What started as a way to keep wine, while serving during World War II turned into decades and thousands of relics from a time people relied on handmade labor and personal trade to live.

Dale Smith collected over 3,000 stoppers over the course of 40 years. A wood carving artist himself, Dale preserved the artisanal labor by custom crafting displays to exhibit the fine detail in the sculptures. Repurposing materials from cigar boxes, industrial molds, and salvaged wood, the hand-carved, wine bottle stoppers are arranged by seasons, traditions, and myths.

The bulk of the collection stems from the collections' start in the European Anri region. Contemporary American works join, poised among the past, traditions, and times. In plain view, the past and present are represented in the political figures, animals, and mythological themese of the wild west, holiday traditions, nautical, and mythological archetypes.

Sparking wonder and delight in viewers, the collection is a cultural and historic artefact to be cherished for generations to come. The collection is ready for public viewing, and has been appraised on recorded purchasing costs and annual appreciation at $250,000.

The collection is to remain whole, it is entirety, acquired by a public institution or private person promising to preserve the work in service to share the history, and nuances in story. Dale Smith teamed up with Rachel Wolfe to reach more people with invested interests in the stories which conserve and preserve the humility in the arts. The collection stands to convey the value humanity has through the direct contact with stories, their meanings, and the way art, trade, materials, and time can transform histories of conflict into lessons to remember and grow from.

​Please use the contact form or details below. Rachel & Dale are delighted to discuss donation and acquisition interests.


© 2016 - 2018 Dales Bottle Stoppers

Photography Lynn Millspaugh.



Dale Smith, Collector

Mobile +1 773-484-3828

Highland Park, IL


Thank you for your interest. Rachel will be in touch with you within the next 2 working days.

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