Professor Byrne and Landsberg – Some Highly Decorative Bottles

Professor Byrne and Landsberg

Some Highly Decorative Bottles

13 August 2011 (R•051814) (R•031616) (R•081918) (R•121518)

Apple-Touch-IconANorman C. Heckler Company (see below) has a nice Professor Byrnes in their Auction 93. It is lot #20. It got me thinking about my example and upon closer look, appears to be about the same color. Oh well. Why couldn’t it be green….you reading Mark? Anyway, I thought I would post a few pictures of my Byrnes and Landsbergs today. Simply great bottles.

Professor Byrne’s Universal Stomach Bitters

L-R Landsberg’s Pure Blackberry Brandy, Professor Byrne Great Universal Compound Stomach Bitters, Landsberg’s Century Bitters and M.G. Landsberg Chicago – Meyer Collection

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

B 280  Professor Byrne Stomach Bitters
PROFESSOR / GEO. J. BYRNE / NEW YORK // f // THE / GREAT / UNIVERSAL / COMPOUND / STOMACH / BITTERS / PATENTED / 1870 // f // // s // DC // CC // LX // XM // u // motif // motif // motif // U.S.A. //
10 1/4 x 2 7/8 (6 1/2) Square, LTCR, Amber, Applied mouth, Very Scarce;
Clear and Yellow olive – Extremely rare.

George J. Byrne Select Listings

George J. Byrne was born in Ireland on 10 July 1824. He came to America in 1849 and settled in New York City. He must have joined up with his father because we see a Landsberg & Weber listing as Perfumers in New York City in 1834. George J. became a perfume manufacturer, patent medicine man and a bitters maker and patented his gorgeous trade mark bottle in 1870. Byrne died in 1900 and his son John G. Byrne continued the business.

1834: Landsberg & Weber, Perfumers, 5 Benson – Longworth’s American Almanack, New-York Register, and City Directory: 1834-1835
1873: George J. Byrne, Perfumer, 122 Liberty and 125 Cedar, Home N.J. – Goulding’s New York City Directory for 1875-76
1875: George J. Byrne, Bitters, 122 Liberty and 125 Cedar – Goulding’s New York City Directory for 1875-76
1875: George J. Byrne, Patent Medicines, 122 Liberty – New York City Directory for 1875
1878-80: George J. Byrne, Bitters, 122 Liberty – New York City Directory
1900: Death of George J. Byrne – The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Friday, March 2, 1900

Professor Byrne The Great Universal Compound Stomach Bitters in orange amber – Meyer Collection

B280 Byrneyellow_RH

Professor Byrne The Great Universal Compound Stomach Bitters in yellow – Bitters Bottles Supplement


“The / Great / Universal / Compound / Stomach / Bitters / Patented / 1870” – “Professor / Geo. J. Byrne / New York” Figural Bitters Bottle, America, 1870-1880. Square modified cabin form with roped corners and fancy overall embossing, colorless with a strong lavender tint, tooled sloping collared mouth with ring – smooth base with impressed five pointed star, ht. 10 1/2 inches. R/H #B-280 Retains metal closure and porcelain stopper which reads “Amanda Miller / Germantown, PA.”. Extremely rare. Strong mold impression. Unlisted color. Fine condition. Property of The Strong, sold to benefit the museum’s collections fund. – Heckler Premier Auction 133

Landsberg’s Century Bitters 

L 13  Landsberg’s Century Bitters 
LANDSBERG’S / “CENTURY” / BITTERS // sp // THE / ADLER COMPANY / ST LOUIS // sp // // u // motif eagle // 1876 // motif shield // motif sunburst with 1776 //
11 1/2 x 2 7/8 (6 1/4) Square, Amber, LTCR, Applied mouth, 4 sp, Rare
12 stars on bell shaped shoulder. An especially ornate bottle.
Note: Design No. 12,861 patented April 11, 1882 by Moses Landsberg of Chicago, Illinois. “The object of my present invention is to furnish a novel design for a bottle; and it consists of making the body of the bottle with four rectangular sides (panels), having arched tops, two of the alternate faces or facets being left smooth; or all four of the sides may be left plain; and in the arch spaces over the rectangular faces are represented respectively a shield, the figures 1876, a spread eagle, and a rayed sun. The edges of the sides of the bottle are corrugated in lozenges, while the base is surrounded by a series of hexagons. The neck of the bottle represents the handle, and the shoulder of the body of a bell, the bell being encircled midway by a ring of stars”.

Read More: Adler’s Celebrated Anti-Cholera Bitters

L 15  Landsberg’s Century Bitters 
LANDSBERG’S / “CENTURY” / BITTERS // sp // A. HELLER & BRO. / NEW YORK. // // u // motif eagle // 1876 // motif shield // motif shield // motif sunburst with 1776 //  // b // PAT (blurred as if done twice)
10 7/8 x 2 7/8 (6 1/4) Square, Amber, LTCR, 4 sp, Very rare

Landsberg’s Century Bitters – Meyer Collection

M. G. Landsberg, Chicago

M. G. LANDSBERG / CHICAGO // sp // sp // sp // 11 x 2 3/4 (6 1/2), Square, Amber, LTCR, 4 sp,
One side shows where the lettering has been peened out leaving the side plain.
Note: This bottle shows much finer detail than Landsberg Century Bitters. The eagle is larger and a different shape, figures of ‘1876’ are a different shape, and a halberd on shoulder faces right. There are thirteen stars on the bell (larger and perfectly formed). Thought to be a labeled Bitters though none have been seen.

