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American Bottle Express - Alex Kerr Collection Part 5

Auction Catalog
Auction Ended: Monday August 13th, 2007 at 8:00 PM PDT
Each Lot Closes Separately when a bid is not entered for 10 minutes

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Click on picture above to listen to
an interview of Alex Kerr on the radio program
'Let's Talk Antiques'

The Alex Kerr Part 5 has ended. We thank everyone who bid (and even those that didn't) and look forward to our next Alex Kerr Auction.
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Catalog Lots 1 to 15

Current Bid
TARGET BALL THROWER. 23” Long. Here’s an interesting thrower. Made of wood and metal this thrower remains in excellent condition with much of its original green paint. The thrower itself is fairly simple in that basically, you have a large spring connected to the metal and wood rod, which connects to a metal hook. When the rod is pushed down, a simple pull of the rope and it releases the rod throwing the ball gently into the air to be blown to smithereens. There are no markings but it’s certainly a 19th century piece, one would think 1880s or early 90’s. A fine condition target ball thrower that still works like the day it was made. Est. $1,000-1,500. MB $400 $ 2,200
THE EXPERT 4 PAT’D MCH, 1 1892. ELEY BROTHERS LTD. LONDON, ENG. MADE IN USA 37” with arm fully extended . Here we have an all-metal skeet thrower made in the US but designed in England. This had to be one of the earliest clay throwers, as target balls became a thing of the past. It made more since to use a clay sphere, which was most likely more accurate and simpler to use. Of course that’s easy to say since this thrower looks quite a bit more complicated than the previous. Condition is still extremely good and as you can see, it is made completely of cast iron and metal. An interesting and historically significant thrower that begins a new era in target practice. Excellent condition and one the whole family can enjoy. Est. $500-1000. MB $400 $ 400 *
LIGOWSKY CLAY TARGET. As we mentioned in our previous auction brochure, Ligowsky is widely known as the inventor of the clay target. These are considered one of the earliest. Much is written about George Ligowsky and it is also known that he enlisted the help of famous sharp shooters of their day to assist with the design of his clay targets. They included none other than Doc Carver and A.H. Bogardus. It is known that Alex Kerr purchased some of these interesting clay targets after a small cache was found years ago (see On Target issue 32 page 39). No target ball collection should be without the earliest successor to the end of the historic period of target balls. Est. $100-300. MB $100 $ 210
“K”. On otherwise unembossed amber three-piece target ball. 1.8 ounces 3” high. A bit of an unusual piece here, in that this ball simply has the letter “K” embossed on the side. Was this an initial for Alex Kerr? Not likely but it is an interesting variant. Nice light amber with some decent crudity grades a 9. For a more detailed description of our grading system, please see the description of our grading system. It is included with this brochure and explains why we grade the items for sale on a 1-10 scale. Est. $300-600. MB $200 $ 325
UNEMBOSSED TARGET BALL. Three-piece mold, 2.7 ounces 3”. Here’s a fairly common target ball with a very heavy base and strong seam lines, in fact, when placed on a table this ball sits straight up. Nice texture to the glass, an overall grade 9 ball. Est. $200-300. MB $150 $ 190
UNEMBOSSED BLUE TARGET BALL. 3” high 1.4 ounces. Simple but beautiful. That’s how we would describe this next offering. Whittled, bubbles, great color. Not a multi-thousand dollar ball, just a pretty blue ball from the Alex Kerr collection. Est. $200-400. MB $150 $ 220
MAURITZ WIDFORS. 2 ¾” high 2.7 ounces. Here’s a gorgeous example of this wonderful Swedish target ball. One of the few balls thought to be made in this Alpine Country, this is a beautiful example with loads of whittle and in a pleasing light to medium amber with a touch of tobacco thrown in. If you look at the ball closely you can see what appears to be a series of vertical lines gracing the entire ball. Please see streaming video for a more detailed description. Notice the slightly smaller size, this is due to basically this ball not having much of a neck. A fine 9 grade ball from the Alex Kerr collection. Est. $500-1200. MB $500 $ 500
