Brown's Celebrated bitters bottle brings $36,960 at auction An outstanding, mint condition Brown’s Celebrated Indian Herb bitters bottle, patented Feb. 1868, sold for $36,960 in an Internet and catalog auction held Oct. 29-Nov. 13 by American Bottle Auctions.
Ware, 1866) finished at $9,520. “I think it could have gone a bit higher,” Mr. Wichmann said, “but a small postone scared some bidders away.”
An original Pocahontas bitters (Y. Ferguson), aqua blue with an applied top and completely covered in a Benicia film, one of the finest Benicia bottles ever seen, graded 9.8, coasted to $7,280; and a Dr. Wosner’s USA Indian Root bitters, very popular with collectors and having a deep amber coloration, lots of tiny bubbles and overall whittle, graded 9.7, hit $6,720.
Two bottles went for identical prices of $6,160. One was a Lancaster Glassworks Cornucopia urn (GIII-16), with a sheared lip and open pontil. The pint flask was sapphire in color and graded 9.8. The other was an Old Pioneer Whiskey bottle (A. Fednkhausen & Co., Sole Agents, S.F.). The 1880s bottle had a gorgeous amber color and a super strong strike.
A Dr. Robertson’s Family Medicine bottle (prepared by T.W. Dyott, circa 1809-1815), made by Kensington Glass Works, rose to $4,704. It is believed to be the first ever embossed medicine bottle made in the United States. Also, a Bear Grass Kentucky Bourbon western fifth (Braunschweiger & Bumsted, Sole Agents, S.F., 1883-1884), graded 9.5, hammered for $4,256.
Rounding out the sale’s top lots: a Double Eagle GII-91 green flask with applied band and smooth base, graded 9.2, changed hands for $4,032; a Dr. Henley’s Wild Grape Root bitters with super heavy whittle and beautiful green color, graded 9.8, went for $3,808; and a Wister’s Clubhouse bottle, made circa 1851-1855, a beautiful teal color, graded 9.8, finished at $3,360.
American Bottle Auctions was founded in 1990 by Jeff Wichmann, a native Californian who has been collecting antique bottles for 40 years. Over time, the firm grew and underwent a name change, but the focus has always remained the same: to specialize in appraising, brokering, consigning and auctioning antique bottles and glass. Bottle collecting is enormously popular.
Mr. Wichmann has 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 individuals and businesses. In 1999, he wrote and published The Best of the West – Antique Western Bitters Bottles, a research guide. He has also written many articles on 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about American Bottle Auctions and the firm’s next scheduled Internet and catalog sale, log on to AmericanBottle.com.