Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Collecting And Decorating With Antique Purple Bottles

Vintage Purple Bottles Look Great Grouped Together

Why Bottles Change Color

Here is a beautiful collection of old bottles which have turned purple in color after years and years of exposure to sunlight. Bottle collectors know that the color purple results when a bottle with the chemical Manganese Dioxide is exposed to sunlight.

From Manganese Dioxide To Selenium

Glass starts off aqua-blue or green and becomes clear after manufacturers add what is known as a clarifying agent. According to The Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors, prior to World War I, Manganese Dioxide obtained primarily from Russia was used as a clarifying agent. When our source of Manganese Dioxide was cut off by German blockades, a different chemical (Selenium) was used to clarify glass.

Dating Your Purple Bottle

This is an important piece of historical information to help date bottles. Selenium does not turn bottles purple when in contact with the ultra violet rays of the sun. Since WWI began in 1914 and ended in 1918, older purple bottles would be date to the time when Manganese Dioxide was used
(prior to WWI).

Purple bottles are not only interesting to collect, they make very attractive decorative accessories
when grouped together in small collections. Look for bottles of different sizes and shapes .

Read More Information About Vintage Purple Bottles

Federation Of Historical Bottle Collectors

Vintage Glass Bottles

C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of Iantiqueonline.com an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro cafĂ©.To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link: C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff Email me at dianne@cdiannezweig.comVisit my website, CDianneZweig.comDianne is a member of:The American Society of Journalists and AuthorsThe Authors Guild, Inc.


  1. Awww this post brought back many fond memories of my "granny". She collected many things and among them were old bottles. Sweet memories.

  2. Love this blog!!! I really love blue bottles too! My mother had a ton she had in her window growing up....I'll be back to read more!

  3. Great post, Diane! Someone told me that sometimes the purple bottles are called "sun glass". Maybe just here in the Midwest, but still good to know....

  4. I love love love your site. I have been reading it for hours, taking in all your advice.

    I hope you don't mind. I have written a post about your site. I "borrowed" some of your photos to illustrate. I gave links to each post I quoted and gave you full credit for all. Let me know if this is not OK and I will remove parts or all of the post as you wish. You can find the post here - http://firstadream.blogspot.com/2010/09/booth-advice-via-dianne-zweig.html

  5. Better hide this from the purists. They consider purple or sun glass as damaged glass and will have no part of it.
    To each their own.