Bitters Bottles

include shipping & insurance. Please read thesection on the main Bottles For Sale page for complete buyer information.

– Here is another example (I sold one some years ago)one of the classic Western (made) bottles – the famous Wormser barrel! This is the only true Western barrel bitters (or maybe used for liquor also?) bottle (the Turner Brothers barrels are really Eastern items).

These used to be virtually unobtainable and rarely seen, though due to a couple small caches of them being found some years back (Nevada & Oregon reportedly) there are a few around cluding this excellent example. (If you are looking for one of these you likely know the stories better than I.) These bottles date from only 1869 according to Wichmanns great Antique Western Bitters Bottles book (and the Wilsons 1969 classic) who listed them as valued at $3000 to $7000 in the various shades of amber (the unique light citron green example was unknown at that time). Since there were a few more of them around, economics dictated a falling of prices – which happened for a time. Examples are still seen at auctions and Western bottle shows now and then, though the supply is still dwarfed by the demand and prices have been ticking up again. I recently acquired one that I know came from a particular Nevada mining camp, so Im selling this example even though it is superior in condition and color.

Anyway, this offered example is 9.5 tall, has an applied, one-part oil type lip or finish, smooth shallowly domed base, and is in a very nice yellow color with an amber tone. Call it light yellow amber if you will; a tad lighter than the average example but not quite as light as the lighter example pictured in Wichmanns book. The images above show the color accurately to my eye. This example is essentially perfectly mint with no chips, cracks, pings, dings or flea-bites. It has been professionally cleaned I believe (like most of them) but without an diminishment of the glass surface or beauty; looks like it was never buried. It has some bubbles in the glass and a vague touch of whittle making it a very nice example of a classic bottle that every Western bottle collector should have.$1950

MOULTONS OLOROSO BITTERS / TRADE / (Pineapple motif) / MARK-These large, heavy glass and very esthetically pleasing bottles have always been a favorite of mine and this example is an very nice one indeed. It has a moderately deep blue aqua color with fluted shoulders, neck, and lower body, stands almost 11.5 tall, with a crudely applied two-part mineral finish or lip. It dates from the 1870s. Listed as Ring & Ham M-146 these bottles were apparently from Troy, NY and features the neat, boldly embossed pineapple (all the embossing is bold for that matter). This example (an ex-Heckler auction item) is in near perfect condition with no chips, cracks, noticeable scratches or staining; appears to have never been professionally cleaned. There is a bit of an indentation on the lower left side (visible in photos) that resulted in some lower vertical mold seam roughness. The glass is wavy and bubbly with a string of some partially melted glass component (soda or lime?) within the glass in the neck and upper shoulder which is a cool reminder of the primitive methods still being used in bottle/glass making at the time. In total, all the in-making crudity and deeper than usual blue aqua color adds up to a very pretty bottle at a great price!$395

– These familiar shaped bottles are very popular with collectors for obvious reasons and this is an exceptional example. This is the earlier example made from the same mold that was used for either theW & Co / N.Y.or theJ. C. & Coexamples (or both?) except with the embossing slugged out or more accurately stated, with no engraved plate inserted in place of the blank mold plate. (The oval plate covering the engraving is clearly evident in real life on the bottle but only vaguely visible in the enlarged image to the right.) This example is a light to medium golden amber with a beautiful brilliance to the glass. The base has a large (1.5 in diameter) and quite distinct pontil scar – a circular disk pontil scar which is an unusual pontil style for these bottles…and unusual on American manufactured bottles for that matter. Clickbase viewto view this light but distinct pontil scar. (For more information on the disk pontil, see my other, comprehensive Historic Bottle Website pontil scars page at this link: Pontil) The bottle is almost 9 tall, bubbles here and there in the glass, has a crudely applied double ring type finish (the finish found on the earlier bottles – clickupper neck viewto see such), and is ca. 1850s. The condition of this example is essentially perfect as it never appears to have been buried and exhibits a bit of high point wear on the base. There are a few very short in-making stress lines at the finish/upper neck junction where the finishing glass was applied – common on these early bottles – but they are very hard to see. An exceptional specimen and the equal of the almost identical example (same color and plate area [i.e., same mold] though with a blowpipe pontil scar) sold in early 2010 atAmerican Bottle Auctionsfor over a $1200 (with commission). Bottle acquired for and pictured on theHistoric Bottle Website.SOLD!

