Curtis Cordial Calisaya Stomach Bitters Fraud?


Will the real Curtis Cordial Calisaya Bitters Please Stand Out!


Subject Bottle in Question

RedFlagOn 30 January 2013 I opened up one of my many incoming bottle related emails to see a stunning emerald green Curtis Cordial Calisaya Stomach Bitters with the following question:

“do you buy old bottles i found this bottle in my attic don’t know if it has any value or if it worthless i looked on google for it but couldn’t find it thanks it says Curtis Cordial Calisaya The Great Stomach Bitters”

Anicia Benson (Benson Collectibles)

Seems innocent enough. My first reaction was wow, because this is an undocumented color for a Curtis Cordial. I sent back a cautious reply saying that it was genuine and asking for more pics and colors. I even suggested buying it. The thought did cross my mind that it was not real. I remember thinking Photoshop and the recent Henry Harrison Flask scam on ebay (see below). Because of the girls name and Benson Collectibles, I did however give it a chance. Who knows. New stuff shows up all the time.

Quite honestly I forgot about the bottle as I received no response. I suspected it was being shopped and left it alone. Probably will show up at an auction house if it is real.

Well last night I saw a facebook post from fellow Bitters collector Jeff Burkhardt with the same picture and the following comment:

“A couple of weeks ago some of us received in inquiry/ offer of sorts for a CURTIS CORDIAL CALISAYA BITTERS…in this this UNIQUE bright yellow-green. What became of it?

Jeffrey Burkhardt


Personally I like my cobalt Photoshopped version better – Brian Wolff

Well….so it was shopped. I started reading the comments. A few are noted below:

Burning question! I spoke to them on the phone and paid the seller for the bottle, followed a tracking number for a week to find that it was a decoy. Scammed! Luckily, I just got my money back through Paypal yesterday. I really wish we could rid the hobby of these scumbags!! It is a great bottle, and was a little overexcited about it… may have clouded my senses!

Michael George

If that’s Photo Shop work it’s damn good.

Jeff Noordsy

No way in my opinion. The bottle must exist somewhere… that is the second part of the scam that bothers me!

Michael George

Don’t be fooled, it’s outright fraud and this jerks ship is about to sink……..

This scumbag con artist that’s trying to cheat everyone knows bottles and resides in New Albany, Indiana. The authorities are now involved.

Lou Lambert

[PRG] A quick google of Anicia Benson pulls up the following… Anicia Lynn Benson was born in 1981. Anicia currently lives in New Albany, Indiana. Before that, Anicia lived in New Albany, IN. Anicia Lynn Benson is related to William Benson, who is 47 years old and lives in New Salisbury, IN. Anicia Lynn Benson is also related to Carrie Benson, who is 48 years old and lives in Fort Wayne, IN.

Personally I like my cobalt Photoshopped version better 😉

Brian Wolff

Update from Mark Warne via email: Hi Ferdinand. Hope all is well. Just checked my favorite site and I see my Curtis in a much brighter green than it is. I won mine off ebay and that is positively the bottle. Everything matches perfectly and it has a killer tube in the neck or bubble that sages down 4 inches. Kind of like a 4 inch cocoon with open ends inside the neck. Glass is extremely thin in this area and is very cool. Have never seen anything like it. I see the tail end of it in your photo. Mine happens to be pure green (lucked out for sure 🙂 ) but certainly not like the green in your photo. Someone doctored the colors that you have for sure. I’ll send photos to you soon. Mark


I also have it in Grape, Teal & Copper. Was fun just playing around with it (in Photoshop) – Brian Wolff

Read More: Curtis Cordial Calisaya Stomach Bitters – The Real McCoy

Read More: “there’s a customer born every minute” – William Henry Harrison Flask Scam

Read More: eBay Scam Exposed!


Subject Bottle in Question


Subject Bottle in Question

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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