COLLECTOR’S ITEM: Barbara and Leslie Meiklejohn just came into possession of the bottle and are now questioning its worth following the record auction.
COLLECTOR’S ITEM: Barbara and Leslie Meiklejohn just came into possession of the bottle and are now questioning its worth following the record auction.

Antique Warwick bottle sells for jaw-dropping, record price

A WARWICK ginger beer bottle has set world records after it went under the hammer for $17,500 at auction earlier this month.

The stoneware bottle from the 1920s was made for local soft drink company, Doneley and Butler.

Warwick born auctioneer Graham Lancaster, who sold the bottle in June said the green lip glaze and pristine condition warranted the price.

"It's like any collectable - it depends on rarity, condition and desirability," he said.

"It was made for a small factory and there may have only been a few made. We only know of 2-3 examples."

The bottle had previously belonged to Graham's father but he never envisioned it would fetch such a price.

"I knew it was a good bottle 35 years ago … but we never expected it would go for that," he said.

BOTTLED GOLD: The item which fetched over $17K at auction.
BOTTLED GOLD: The item which fetched over $17K at auction.

Before the days of Coca-Cola and Fanta, small town soft drink companies were the norm.

Swanfels born Doug Cutmore vividly remembers school picnics, with refreshments courtesy of the Yangan Aerated Water Works.

"When the soft drink was brought up from the Yangan Aerated Water Works all was good," he said.

"That was something to kill for."

Mr Cutmore who has kept bottles from the Yangan and Warwick Aerated Water Works over the years, said the bottles were collector's items for their distinctive markings.

"Apparently those stoneware bottles and beer cans - people go mad over them now," he said.

"It's marvellous what people spend their money on. I can't believe someone would spend that on memorabilia.'

Les Meiklejohn also recently came into possession of a similar bottle, albeit without the prized green lid, but the recent news has him looking hopeful.

"Ours is Warwick ginger beer from a M Smyth & Co.," he said.

"I'd say I'd be pretty all right if it was worth anywhere near $17,000."

The proud new owner of the bottle is reportedly a Queensland avid collector.



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