are not particularly rare but are a big hit with collectors. I think these earliest ones are found all over the country to some degree, but the bigger (30 oz. or so), black glass examples are frequently found in the West. The- on its way from St. Louis to Fort Benton and the gold fields of Montana – sunk in the Missouri just 20 miles north of Omaha with a large supply of, all of which were some version of what collectors call black glass like this one. (I actually had full access to study these and other of thebottles several years ago in the great museum on thein Iowa where the entire cargo was curated. I highly recommending visiting the museum if ever near the area.)

Anyway…this example was found in the West but not sure where – probably California. It is about 9.5 tall, is a very dark olive green with an amber tone (or olive amber), has a somewhat (for the era) crudely applied oil finish like virtually all early (and later) Hostetters, and a slightly indented smooth (non-pontiled) base with what appears to be either a small I or E in the center. This example is essentially mint with just a tiny bit of minor scuffing in a few places, but with no chips, cracks, dings, or other damage and the embossing is strong. There is a couple very shallow dips on the rim of the lip (aka finish) which (under magnification) prove to be totally in-making – just typical hand made crudeness. The glass has lots of seed bubbles, moderate body crudeness and just shines! I wouldnt be getting rid of this except that I acquired one recently that I prefer (barely) over this one. If this doesnt sell it just stays on the shelf with the other two black beauty examples I have. Great example for your collection!$395

S. T. / DRAKES / 1860 / PLANTATION / X / BITTERS- This mold variation of the ubiquitous Drakes Bitters has the usualembossed totally on one (the center) roof panel on the reverse. This example is just over 9.75 tall, applied oil type finish or lip (aka long tapered collar), smooth slightly domed base (no embossing), and dates from the heyday of the 6-log Plantations – 1865 to the late 1870s. The glass is a very pleasing medium golden amber. It is essentially mint with no chips, cracks, or other post-production damage…looks to have never been buried given the base wear. It has no real staining except a small faint splotch on the front label panel which may have been induced by the original labeling? There is some original contents dried up in the base so I dont think it is a dug bottle.This is a comparatively neatly made Drakes though has some body crudeness and bubbles. The embossing is about average with some minor weakness at the top (S.T.) and betters as one moves south to the X and BITTERS. See the close-up image enlargement. Still a solid, beautiful, and essentially mint example.

S. T. / DRAKES / 1860 / PLANTATION / X / BITTERS- This mold variation of the ubiquitous Drakes Bitters has thePATENTED / 1862embossed totally on one (the center) roof panel on the reverse. This example is just over 10 tall, crudely applied oil type finish or lip (aka long tapered collar), smooth base (no embossing), and dates from the heyday of the 6-log Plantations – 1865 to the late 1870s. The glass is a very pleasing medium golden amber with a bit of a yellow tint; great window bottle (which is where it resides here until sold). It is essentially pristine with no chips, cracks, or other post-production damage…and no staining to my eye, even under a bright lamp.This one is also cruder than average with lots of large, small and seed bubbles (a few of the tiny ones open at the surface with no depth), and an overall crudeness befitting its early manufacture. The embossing is a bit bolder than average I think; see the close-up image enlargement. This is one of those a bit off colors that helps set off the plainer amber colored Plantations. A solid, beautiful, and essentially mint example.$160

– This mold variation of the ubiquitous Drakes Bitters also has thePATENTED / 1862embossed totally on one (the center)roof panel on the reverse. In fact, upon close inspection of the two listed here Im sure both were made in the same mold! Scores of molds were used to produce these bottles from the beginning of the Civil War until the 1880s when this bottle type just disappeared about the time that Drake died (1883). About that time the brand was apparently sold to theLyon Mfg. Co.(also of New York) who continued to bottle and sell it in non-cabin shaped bottles into the 20th century (Fike 1987).

