Collecting Avon Bottles

Vintage Avon Bottle
Vintage Avon Bottle

At 16, David H. McConnel was a door to door salesman that sold books. He wasn’t seeing much success in sales and began handing out samples of perfume he’d created as a way to entice women into purchasing books. The perfume became so popular, that many of the women didn’t want to use any other kind. In 1886, he founded the California Perfume Company and began manufacturing his perfume in a 500 square foot office.

The company quickly grew and by 1897, he’d built a 3000 square foot laboratory and by 1928, yearly sales had totaled $2 million! The company became Avon Products Inc. in October of 1939 and in 1954, yearly sales topped out at $55 million. Today, Avon is sold worldwide with sales averaging $8 billion!

Most Avon bottle collections probably began with an empty bottle that was just too pretty to throw away! Avon has had so many bottle designs like wildlife, figures, cars and much more that even collectors that specialize in one design can find many items for their collections.

For many people, collecting Avon bottles and decanters is just a much loved hobby. While for others it’s considered an investment. The best reason to collect them is just simply because you love the many beautiful designs that they were manufactured in.

The really old Avon bottles featured porcelain heads and are very highly sought after by serious collectors. The bottles that had porcelain heads weren’t mass manufactured and are rare. The original label and packaging are also a big bonus for any bottle if you’re collecting them more for an investment than for enjoyment.

The date the bottle was produced is of course, very important. As a general rule any Avon bottle that was made before 1975 is said to be valuable. However, general rules only apply when there’s not thousands of an item readily available. The most valuable bottles are the ones that were produced  earlier than 1935.

Vintage Avon Bottle
Vintage Avon Bottle

According to Avon the most highly collectable bottles are the bottles with porcelain heads, Mrs. Albee, the Cape Cod collection, figurines, steins and decanters. Anything that came in sets is also very collectable, pieces sometimes get lost, broken or separated and it’s hard to find complete sets.

Items that have the CPC mark for California Perfume Company are of course generally the most valuable. Since Avon bottles are just one of those things you can’t seem to throw away once they’re empty, they’re still thousands of each design around today. This is why that the only ones that have real monetary value are the antique bottles.

Value is in the eye of the beholder, or in this case the collector! Any collectable has the potential to be valuable if there’s someone that wants it bad enough. But, the plain truth is that most Avon bottles aren’t valuable enough to be considered an actual investment. So, anyone that does collect them or is interested in collecting them should do for themselves!

Written by Connie Corder, Copyright 2008