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New Zealand Miniature Bottle Club

NZMBCMember - Ron Gabbard

My Name is Ron Gabbard and I live in Tacoma, Washington. I started collecting bottles in about 1979 when I found a gentleman selling his collection at a flea market. I purchased all he had (between 100 and 150) with the promise to purchase the rest as he brought them to the flea market. It was a good thing that he never brought any more bottles as I also started going to liquor stores and antigue stores looking for bottles. My collection got to about 400-500 bottles when my life took over (I was 18 when I started collecting). With marriage and a family I became a "part time" collector. My bottles ended up being stored for many years but if I happened to see a bottle I'd get one, and I would usually get a bottle or two as presents for holidays.

About 5 years ago I started bringing my bottles out and displaying them. By this time I had about 800 bottles and, like most collectors, didn't have the room to display them all. I work as a Pool and Spa Repairman and, being at peoples houses, whenever I would notice mini bottles I would comment on them. One day I was at a house and they had a rather extensive collection (about 2000 compared to the collections of 20-50 I would usually run into). I started talking to the owner about the bottles and learnt that he was the president of the Northwest Mini Bottle Club. I joined the club and started becoming a "serious" collector again. In the two years since I joined my bottle collection has jumped to about 1800. When my 3rd (of 4) child moved out I was finally able to get a room to display my bottles in. So after over 20 years I finally have all of my bottles displayed again.

I am currently the Treasurer, Webmaster and Editor of the monthly newsletter for the Northwest Miniature Bottle Club, the Editor of the newsletter of the Midwest Miniature Bottle Club, the Editor of the monthly (free) publication, Mini Bottle Blast, as well as being a member of the New Zealand Miniature Bottle Club.

I know I am getting close to the point of having to specialize, but still continue to collect anything I like. I have been trying to focus more on Scotches, Vodkas, Tequilas, Rums, and Whiskeys but there always seems to be a bottle outside those categories that catches my eye. Maybe someday I'll be able to resist....until then I'll keep collecting everything.

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My Favorite Bottle

These 6 mini Bull decanters are my favorite set. They were made by Collector's Art in 1975. They are (clockwise from bottom) Charolais, Brahama, Texas Longhorn, Hereford, Polled Hereford and Mexican Fighting. I am still looking for the Black Angus and a second Polled Hereford.

Click on the image below for Ron's favorite bottles