Ships in Bottles

Ships in Bottles, Folk Art, and Bottle Whimsies 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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638 - Destroyer Ship Diorama in bottle

638 - Destroyer Ship Diorama in bottle

This is a great diorama of a German World War II Destroyer, (thought to be the Destroyer "Bavaria" o..

$200.00

654 - General Charles H. Taylor Family Collection Ship in bottle

654 - General Charles H. Taylor Family Collection Ship in bottle

This is a very old and wonderfully made model of a 3 mast Bark anchored in a sea of green near a sma..

$0.00

680 - HMS Hood Ship in a bottle

680 - HMS Hood Ship in a bottle

This is a very detailed scene of the HMS Hood cruising on a choppy sea with a town in the background..

$90.00

693 - 3 Masted Bark "lsle" Ship in a bottle

693 - 3 Masted Bark "lsle" Ship in a bottle

This is a model of a three mast sailing Bark named "Isle" sailing on a sea of green with a small red..

$80.00

696 - World War II Battle Scene Ship in bottle

696 - World War II Battle Scene Ship in bottle

This is a World War II scene showing what appears to be a battle cruiser sailing toward a German U-b..

$120.00

705 - Brigantine Ship in a bottle

705 - Brigantine Ship in a bottle

This is a nicely made model of a Brigantine, a merchant ship, flying the British flag. The two maste..

$75.00

763 - Schooner "Winston Churchill" Ship in a bottle

763 - Schooner "Winston Churchill" Ship in a bottle

This is a model of the Sir Winston Churchill built in a bottle.  The actual ship is a 3-masted ..

$125.00

960 - Mayflower Carrack Ship in a Bottle

960 - Mayflower Carrack Ship in a Bottle

This is a very well made and highly detailed model of the Mayflower, a Carrack with three masts, squ..

$180.00

964 - Vic Cosby 3 Masted Schooner in a Bottle

964 - Vic Cosby 3 Masted Schooner in a Bottle

This is a model of the Wawona built in a Crown royal bottle by renowned ship in bottle builder, ..

$250.00

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