Figural bottle openersBy Mark Chervenka
Figural bottle openers
Figural bottle openers became collectible as twist-off and "pop-top" containers replaced bottles sealed with metal caps. The majority of authentic collectible bottle openers were made between the 1940s and mid-1960s. Even though original openers are not especially old, they have been popular targets of reproduction importers. Three copies are shown here.
The opener in Fig. 1 is an 8″ chrome plated figural nude. Priced at $15 in a national mail order company. No mark. Copied from a 1950s original; original maker unknown.
Bulldog wall mounted opener in Fig. 3 is painted cast iron, made in China. Wall mounted man's head in Fig. 2 is also painted cast iron made in China. Both Figs. 2 & 3 were originally made by Wilton Products of Wrightsville, PA. The new cast iron pieces have a slightly rusted, distressed "antique" finish. The catalog description lists both cast iron pieces as being made from "turn-of-the-century British molds." Red and white paint on both new cast iron pieces fluoresces under long wave black light.