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Powell & Stutenroth ‘Favorite Bitters’ to Lead Week-Long American Bottle Auctions Sale

by WorthPoint Staff (05/24/10).

The expected top lot of American Bottle Auctions’ Internet and catalog online sale, to be held from May 24 to June 1, 2010, is this “Favorite Bitters” Powell & Stutenroth bottle, 9.7. the bottle has a minimum bid of $10,000.

The expected top lot of American Bottle Auctions’ Internet and catalog online sale, to be held from May 24 to June 1, 2010, is this “Favorite Bitters” Powell & Stutenroth bottle, 9.7. the bottle has a minimum bid of $10,000.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A little more than 300 rare and vintage bottles, most of them dating to the mid to late 19th century, will be offered in an Internet and catalog auction that will go online May 24 and end June 1, 2010. It will be the 50th sale to date for American Bottle Auctions, a firm that has become a leader in the burgeoning field of antique bottle collecting in its 17-year history.

“We’re proud to be able to present our 50th auction,” said Jeff Wichmann of American Bottle Auctions. “We had no idea how long we’d be doing this when we started out, but as long as we’ve come this far I say let’s go for 100. I hope every collector bidding finds something that suits them. Like a fine wine, each auction seems to improve with age. And this 50th auction will be one of our best sales ever.”

Wichmann said his growth and success would not have been possible without the “terrific audience and consignors” he’s maintained over the years, adding, “We will continue to provide the best service and friendly atmosphere people tell me we exhibit in our sales. My staff here has been stellar in their job duties and together I feel like we’ve created something special. Here’s to the next 50 auctions.”

The auction beginning May 24 will feature bitters, fruit jars, medicines, historical and western flasks, western whiskeys, sodas and more—the very categories bidders and collectors have come to expect from an American Bottle auction.

Following are some expected highlights from the auction, with minimum bids shown as MB.

• The expected top lot of the sale is a Powell & Stutenroth “Favorite Bitters” bottle, the smaller variant made prior to the firm’s adding the word “People’s” to the name. Only a few of each variant are known to exist. This example, with a minimum bid of $10,000, is nearly perfect. The only flaw is the letter “s” in “bitters”—it’s a bit rough. Otherwise, it even has the original cork and is graded 9.7 (10).

• Another superstar of the sale figures to be an F. & P.J. Cassin Agents O.K. Golden Plantation Whiskey fifth (San Francisco, Cal.). The bottle is considered one of the top western fifths anywhere, and it is quite possible a Cassin fifth has never been offered at auction before. This example is golden amber with a touch of orange, and has a great strike and tons of whittle. It’s graded 9.5 (MB $8,000).

• Close on the heels of that lot promises to be a Dr. Wosner’s U.S.A. Indian Root Bitters bottle with applied top, W-146 (MB $7,000). The bottle boasts not only an irresistible name but a shape that is both handsome and unique in its category. The example has been graded a solid 9.5, with good overall light crudity and a great strike. The bottle came from a longtime collection and is fresh to the market.

F. & P.J. Cassin Agents O.K. Golden Plantation Whiskey fifth

F. & P.J. Cassin Agents O.K. Golden Plantation Whiskey fifth

Dr. Wosner's U.S.A. Indian Root Bitters

Dr. Wosner's U.S.A. Indian Root Bitters

Cassin,s (sic) Grape Brandy Bitters

Cassin,s (sic) Grape Brandy Bitters

• Two bottles carry identical minimum bids of $5,000. The first is a Cassin,s (and that is meant to be a comma, not an apostrophe) Grape Brandy Bitters with applied mouth, C-78, arguably the most desirable of the western bitters. The other is a W&B Shasta/Union Glassworks Philada. (sic) Superior Mineral Water western soda bottle with original closure and graphite pontil. It’s been graded at 9.

• A Wm. H. Spears & Co. Old Pioneer Whiskey bottle (Fenkhausen & Braunschweiger Sole Agents, S.F.) was found by the consignor around 1965 while on a fishing trip in Nevada County. Discarded, no doubt, by a miner, and graded 9.8 (MB $3,000). Also, a very early Wister’s Club House bottle with applied top and graphite pontil was made circa 1851-55 and is graded 9.5 (MB $2,000).

Wm. H. Spears & Co. Old Pioneer Whiskey, Fenkhausen & Braunschweiger Sole Agents

Wm. H. Spears & Co. Old Pioneer Whiskey, Fenkhausen & Braunschweiger Sole Agents

W & B Shasta/Union Glassworks Philada. (sic) Superior Mineral Water

W & B Shasta/Union Glassworks Philada. (sic) Superior Mineral Water

• A London Jockey Clubhouse Gin bottle, with embossed horse and rider, applied top and smooth base, boasts a gorgeous almond yellow, wheat and straw color combination. It’s also in spectacular condition, with a 9.6 grade (MB $2,000). An A.P. Almaden Vichy Water California quart bottle with monogram, applied top and smooth base, is rare but graded 8.9 due to some lip distraction (MB $500).

• A Washington/Bridgeton (N.J.) flask with sheared lip and pontil (GI-24), rare because of its tobacco amber coloration, has been graded 9.7 and is a brilliant example with overall good crudity and character (MB $300). A Kelley’s Old Cabin Bitters, Patented 1863 (K-21), with applied top, will stop collectors in their tracks for its rich tobacco or light olive amber color, not the usual brown (MB $200).

American Bottle Auctions was founded in 1990 by 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.

For more information about this auction, call 800-806-7722, e-mail to info@americanbottle.com, or visit the American Bottle Auctions Web site.

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2 Responses to “Powell & Stutenroth ‘Favorite Bitters’ to Lead Week-Long American Bottle Auctions Sale”

  1. The Antique Bottle and Glass Collector…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

  2. Pat Woodruff says:

    I have a bottle of Gooderham’s Rich & Rare Canadian Whisky. It has a number: K 619741. It has not been opened. Can you tell me if it is worth anything? It belongs to old friends who are in the nursing home and must sell their household goods. Pat Woodruff

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