This example is just over 10 tall, crudely applied oil type finish or lip, smooth base (no embossing), and dates from the heyday of the 6-log Plantations – 1865 to the late 1870s. The glass is a medium golden amber and also would make a great window bottle (dont they all!). It is also essentially mint with no chips, cracks, or other post-production issues except a couple very fine and hard to see scratches on the back label panel; no staining to my eye (it was dirty inside when acquired but it all washed out).This example has some crudity (bubbles, sloppy applied lip, surface roughness from the mold) befitting its early manufacture. The difference with this example is that it has the boldest embossing of any Drakes Ive ever owned…and thats a lot of them! See the close-up image enlargement above. A solid beautiful, exceptionally crisply molded, virtually mint example.$160

HARTWIG KANTOROWIGZ / POSEN / HAM: / BURG / GERM: / MANY- All the preceding is embossed on the front of this case type bottle that originally held Litthauer Stomach Bitters. Although German made, the product was widely imported into the U. S. and the bottles pretty commonly found throughout North America. The embossing details vary a lot on the different mold variations; this and all of these variations are cataloged in Ring & Ham as L106L – for labeled bitters. (There are also examples that are embossed with.) The style emulated the case gins of the era (mid to late 19th to the very early 20th) but are of a heavy, thick glass…and of course, usually (though not always) made of milk glass. This example is 9+ tall, has an applied one-part flaring at the base lip (typical but distinct style) and a sharply a domed center to the base. The condition is essentially mint with no chips, cracks or other post-production damage though it could have some light scuff marks or scratches which are about impossible to see on this type milk glass. A nice example of a cool bottle that every collector should have in their collection.

– These large (at least a quart in capacity) Western bitters bottles are quite popular with collectors since they rge…have great embossing and found in a myriad of colors. A very popular product, these bottles are found all over the West from the mining camps of Utah, Nevada, and Montana to the big cities of the day – San Francisco, Portland, Sacramento. In my experience visiting lots of the mining camps and ghost towns of the West, it is a rare location where one does NOT find fragments of an IXL – it was that popular. This example is just over 12 tall, a rich San Francisco & Pacific Glass Works blue-aqua color (where it was made), the usual domed base, and avery crudely applied champagne style banded finish(click on lip image to the left to enlarge). This example probably dates from the late 1870s to early 1880s since it fairly crude (stretch marks, bubbles), not air vented resulting in the flattened embossing, and from a mold that lacks the distinctive curved R of the earlier mold(s). This example is near mint with no chips, cracks, staining, or repairs – only some light scratching or scuffing here and there. As is a frequent case, the embossing is lightly rendered but all easily readable; click on&embossing close-up 2to see such though in real life it is a bit more distinct than the image shows. As is fairly typical with these lighter embossed IXLs, the lightest of the embossing is in the middle of the pattern (GRAPE ROOT & IXL and oval) though even that part of the embossing is quite readable with the rest of the embossing a better. All around a great condition bottle with a nice deep aqua coloration though sub-standard embossing; priced accordingly.

– This is embossed vertically on two sides of this tall fifth or sixth sized Western Bitters bottles from San Francisco, CA. 11 1/4 tall, tooled brandy finish (with some of the original foil wrapper still remaining), bluish aqua in color, ca. 1890s. ClickBaja California embossed sideto see such. A nice example of an unusual shaped bitters that began production in the 1870s and continued until about the turn-of-the-century. This is the variant without Lewis Hess – Manfrr on the shoulder and the last of the three molds to be used. This bitters (and the Damiana herb in general) was thought to be a sexual stimulant… Condition is about mint with just a few light scratches and no chips, cracks, or staining. Has a bit of body crudeness in the form of bubbles – including some neat teardrop ones – and stretch marks.$50

