Monthly meeting of the Wanganui-Rangitikei Antique bottles and Collectors Club is on in the Palmerston North Leisure Centre on Ferguson St.
‘‘It's probably easier to ask what we don't collect.’’ Jill Griffiths
‘‘I don’t believe in keeping things in boxes. Everything is on display.’’
Members of the Wanganui-Rangitikei Antique Bottles and Collectors Club Jill Griffiths and husband Alan have a big-time collecting bug.
‘‘It’s probably easier to ask what we don’t collect,’’ Jill said. ‘‘You’re either a magpie or you’re not.’’
Their home must be one extended display case, but obviously curation and display of their various collections is just as important as finding items to add to them.
‘‘We started out collecting English china - Royal Dalton, Royal Worcestershire and also sterling silver, and we got hooked,’’ Jill said.
Now they collect early New Zealand household containers - including jam jars, ones with intricate glass embossing.
And there are the early milk bottles from the days when local dairy companies used to bottle their own milk, a tradition started around 1896 by Taranaki’s Waverly Milk Company, and ended by the New Zealand Government in 1947 as part of industry consolidation.
In their collection is a bottle from Palmerston North company Holben & Kirk, only the bottle has been embossed ‘Holden & Kirk’, the anomaly making it more eminently collectible.
So, collecting is more than just about the things, it’s a pastime that starts conversations about social history, among other things.
‘‘From milk bottles, we spread out into other New Zealand collectibles - embossed pharmacy medicine measures, glass eyebaths, Bovril advertising and vintage Christmas decorations,’’ Jill said.
Then there are ceramic pot lids from ointment containers.
‘‘There are 50 different New Zealand lids,’’ Alan said.
Rare lids can fetch as much as $10,000.
Another focus of the Griffiths’ collection is the Codd bottle.
Invented by Englishman Hiram Codd in 1872, this was a carbonated drink bottle with a marble in the neck that the gas pushed up against a rubber washer, sealing in the contents.
The Wanganui-Rangitikei Antique Bottles and Collectors Club meets monthly in the Palmerston North Leisure Centre.
New members and their eclectic proclivities are welcome to attend.
Kathy Clark, Edna Goss and John Manderson, members of the Wanganui Rangitikei Antique Bottles and Collectors Club, inspect a rare 1920s glass Codd bottle with an internal glass marble stopper.