Western Bitters Survey 2012
THE TOP 20 WESTERN BITTERS
08 May 2012
The western Bitters collectors, which is a strong, passionate group, have reactivated their desire to determine the TOP 20 WESTERN BITTERS. This task was done some years ago apparently.
This is somewhat of a challenge without defining qualifications such as:
What is a western Bitters?
Are we talking about a specific Bitters brand?
Should the word Bitters be on the bottle? on the label?
Are we talking about Bitters molds too?
Should points be used?
Extra points if the bottle has California, San Francisco etc embossed on bottle?
I suppose, in the end, this all has to weigh in when you cast your vote. Without a doubt, the major qualification should be that ‘the bottle was made at a Western (California) glass works’ such as Pacific Glass Works or San Francisco Glass Works.
Here is the post (see below) from Dale Mlasko from Oregon, that got me involved as I hold many nice western Bitters myself. I tried not to post mostly green bottles. The bottles are anonymous though many of us can determine the owners. I thought about making all bottle pictures black and white but that was painfully difficult to do. I also am asking for better pictures if they are available and looking for a Dr. Hauseman’s German Bitters (flask) picture or actual bottle!
Please send me an email of your top 20 for RANKING compilation or post on this site or Western Bitters News. I suggest we announce at the FOHBC 2012 Reno EXPO.
[from Western Bitters News]
Recently I was reviewing older posts on this blog, and came across the “Western Bitters Survey”. I also noticed that this survey was compiled without the internet, and prior to the forum Western Bitters News. Being mainly western bitters focused in my collecting, and the apparent increase in the popularity in these gorgeous and historically significant bottles, I thought that perhaps this survey of the top 20 western bitters could be tabulated by anyone who has the ability to post their top 20. Just thought it would be interesting…Dale R. Mlasko
For what it’s worth, here is mine…
- Cassin’s Grape Brandy Bitters (Cassin,s)
- California Bitters | Frisch
- G.A. Simon’s
- Dr. Wonser’s Indian Root Bitters
- Oregon Chittum Bitters (square)
- Chalmer’s Catawba
- California Wine Bitters | M. Keller
- Old Man’s Stomach Bitters
- Dr. Miller’s Ratafia
- Widemann & Chappas
- Salutaris Bitters ( shoulder embossed)
- Dr. Boerhaave’s
- Alex Von Humboldts
- Dr. Hauseman’s German Bitters( flask)
- Dr. Hauseman’s German Bitters( square)
- E.G. Lyon’s
- V. Squarza
- Rosenbaum’s (small)
- Wormser Bros. Barrel
Some bitters are great, but just not in the “western” way…Bryant’s, Catawba, etc. Dale
AT & Co (Asher Taylor & Company)
AT & Co (embossed monogram in oval on shoulder), Very interesting neck design. BITTERS not embossed on bottle. Assumed Bitters product. Colors range from amber to olive amber and yellows. Exciting color runs possible. AT stands for Asher S. Taylor. Not listed in Carlyn Ring and W.C Ham’s Bitters Bottles or Bitters Bottles Supplement.
AFRICAN STOMACH BITTERS
AFRICAN STOMACH BITTERS, R/H numbers A15, A16 and A18. Also embossed SPRUANCE STANLEY & CO on A16 and A18. A San Francisco product. Round, amber bottle. Look for crude examples with applied top.
ALPINE HERB BITTERS | T.T. & Co. (motif in monogram)
ALPINE HERB BITTERS (motif shield with monogram TT&CO), R/H A37. Square, amber bottle. Look for examples with an applied top.
DR. BOERHAAVE’S STOMACH BITTERS
DR. BOERHAAVE’S STOMACH BITTERS, R/H B133. Square, amber, yellow-olive and green. Extremely rare. Siegfried & Philip Wertheimber & Louis Waterman, San Francisco.
CALIFORNIA BITTERS | MANUFACTURED BY J.G. FRISCH | SAN FRANCISCO
CALIFORNIA BITTERS R/H C12. Tapered, amber rectangle. One complete example known. Broken and re-assembled examples exist.
CALIFORNIA WINE BITTERS | M. KELLER LOS ANGELES | M.K. (monogram)
CALIFORNIA WINE BITTERS, R/H C24. Round cylinder that comes in exciting shades of green. A Los Angeles Bitters. Label reads M. Keller’s Celebrated Los Angeles Wine Bitters
CASSIN’S GRAPE BRANDY BITTERS
CASSIN’S GRAPE BRANDY BITTERS, F.P. Cassin, San Francisco, California. base viola shape, sensuous bottle. R/H C78 and C79. Great colors and color range possibilities. Two primary different molds.
CHALMER”S CATAWBA WINE BITTERS | SUTTERS OLD MILL | TRADEMARK
CHALMER’S CATAWBA WINE BITTERS R/H C119 (C119.5 missing SUTTERS OLD MILL). One example known of C119.5. Good looking, round, aqua cylinder with motif-oval with cabin in woods. Look for character. SPRUANCE STANLEY & CO PROPRIETORS
GRAND PRIZE BITTERS
GRAD PRIZE BIOTTERS, L…Dr. Cooper’s Celebrated Grand Prize Bitters, R/H G89, Louis Taussig Co, Sole Agents, San Francisco, California
DR. THOS. HALL’S CALIFORNIA PEPSIN WINE BITTERS
DR THOS HALL’S CALIFORNIA PEPSIN WINE BITTERS, R/H H11, Square, amber. Look for examples with applied top.
DR. HARVEY’S BLOOD BITTERS
DR HARVEY’S BLOOD BITTERS. R/H H67. Rectangular, rounded amber bottle with sunken panels. Thought from Salinas or Fresno, California.
