Extremely rare B. E. Mann’s Oriental Stomach Bitters bottle
08 January 2013 (R•103114 update with Chicago connections) (R•111915)
“I dug a very rare bottle this weekend in Vicksburg, MS in a Confederate artillery camp that was also occupied by union soldiers post siege.”
The listing header on ebay from gettinready2012 (0) read, “Extremely rare B. E. MANN’S ORIENTAL STOMACH BITTERS bottle” with a follow-up description:
[Initial Description] This is an original B.E. MANN’S ORIENTAL STOMACH BITTERS bottle from the mid 19th century. It was dug by me in an civil war encampment with permission from the property owner in Vicksburg, MS. This bottle is one of the rarest bitters bottles in existence. This particular bottle is worth around $ 1,500 – $ 2,000. The bottle has no flaws at all. No chips popped air bubbles or cracks of any kind. This bottle also has a very rare misprint on it also… the apostrophe is backwards !!!! This also increases the value of the bottle. This is one of the finest examples of this bottle you will ever have the chance to own. I am not a bottle collector at all so lucky you. This bottle is also documented in the 2012 CHRISTMAS issue of NORTH SOUTH TRADER on page 16 Vol. 36 No. 6. I am charging $ 15.00 for shipping due to the fact that it will need to be packed expertly and insured. This bottle is void of any contents what so ever. This bottle has only been rinsed with warm water and the buyer can have it tumbled if they wish.
[Follow-Up] This bottle also has an even bigger flaw than the apostrophe being backwards….It is missing the PROFESSOR before the B.E. MANN’S. 99% of the B.E. MANN’S bottles ever found have the PROFESSOR but this one does not !!!!!!!!! What a rare find and exciting day it was for me. I know that there are a lot of bitters bottle collectors out there and this would be the holy grail to your collection and it makes me very happy to make this one available to you all. I really wish to see this go to a good home.
[Online Comment from Seller Elsewhere] I dug a very rare bottle this weekend in Vicksburg, MS in a Confederate artillery camp that was also occupied by union soldiers post siege. The bottle is the very rare B.E. MANN’S ORIENTAL STOMACH BITTERS bottle and the bottle dates to the Civil war era. There are no cracks, dings, chips or scratches. This is in excellent condition and you could not ask for a better bottle. I will take cash and trade and all offers will be considered. If you send me a message I will give you a courtesy message in return letting you know my stance on your offer. If you have any question please feel free to ask. This bottle in this condition sells for around $1,500. and this is the real value and not a joke.
Secretary of the SOUTHERN HISTORICAL RESEARCH And RECOVERY ASSOCIATION
This find is rather extraordinary as the M 28.5 square most likely predates the M 29 semi-cabin that many Bitters collectors are familiar with. It is also really neat to note that B. E. Mann somehow became a “Professor” in between the square and semi-cabin bottle carrying his product and name. Obviously this is not a mistake as noted in the listing.
Who is B. E. Mann? Good question. There is virtually no information or good pictures of this bottle online. I also do not possess examples in my collection which bothers me. Deeper internet searches on FOLD3, Ancestry.com and other sources hint that his name was “Benjamin” but more likely “Benning” which seems to be a more common name in the 1800’s. Possibly a Benning E. Mann born in Connecticut in 1813 (married Mary Ann Meygatt on 05 May 1834). B. E. Mann and Mary next show up in Chicago, with children in 1850, 1860 and 1870 Federal Census lists where a B. E. Mann is listed as a Liquor Merchant. The common denominator is the “B. E.” as this is how he is listed in the census listings.
*See new information at bottom of post confirming a Chicago brand.
Very interesting bottle with possibly a Connecticut, Chicago, Mississippi and Wyoming connection as noted in this post. You would think that there would some advertising or more information. Hopefully this post will shake out some more material and pictures.
Oh, congratulations to the buyer of the M 28.5 on ebay. You are a mystery person to me. On ebay, you beat out a fellow named Fred Farklesberger in Texas from what I heard.
The Carlyn Ring and Bill Ham listings in Bitters Bottles Supplement for the square and semi-cabin is as follows:
M 28.5 B. E. MANN’S ORIENTAL STOMACH BITTERS (represented in post)
B. E. MANN’S // f // ORIENTAL / STOMACH BITTERS // f //
9 1/2 x 2 7/8 (7 1/4)
Square, Olive amber, LTC, Applied mouth, Extremely Rare
M 29 PROFESSOR B. E. MANN’S ORIENTAL STOMACH BITTERS (picture below)
PROFESSOR . B. E. MANN’S // sp // ORIENTAL / STOMACH BITTERS // sp // // s // PATENTED (au) // sp // sp // sp // sp //
10 x 2 7/8 x 2 3/4 (7 1/4)
Semi-cabin slightly rectangular, Amber, LTC, Applied mouth, 4 sp, Rare
Dug at ruins of Fort Steele, Wyoming
[Pictured to Left online Description] This 9 7/8″ tall PROFESSOR B. E. MANN’S ORIENTAL STOMACH BITTERS bottle (193.86HJ), dating into the 1870s, was dug behind the old post hospital at the site of Fort Fred Steele, Wyoming (1868-1886) in the mid-20th century. With a beautiful, translucent, almost reddish amber, the embossed panels of this great example of the rare Mann’s bitters have bowed in about 3/8″ (occurred at the time of manufacture). For the exceedingly picky, there is a hardly visible (you need a 10X loupe) ding on the mouth edge. The fort is now a state historical site. The bottle comes with a small display card and a map of Fort Steele on which the hospital pit is located. – HD Enterprises, Inc.
Information provided by Corey Stock
1865: Advertisement – Prof. Mann’s Celebrated Oriental Stomach Bitters (see below)
1866: Listing: Brant D. R. & Co. (Daniel R. Brant and John H. Peck), wines and liquors, whol. 147 S. Water. Chicago (Selling Prof. Mann’s Celebrated Oriental Stomach Bitters, see below)
1866: Advertisement – Prof. Man’s (spelling error) Celebrated Oriental Stomach Bitters (see below)
1866: Listing: Mann, Bening E. (spelling error) salesman, D.R. Brant & Co. bds. Metropolitan Hotel – Chicago City Directory
1869: Listing: Mann Benning E. (Mann, Shears & Co.) r. 330 Wabash av. – Chicago City Directory
1869: Listing: Mann Edward B. (Mann, Shears & Co.) r. 330 Wabash av.,- Chicago City Directory
1869: Listing: Mann, Shears & Co., 53 S. Water, Chicago, Wines and Liquor (Wholesale) (see below) – Chicago City Directory
1870: Listing: Mann, Curtis & Co. (B. E. Mann, William D. Curtis and George Shears), liquor whol. 53, S. Water – Chicago City Directory
188o: Listing: Mann Benning E. housde 2, 245 Wabash Av. – Chicago City Directory