Carlyn Ring Collection: First Offering of 143 Bottles – Part 1
07 May 2011
From a 20 February 1995 letter from James Hagenbuch:
The following listing of 143 bottles is the first of a series of offerings of bitters’ bottles from the Carlyn Ring collection.
The Carlyn Ring collection contains over 650 examples, and is considered to be the finest and most comprehensive collection of this type ever assembled. Her collecting days started in the early 1950’s, continuing on and off for the next forty years.
Along the way many rare and important bottles were added to the collection including Scott’s Artillery; Carey’s Grecian Bend; Woodgate’s, Foerster’s Teutonic; (2) handled Dr. Townsend’s; Harvey’s Prairie; to name a few etc (see cover letter above)
This is where it gets crazy folks, at least to me in this new digital world. The letter further goes on to say:
No bottles from this listing will be sold before 9 PM (eastern time) on the evening of February 20th, 1995. From 8 PM to 9 PM (eastern time) on the 20th our phones will be cut off so no incoming calls can be received. At 9 PM (eastern time) these phones will be put back on line and incoming calls will then be received. Because we expect a large volume of calls we will have several phones operating that evening….etc.
The letter further contained a listing of all bottles and included prices. For instance, Lot #1 was the General Scott’s New York Artillery Bitters at $28,500. This must have been mayhem! I am almost glad I started collecting Bitters in 2002. I have many Ring bottles and probably would have had a heart attack that important night in 1995! When I visit John Feldmann next week, I am going to press him for details of this event. I also think I need to go back to Bill Ham for some more details.
I’ve posted the cover letter above and a few low res pictures below. Apparently this was a Private Offering to a select group of individuals. Jim Hagenbuch took the pictures, prepared the lists and mailed out envelopes detailing the Carolyn Ring ‘offerings’. I will add pictures from the second offering later.
The Carlyn Ring collection was a joint purchase by two advanced bottle collectors for a fairly big sum of money back then. The total amount from this sale brought 3 times the purchase price. I had just sold my first western bitters collection shortly before this acquisition occurred and was not in the ‘hunt’ at that time to add to my collection. It’s a real treat to see her examples pictured here. I knew of some of her western pieces.
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Warren: Yes, I have seen the West Coast Cherry Picks and have a good idea about what remains with JH.
Cant wait to see the Meyer collection! Carlyn ring who?!! lol