or Bardstown Violins
The Bardstown bottle has an interesting history. They were made for the Bardstown Distillery in Kentucky, but were only produced for four years, from the late 30's to 1940. They were made again for one year in 1952, when the molds and label plates were then destroyed. The patent for these bottles was issued in 1937, so they are very easy to date.
Bardstown bottles with full labels are hard to come by because the production was limited and many were thrown away.
All BV's are from 2 part ABM molds. With the exception of the smallest size, they all bear a Federally required embossing on the reverse "Federal Law Forbids Sale or Re-Use of this Bottle". They were made for either corks or screw caps.
The corked bottles are differentiated by height, of which there are four sizes: 11", 10 1/8", 9 5/8", and 8 1/2". There are two different 11" sizes though, one being thicker and wider than the other to hold an additional 6 oz. The larger of the two was sold as a quart, and the smaller was 4/5 qt.
The screw cap variety also had four different heights: 14", 9 1/2" - 10", 7 3/4" - 8 1/8", and the smallest size 4 3/4" - 4 7/8". These are the only ones without the federal prohibition. They also have no patent number or distiller number on the base.
The Bardstown Bottles are the only American violin figurals designed and patented specifically with alcoholic product content, local culture, and geographical location in mind. They were marketed to focus on Stephen Foster - a Kentucky bard who made his mark on music history. Some bottles also had a small song book in a violin shape with Stephen Foster songs written inside. Lucky is the collector who can find one of these.