AFRICAN / STOMACH / BITTERS- This is embossed horizontally on this neat, interestingly named, Western bitters produced by theSpruance, Stanley & Co.of San Francisco. This example is from the mold without the company name embossed and dates from the early 1880s, i.e., maybe as early as 1881 or 1882 and as late as 1885. How do I deduce that? Well, it has one small single mold air venting mark on the shoulder on both sides, indicating it isnt probably earlier than around 1880 or 1881, it has an applied lip/finish typical of no later than the mid-1880s, and it has the curved Rs of the Bay Area mold engraver that was active from the early 1870s to maybe as late as 1885 (based on other bottles with these distinctive Rs). In any event, this example is 9.5 tall, has a very crudely applied oil finish or lip, smooth base, and was blown in a four-piece mold it appears. The color is a bright medium golden amber and the glass has crudeness in the form of a bit of whittle waviness, straw marks, neck stretch marks and scattered bubbles. The bottle appears sparking mint and to have been never professionally cleaned. No real issues at all besides a scuff here and there; no staining, chips, flashes, cracks or other post manufacturing problems. A very nice, clean, crude highly esthetic example!$175

S. T. / DRAKES / 1860 / PLANTATION / X / BITTERS- Reverse saysPATENTED / 1862on two different roof panels. This is the four-log version of one of the most famous and popular of the bitters bottles but in a beautiful light yellow gold color – a color that is significantly lighter than the other 4 log listed below – and a great window bottle. The images here are quite accurate, though for a comparison of the color versus a medium amber 6 log example click on the two bottle images thumbnail to see a much larger version. The offered example has a crudely applied long tapered collar (i.e. oil finish), almost 10 tall, smooth base (two dots), ca. 1875-1885. The embossing is distinct on this example – clickclose-upto see a close-up of the upper half of this bottle which also shows the color well. The condition is essentially mint with no chips, cracks, staining, dings, or flea bites; just a couple very small, extremely shallow onion skin open bubbles on a couple corners is all I can find. Bottle was likely never buried given the wear on the base. This really is a very nice light golden yellow (but not quite pure yellow) example that is somewhat hard to capture in the images. A great window bottle color.SOLD!

S. T. / DRAKES / 1860 / PLANTATION / X / BITTERS- Reverse saysPATENTED / 1862on two different roof panels. This example is just over 9.75 tall, has a crudely applied oil type finish or lip (aka long tapered collar), smooth base (embossed dot in the center with a dissecting line), and dates from the heyday of the 6-log Plantations – mid-1860s to the mid/late 1870s. The glass is medium-ish to dark chocolate-ish amber. It is essentially pristine with no chips, cracks, or other post-production damage (besides a touch of base wear) and only the very slightest wisps of content haze inside which is only visible under a bright lamp and then almost invisible. There is also some crudeness to the bottle, i.e., bubbles and differently toned glass befitting its early manufacture – and the embossing is better than average; see the close-up image enlargement which shows the relatively large 1860 of this mold variant. This is one of those darker but interesting colors that helps set off the lighter colored Plantations…or so people say. Its true though, as I have eleven 6-loggers in the window next to my desk (10 distinctly different molds!) – in 11 different shades of amber from light yellow to dark red – and a joy to behold. Also, a row of these is the best line-up of 19th century, esthetically pleasing, crude figural bitters that one can acquire without spending a fortune. Here is a solid, beautiful, crisply molded, and essentially mint example that will please your eye and start your window line-up.SOLD!

S T / DRAKES / 1860 / PLANTATION / X / BITTERS- Reverse saysPATENTED / 1862all on just one (middle) roof panel. This example is 9.75 tall, has a crudely applied oil type finish or lip (aka long tapered collar), smooth base (with 6 embossed dots in a circle), and dates from the heyday of the 6-log Plantations – mid-1860s to the mid/late 1870s. The glass is light-ish orange amber; the images show the color well to my eye. It is essentially pristine with no chips, cracks, or other post-production damage, not even any base wear really. There is also some period crudeness to the bottle, i.e., bubbles and differently toned glass befitting its early manufacture. The embossing is good, maybe a bit better than average; see the embossing close-up image enlargement. I changed my Plantation window to another color and shape theme (Saratoga mineral waters) and shifted my Drakes to a smaller window…so a couple most go and this is one of them. As Ive noted before, a row of Drakes cabins is the best line-up of 19th century, esthetically pleasing, crude figural bitters that one can acquire without spending a fortune. Here is a solid, beautiful, pretty crisply molded, and essentially mint example that will please your eye and start your window line-up.SOLD!

