The Spice of One Man’s Life: The Bob Keller Bee Brand/McCormick Collection
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The Old State Theatre Antique Mall is proud to announce the opening of the exhibition and sale of the private collection of McCormick & Bee Brand Spices and Accessories from the Estate of Bob Keller. This collection is being offered for sale to the public exclusively by The Old State Theatre Antique Mall.
Bob Keller and his wife Fran began collecting in the 1970’s when the colorful and distinctive graphics on the Bee Brand and McCormick Spice tins caught Bob’s eye. A graphic designer by trade, he was attracted to the designs not only professionally but artistically. Bob and Fran scoured shows, flea markets, auctions, and private sources for unusual additions and eventually procured over 1,000 pieces of tins, boxes, bottles, and other forms of McCormick memorabilia.
One of the rarest items of their collection is an eight day Bee Brand advertising wall regulator with the fabulous Bee Brand graphic on the dial and “MCCORMICK & CO. Baltimore, MD. U.S.A.” on the lower glass. Another extraordinary piece is the Bee Brand spice countertop store display case. It has a wood frame wrapped with nickel with a front glass etched with “Bee & Banquet Brand Products, McCormick & Co. Balto”, along with the Bee Brand logo. A scare collector’s item is the Bee Brand glass rolling pin that survived decades of use and retains the etched Bee Brand logo. Also included in the collection are two “Little Puck Lamps” made by the McCormick Company. These fragile miniature glass lanterns were considered “a novelty” item and were fueled by lard oil or coal oil to produce “one candle power.” There are hundreds of spice tins from the Bee Brand Company in different shapes, sizes, colors and logos, along with extracts of all types with some retaining their original boxes. McCormick spices are also represented in all forms, shapes, and containers including larger tins and round cylinders.
Bob Keller also appreciated the graphics found on the Banquet McCormick tea tins. The striking tea tins include an orange countertop store tin with a glass lid, rare small round highly decorated tea tins, and square tins of all sizes. Bob collected teapots of all sizes, with some still in their original boxes.
In addition to the tea and spice items, Bob began to expand his collection with vintage Bee Brand, Reliable and McCormick medicines and bottles. Manufacturers commonly held their formulas for remedies as secret proprietary property. Many of the examples of remedies in this collection miraculously are still in their original boxes. The assortment of bottles includes paneled, oval, cylindrical, and rectangular bottles, some having raised lettering and labels. The blue triangular poison bottles are spectacular!
Rounding out the collection is a selection of containers of brightly colored Bee Brand insect
powder, insecticide shampoo, insect repellent, and flea killer. There are several bottles of McCormick glue and even a few samples of sewing oil.
The McCormick Company was founded in 1889 by Willoughby McCormick in his basement and he began selling extracts. The McCormick Corporation, located in Maryland, is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, a testimony to a highly successful and progressive American business.
The exhibition and sale of The Spice of One Man’s Life: The Bob Keller Bee Brand/McCormick Collection will be offered for sale beginning Monday, September 29th, 2014 and will continue through December 31st, 2014. This fantastic collection, consisting of over 1000 pieces of McCormick and Bee Brand Spices and promotional items including the display cases, the clock, the glass rolling pin and so many rare and never before seen packages of spices, will likely give even the most sophisticated collector the thrill of a lifetime!
The Old State Theatre Antique Mall opened in July of 2012 in Columbia, Pa. inside a historic old movie theatre built in 1928. It opened with several major goals in mind. The first was to ensure only the finest merchandise would be represented inside the mall. The second was to become a major player on the Internet selling antiques on a global basis. The owner, Michael Boyer, is well on his way to accomplishing both of those goals. In addition to offering a very diverse and eclectic collection of antiques, Old State Theatre Antique Mall is now seeking “private collections” to market, promote, and sell in the mall as well as globally on the Internet. The Old State Theatre Antique Mall is located at 421 Locust Street in Columbia, PA and is open seven days a week from 10am to 5pm. For more information, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (717) 342-2498.