Chalmers Catawba bottle realizes $19,600 at auction A Chalmers Catawba wine bitters bottle graded 9.8 for condition and considered one of the top five western bitters known, sold for $ 19,600 in an Internet and catalog auction that ended Jan. 18 by Ame
(one of only six such jars in this shade), graded 9.8, coasted to $7,280; and a J.H. Cutter Old Bourbon (E. Martin & Co., Sole Agents) banded pint flask, with a popular crown on the shoulder and a single roll top, graded 9.3, gaveled for $5,376.
A National Bitters (with Patent 1867 on the base) bottle, with an applied top and, remarkably, still with the original label, rare for its beautiful and brilliant ruby red coloration, graded 9.9, climbed to $5,152; and a Jesse Moore (Hunt & Co., Sole Agents) western whiskey fifth bottle with gorgeous pint banded flask, wonderfully embossed but with some condition issues, graded 9.7, topped out at $3,808.
A Pineapple bitters bottle, unembossed, with applied top and smooth base, green with some yellow and graded 9.8, hammered for $4,928; a Henley’s Wild Grape Root Bitters bottle with tooled top, in a highly whittled aqua-teal variant and filled with bubbles, demanded $4,256; and a Bryant’s Stomach Bitters bottle with applied top and sticky ball pontil, brilliant emerald in color, fetched $4,032.
A National Bitters (Patent 1867 on the base) bottle, with applied top and colored a brilliant yellow with a touch of green (almost transparent yellow toward the top, becoming a more vibrant hue near the base), graded 9.8, sold for $4,032; and a Harkness Fire Destroyer extinguisher (circa 1865-85), with ground lip, 6 ¼ inches, unusually colored in sapphire blue and pure oxblood puce, brought $4,032.
A trademark Lightning half-gallon jar, showing Putnam 368 on the base and with the original closure, in a stunning olive color and graded a respectable 9.8, went to a determined bidder for $3,808; and a Dr. A.W. Coleman’s Anti-Dyspeptic and Tonic Bitters bottle, 9 ¼ inches, made in Mobile, Ala., and in a beautiful green hue, graded 9.3, an example of one of the earliest bitters made, brought $3,808.
American Bottle Auctions was founded in 1990 by Jeff Wichmann, a native Californian who has been collecting antique bottles for nearly 40 years. Over time, the firm grew and underwent a name change, but the focus has remained the same: American Bottle Auctions specializes in appraising, brokering, consigning and auctioning antique bottles and glass. Bottle collecting is a burgeoning genre.
Mr. Wichmann has personally researched, appraised and estimated the values of thousands of antique bottles and related items. He is often called on to appraise antique bottles and glass for private individuals and businesses. In 1999, he wrote and published The Best of the West – Antique Western Bitters Bottles, a top research guide. He has also written many articles on the subject of antique bottles.
American Bottle Auctions is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign a single bottle or an entire collection, you may call them toll-free, at 1-800-806-7722; or, you can e-mail them, at info@americanbottle. The next auction is tentatively slated for late April or early May. Already, fresh groupings of bitters and historical flasks have been consigned, and marbles may be sold.