S. T. / DRAKES / 1860 / PLANTATION / X / BITTERS- Reverse saysPATENTED / 1862on two different roof panels. Here is another four-log version of one of the most famous and popular of the 19th century bitters bottles, though instead in a medium golden amber. Plantations make great window bottles to my eye. This example has a somewhat crudely applied long tapered collar (i.e. oil finish), a bit over 10 tall, smooth base (except for an embossed one inch+ line with sharp ends), dating ca. 1875-1885. The embossing is also pretty distinct on this example; click the close-up image for a larger version showing the upper half of the bottle body and which also shows the color well. The condition is near mint with no chips, cracks, staining, dings, or flea bites; just a bit of faint interior content staining in the corners of the lower roof panel that is only visible under strong light. Nice example!SOLD!

S. T. / DRAKES / 1860 / PLANTATION / X / BITTERS- Time to get another Drakes on my for sale list! Even though a common bottle, they are wildly popular for obvious reasons. Ive collected too many of them over the years so time to move another on to make room for other cool bottles. This mold variation of the ubiquitous Drakes Bitters has thePATENTED / 1862embossed totally on one (the center)roof panel on the reverse. This example is 10 tall, crudely applied oil type finish or lip (aka long tapered collar), smooth base (embossed dot in the center), and dates from the heyday of the 6-log Plantations – 1865 to the mid to late 1870s. The glass is light to medium golden amber; the images show the color well, though in real life there is a glow to the color that looks spectacular in a window. It is essentially pristine with no chips, cracks, or other post-production damage besides base wear indicating that this bottle was likely never buried. Also, no staining to my eye even under a bright lamp. There is also some crudeness befitting its early manufacture with the embossing better than average; see the close-up image enlargement. This is one of those never ending interesting colors with Drakes that help set off the darker amber colored Plantations. A solid, beautiful, crisply molded, and dead mint example.SOLD!

LASHS KIDNEY & LIVER BITTERS Cribbage board- Everyone needs some bottle related go-withs to spice up their bottle collections; here is a cool one that could even be functional today! (With the addition of the pegs and whatever else is needed to play cribbage; I dont.) This cribbage board advertises(that stenciled twice in the middle of the board) and is some type of wood which I have no idea what type it is. The board measures 13 long, 4.2 wide, and 0.75 thick. It is also has the lettering on each end of the working surface noting what the Bitters cured. One end hasCURES DYSPEPSIA / INDIGESTION BILIOUSNESSCURES HEADACHE / MALARIA / CONSTIPATION. Click on the links to see close-up images of each end showing the lettering. The condition of this board is pretty good as the various images show…with some darkening and/or soiling of the lacquer finish, some chipping and minor staining here and there, but an overall antique look to it that is bona fide time related aging. Again, take a close look at the images as they show the condition pretty well. Nice, original board that dates from about 1900 (give or take 5 years) I would guess given that it notes the curing of various maladies of the day. Ive seen a few of these through the years, but they are uncommon. Neat item!

(round indentation)/ SAN FRANCISCO.- Here is one of the classic Western (made) bottles – the famous Wormser barrel! This is the only true Western barrel bitters (or maybe used for liquor too?) bottle (the Turner Brothers barrels are really Eastern items).

These used to be virtually unobtainable – rarely seen even – but due to a couple small caches of them being found in recent years (Nevada & Oregon reportedly) there are a few around cluding this very nice example. These bottles date from only 1869 according to Wichmanns great Antique Western Bitters Bottles book (and the Wilsons 1969 classic) who listed them as valued at $3000 to $7000 in the various shades of amber (the unique light citron green example was unknown at that time). Well, now that there are more of them on the market, the prices have come down…Economics 101! However, there is still a very limited supply of these and they are not showing up much of recent.

