XR Bottle Find in St. Louis – Catawba Bitters
Extremely rare Catawba Bitters found under floorboards in 1874 St. Louis building
12 December 2012 (R•120613)
Received an interesting email about a square bitters bottle I was unfamiliar with. A quick look-up in the Carlyn Ring and W.C. Ham Bitters Bottles book yielded the following:
C 82.5 CATAWBA BITTERS, circa 1868, 1869
CATAWBA / BITTERS // ST LOUIS, MISSOURI // f // C. MOLLER //
8 1/2 x 2 3/8 (6) 3/8
Square, Amber, LTC, Applied mouth, Extremely rare
Formerly listed as Moller’s Aromatic Catawba Bitters
Appearance in directories: 1868, 1869, 1870
114 & 116 N. 3rd Street, St. Louis
Christopher Moller & Adolph Ehlert, 1868 & 1869
Adolph Ehlert only in 1870
Captain Adolph Ehlert (Company F – Union 30th Infantry Regiment Volunteers)
Adolph C. Ehlert died in April 1881. He was only 34 years old
Hi! I recently stumbled onto your great website while doing some
preliminary research for a bitters bottle I found in the mid 1980’s. Your
post regarding the Baltimore Business Directory reminded me of the bottle
and a 1874 St. Louis Directory I had looked at at that time. As I recall,
the directory I consulted, at the downtown Central Branch, listed “Catawba
Bitters” with a downtown address (maybe on Locust Street).. As I recall, I
could not find a (St. Louis, Mo.) Catawba Bitters listing in any nearby
years, only in 1874, which was the same year the building I found the
bottle in was built.
I’m an amateur collector of various artifacts and my interest in this
bottle was peeked recently when I read an article about a California
Bitters bottle (Chalmer’s Catawba Bitters?…) that set a record sales
price for a bitters bottle. Obviously I’m hopeful that there’s a
connection between the two Catawba’s. Any information or guidance you
could provide would be greatly appreciated.
I don’t have the bottle in front of me, but will be unpacking it when I go
home for lunch and I’ll photograph it so I can send you a picture of it.
Generally, as I recall: The bottle is amber, typical height, square.
Embossed *Catawaba Bitters *on one side and *St. Louis, Mo.* on the
I communicated with the person and let them know that their bottle was not related to the Chalmer’s Catawba Wine Bitters (see below) and mentioned that I knew the Houston bitters collector who purchased said bottle.
Update: Bottle now in Meyer Collection.
Bottle should have C. MOLLER on one side. XR St. Louis square. Catawba means grape essentially.
Wow! You were 100% correct, when I unpacked it, the bottle does indeed have “C Moller” on one panel. (I didn’t remember that from the 1980’s!……). I’ve attached a few photos I took this afternoon, sorry for the marginal “backyard” quality, it’s sunny here today. The bottle is in excellent condition, as far as I can tell. I’ve never “cleaned” it and it has just a little bit of interior residue in a few spots; otherwise there are no cracks or chips, the exterior looks like new; the glass has some bubbles…
You’re the expert Ferdinand! Can you give me a general valuation on the bottle? (less than six figures is OK…)
THE ORIGINAL MONKEYS SALOON
For those of you that are still interested, this bottle is also not the C 85 CATAWBA WINE BITTERS (pictured below) or the C 81 BROWN & DRAKE CATAWBA BITTERS (picture forthcoming)