Russ’ Stomach Bitters
A New York Lady’s Leg
31 January 2013 (Updated 21 September 2013) (R•052814) (R•112417)
Are these Russ Products Related?
The Russ’ Stomach Bitters is an interesting lady’s leg bitters that is fairly old, from New York, is iron pontiled and smaller at 10 1/4″ +/- than the typical legs we are familiar with.
This bottle hardly ever shows up as I am only aware of three examples (2 examples were noted by Glass Works Auctions when I purchased my example back in 2006).
My example has an issue that is noted below but at the time, and even now, seems minimal compared to the example that sold from the Dr. Sam Greer Collection for $16,500, at that time a record price for a bitters bottle sold at auction. That bottle was again sold at a later Heckler Auction (pictured below), and was purchased by a prominent bitters collector from up north and returned because of a problem that was well concealed within the glass.
A New York Russ’ Stomach Bitters ladies leg bitters bottle in golden amber with applied mouth and iron pontil mark; image courtesy of Norman C. Heckler & Company. This is the example that has the ‘history’ as noted above.
Ah… problems. Interesting that we are so focused on issues with rare pieces but it really does affect the cost in the buyers mind, especially with the dollar amounts we are discussing.
RUSS’ STOMACH BITTERS
RUSS’ STOMACH BITTERS – 10 1/8” h, iron pontil, applied ring mouth. A tiny potstone in the bulge of the neck has 1 3/16” cooling crack across it. Thought to be one of only two known (PRG: 3) examples. In 1989 an identical bottle sold in the Dr. Sam Greer Collection for $16,500, at that time a record price for a bitters bottle sold at auction. – Meyer Collection
Russ’ Stomach Bitters: November 2017. This rare and beautiful “lady’s leg” bitters bottle was discovered just a couple of months ago, in an old barn north of Portland, along the coast of Maine. The barn and attached house were purchased recently and were undergoing renovations at the time. Workers were putting new roof boards on the barn when the bottle was discovered hiding under an eve. The homeowners nearly gave the bottle to the roofer! – John Pastor, American Glass Gallery
Unfortunately, I can find little information regarding the Russ’ Stomach Bitters which is cataloged as a R 126 in Carlyn Ring and W.C. Ham’s Bitters Bottles Supplement.
R 126 RUSS’ STOMACH BITTERS, Circa 1860 – 1865
RUSS’ / STOMACH / BITTERS / NEW YORK // c //
9 7/8 x 2 3/4 (4)
Round lady’s leg, Amber and Dark olive amber, ARM, Applied mouth, Metallic pontil mark, Extremely rare
* Example at top of post from Bitters Bottles Supplement
What is interesting, is that there are a few other New York ‘RUSS’ bottles that I have pictured below. One is a RUSS’S AROMATIC SCHNAPPS / NEW YORK and the other a RUSS’ ST. DOMINGO BITTERS / NEW YORK. I would bet that there is some relationship here though that is purely conjecture. This letterhead in Bitters Bottles Supplement certainly ties the Russ’ Stomach Bitters and Russ’ Aromatic Schnapps together.
Letterhead: Bought of Russ & Hinman, No. 94 Pearl Street, New York, Sept 23, 1857, Also agents for Russ’ Improved Aromatic Schnapps and RUSS’ STOMACH BITTERS (for Steamer South America)
Now can we link it to John A. Russ and his Russ’ St. Domingo Bitters? Read: Russ’ St. Domingo Bitters – New York
The “St. Domingo” addition to the later bitters is interesting because Saint Domingo Fever was a yellow fever from St. Domingo in the West Indies.
RUSS’ STOMACH BITTERS embossing detail – Meyer Collection
RUSS’ ST. DOMINGO BITTERS
RUSS’ ST. DOMINGO BITTERS / NEW YORK, St. Domingo Manufacturing Co., 34 Dey Street, New York, Circa 1865 – 1880 – Meyer Collection
RUSS’ ST. DOMINGO BITTERS Trade Card – Meyer Collection
RUSS’S AROMATIC SCHNAPPS
(From Rick Simi) Even though this recent acquisition is not a western bitters, it sure is a beautiful bottle with a wonderful story. A friend of mine was out deer hunting last week here in Northern California, when he stopped to take a quick breather, and spotted a piece of amber colored glass sticking out of the duff near an old pine tree. Upon closer inspection (he kicked the piece of glass and it didn’t move) he noticed that it was more than a piece of glass. Bending down and scratching away the pine needles, laying on the original ground, was the bottle pictured at left. Embossed on three panels are: RUSS’S AROMATIC / SCHNAPPS / NEW-YORK. The base has an iron pontil. He put the bottle in his pack and after finishing his hunt brought it home. Later in the week he stopped by where I was working and told me the story and offered the bottle to me. The pictures show the bottle exactly as I received it, un-washed and in original as found condition. Hundred’s of seed bubbles, a crudely applied top and a smokin’ shade of amber make this a magnificent piece of gold rush era glass. I guess its about time I started “deer hunting” again !!!!!!! Rick Simi – Western Bitters News
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