The Museum Board of Trustees rolled out the red carpet for the vendors, mostly collectors themselves, from around Northern California.
Vendors sold mostly glass antiques, including rare and unusual bottles that once contained whiskey, wine, beer, sodas, medicines, mineral water, and perfume from the 19th and early 20th centuries.
The Bottle and Collectible Show was organized to replace the antique show, which was held in Williams for 40 years. The show opened for admission for early bird shoppers on Friday and free admission on Saturday, which included a free tour of the museum.
Christy Edwards, who organizes the show with her husband, Slim, said the event went very well this year, and shoppers were pleased with the display of high quality goods.
“We had some amazing quality in what our vendors brought this year,” she said. “It is just unreal. I was so impressed.”
Many of the vendors bought from – and sold to – each other, as most also have their own collections to work on.
Roberta Franklin, of Redding, who moderates the Facebook group “California Antique Bottles,” collects antique pepper sauce bottles. She has attended the Williams Bottle Show both years, selling off the whiskey, medicinal, and miscellaneous bottles that were part of a large collection she purchased.
“It’s a way to pass on history to the generations that come after us,” Franklin said. “That is what I like about it.”
Returning vendor, Beverly Blackwood, of Maxwell, sold textiles and collectibles from the early-to-mid 20th century.
Blackwood had three antique stores in Williams, and enjoys being at this particular event.
“I like the camaraderie the vendors have,” Blackwood said. “We visit. It’s a fun show and it’s an inexpensive show to do.”
Edwards said the two-day show had great participation this year from the board members, including a dinner put on at the museum Friday night for the vendors by Trustee Caroline Vann, which followed with a tour of the exhibits with Trustee Dixie LaGrande.
Show stoppers at the bottle show included a variety of valuable whiskey bottles, which are always in high demand.
Bay Area bottle collector, R.J Burgarella, came to the bottle show in search of antique advertising and western bottles.
“The hobby is great,” he said. “Bottle collectors support each other and we just love it.”
Burgarella said his dream is to someday open a public museum featuring antique advertising and whiskey bottles. He would also like to publish a magazine that features bottle collections so that some of the best treasures in the west do not have to be moved for others to enjoy them.
Edwards said the annual Bottle Show will be an annual event to help preserve the Sacrament Valley Museum, which relies almost entirely on donations.
“It’s a cultural gem in our community, and we don’t have a lot of cultural gems left,” Edwards said.”It’s very important to us to preserve it, protect it, and enlarge it and get new exhibits. In many ways, that is what all these dealers are doing. They are preserving history.” ■