Barrel Series – Highland Bitters and Scotch Tonic


21 July 2012 (R•110813) (R•111313) (R•112813 – Mansfield Medicine Book) (R•090516)

“EUREKA. UNPARALLED SUCCESS of the WORLD-RENOWNED HIGHLAND BITTERS! Or, SCOTCH TONIC, The Greatest Remedy for all Diseases of the STOMACH, LIVER and BOWELS EVER DISCOVERED. Health to the Sick! Drink and Live!”

February 20, 1861 – Memphis Daily Appeal


Apple-Touch-IconANow to the great Highland Bitters and Scotch Tonic. Here is a dark horse and tough figural bitters barrel to obtain from Memphis, Tennessee. I have only seen three or four in collections and now have two examples in my collection that are pictured below. To me, the most exciting aspect, is finding an earlier metallic pontiled example, two of which are pictured and included in this article. The Carlyn Ring and W.C. Ham listing in Bitters Bottles is noted below:

HIGHLAND BITTERS (au) / AND / SCOTCH TONIC ( ad ) // c // 9 5/8 x 2 1/8 (8) Barrel, 10-10, NSC, Applied mouth, Yellow, Amber and Olive green – Rare; Amber and Olive green and Metallic pontil mark – Extremely rare The Mansfield Drug Company, Memphis, Tennessee
Note: The Mansfield Drug Company was in business from 1840 – 1900 and produced a great variety of medicines and drugs.
Drug Catalog: 1883 Schieffelin
See: M 31 | Mansfield’s Highland Stomach Bitters (coffin flask) and M33 | Mansfield’s New Style Highland Stomach Bitters Scotch Tonic (square)
Read More: What!!! Pontiled Green Highland Bitters and Scotch Tonic


Olive amber HIGHLAND BITTERS AND SCOTCH TONIC figural barrel. Fantastic bottle, dug by John Odell (actually found resting under a tree stump). Never been cleaned. Purchased from Mary Ballentine at the FOHBC Collinsville National in 2007 – Meyer Collection


“HIGHLAND BITTERS / AND / SCOTCH TONIC”, (Ring/Ham, H-117), Tennessee, ca. 1860 – 1870, yellow amber barrel, 9 7/8”h, smooth base, applied mouth. A tiny flake is off the edge of the base, otherwise pristine perfect. Highly whittled glass, almost a pure yellow color. Most of the amber Highland Bitters are usually in a medium amber color, making this bottle a rare exception. Purchased from Ed and Kathy Grey at the 2002 Keene Bottle Show. – Glass Works Auctions #112 – Bob Ferraro Collection (Session 1)

Amber HIGHLAND BITTERS AND SCOTCH TONIC figural barrel. Red iron pontil. One of the earliest examples –

Amber HIGHLAND BITTERS AND SCOTCH TONIC figural barrel. Red iron pontil. One of the earliest examples –


Highland Bitters and Scotch Tonic – Tom Phillips Collection


Highland Bitters and Scotch Tonic – Heckler Auctions

I just snagged the super rare pontiled Memphis barrel a couple days ago. I’ve talked to many people about the Highland Bitters, and none Ive talked to in the past few years have ever seen a green one with a pontil. – David Reed (see Peachridge Glass post: What!!! Pontiled Green Highland Bitters and Scotch Tonic

P.P. Van Vleet of the Mansfield Drug Company


Samuel Mansfield began as an apothecary in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1840. Around 1870 he entered into partnership with Hugh H. Higbee to act as agents for and to manufacture proprietary medicines. These included Mansfield’s Hungarian Balsam for the Lungs, Mansfield’s Eclectic Pile Salve and Mansfield’s Mississippi Diarrohea Cordial, among others. The company ordered a private die stamp, and instructed Joseph R. Carpenter to perforate some in sets of four and some in pairs in addition to regular full perforation. –

Van Vleet-Mansfield Drug Co.

