Barrel Series – Keystone Bitters


12 July 2012 (R•091516)

Apple-Touch-IconAHere is another figural Bitters barrel that most Bitters collectors possess or are familiar with. Not terribly hard to find, as they are rated Very Scarce, but they do show up, usually in a darker amber color. I am surprised that there is not much information on the brand that was made by the Keystone Bitters and Cordial Co. in Cleveland, Ohio. I am hoping that this post will generate some more examples and support material such as advertising.

Please look at the comparison image below comparing the KEYSTONE BITTERS form with the WORMSER BROS and MIST OF THE MORNING figural barrels. You can also follow this link to see the similar HALL’S BITTERS.

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

K 36  KEYSTONE BITTERS, Circa 1865 – 1875,
KEYSTONE ( au ) / BITTERS // c //
Keystone Cordial and Bitters Co.   Cleveland, Ohio
9 3/4 x 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 (7 3/4)
Barrel, 4-3-3-4, Amber and Puce, LTC, Applied mouth, Very scarce
Cleveland City Directory 1908-09.

KEYSTONE BITTERS, American, ca. 1865-1875, deep reddish amber barrel, 10 1/4″h, smooth base, applied sloping collar mouth. A tough one to find, especially in this pristine condition – Meyer Collection


“KEYSTONE / BITTERS”, (Ring/Ham, K-36), Ohio, ca. 1865 – 1875, deep reddish amber barrel, 10 1/4”h, smooth base, applied mouth. Some minor scratches, but no form of damage. Purchased from John Stampe in 1971. – Glass Works Auctions #112 – Bob Ferraro Collection – Session 1

Up for auction very rare, applied top, amber barrel, KEYSTONE BITTERS bottle. It is in good condition, but has small scratches and small dings in the rips and bottom. The bottom of the bottle is distorted. Inside a little bit dirty. Measuring 9 3/4 tall on 3 1/2 wide. – eBay (vlupul1970) *available now

(L) WORMSER BROS SAN FRANCISCO (C) KEYSTONE BITTERS (R) MIST OF THE MORNING. All figural barrel Bitters with similar shapes. All about 10″ tall. The Keystone is a little more trim. Obviously different embossings and applied tops. – Wormser Bros and Keystone barrels are Meyer examples.

Read More on Figural Barrels

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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

The earliest and latest with the blue W. Wolf’s Pittsburgh barrel

Barrel Series – Brent, Warder & Co. – Louisville

Barrel Series – I. Nelson’s Old Bourbon

Barrel Series – B.M. & E.A. Whitlock & Co. – New York

Bennett & Carroll – Figural Barrel Series

Barrel Series – Liquore del Diavolo Figural Barrel

Barrel Series – Crow’s Celebrated Tonic Bitters

Barrel Series – Chapin & Gore – Chicago – Sour Mash

Barrel Series – Bininger Old Kentucky Bourbon

Barrel Series – Columbus in a Barrel

Barrel Series – W.C. Bitters

Barrel Series – Stillman & Breen

Barrel Series – Ben Franklin Bitters

Barrel Series – Highland Bitters and Scotch Tonic

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

The Robinson & Lord Figural Barrel – Baltimore

The James A. Clark barrel from Louisville

The Hull Brothers barrel from Detroit, Michigan

Barrel Series – Out of the Ashes, the Wolford Z – Whiskey


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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