Awesome Smith’s Druid Bitters Moves from West Virginia to Houston to Oregon
14 April 2011
This past January 2011, I made my 2nd trip to Baker, West Virginia to meet with noted West Virginia Bottle Collector, Rodney Funkhouser. On this trip, I picked up the famous green Smith’s Druid Bitters. As events turn, this bottle was then resold to Figural Collector Bill Taylor in Grants Pass, Oregon. The bottle is written up in Ring/Ham as follows…
S 124 B. T. 1865 S. C. ( au ) / SMITH’S / DRUID BITTERS ( ad ) // c // circa 1869 1/2 x 2 1/2 Round barrel, 10-10, NSC, Applied mouth, Amber and Puce – Rare; Yellowish olive green and Olive yellow – Very Rare.
Rodney Funkhouser had and cherished this bottle since 2000. Joel Sidney (Michigan) had this bottle before Rodney for about 2 years. Mark West originally obtained the bottle from an antique dealer named Jerry Shobe (specialized in stoneware) in Winchester, Virginia. Jerry has since passed. Mark purchased the bottle around 1989. The antique dealer obtained the bottle from a boy who found the bottle in an old store in Gore, Virginia (west of Winchester) that was being torn down. Rodney remembers the store as a child. Three of the Smiths Druids have shown up in this region leading some to speculate a local distributor for this extremely rare Baltimore Bitters Bottle. Rodney’s Puce example was found in Stephens City which is west of Winchester.
I first saw this bottle outside of the Baltimore Antique Bottle Show some 3 or 4 years ago at Rodney’s car. Rodney was fishing for a sale. Bob Ferarro also had a private showing. Some pictures I took from this January are posted below..