P. P. Van Vleet, president of the Van Vleet-Mansfield Drug Co., Memphis, Tennessee was born in 1849 at Kalamazoo, Michigan, and received his education in the Kalamazoo College. Just after completing his course, he started out for himself, with no particular place north of New Orleans in view, but on reaching Memphis he was quick to see and realize the possibilities of the place and secured a position as prescription clerk with G. W. Jones & Company, at that time the largest drug house in that town. In 18i9 he purchased a half interest in the business. This interest he sold in 1884 and established the wholesale house of Van Vleet & Co., which business was continued profitably until 1894, when the business of the Mansfield Drug Co. was purchased, thus establishing the Van Vleet-Mansfield Drug Company. VanVleetMmain1911 Mr. Van Vleet is a man of great executive ability to which there could be no better monument than the largest Southern drug house of which he is the head. He is one of the most public spirited men in Memphis, and, while he does not take an active part in politics, he is always ready to contribute his money and services for the welfare of the city. Mr. Van Vleet is an ardent fisherman and a prominent member of the Tarpon Club at Aransas Pass, Texas, where he goes several times a year in quest of the gamiest of fish. He is also a great traveler and has made several trips to Japan and Europe, and has been round the world once. [source: Digger Odell Publications]


Mansfield Drug Co. Mansfield’s Memorandum and Medicine Book. Memphis, TN, 1887.

A gorgeous, amber yellow HIGHLAND BITTERS AND SCOTCH TONIC figural barrel from the famous Carlyn Ring sale.


From the Proceedings in U.S. Courts – The Memphis Daily Appeal – November 30 1887

Van Vleet-Mansfield Drug Co., Memphis, Tenn. – “Our New Home” c. 1917 paperweight


Van Vleet Mansfield Drug Company, 48-54 S. Main, Memphis, Tennessee

Van Vleet-Mansfield Drug Company was one of the leading producers of pharmaceuticals in the south. Located in the heart of downtown Memphis, Van Vleet-Mansfield was part of a large market of drug companies who resided in Bluff City. The downtown building located at Second and Gayoso was built in 1917 and still stands today. This beautiful building is no longer home to Van Vleet-Mansfield Drug Company but it is currently being retrofitted for a new use: mixed use.


Old tin advertising tray for “La Creole” Hair Color Restorer, Van Vleet Mansfield Drug Co., Memphis, Tennessee


S. Mansfield Advertisement – 1853


1860 S. Mansfield & Company Wholesale Druggists, Memphis, Tennessee advertisement – Memphis Daily Appeal


Highland Bitters advertisement – The Tennessean, Saturday, June 9, 1860


Highland Bitters advertisement – Memphis Daily Appeal, Saturday, January 19, 1861


Highland Bitters advertisement – The Tennessean, Thursday, April 25, 1861

Read More on Figural Barrels

Barrel Series – Smith’s Druid Bitters Barrel Series – Roback’s Stomach Bitters (the smaller ones) Barrel Series – Roback’s Stomach Bitters (the big boys) Barrel Series – Dr. Chandler’s Jamaica Ginger Root Bitters Barrel Series – Favorite Bitters & Peoples Favorite Bitters Barrel Series – Wormser Bros San Francisco Barrel Series – Mist of the Morning Barrel Series – Old Sachem Bitters and Wigwam Tonic Barrel Series – Turner Brothers New York & San Francisco Barrel Series – The Mysterious Blue Barrel Barrel Series – Original Pocahontas Bitters Figural Barrel Series – Hall’s Bitters Greeley’s Bourbon Whiskey Bitters – aka Vertical Greeley’s Peach colored Bourbon Whiskey Bitters added to Color Run Greeley’s Bourbon Bitters – A Great Boston Bitters Barrel

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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One Response to Barrel Series – Highland Bitters and Scotch Tonic

  1. Froggy says:

    Love this barrel as it has a husky “girth”! That yellow #14 from the Ring sale resides on my shelf (The great phone-in sale). The trick here is to find pontiled examples, especially the GREEN!

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