DR. HAUSEMAN’S GERMAN BITTERS
DR. HAUSEMAN’S GERMAN BITTERS, R/H H70, Extremely rare, amber square. Looking for picture of flask with the same name.
DR. HENLEY’S EYE OPENER
DR. HENLEY’S EYE OPENER, Extremely rare cylindrical quart. Very limited production. Not listed in R/H
DR. HENLEY’S WILD GRAPE ROOT IXL BITTERS
DR.HENLEY’S WILD GRAPE ROOT IXL BITTERS, R/H H85. One of a series of Dr. Henley round cylinders with various embossings.
LACOUR’S BITTERS SARSAPARIPHERE
LACOUR’S BITTERS SARSAPARIPHERE, R/H L3, Three distinct variants. Round, lighthouse patterned favorite among collectors, Nice color range for runs.
E.G. LYONS & CO. MANUFACTURERS SANF CO.
E.G. LYONS & CO. MANUFACTURERS SANF. CO., not embossed BITTERS. Very rare square. Not listed in Ring & Ham. Backward ‘N’. Good color range.
DR. MILLER’S RATAFIA DAMIANA | SIEBE BROS. & PLAGEMANN S.F. | SOLE AGENTS PACIFIC COAST
DR. MILLER’S RATAFIA (motif of pegasus) DAMIANA SIEBE BROS. & PLAGEMANN S.F. SOLE AGENTS PACIFIC COAST, R/H M90, round, amber, whiskey shape. Bottle embossed with a sphinx.
O.K. BITTERS, Extremely rare, cylindrical quart. An unsuccessful product for Dr. Henley.
OLD MAN’S STOMACH BITTERS | MARCUS SASS
OLD MAN’S STOMACH BITTERS / MARCUS SASS, R/H O42. Extremely rare, amber square. Possibly one complete known example.
OREGON CHITTUM BITTERS | DR. G.W. BROWN’S
OREGON CHITTUM BITTERS | DR. G.W. BROWN’S, recent find, only know example, unlisted. Amber square.
ORIZABA BITTERS | J. MARISTANY JR.
ORIZABA BITTERS | J. MARISTANY JR., R/H O88, odd shaped amber rectangular Bitters. Extremely rare.
PERUVIAN BITTERS (motif monogram in shield W&K)
PERUVIAN BITTERS (motif monogram in shield W&K), J.C. Wilmerding and Calvin W. Kellogg, San Francisco, California. R/H P66, Amber square. Look for applied top examples. Typically in amber, there are known examples in clear, aqua and SCA.
Dr. Place’s CUNDURANGO Bitters
L…Dr. Place’s Cundurango Bitters, embossed CUNDURANGO two sides. R/H P106, Geo. W. Chesley & Co., Sacramento, California. Square comes in interesting shades of amber, green and aqua. Possibilities for color run.
DR. RENZ’S HERB BITTERS
DR. RENZ’S HERB BITTERS, R/H R36-R38. Large and small letter variants. Great color range. Very popular square Bitters.
ROSENBAUMS BITTERS | N.B. JACOBS & Co.| SAN FRANCISCO
ROSENBAUM’S BITTERS, Very rare square listed as R93 and R94 (Typographic differences). Color groups possible.
SALUTARIS S.F. BITTERS | BYRNE & CASTREE
SALUTARIS S.F. BITTERS, Extremely rare, round lady’s leg. Green. Shoulder and base embossed.
G.A. SIMON’S MEDICATED AROMATIC BITTERS
G.A SIMON’S MEDICATED AROMATIC BITTTERS, R/H S112, Extremely rare square. Amber, puce and yellowish green. Only a few undamaged specimens.
STOCKTON’S PORT WINE BITTERS
STOCKTON’S PORT WINE BITTERS (motif monogram SW TRADE MARK), popular amber, rectangular bottle. R/H S198
V. SQUARZA (Vincent Squarza), Presumed Bitters not listed in R/H. Cobalt blue pint, applied square collar. Labeled Bitters. No many known examples.
ALEX VON HUMBOLDT’S STOMACH BITTERS
ALEX VON HUMBOLDT’S STOMACH BITTERS, Very rare square, R/H V31.Hazlett & Miller, agents for the United States. Nice color possibilities with amber, yellow, green and yellow olive.
J.WALKER | V.B.
L…Dr. Walker’s California Vinegar Bitters. A rather common bottle but still a favorite with collectors. Nice color range possibilities. Base embossed. Not embossed BITTERS.. R/H W11
E. WIDEMANN & J. CHAPPAS
E. WIDEMAN & J. CHAPPAS, Spelled incorrectly. Assumed Bitters. Maker of ALPINE HERB BITTERS. Round cylinder. Shoulder embossed. Good colors in the less than 10 complete specimens known.
DR. WONSER’S U.S.A. INDIAN ROOT BITTERS
DR. WONSER’S U.S.A. INDIAN ROOT BITTERS, W146, Strong, round bottle with ornate fluting on shoulder and rings on neck. Great color possibilities. Highly popular and collectible.
DR. WONSER’S BITTERS U.S.A.
DR. WONSER’S BITTERS U.S.A., square, aqua version of the popular Dr. Wonser’s Bitters. Very rare, Aqua. R/H W145.
WORMSER BROS. | SAN FRANCISCO
WORMSER BROS (motif bullseye) SAN FRANCISCO, popular western barrel. Usually in amber, yellow and green (extremely rare). R/H W162.5
YERBA BUENA BITTERS, S.F. CAL
YERBA BUENA BITTERS | S.F. CAL, popular flask usually in amber, aqua and green. Extremely rare. R/H Y3-Y4.