"carlopeto" and Derman in December 2005
Derman Villegas ("Campanario") was born in Peru, South America. Derman emigrated to the United States in 1968,
where he met his wife Freda, from the Dominican Republic. Currently, they live in Forest Hills, New York.
I have visited their apartment once, and I was impressed by the beauty of Derman's collection.
The picture above shows the first display, right after entering his apartment in New York (click on the picture to enlarge).
Appropriately, Derman designed the shelf in the shape of a house, to display his collection of KLM Blue Delft pieces.
Below you can read about Derman's collection, from his own words:
How long have you been collecting miniature liqueur bottles?
Derman: More than 30 years !!
Wow - pretty impressive. Where and how did you start?
Derman: It just happened by chance. We had 6 mini bottles at home. One day, my wife and I visited
our babysitter, and saw her bar decorated with 15 miniature bottles. My wife liked the way they looked,
so when we returned home we decided to decorate the bar with miniature bottles.
I went to a liquor store in Manhattan and bought a few more minis. And that is how it all started.....
After a short while, I saw myself visiting every liquor store in Manhattan, looking for new mini bottles.
The interest became a hobby, and soon it turned into an obsession. In those days, like most
new collectors, my aim was to get a large quantity of bottles.
One day, I landed at the liquor store of Carlos Cooling, in Manhattan. I can tell you,
after all these years, I have never seen a liquor store with a better selection in variety and quantity
than Cooling's place. One day, I saw a flier in that store, inviting people to a mini bottle collectors
show in New York in Brooklyn. The year was 1982.
Inevitably, I attended the show, and got hooked in immediately.
I was 24 years old in those days, and they called me the "Peruvian Baby".
I made friends with older, "heavyweight" collectors, among which I can remember Tony Natelli,
Kurt Bentsen, Al Manuel, Randy Austin, Emil Winitzky, Vic Visally, Bernie Angus, etc.
Do you specialize in any specific kind?
Derman: Yes, for my personal collection I focus on the Blue Delft ceramic decanters,
Scotch whisky mini jugs, and fine porcelain mini bottles (mainly cognac).
above: click on each panel to see Derman's stunning display of whisky jugs.... and there's more!
Which are your favorite bottles?
Derman: Definitely the Blue Delft from the Netherlands (Rynbende, Bols, Gouda)
and the French porcelain (Limoges) minis
click above: beautiful Delft and Limoges minis
How would you describe yourself as a collector?
Derman: Crazy, passionate, obsessed; like you and everyone else!
I am also proud of my collection. The best part is, my wife supports me with my hobby.
I am always willing to receive fellow collectors to visit my place and to see my collection.
Now I am retired, so that I can dedicate more time to finding the rare pieces I still need, and also to help
other people finding mini bottles.
Where do you find most of your bottles?
Derman: I have been trading by mail for over 30 years, with collectors from all over the world.
Additionally, lately I have been trading on ebay, where I sell under the handle "dermanv".
If you are searching for specific mini bottles, I can find them for you. Contact me at
email@example.com or call me home at (718) 275-4068
What is limiting your ability to grow your collection even further?
Derman: Space!! The number one enemy of all collectors. Remember, I live in an apartment.
Believe me, I would not mind building walls if I had to display more Blue Delft pieces.
However, in a few years I will return to Peru to spend my retirement days there.
Peru is the right place to have fun and to enjoy life!
Great collector and our beloved friend DERMAN VILLEGAS passed away on May 25th, 2012.
May his soul rest in peace. He will be sorely missed, but his memory will remain in our hearts.
Good-bye, my good friend! I'll see you again some day...