Posted 3/25/12



Undocumented 12" tall figural baseball player bottle

Believed to be a

c1880 Cyrus Noble Whiskey Back Bar Bottle


1LookingDownOnNeck_1200x900.jpg (167006 bytes) 1Front_900x1200.jpg (178523 bytes) 2TopHeadBack_1200x900.jpg (166395 bytes)
NobleCatcher.jpg (150108 bytes) UnderBase_1200x900.jpg (158661 bytes)
LeftChestUp_900x1200.jpg (161546 bytes) InLineUp_900x1200.jpg (202568 bytes)
Back_900x1200.jpg (169354 bytes) 3Face_900x1200.jpg (137243 bytes)




....At any rate, this bottle probably represents the 

biggest mystery I've encountered in my 25 years 

collecting sports antiques!...

-Carlton Hendricks


I found this figural bottle of a baseball catcher in a Roseville CA antiques mall. My best guess is it was a c1880 Cyrus Noble Whiskey back bar bottle. I’ve done pretty much everything possible to research it but haven’t come up with concrete evidence…Nevertheless the strongest evidence clearly indicates it is very rare….That is…I’ve showed it to the most knowledgeable baseball and bottle collectors and almost no one has seen it before…At any rate, this bottle probably represents the biggest mystery I've encountered in my 25 years collecting sports antiques!....Here’s whole the story.....

On Sunday afternoon Feb. 12th 2012. I was planning to meet up with friends shortly at a nearby movie theater. It was suppose to just be a quick run thru the antiques mall then off to see Safe House….but I was brought to a halt when I spotted this…I had to gather my senses to determine if it was truly as rare as it seemed….I thought I may have seen it somewhere but wasn’t sure…I tried googling it on my smart phone and got essentially nothing…a good sign…It was seriously priced and I hated to make a quick decision…but I couldn’t keep my friends waiting at the theater…and I sensed not to think about it and come back later…Good thing since it would have been gone!…as you’ll see in the third page of the link on the right to…I examined it from every angle and sought input from the leading bottle collecting community on the internet.




 Below are some of the comments culled from 

3 pages of discussion


My apologies sir, but we have no company historian or archivist. In the 15 years that I've worked for Haas Brothers, I have not heard of a 19th century decanter for Cyrus Noble. We did a successful ceramic decanter program in the 1970's, but in the 19th century I'm only aware of a shot-glass series. I'm sorry I can't give a definitive answer, but as far as I've ever heard, this wouldn't be a decanter produced by/for Cyrus Noble Bourbon. 
Thank you for your inquiry, 
Jake Lustig 
National Sales Manager 
Haas Brothers | Since 1851 
San Francisco, California 



I would look under tobacco card era players. Maybe an obscure player or is this a representative player bottle , noble simply meaning honorable, brave and true. It looks quite Victorian! 

Forum Member, CreekWalker



I am truly intrigued and mesmerized to see what comes of this....Jim  

Forum Member EPackage



Really great stuff and I'm fascinated. Thanks for all the research. I'm not a sports person but the bottle aspect has me. 
You must realize that Cyrus Noble, patina and glass making are all only partly connected though. The frosting shouldn't be confused with patina if that's what it is. Without actually holding it it's difficult for me to say of it's acid wash, powder blast or naturally occurring. Cyrus Noble in the earliest days probably didn't use glass and the commemoratives most likely didn't start until the time Jim Beam and others did, say 50's and 60's for the most part. 
I think the French connection as Surface tended to agree with, can't be ignored. You mention Mexico also which was another big contributor to new glass looking old. 
Everything I'm saying is speculation and theory but with a trace of glass knowledge. 
I look forward to more and thanks for the lively and great post to talk about! 

Forum Moderator -CowsEatMaize






At Least One Example With Baseball Cap Top Established And Located


I was tipped off by Jim/epackage of that there was a collector who was the king of figural bottle collectors named Michael E. Anderson, and that he might be able to I.D. or otherwise elaborate on my Noble Catcher. 


7/29/12 - Carlton, I spoke with the Godfather of all figural bottles and he tells me that your Noble Catcher is a French bottle, he has one along with the Pitcher too. I think I have his email address here somewhere, I'll find it for you if you would like to contact him...Jim 


Michael, who by the way...will soon be publishing an authoritative book on figural bottles...was kind MichaelsNobles BLue.jpg (201668 bytes) enough to email me photos of his pair of Noble Catcher AND a Noble Pitcher. Michael also snail mailed me a photocopy of a c1901 catalog of the North Wheeling Glass Co. Although my Noble Catcher isn't in the catalog, a pair of figural bottles of American Indians is and Michael feels certain the baseball players were made by the same company. To make a long story short he believes the Noble baseball bottles were produced prior to 1901 and that they were likely blown in France and imported. 


Michael also knows of a pair of the baseball players in a collection which, at least the catcher, has it's original baseball cap shaped top...and he will be sending a photocopy of an auction catalog that pictures it!!!


Moreover Michael also believes there is another pair of the baseball players in another collection which also have their tops/baseball caps!!...It's all very exciting news and We'll keep you posted what I learn! -Carlton