard Siri via email at rt[email protected] or Ferdinand Meyer V at [email protected].
There will be a series of prize drawings during show hours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (July 29-31). Also, two Jim Healy Reno 2022 FOHBC National Antique Bottle show commemorative jugs will be raffled. Mr. Healy, from Tribes Hill, New York, is a talented potter and restorer of old jugs. He has designed and made FOHBC national show commemorative mugs for many years. The current plan is to have one jug in the Silent Auction and another for the raffle. Raffle tickets will cost $2 each; three for $5.
Alan DeMaison with the FOHBC Virtual Museum will be setting up and imaging bottles the three days of July 29-31, during showroom hours in the GSR Summit Pavilion. He will do this on an appointment basis but will also consider walk-in requests, time permitting. “Be a part of the greatest new thing in our great antique bottle collecting hobby,” Mr. Meyer said.
A pair of fun Youth Corner activities are planned for kids interested in getting started in the hobby. The first one involves Children’s Bottle Grab Bags, where the FOHBC will provide about 50 bottle grab bags for kids ten and under, during the General Admission hours of the show (July 29-31). Each bag will have an antique hand-blown bottle, in good condition and embossed. Limit one bottle grab bag per child.
The other event is a Scavenger Hunt, for children aged 8 and up, at the GSR Summit Pavilion showroom floor. Organizers will prepare a list defining specific items, which the participants will seek to gather or complete all items on the list, usually without purchasing them, either individually or in small teams. The goal is to complete most or all of the items on the list. For more information, contact Bella Alucema, at [email protected].
For more information about the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors (FOHBC) and this year’s National Antique Bottle Convention, slated for July 28-31 at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nevada, please visit www.fohbc.org. As of this writing, there were still dealer tables available, should you want to sell antique glass.