Sunday, December 7, 2008

Daryle Lambert: Antique Canning Jars can be rewarding

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I just finished talking to my brother in Bowling Green Kentucky and was told that all his garden had been canned. This is very important to his family because they seldom have to buy vegetables from the grocery. I still remember my grandmother as she slaved over the coal stove all day canning the items from her garden and how much better they tasted than store bought. Beans of every variety, corn, tomatoes, squash, peppers, cucumbers, pears, apples were just a few of the things I remember from those days on the farm that came from grandmother's canning jars. The thought never crossed my mind that at some future date those jars would become collectibles. Some of those jars are worth their weight in gold in today's marketplace.

Which ones, you say? The Canton Domestic, cobalt blue, glass lid, wire bail, 1900, one quart fruit jar could bring you in over $14,000 in today's market. Your reaction is probably the same as mine; you must be kidding. That happens to be the truth and even more startling is that there are many more jars that are valued in the thousands such as the BBGM Co. jar in amber with glass lid and zinc band that is the half gallon size that comes in at $8,500 or the DA Knowlton jar, Saratoga NY in dark yellow olive, wide mouth, 1870, one quart for a mere $6,300. I know that Granny is turning over in her grave. I am sure that she was able to buy these jars by the dozens for no more than a dollar or two.

I'm sure you are asking why is their value so much and my only answer to you is that there are at least two people that are willing to pay that price for them. Also, you can be assured that there are few in numbers available for collectors to purchase. Color seems to be very important when it comes to valuing these fruit jars so I would suggest that you get the guide on fruit jars if you are going to actively search for them. Kovels Antique Guide will provide you with a lot of information but it definitely isn't the whole guide for this collectible. I was able to count over twenty five different jars that listed for more than $1,000 and I wouldn't be surprised if there are many more listed in the official price guide for fruit jars. I couldn't believe myself how many others listed for $200 and up. I will never look at the lowly fruit jar the same way again.

Let me list a few of the companies that manufactured fruit jars. A. Stone and Co., Air Tight, Altas, Cunningham and Co., Gem, Mason, Millville and many more. This seems to be a wide open field for us to research and where our efforts could be well rewarded.

I knew even as a young boy that food from canning jars tasted better but little did I know the the jar that I was eating from could be worth a grown man's wages for a year. If you don't believe me; I've left the best for last. Find this jar and you may equal your year's annual salary. The Millville Atmospheris, cobalt blue, glass lid, iron clamp, one quart could bring you over $25,000. Happy Hunting.

1 comment:

  1. You are so right about there being some amazing and valuable fruit jars out there. My hubby collects fruit jars, and we spend a lot of time at bottle shows, and with serious jar collectors, and I am always wowed by the unusual things they turn up, and the money the spent! I have links on my website to the fruit jar collector's "bible", called The Red Book, as well as to the super Collector's Weekly fruit jar pages (a good place for a "newbie" to start). There are still great jars out there in some basement or barn, waiting to be found. Happy Hunting!