BOGARDUS’ GLASS BALL PATd APRIL 10 1877 With tiny “8” in diamond above the “A” in “April”. 3” high 2.7 ounces. Here we have a beautiful amethyst and clear glass Bogardus ball. We’re going to show you different views in the streaming video so you can see how the amethyst swirled into the glass. There is a tiny hole under the “P” in “PATENT”, the result of a lead pellet. A striking coloration and one of the prettier Bogardus balls we’ve sold. Without the hole this would certainly grade a 9, you’ll have to decide how much the hole bothers you. Est. $700-1000. MB $500 $ 1,100
BLUE TARGET BALL WITH EMBOSSED SYMBOLS/G8 On base. 3” high 2.2 ounces. This is an interesting ball in that it has the “G8” on the base and the “dot dash dot dash dot” on the shoulder. It is a three-piece mold and a lovely blue color. We know Alex was a methodical collector and after seeing so many target balls, you’d have to believe even the most minor of variations would interest him. We have not seen this variant before and someone has placed a label near the neck that reads, “1774”. A beautifully whittled and brilliant blue ball. Est. $200-400. MB $150 $ 325
SHOOTER BALL. 3” high 2.3 ounces. Here’s a beautiful example of the shooter ball named for the embossed marksman on each shoulder of the ball. This is a green that only you the reader can decide the proper words for. Grass, 7UP, sage? We’re told the green examples are often pretty rough as far as embossing and this one is better than most. A run of shooter balls would be an interesting collection and here’s a nice green one if you don’t have one yet. Grade 10. Est. $800-1,200. MB $600 $ 1,700
SHOOTER BALL A.K.A. THE SMOKING GUN BALL. 3” high 3.6 ounces Clear with amber striations. Here we have a most unusual representation of the shooter ball. A little heavier than most balls in general, as you can see this also has a series of amber striations that run wildly through the ball. On one side it almost appears the shooter is the one responsible for the deep tobacco colored streaks, as at the end of his barrel begins a ribbon running through almost the entire circumference of the ball. Another very interesting aspect of this ball, and something we have never seen before, one seam has split and there is a 1” long gap on one of the seams. In other words, when the ball was blown the seam did not adhere and created a small crevice or split. If you’ve seen any pictures of Alex Kerr’s collection, there is one that clearly shows this ball. A true standout and a wonderful edition to any collection. Grades 10. Est. $700-1,400. MB $600 $ 2,600
E. JONES GUNMAKER LANCASTER BLACKBURN Lattice embossed ball with cross on base. 3” high 2.5 ounces. Thankfully I had the help of Peter Frobouck on this one, as although the embossing is fairly readable, for some reason they ran three lines of embossing directly through it. There is a myriad of reasons this could have happened, from another company taking over the mold to Mr. Jones Gunmaker thinking that it would be legible. At any rate, it is still a very appealing ball and as decorated as any Bogardus or other lattice design balls. Condition is about perfect and aside from maybe a hint of dirt, grades a 10. A very pretty piece. Est. $400-700. MB $300 $ 1,100
IRA PAINE’S FILLED BALL 3 ½” 2.8 ounces. Here is the example of the Paine ball that is missing some letters and almost virtually the entire patent date. A brilliant almost golden amber, when Alex collected these he made a point of showing the variants in the different Paine balls. This is similar to the two previous balls we sold in the Kerr Auction 4. Nonetheless a grade 10 ball with some nice overall crudity. Est. $300-600. MB $300 $ 300
BOGARDUS’ GLASS BALL PATd APRIL 10 1877 With embossed “8”. 3” 3.1 ounces. We’ve had some interesting Bogardus balls in these last auctions and this example is no exception. Where as last auction we had a bluish ball with amethyst streaks, this ball is more of an amethyst with bluish streaks. This one truly sparkles in the light and it would be hard to say that you have this color since the variance in hues would almost be impossible to duplicate. There is a piece of sodium in the glass with no radiation. We will give this a 9 grade simply because of the pot stone. Est. $1,200-2,000. MB $800 $ 2,400
SEVEN HORIZONTAL RING TARGET BALL 3” 1.8 ounces. Here’s another nice example of the horizontal ring ball in a brilliant blue coloration. Of course when you think about it, they are all pretty darn brilliant. When you look at the seams running down the side, which obviously have to be there, they stop at the second ring from the bottom. So how many piece mold would this be? Could it be the very first thirteen-piece mold? Doubtful. In fact it’s most likely a three-piece mold and the lines were put there to help the deflection of the shot. A super example that grades a solid 9 with just a piece or two of sodium in the base area. Est. $300-600. MB $250 $ 450
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