Barrel Series – Old Sachem Bitters and Wigwam Tonic


From an old Indian recipe in possession of the family of the proprietor for upwards of a century is now offered to the public as one of the most healthy and wholesale beverages extant and as a tonic is unsurpassed.

OLD SACHEM BITTERS AND WIGWAM TONIC

08 July 2012 (R•131515) (R•091516)

Apple-Touch-IconAOld Sachems – No better time than now to review my favorite figural barrel. This brand has the great indian chief name, the New York locale, the balanced form, production history and comes in some great colors as you can see from my line-up above. When I find a distinct color that I do not have, I get so excited that I can not even put it into words. I move the bottles around like chess pieces, trying to find the right partners. I also find myself constantly looking at the run for spiritual enlightment. I even nap in a room and fall asleep watching the colors change as the sun and clouds move throughout the day. Nirvana. Honestly, I also make many errors, like when I travel back from a show or receive a special delivery of a new Old Sachems, only to find out that the greatly anticipated color does not fit in with my run, usually because it is so similar to another.

Now look at the olive color Old Sachems, 2nd from the right above. This is new. Unveiled here today. Ex: John Feldmann. This is the first bottle I am posting from the large Bitters bottle purchase in mid June from John.

Here is a collection of images and favorites from my collection, my photo archives and some of my bottle collecting friends.

Old Sachem Bitters and Wigwam Tonic – Wm. Goodrich, New York Geo. Hunnewell, agent, New York lithograph of Sarony, Major & Knapp, 449 Broadway, N. York. circa 1859. Print showing a Native American man, possibly a chief, full-length portrait, standing, facing right, holding a spear in left hand; in the background are the tee-pees of a Native village during an assault on the village – Library of Congress

OldSachem_Nashville_Union_and_American_Thu__May_9__1861_

Old Sachem Bitters and Wigwam Tonic advertisement – Nashville Union and American, Thursday, May 9, 1861

The Carlyn Ring and W.C. Ham listing in Bitters Bottles is as follows:

O 46  OLD SACHEM BITTERS AND WIGWAM TONIC
OLD SACHEM (au) / BITTERS / AND / WIGWAM TONIC ( ad ) // c //
L…Old Sachem Bitters and Wigwam Tonic, Wm. Goodrich,
Proprietor, George Hunnewell, Agent, 145 Water Street, New York
9 1/2″ x 2 1/4 (8 1/8)
Round Barrel, 10-10, NSC, Applied mouth, Amber, Puce, Apricot, and Plum, Common
Yellow and Amethyst, Rare; Green, Very Rare, Aqua with and without Rough pontil mark, Very rare; Aqua with Metallic pontil mark, Extremely rare; Amber and Gold with Rough pontil mark, Very rare

There are a number of variants of this bottle which have slightly differing embossing pattern, and slight differences in the diameter of the bottle.

Label: From an old Indian recipe in possession of the family of the proprietor for upwards of a century is now offered to the public as one of the most healthy and wholesale beverages extant and as a tonic is unsurpassed. Sold by principal grocers, druggists and hotels throughout the union. Endorsed by a professor at Yale College. Drug
Catalog: 1871, Schieffelin New Haven Daily News, April 7, 1859, Harpers Weekly, October 8, 1859.

OldSachems_BB

Color example for Old Sachems Bitters and Wigwam Tonic – photograph Bitters Bottles

George Goodwin began manufacturing patent medicines in the 1840’s at 76 Union in Boston. Around 1850, he and Dr. John O. Langley of Langley’s Bitters became partners and in 1854, moved to 99 Union.

By 1857, the firm was named Geo. C. Goodwin & Co., and had taken in William B. Hibbard as a junior partner. Goodwin retired in 1859 and his son Charles C. Langley, and Hibbard ran the business. In 1863, they moved to 38 Hanover. Eventually the company became on of Boston’s largest wholesale drug firms.

