LE DOYEN’S DISINFECTING FLUID
“The Last Bottle”
I say the “last bottle” because this is the last bottle I photographed as I left the floor of the 2013 Baltimore Bottle Show. Since I was repacking my bottles without my wife Elizabeth for shipment back to Houston, I was taking my time and carefully wrapping each bottle in bubble wrap and fitting them in compartments in my large China Barrel shipping box. I had the unfortune of having four bottles break in the shipment up to Baltimore with FedEx so I was taking my dog-gone time.
As the clean-up crews were putting up chairs and tables, and the last dealers were packing up, Jack Pelletier (Gorham, ME) reminded me that he had this great ice blue bottle that I had seen and admired earlier in the day. This would be my last chance to photograph it. Jack thought is was a ‘one of a kind’ known example of a LE DOYEN’S DISINFECTING FLUID. A killer bottle I thought when I first inspected it earlier in the day. It looked like it was carved from ice by an expert chisel-man. And oh what a pontil. It kind of reminded me of my Boggs Cottman German Tonic Bitters (from Baltimore) and my Dr. Plannett’s Bitters. Very similar size, color and iron pontil. You will also notice a similarity to a Dr. Townsend’s too.
“for destroying putrid smells arising from either animal or vegetable decomposition; also, for immediately purifying sick rooms”
The three panels of the bottle are embossed LE DOYENS / DISINFECTING FLUID // BY / POULIN ROGERS & KEENEY / N.Y. // PATENTED OCT 8 / 1844. There seems to be quite a bit of historical material on the brand which is surprising since it is such an early bottle.
I also found that a LE DOYENS sold on ebay (see listing) on 19 August 2012 for $2,025 with 32 bids by buybuy4now from Vista, California. The ebay write-up is noted below:
COLOR PONTIL “LE DOYEN DISINFECTING FLUID // BY POULIN ROGERS & KEENEY N.Y.
UNIQUE EXAMPLE – ONLY ONE KNOWN IN THIS SHAPE AND COLOR
“LE DOYEN DISINFECTING FLUID // BY POULIN ROGERS & KEENEY N.Y. // PATENTED OCT. 8TH 1844” – IRON PONTIL – ***ICE BLUE COLOR***, America, 1844 – 1847 **Earliest known Variant – New York Example** UNLISTED AND PROBABLY UNIQUE, About Perfect
Large Square with beveled corners “SIMILAR TO A TOWNSENDS” topped with a drippy applied sloping collar lip. Our research shows that there has never been a previous document sale for this rare example – It is un-listed in this color, No chips or cracks or other significant after Mfg damage. This is indeed extremely rare, and we think it is a unique example in this color.
Deviations from perfect: This bottle is somewhat hazy in appearance with overall interior de-vitrification (or contents etching). Striking BLUE COLOR that sparkles in the sun with tons of hammer whittle. It has some normal, and actually expected light ware on base and corners; and has the inner haze previously mentioned, but all that is insignificant because there are no others known! The bottle was cleaned, there is remains some etching and scratches, please use the close-up feature to examine the surface thoroughly. It’s unlikely we will ever find another whole example. Estimate, $3,000.00
History: One like shaped variant was patented and produced by T. Ripley Hawley four years later (1847) in Boston. Also this other like shaped example was in plain AQUA, and that aqua example is thought to also be unique (the only know example in this shape). It recently sold in John Pastors November 5th 2011 Auction.
John’s description was as follows: The following Info from catalog record – American Glass Gallery Auction #7.
“Le Doyen’s / Disinfecting Fluid– By / T. Ripley Hawley / Boston / Patented Dec / 1847”, America, 1847 – 1855. Aquamarine, square with beveled corners, applied sloping double collared mouth – blowpipe pontil scar, ht. 9 ½”, perfect. Extremely rare / unlisted. To our knowledge, there is only one other example, believed to be in a different size. This example is similar in size and appearance to a Dr. Townsend’s. A great pontiled medicine, nicely whittled, possibly unique. Est.: $1,200 – $2,200 • Min. bid: $800
More searching yields the following:
Read More: M. LeDoyen’s Disinfecting Fluid from the Pharmaceutical Journal and Transactions Volume VII. 1847-8 – London