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.

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