Sodas, Bitters, Whiskey Fifths, Flasks and Advertising Pieces to Pace Bottle Auction
This George Washington/Zachary Taylor quart bottle (“The Father of His Country / A Little More Grape, Captain Bragg”), one of the finest examples known, is expected to sell for $5,000 to $10,000) in American Bottle Auctions’ next big online and catalog sale, scheduled to begin on July 11 and run through July 20.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Nearly 200 lots of rare and highly collectible bottles—including sodas, bitters, back bars, medicines, whiskey fifths and flasks, plus advertising items and other spirits and poisons—will all come up for bid in American Bottle Auctions’ next big online and catalog sale, scheduled to begin on July 11 and run through July 20.
“We have many highlights and these include some rare, colored historical flasks, in particular a series of Washington/Taylor quarts exhibiting incredible colors and other beautiful examples,” said Jeff Wichmann of American Bottle Auctions. “We also have the Weimer collection of over 35 rare and desirable bitters bottles, plus a great selection of equally scarce advertising pieces.
“We have over 35 western whiskey fifths and another 20 western whiskey flasks,” Wichmann added. “These, too, are quite hard to find and will be very appealing to collectors. The cathedral pickles in this auction are probably the finest collection we’ve had in years, with some terrific true colored pickles and pepper sauces. We also have some items never before seen at auction.”
A strong candidate for top lot promises to be a Durham Whiskey (E. Chielovich & Co.) western fifth with embossed steer, one of only six known. Made circa 1876-1882, it should hammer for $5,000 to $10,000. A star lot of the advertising category is a Hall, Luhrs & Co. pressed metal sign for “Our Taste” hams, with pig graphic, very colorful and rare, circa 1905 (est. $1,000-$3,000).
A great GI-42 cobalt blue George Washington/Zachary Taylor quart bottle (“The Father of His Country / A Little More Grape, Captain Bragg”) is quite possibly the best example in existence (est. $5,000-$10,000). And a GI-51 Washington/Taylor flask quart, boasting a ton of bubbles and crudity, is the finest of its type to come up at auction in quite some time (est. $4,000-$8,000).
The R. H. Weimer collection of bitters bottles was assembled over a 30-year period and includes a Multon’s Oltoroso bitters with embossed pineapple, a Dr. P. Fleschhut’s Celebrated Stomach Bitters (La’Por’te, Pa.), a Philadelphia Hop bitters, The Fish bitters (W.H. Ware, patented 1863), The Great Tonic Caldwell’s Herb Bitters and an Old Hickory Celebrated Stomach bitters bottle.
Two bitters carry identical estimates of $2,000 to $3,000. One is a J.F.L. Capital bitters on the base of a Pineapple bitters. The other is a Rosenbaums bitters (N.M.B. Jacobs & Co., San Francico), one of the more popular western squares, 9 ½ inches tall with an applied top and smooth base. The bottle has two tiny distractions, but would still be a terrific addition to any bitters collection.
Advertising lots will feature a pair of Buffalo Brewing Company (Sacramento, Calif.) pieces to include a 20-inch by 14-inch corner sign in sky and navy blue, made from iron and enamel and paint and graded 7 (est. $1,000-$2,000); and a 24-inch-diameter charger for Bohemian (“That’s Delicious”) Beer, showing a graphic of a pretty girl and made around 1910 (est. $500-$1,000).
This Durham Whiskey western fifth bottle with embossed steer (left), made circa 1876-1882, one of six known could bring $5,000 to $10,000. This C. Brinkerhoff’s very early medicine bottle (center) in a beautiful olive color, very crude, has a $1,000-$2,000 presale estimate, while this A. M. Smith’s (California Wine Depot, 321 Arch St., Philadelphia) probable hock wine bottle (right), may hammer for $500 to $1,000.
Other noteworthy advertising pieces include a Wunder Beer (San Francisco) charger, 18 inches in diameter, probably iron with enamel and paint and showing a visually appealing and colorful scene of wheat and hops (est. $2,000-$4,000); and a Cyrus Noble Pure Rye self-framed metal advertising sign, 30 inches by 24 inches, possibly aluminum and graded 9 (est. $2,000-$3,000).
Cathedral pickles will include a beautiful green example with applied top and crosshatching, loads of bubbles and an overlay, quite large at 14 inches tall and graded well at 9.2 (est. $500-$800); and another example with applied top and smooth base, 13 ½ inches in height and showing a “true” shade of blue green, graded all-around nearly perfect at 9.6 (est. $400-$600).
Staying in the category, a cathedral pickle with applied top and crosshatching, 13 ¼ inches tall and loaded with crudity to go with its scarce medium blue color and outstanding 9.8 grade, should bring $800-$1,500; and a similarly sized example with applied top and smooth base but pure green in color (a rare combination to see in that color and size) should hit $600-$1,400.
The western fifths, always a huge hit with collectors, will feature a Jockey Club Whiskey (G.W. Chesley & Co., San Francisco) early sixth, made circa 1873-1878 in a desirable greenish amber color, graded 9.6 (est. $3,000-$6,000); and a Pioneer Bourbon Whiskey (Braunschweiger & Co., San Francisco) fifth bottle (Thomas 5, circa 1880s), medium amber and 9.6 (est. $800-$2,000).
This Hall, Luhrs & Company pressed-metal sign for hams (“Our Taste”), with pig graphic and made circa 1905 could garner $1,000 to $3,000.
Other western fifths expected to attract attention include a J. Moore Old Bourbon (E. Chielovich & Co., Sole Agents) early fifth (Thomas 90, mid-1870s), colored medium to deep old amber and graded 9.4 (est. $800-$1,500); and a J.H. Cutter Old Bourbon (A.P. Hotaling & Co. Sole Agents) early A. No. 1 (Thomas 43) having a few scratches but still graded well at 9.4 (est. $500-$1,000).
Last (but certainly not least with collectors) are the western flasks. A few standout lots include a C. Newman’s (Baker Bros. & Co., patented Oct. 17, 1876 on the base) half-pint, graded 8.5 (est. $300-$500); a J.H. Cutter Old Bourbon (A. P. Hotaling & Co., Portland, Ore.) pint, loaded with whittle and crudity, graded 9.6 (est. $500-$1,00); and a Goudie & McKelvey (Peppertree Saloon Agt’s for Louis Hunter Rye, San Pedro, Calif.) tooled top shoo-fly pint, 9.8 (est. $1,000-$2,000).
For more information about this auction or to order a catalog, call 800.806.7722, email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the American Bottle Auctions website.
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