Looking closer at the Brown’s Celebrated Indian Herb Bitters

Looking closer at the Brown’s Celebrated Indian Herb Bitters

23 September 2012 (R•051814) (R•052714) (R•091018)

John Feldmann ‘Indian Queen’ color run

aka ‘INDIAN QUEEN’

Apple-Touch-IconAI am presently working on a feature article on John Feldmann for the November/December issue of Bottles and Extras. During the development of possible imagery for the magazine, I prepared the above clip path art on the famous Feldmann ‘Indian Queen’ color run. I also wanted to look closer at the typographic variations on the Queens which I have below.

BROWN’S CELEBRATED INDIAN HERB BITTERS

Whitney Brothers Glass Works | Circa 1867 – 1870

B 222     B 223     B 224    B 225     B 226

Indian Queens (2007) on an early spring morning – Meyer collection

B 224 – AntiqueBottles.com

According to the write up in Bitters Bottles by Carlyn Ring and W.C. Ham, there is no discernible variations between the five different Queens other than their datelines.

Collectors seem not to notice which date line their Queen has so ranking their relative rarity is impossible. Many of the ground mouth finish Queens have been found with traces of paint in the crevasses of robe folds and between feathers of apron or necklace details. It could easily be mistaken for accumulated dust or soil but as so many of these paint traces we tend to believe that some, if not all, were painted originally. Today’s collectors seem to look for a sparkling mint specimen so the traces of paint are often removed.

Four other Queen molds are known. One quite varied with right arm well below waist and sword in hand. The left arm is bent and holding a shield to the body. Lettering on the shield is Mohawk Whiskey Pure Rye. At shawl fringe, Patented Feb. 11, 1868. Another of te same mold has unlettered shield. Area normally having patent date reads: H. Pharazyn Philadelphia Right Secured. Both of these queens have sheared mouths. The remaining queen molds are altogether different. See: E. Long’s Indian Herb Bitters and Indian Herb Bitters Dickerson & Stark.

Not much is known about the proprietor, Neal N. Brown (also spelled Neall and Neill in historical documents) other than he lived and operated in Philadelphia and took out a couple of patents for his famous figural bottle in 1867 and 1868. I suspect he was an Irishman. We first see him as an innkeeper and tavern owner in 1863 and 1864. In 1866 he has some legal problems as he is charged by the United States government for transporting unsealed whiskey. Next Brown is into Patent Medicines and puts out his Indian Queen bitters. In the mid 1870s, he is listed as a liquor dealer. He must have been a good customer with Whitney Glass Works in South Jersey as he ordered a lot of bottles. It really is surprising that we do not see more period advertising.

Read More: Amethyst Indian Queen Found in Seattle

Read More: H. Pharazyn Indian Queen – Philadelphia

Read More: Mohawk Whiskey Pure Rye Indian Queen

Read More: E. Longs Indian Herb Bitters

Read More: The Indian Herb Bitters Prepared by Drs Dickerson & Stark

Read More: Why do we call the bottles the ‘Indian Queen?’

Read More: The Rubenesque Queens

Read More: Barrel series – Original Pocahontas Bitters

Read More: Not Brown – A “chocolate” Brown’s Celebrated Indian Herb Bitters

Read More: Iron Maiden

Neall N. Brown Patent for a Bottle 2950 – 11 Feb 1868 – image Bitters Bottles


B 222 

PATENTED FEB. 11. 1868 (Celebrated has no R)

Embossed on shield and banner: BROWN’S CELEBATED INDIAN HERB BITTERS,  PATENTED FEB. 11 1868, 12″ h, amber Indian Queen (No R in CELEBRATED) – WeLoveOldBottles.com

B 222  BROWN’S / CELEBATED / INDIAN HERB BITTERS // PATENTED / FEB. 11, 1868
12 1/8 x 3 1/4
Indian Queen, Amber and Green, Rolled mouth, Extremely rare
Celebrated as no R
Note: There was a reproduction of this bottle made for the 1957 Jamestown Virginia 350 year celebration that is very similar except that the bottle ends at the headdress and has a stopper. The base has a fancy monogram. Thee bottle is heavy weighing about 1 1/2 lbs.

B 223

PATENTED 1867

B 223 BROWN’S CELEBRATED INDIAN HERB BITTERS, PATENTED 1867 – Meyer Collection

B 223  BROWN’S / CELEBRATED / INDIAN HERB BITTERS // PATENTED / 1867
Neal N. Brown   Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
12 1/4 x 3 1/4
Indian Queen, Amber, Rolled mouth, Common
B223Brown'sclearRH

B 223 BROWN’S CELEBRATED INDIAN HERB BITTERS, PATENTED 1867 (Clear) – Bitters Bottles Supplement

B223Brown'sIndianaqua

B 223 BROWN’S CELEBRATED INDIAN HERB BITTERS, PATENTED 1867 (Aqua) – Bitters Bottles Supplement

B223_BrownsIndianQueenPainted

B 223 Partially Painted BROWN’S CELEBRATED INDIAN HERB BITTERS, PATENTED 1867 – Bitters Bottles Supplement


B 224

PATENTED FEB 11. / 1867

B 224 BROWN’S CELEBRATED INDIAN HERB BITTERS, PATENTED FEB. 11 1867 – American Bottle Auctions