Business stationery of Geo. C. Goodwin & Co., patent medicine warehouse, Boston Ma. – Library of Philadelphia

OLD SACHEM BITTERS AND WIGWAM TONIC BITTERS from the famous Carlyn Ring sale

OLD SACHEM BITTERS AND WIGWAM TONIC color run – Meyer Collection

OLD SACHEM BITTERS AND WIGWAM TONIC in a light copper peachy color, Spectacular bottle. Hard to
describe color. Light tone, crystal clear, light weight. Strong embossing. Ex: Mike Henness.
– Meyer Collection

OLD SACHEM BITTERS AND WIGWAM TONIC, Killer bottle in sage green. Whittled. Literally attic mint having come out of an attic of a 1700’s house in South Glastonbury, Connecticut many years ago along with many other bottles. Pick of the litter. Picked up at Baltimore show from Noel Thomas – Meyer Collection

OLD SACHEM BITTERS AND WIGWAM TONIC – Light topaz w/apricot overtones, crudely applied square collar mouth. Rare color. Great window bottle. Purchased from Jeff Noordsy – Meyer Collection

OLD SACHEM BITTERS AND WIGWAM TONIC – Striking rasberry puce color. Really jumps out with other Old Sachems. Lots of character. – Meyer Collection

OLD SACHEM BITTERS AND WIGWAM TONIC – Pure yellow, purchased at the Baltimore Antique Bottle Show from Jeff and Holly Noordsy in 2003 – Meyer Collection

O46_OldSachemGrayGreen_BBS

OLD SACHEM BITTERS AND WIGWAM TONIC in a moss green – Bitters Bottles Supplement


OLD SACHEM BITTERS AND WIGWAM TONIC barrels – Dick Watson Collection

OLD SACHEM BITTERS AND WIGWAM TONIC barrels in an array of colors. – HistoricBottles.com

Legendary run of OLD SACHEM BITTERS AND WIGWAM TONIC figural barrels from the John Feldmann collection (These are John’s darker colors, the picture below shows the lighter barrels)

Legendary run of OLD SACHEM BITTERS AND WIGWAM TONIC figural barrels from the John Feldmann collection (These are John’s lighter colors, the picture above shows the darker barrels)

OLD SACHEM BITTERS AND WIGWAM TONIC figural barrel from the great Sandor Fuss collection. I have seen this bottle three times now in person and I have to admit, this is a killer. You have to see it in person. Tones of character and the citron – ginger ale color is incredible. This bottle was publicly announced in a sale from John Pastor to Sandor. Ex: Mike Henness.

oldsachemssmallpontil_ferraro

“OLD SACHEM / BITTERS / AND / WIGWAM TONIC”, (Ring/Ham, O-46), New York, ca. 1855 – 1865, bluish aqua barrel, 9 1/2”h, open pontil, applied mouth. Perfect condition, full of seed bubbles. This is the extremely rare smaller size aqua pontiled bottle. As difficult that it is to acquire the larger size aqua bottle, it is much harder to find the smaller one! Purchased from Mike Henness at the 2007 Auburn, California Bottle Show. – Glass Works Auctions #112 – Bob Ferraro Collection – Session 1


Read More on Figural Barrels

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Figural Barrel Series – Hall’s Bitters

Greeley’s Bourbon Whiskey Bitters – aka Vertical Greeley’s

Peach colored Bourbon Whiskey Bitters added to Color Run

Greeley’s Bourbon Bitters – A Great Boston Bitters Barrel

About Ferdinand Meyer V

Ferdinand Meyer V, President, Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors, is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and has a BFA in Fine Art and Graphic Design from the Kansas City Art Institute and School of Design. Ferdinand is the founding Principal of FMG Design, a nationally recognized design consultation firm. Ferdinand is a passionate collector of American historical glass specializing in bitters bottles, color runs and related classic figural bottles. Ferdinand is married to Elizabeth Jane Meyer and lives in Houston, Texas with their daughter and three wonderful grandchildren. The Meyers are also very involved in Quarter Horses, antiques and early United States postage stamps.
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2 Responses to Barrel Series – Old Sachem Bitters and Wigwam Tonic

  1. tigue710 says:

    Wow, absolutely stunning run. I think just about one of the nicest runs of any bottle I’ve seen put together. This is my favorite bitters also. I’ve dug em broken, picked up numerous examples at shows I’ve had difficulty putting back down, but have yet to own one!

  2. bottle.kid says:

    Simply amazing. I can’t imagine it getting much better than that! A beautiful color run of those fine examples.

    ~Tim

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