M. G. Landsberg Chicago – Meyer Collection

Landsberg’s Pure Blackberry Brandy


Deep Blue Aqua, 11 ½”. Applied top, smooth base, This aqua Landsberg variant is a wonderful bottle with the look of a dignified eastern piece, lots of decoration, a master mold maker’s work of art. These aren’t a whole lot different in an embossing pattern than the Landsberg Century Bitters. You can see the 1876 embossed with the eagle on the front and a series of stars surrounding the neck area. On the reverse is a setting sun with the rays shooting out into the sky. Crossed swords, cannon balls, a tomahawk and a cannon adorn the four corners and if that isn’t enough, there is a series of adornment on each side corner.

Landsberg’s Pure Blackberry Brandy – Meyer Colection

Landsberg Corner Detail

Landsberg’s Brandy Typography Detail

Moses G. Landsberg

Moses G. Landsberg is associated with some of the finest American antique bottles ever made. They are extremely ornate and finely detailed and are considered prized collectibles. Unfortunately, much about Landsberg remains a mystery.

What we do know is that Landsberg is of Jewish ancestry and was born in New York around 1844. Nothing is known about his parents or when he or they came to America. Of course, New York City was a great jumping off point for many immigrants, especially from Germany. Many arrived seeking religious or political freedom, others for economic opportunities greater than those in Europe, and others for the chance to start fresh in the New World.

Landsberg was apparently a traveling man as we first see him listed as a clerk, probably in a liquor store, at 47 Public Landing in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1870. Cincinnati was a preferred destination for many Germans, if Landsberg was German. He was boarding at a place called Spencer House which leads me to believe he was not living with his family. We see this situation repeating during his life and migration from city to city. In 1871, he is still clerking at a new address, 15 Sycamore in Cincinnati and boarding at 123 Main Street. In 1873, he is found in Cleveland, Ohio listed as an agent for Harris & Zilch (Henry Harris and John Zilch). They were liquor dealers located at 199 Ontario.

This experience clerking and being an agent or salesman for a liquor business leads Moses Landsberg next to New York City where in early 1875 he is selling liquor at his own con-cern at 169 E. Broadway. Shortly thereafter, in 1875, he takes on a partner and the busi-ness is called Landsberg, Kantrowitz & Company consisting of Moses G. Landsberg and Isaac Kantrowitz. They are at the same Broadway address. That same year, a Gerson Landsberg, who is a man of the cloth, is living at 236 E 54th Street in New York City. I be-lieve this is a brother of Moses.

Moses Landsberg next heads to the Windy City and we see him listed as Landsberg & Company (Moses G. Landsberg & Gerson Landsberg) selling flour at 118 Blue Island Ave-nue in Chicago, Illinois. Moses is boarding at the Atlantic Hotel in Chicago while Gerson Landsberg is noted in the Chicago directory as living in New York City.

It is in Chicago in 1882 where Moses G. Landsberg files a Patent and Design for a Bottle which is Landsberg Century Bitters. The patent is Design No. 12861 dated April 11, 1882. That same year, a newspaper notice puts Moses Landsberg as a guest at the Park Hotel in Chicago. It is assumed that the brand was first concocted in 1876 as it is embossed on the two variants of the Landsberg Century Bitters bottles.

In 1883, again in Chicago, Landsberg files another Patent and Design for a Bottle which is the Landsberg “Sphinx Bitters.” It is Design No. 13699 dated March 6, 1883.

In 1884, Landsberg is back to being listed as a traveling salesman addressed at 24 Syca-more in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is boarding at Hexter’s Hotel. I guess he was selling his way east as he was back in New York City in 1886 living at 297 E 109th. His next occupation, in 1888, is that of an editor in New York City. He is now living at 261 E 122nd.

In 1891, Landsberg is living in Boston, Massachusetts and he is the editor of the Jewish Chronicle. In 1892, he publishes the History of the Persecution of the Jews in Russia. In 1893 he is living at 34 School, Room D in Boston. Next he moves back to New York City and becomes the editor of the Jewish Herald. He continues in this position until his dealth on 23 January 1900 in Manhattan. He was 56 years old.

MGL “Sphinx” 

(Mortar and Pestle) / “M.G.L.” (monogram) – (Griffin) / (Front view of the Sphinx) / (Human Headed Lion).

Landsberg “Sphinx”

(Mortar and Pestle) / “M.G.L.” (monogram) – (Griffin) / (Front view of the Sphinx) / (Human Headed Lion). The neck in the form of an Egyptian Obelisk is covered with hieroglyphics as is other areas of the bottle. (unlisted), Illinois, ca. 1883 – 1885, yellow amber, 12 1/4”h, smooth base, applied double collar mouth. – Glass Works Auctions | Auction #126

Read More: Another Patended Landsberg Bottle

Read More: Ladies and Gentlemen… the Landsberg Sphinx Bottles

About Ferdinand Meyer V

Ferdinand Meyer V 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. He 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. Ferdinand is the past 6-year President of the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors and is one of the founding members of the FOHBC Virtual Museum.
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