B 224  BROWN’S / CELEBRATED / INDIAN HERB BITTERS // PATENTED / FEB. 11 / 1867
12 1/4 x 3 1/4
Indian Queen, Amber, Sheared or ground lip, Common
There are several examples with original multicolor paint which are Extremely rare

B 225

PATENTED 1868

B 225 BROWN’S CELEBRATED INDIAN HERB BITTERS, PATENTED 1868 – GreatAntiqueBottles.com

B 225  BROWN’S / CELEBRATED / INDIAN HERB BITTERS // PATENTED 1868
12 1/4 x 3 1/4
Indian Queen, Amber Common; Yellow green tone, Shear or Ground lip – Rare

B 226

PATENTED FEB. 11 1868

B 226 BROWN’S CELEBRATED INDIAN HERB BITTERS, PATENTED FEB. 11 1868 – GreatAntiqueBottles.com

B 226  BROWN’S / CELEBRATED / INDIAN HERB BITTERS // PATENTED /
FEB. 11 / 1868 //
12 1/4 x 3 1/4″
Indian Queen, Clear and Aqua – Extremely rare ; Amber – Common
Sheared or ground Lip

BROWN’S ‘INDIAN QUEEN’ GALLERY

Brown’s Indian Queen Hotel, Washington City, North side of Pennsylvania Avenue about midway between the Capitol and the President’s House, a few doors east of the Centre Market. The Indian Queen became Washington’s most prestigious hotel when it opened in 1820. – Library of Congress

B 223 BROWN’S CELEBRATED INDIAN HERB BITTERS, PATENTED 1867 in a pale yellow – image Skinner’s

B 222 BROWN’S CELEBATED INDIAN HERB BITTERS, PATENTED FEB. 11, 1868 in a dark amber – WeLoveOldBottles.com

Beautiful green Indian Queen – Jeff Burkhardt

BROWN’S CELEBRATED INDIAN HERB BITTERS in clear glass. 12 ¼”. B 226. – American Bottle Auctions

B 226 BROWN’S CELEBRATED INDIAN HERB BITTERS PATENTED FEB. 11 1868 in yellow with a greenish tone – American Bottle Auctions

Note: This is only the second one of these solid-glass Queens GW has ever heard of. (The other example was sold in Glass Works Auctions sale #22).In 1992 Glass Works Auction sold the bitters bottle collection of the late Dan Murphy of Utica, New York. At the time when GW picked up the collection, this rare item sat on a coffee table in the center of the Murphy’s bottle room. As of now only two exist, we believe they were possibly made for Neil Brown, the proprietor of Brown’s Indian Herb Bitters, possibly for his personal use as a paperweight or house ornament. Ex. Dan Murphy – Meyer Collection

B 225 BROWN’S CELEBRATED INDIAN HERB BITTERS PATENTED 1868 in a dark chocolate. ex: Grapentine – Meyer Collection

B 225 BROWN’S CELEBRATED INDIAN HERB BITTERS PATENTED 1868 in citron green. ex: Judge MacKenzie, Doy McCall collections – Meyer Collection

Cast iron indian queen casting that looks very similar to the Brown’s Celebrated Indian Herb Bitters figural bottle. Inscribed on the bottom is ‘Neal N. Brown, 1867, Philadelphia, PA’ – Joe Wood

Heckler 141 – Carved Wooden Paint Decorated Figural Whiskey Bottle Prototype, America, 1860-1870. Indian maiden form, green, gold and red painted wood, ht. 12 inches; (minor blemishes). This form is similar to both the “H.P. Pharazyn” and the “Mohawk Whiskey Pure Rye” figural whiskey bottles. Extremely rare. Generally fine condition. – Meyer Collection

Select Listings:

1863: Neal Brown, innkeeper, Philadelphia, Ward 8 – Philadelphia Septennial Census
1864: Neill Brown, tavern, S.E. 24th & Locust – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania City Directory
1864: Neill Brown arrested for transporting whiskey notice (below): The Evening Telegraph, Wednesday, October 24, 1866

1866: Legal problems (below), United States vs. Neal Brown – The Philadelphia Inquirer, Saturday, November 24, 1866

1867: Patented 1867 on B 223 and B 224 (see above)
1868: Neall N. Brown Design for a Bottle Patent Drawing 2950, Feb. 11 1868 (see above)
1868: Neil N. Brown, Patent Medicines, 217 Callowhill – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania City Directory
1871: Advertisement (below) – The Star and Enterprise, Thursday, June, 15 1871

1874: Neal Brown, liquors, 2379 Tulip – Boyd’s Philadelphia Directory
1875-1876: Neal Brown, liquors, 2379 Tulip – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania City Directory

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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1 Response to Looking closer at the Brown’s Celebrated Indian Herb Bitters

  1. Warren Friedrich says:

    Ferdinand,
    This is certainly an interesting post! I had no idea that there were 5 variations of the Brown’s Celebrated Indian Herb Bitters. I was aware of the Mohawk, Long and Pharizyn variations, but not these. The Feldmann color run is just spectacular, especially the amethyst, aqua and green examples, definitely my favorites of the group.

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