Heckler Keeps Live Bottle Auctions Going


Heckler Keeps Live Bottle Auctions Going

30 August 2016


In the past, whenever I go to a bottle show I try to share that experience with everyone.

I have never written up anything about the Heckler Live Auctions even though I have been attending them for years now.

Last week, I attended the monthly auction that Norm and crew holds during the warmer weather. As I rode along with my good friend Jim Healy, we talked about the auction and how live auctions seem to be a dying thing today. I had taken Jim along with me once before and he truly enjoyed the event. I have always taken them somewhat for granted. Seeing how happy Jim was to be going really got me thinking about it. I don’t believe anyone else in the country holds live bottle auctions on a regular basis. I guess that makes Norm the sole survivor.

Once I got there, I looked around and thought what it would be like when Norm stops having live auctions. These are much more than an auction. This is a group of friends enjoying a day away from work watching bottles being sold. I have never been to one of these auctions that I did not come home with something and happy. This time, Norm and his wife had a special cake made for Wes and Diane Seeman to celebrate their 54th anniversary. You see, the bottle family is just that a family of friends. It was so nice to see everyone eating cake and wishing Wes and Diane well. As Wes told me, he and Diane do everything together. They are lucky people, that’s for sure.

The FOHBC is also lucky that Wes will be doing one of our seminars at the FOHBC Springfield National in 2017 on Sandwich Glass. It should be a great treat for all. At the auction, Wes pointed out to me an interesting piece of Sandwich glass and asked me if I knew what it was. I did not and he told me it was an early eye wash cup. I would have never guessed that in a million years. I wonder if the owner of the lot knows that?

This trip, one lot I bought was a lot of glass canes with one being 7 feet long. I was a bit concerned about getting it home, but it made the trip just fine. These auctions give collectors and dealers both a chance to buy bottles which normally would end up on e-Bay or sold off privately.

There just is nothing like a live auction! Norm Heckler, as once said by Jeff Wichmann, was born to be an auctioneer. He is very entertaining, to say the least. The atmosphere is always very casual. Norm has no shoes, dresses in shorts and a tee shirt. This is the same guy who always has on a tie at the shows.

I would say a person could put together a nice collection and at a fair price from going to these auctions. Now understand, these bottles are not worth thousands of dollars. Those bottles go in the catalog sales. These are great bottles from $50 to several hundreds of dollars.

If you would like to attend one of these sales drop Norm a line and find out the next date. The auctions are normally the third week of the month on Friday.

None of my articles would be complete without saying something about the FOHBC 2017 Springfield National Antique Bottle Convention & Expo. At Heckler’s, I sold another four contracts for the greatest show to ever hit the Northeast. We are approaching 25% of our tables sold. The hotel called me last week and asked if I wanted to increase the rooms for Wednesday night. I only took 25 rooms because nothing really happens until Thursday. They are all gone so I increased it so people can come in early. My only fear is having to look a friend in the eyes and tell him I don’t have a table for you. Please don’t wait, sign up today so we can keep making plans of how to handle the crowd.

Jim Bender,
FOHBC 2017 Springfield National co-chair

Visit Heckler

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A few people visit outside before the auction. Young and old alike were there.

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Norm Heckler explains the rules of the auction before he starts.

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There are always table lots of glassware for sale. 90% of the lots are bottles

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Some items are sold separately and are displayed in the backlit cases.

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Norm’s barn is so nice inside. I would love to have a building like this.

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I had to buy the big amber kidney bottle in the center of the photo. It has a killer pontil mark.

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This was an interesting jug.

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Great lot of bust bottles.

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Many times the collections Norm gets have books, which he always sells.

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Maureen Crawford (Vanna) holes up an item as Norm calls the auction.

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Norm still going strong two hours later.

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I will put this in as a teaser photo. Anti Venereal pontiled medicine bottle Norm had just gotten from a person. Ever seen one?

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The Seeman’s and Heckler’s pose for a photo by the cake the Hecklers gave them.

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I went down to Norm’s office to check out the bottles coming up in his September auction.

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A few more bottles coming up in September auction.

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More bottles in the September auction.

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My van is ‘Springfield National’ Ready!