Anyway, this offered example is almost 10 tall, has an applied, one-part oil type lip or finish, smooth shallowly domed base, and is in a very nice yellow with an amber tone. Call it light yellow amber if you will; lighter than the average example but not quite as light as the lighter example pictured in Wichmanns book. The close-up of the upper body to the left above shows the tone of the color best to my eye. This example is in near mint condition with no chips, cracks, pings, dings or flea-bites (OK one tiny pin prick mark on the back and a very light, short scratch). It has been professionally cleaned (like most of the recent finds) and does retain some scattered, though very light (cant even be seen in the images) residual etching on the inside; the outside is sparkling and smooth. A very nice example that every Western bottle collector should have. This one is priced within the range of the various shades-of-amber ones sold over the past few years.SOLD!

– This example was blown in thesame moldas the example listed above so it has thePATENTED / 1862embossed totally on one (the center) roof panel on the reverse and the 6 dots on the base in a circle. I rarely pick up a Drakes that was made in a mold of one that I already have; there must have literally been scores of different molds used for 6-log Drakes and lots of them for the 4-logs (though less it seems than the 6-log). This example also is almost 10 tall, crudely applied oil type finish or lip (aka long tapered collar and distinctly taller than the example above), smooth non-pontiled base (6 dots spaced evenly in a circle on the base), and dates from the same era noted above – 1865 to the mid to late 1870s. The embossing is average to good though theS. T.is a bit hard to see; click on the image to the right to see a close-up of the front embossing. It is essentially mint with no chips, cracks, or other post-production damage…as mint as one sees, though the wear on the base indicates this was probably never buried anyway. There is less body crudeness to this example, though it has a color that is distinctly lighter than the one above and with an orange tone to it compared to other amber Drakes I have as well as the other offering above. It is no red amber or anything like that, just a bit of a bright reddish or orange tone that brightens up the color in a window – where I have had it sitting for years. Another beautiful, but bright example that in hand with the other darker amber one above could be the start of your color run of Drakes!SOLD!

HUTCHINGS – DYSPEPSIA / BITTERS – NEW YORK- That is embossed on three sides of this scarce open pontiled bitters bottle from New York. Listed as H-218 in Ring & Ham, this bottle is listed as…scarce – a they are around but not commonly seen type thing. This one is a bit different that the listed H-218 in that it has no periods after NEW and YORK like shown in the Bitters Bible. Ive also got a cool rectangular iron pontiled example in my collection made in the same mold lacking the periods as was another example I had years ago. Makes me wonder if Ring & Ham were in error with the periods in the H-218 listing? Whatever it is classified as, this is a nice, larger sized, 1850s era pontiled bitters bottle that was blown in a nice blue-aqua glass. As noted it has an open or blowpipe type pontil scar…a big, nasty, sharp blowpipe pontil scar! An image of the base is found at this link -base view. It is 8.3 tall, has a crudely applied moderately long tapered collar (LTC or oil finish), a wavy & dimply glass surface with some great bubbles in the glass including stretched and twisted ones in the neck. It is a dug bottle and retains some variably light-ish to moderate water staining to much of the inside, although the outside is clean and unstained it appears (a great candidate for a quick inside tumble in a cleaning machine). The three images show the overall haze to the inside relatively well. Otherwise the bottle is near perfect with no chips, cracks, dings, flea bites or other post-manufacturing issues besides maybe a little scratch or scuff mark somewhere, though I dont see obvious ones. In any event, a very nice pre-Civil War bitters bottle at a decent price.SOLD!

– All this is embossed on four sides of this early (1840s or early 1850s) bitters bottle from New England. This one is classified asby Ring & Ham. The product was apparently quite popular and made for an extended period – from 1840 to at least the early 1900s with this bottle being, of course, at the early end of that range. An interesting feature of this mold is that the lettering engraver ran out of room with the S in RICHARDSONS so it goes a bit off the edge at the heel. It is 6.25 tall, rectangular in cross-section with very side beveled corners, has an applied flared bead type finish (or want of a better term) that was wrapped crudely around point the blow-

pipe was cracked off (the cracked-off surface is still quite apparently on the inside of the neck), and has a very nice blowpipe pontil scar on the b