34th Annual 49er Bottle & Antique Show a Huge Success!

This show in Auburn, California is called “The Best of the West” and I can truly say, it is a bottle and antique show that really fits the bill. Old Town Auburn is as charming of a place that could be and was decked out for the holiday season. The people are wonderful and the town is quaint and charming. What a great place to hold a bottle show. This is our third straight year to attend and is an essential, must attend show for us.

Holiday luggage pile-up at the Sacramento Airport Baggage Claim - Actually a Sculpture!

Out trip started out in Houston early Thursday morning. We landed in Sacramento around noon right in the middle of the Santa Ana winds which were the worst in 10 years we understand. It was all over the news. Fortunately, it did not affect our day as we quickly headed to Auburn to meet up with bottle friends and discussed, surprise…bottles! We eventually had a great dinner in town with more friends and discussed bottles though this time most of us were drinking margaritas too.

Dinner with friends at Tio Pepe - major Bitters Collectors dominated the table!

Great weather provided for an incredibly robust turnout on Friday (02 December) for the 49er Historical Bottle Club set-up which lasted from 12:00 noon to 7:00 pm. Like Baltimore, this is a MAJOR period of excitement prior to the general show. As usual, people were greeting trucks and vans as they were pulling in to the property. Like most of you know, many deals start before a show. Being in the right place at the right time is essential.

Major Bitters Collector Jeff Burkhardt inspects a National Ear of Corn figural bitters during Set-Up

Saturday (03 December) was even more crowded with record breaking crowds that kept the dealers and tables busy. It was hard to navigate sometimes but this is fun. You can ‘get lost’ in a crowd and be very discreet and go look at the tables and goods if you keep your head low. I found two (2) great bottles that don’t really fit in my collection but I couldn’t resist purchasing. Elizabeth also found some cool items, which seemed to be everywhere and on every table.

Some of the biggest names in Western collecting gathered around a grouping of Whiskey Bottles

This show is very organized and was spearheaded by Mike McKillop who runs a tight ship. No early set-up prior to noon and NO early departures for dealers near the end of the show. This is important so everyone gets as fair of a chance as possible to see and make deals on bottles. The food was great and there was even a cart circulating with food that you could buy at your table!

Mike McKillop - Show Chairman did a GREAT job!

One of the highlights of the show was the two (2) displays. One was for London Jockey Clubhouse Gins (with embossed horse) while the other was for Wisters Clubhouse Gins. It was fantastic to see all of these bottles together. I was really impressed, especially with the amber Jockey Club.

London Jockey Clubhouse Gin Display

London Jockey Clubhouse Gin in Amber - my favorite!

Spectacular Wisters Clubhouse Gin color run display

By coincidence, Bob Kaiser recently dug a hole of primarily London Jockey Clubhouse and Wisters Clubhouse Gins. These bottles showed up in whole and in shards. The talk of the show! Wow did this generate excitement. Way to go Bob. Read further: Monster 1850′s – 1860′s Privy Dig in the Gold Country

Bob Kaiser presiding over his recently dug Clubhouse Gins

Primarily London Jockey and Wisters Clubhouse Gin shards from the dig.

Both the upper and lower buildings were loaded with bottles. While Whiskies seemed to dominate, there was a strong representation of Bitters, Insulators, Gins, Sodas and small antiques.

Great grouping of cylinder Whiskeys at Jeff Wichmann's table

Two nice greenish Drakes cabin figurals

Ken Edward (49er Club President) always has a great table

Western Sodas at the Mike Henness table

A nice mixture of glass containers and jugs

Historical Flasks and large multi-colored bottles

A great assortment of Indian and related go-withs

Recently dug dark sapphire blue pontiled cone ink

Historical local law enforcement badges

This fellow never moved - spooked me every time I walked by!

Nicest pontiled Old Dr. Townsend's Sarsaparilla I have EVER seen!

At least ten (10) tables with great insulators. Most back-lit to boot!

Amber Kelly's Old Cabin Bitters with a ring applied top - $22k asking price

Local Milk Bottles

I'm telling you, these club members really play the part! No nonsense here.

This greenish Teakettle Whiskey walked in late - asking price $15k

Nice grouping of Udolpho Wolfe's Schnapps bottles

Elizabeth and I, along with Jerry Forbes and Steve Bird, concluded our day Saturday at the Annual Festival of Lights Holiday Parade in Auburn. We love this parade. Even the animals including goats have lights on them!

Auburn Festival of Lights Parade Saturday night

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.
This entry was posted in Bitters, Bottle Shows, Club News, Demijohns, Digging and Finding, Ephemera, Figural Bottles, Flasks, Fruit Jars, Gin, Historical Flasks, History, Inks, Insulators, Milk & Creamers, Mineral Water, Sarsaparilla, Schnapps, Soda Bottles, Soda Water, Spirits, Utility Bottles, Whiskey and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to 34th Annual 49er Bottle & Antique Show a Huge Success!

  1. Tom Doligale says:

    Can you name all at that dinner table please.

    • Tom…thought you wanted the Wolfe’s identified. Huh? Anyway, at the table I am looking towards (on the left) Elizabeth (not in picture), Bill Taylor (Oregon), Bob Ferraro (Boulder City), Chuck ? (Orange County). (on the right) Steve Bird, Jerry Forbes, Pam Selenak, Randy Selenak, Jeff Burkhardt and Jeanine Burkhardt.

  2. Digity77 says:

    Do you remember what the seller of the beautiful cornflower blue,pontiled Old Dr.Townsends was asking for it? I agree w/you,that is the nicest one I,ve seen also. Do you see many in that color?

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