St. Drake's Plantation Bitters bottle could fetch $20,000-$40,000 at American Bottle Auctions A St. Drake’s Plantation X Bitters bottle, made circa 1862-1872 and one of only a few known in the very rare blue-green color, is expected to sell for $20,000-$40,000 at American Bottle Auctions.
News-Antique.com - May 20,2013 - (SACRAMENTO, Calif.) – A St. Drake’s Plantation X Bitters bottle, made circa 1862-1872 and one of only a few known in the very rare blue-green color, is expected to sell for $20,000-$40,000 at American Bottle Auctions’ next Internet and catalog sale (#58), which will go online Friday, June 21st (at www.americanbottle.com) and conclude on Sunday, June 30th.
Around 150 rare and highly collectible bottles – many of them premium whiskey bottles and scarce high-condition handled whiskeys – will come up for bid in an auction that American Bottle Auctions owner Jeff Wichmann described as “one of the better auctions we’ve had in some time, with something for everyone in all price ranges – the good, the great, the ultra-rare.”
The St. Drakes Plantation Bitters most definitely fits into the ultra-rare category. Of the three or four blue-green examples known, this one is quite possibly the prettiest. Mr. Wichmann added, “It may be the best colored bottle of any type out there. It’s also one of the finest bottles we’ve ever sold. It has all three elements of a great bottle – color, condition and of course rarity.”
The bottle could actually be called turquoise, which is significant because the difference between blue-green and green-blue can be dramatic when determining its rarity and value. The word Drake’s is weak (possibly from the bottle being removed from the mold too quickly) and there is some light wear on a roof edge corner, but it is still graded 9.7 out of 10 for condition.
Another potential superstar of the sale is a 9-inch quart scroll flask, graded near-perfect at 9.8 and with a pre-auction estimate of $10,000-$20,000. “This is one of the finest scrolls we’ve handled in our 20 years in business,” Wichmann said. “With an open pontil and sheared lip, it’s what serious collectors are looking for. And the brilliant deep blue color really lights up a room.”
The auction will also feature sodas, whiskeys from both the East and West, bitters and more. Mr. Wichmann remarked, “The market for collectible bottles appears to be very strong. Even the average good quality pieces are being priced upwards. When you combine color, condition and rarity, records prices are going to be set. It’s a great time to be a bottle collector.”
A Jenny Lind Glassworks flask, with “S. Huffsey” on the reverse and bearing the image of Ms. Lind (“the Swedish nightingale”), carries a pre-sale estimate of $5,000-$10,000.The open pontil, 10 ¼ inch flask (G1-99) is an extraordinary example of a popular bottle. The color could best be described as emerald blue and the condition is exemplary, with little wear to speak of.
A J.H. Cutter Old Bourbon (A.P. Hotaling & Co., Sole Agents) bottle – one of the few Western whiskeys that were actually made in green – should realize $3,000-$6,000. It is the earliest of the Cutter bottles, made from 1869-1871, and it has a unique large top and shape (a prototype for the Western whiskeys to come). With loads of