Saint Jacob’s Bitters – Cincinnati, Ohio
Celebrated St. Jacob’s Bitters, St. Jacob’s Bitters Co., Cincinnati, Ohio
St. Jacobs Bitters, Mihalovitch, Fletcher & Co., Cincinnati, Ohio.
03 August 2013 (R•060719)
My friend and bottle show table mate Jerry Forbes (Big Sur, California) scored a nice, whittled, Saint Jacob’s Bitters at the FOHBC 2013 Manchester National a couple of weekends ago. The bottle is pictured at the top 0f the post. I kind of wish I picked it up myself as it was quite an example.
The bottle listing in Ring and Ham says amber examples are known, but as you can see from Jerry’s example and mine below, you can get some variance in the color range.
The listing in Bitters Bottles Supplement 2 will be updated:
S 13 SAINT JACOB’S BITTER’S // f // f // f // // b // KYGW CO // b // McC
L … Celebrated St. Jacob’s Bitters, St. Jacob’s Bitters Co., Cincinnati, Ohio
8 3/4 x 2 3/4 (6 1/2) 3/8
Square, Amber, Red amber, Yellow, LTC, Tooled lip and Applied mouth, Rare
BAR p100, TMS 359, WAT L114
Trade Mark December, 1882
Variant bottle known with an unmarked base.
Frank Wicker notes the following:
There is very little information about this bitters bottle. It’s from the St. Jacob’s Bitters Co. Cincinnati, Ohio. This bitters was trademarked in December of 1882. The photo below of this square amber SAINT JACOB’S BITTERS is a unlisted variant. The bottle has an unmarked base and is not embossed with KYGW Co. or MC C.
Frank Wicker – BottlePickers.com
There is also another St. Jacob’s Bitters from St. Louis, Missouri put out by Julius Falke. For now, I do not see a relationship.
Here is a cool advertisement below for the Celebrated Saint Jacob’s Bitters made by the Saint Jacob’s Bitters Company, Cincinnati from the Carlisle Evening Herald on November 27, 1894. Very late. Hard to tell if this bottle was embossed but it sure takes on the bottle shape of the subject bottles.
[Wikipedia] Jacob of Nisibis, died c. AD 338, is a Syriac saint. He was the second bishop of Nisibis,spiritual father of the renowned Syriac writer Ephrem the Syrian, and celebrated ascetic. Jacob was appointed bishop, in 308, of the Christian community of Nisibis in Mesopotamia (modern Nusaybin, located near the Turkey/Syria border). Jacob of Nisibis, also known as James of Nisibis and as Jacob of Nusaybin, is recorded as a signatory at the First Council of Nicaea in 325. He was the first Christian to search for the Ark of Noah, which he claimed to find a piece of on a mountain, Mount Judi (Turkish Cudi Dağı), 70 miles (110 km) from Nisibis.
He founded the basilica and theological School of Nisibis after the model of the school of Diodorus of Tarsus in Antioch. It was not until the 10th century that the “Persian Sage” who had been incorrectly identified with Jacob of Nisibis was finally identified with Aphrahat. Jacob was the teacher and spiritual director of Saint Ephrem the Syrian, a great ascetic, teacher and hymn writer who combatted Arianism.
Much of Jacob’s public ministry, like that of other Syrian ascetics, can be seen as socially cohensive in the context of the Late Roman East. In the face of the withdrawal of wealthy landowners to the large cities, holy men such as Jacob acted as impartial and necessary arbiters in disputes between peasant farmers and within the smaller towns.
Saint Jacob of Nisibis’s relics are in the church he founded in Nisibis. He is commemorated in the Coptic Synaxarion on the 18th day of Month of Tobi (usually 26 January). In the Roman Catholic Church he is commemorated on 15 July.
St. Jacob’s Bitters Company
In 1883 a patent was granted for a Celebrated Saint Jacob’s Bitters by the St. Jacob’s Bitters Co. We see this company list until Mihalovitch, Fletcher & Co. begins advertising St. Jacob’s Bitters in 1884.
Mihalovitch, Fletcher & Co. – St. Jacob’s Bitters
Mihalovitch, Fletcher & Co. ran a large distilling and liquor business in Cincinnati, Ohio from about 1883 to 1918. They specialized in Fruit Brandies. The partners in 1890 were Morris Mihalovitch, Victor Fletcher and Bernie Mihalovitch. Morris established himself in 1874 in Cincinnati.
In 1884, they were advertising a St. Jacob’s Bitters, primarily in New Orleans.
Letterheads list Morris Mihalovitch as President, Bernie Mihalovitch as Vice President, Victor Fletcher as Treasurer, Charles S. Sibbald as Asst. Treasurer, S. F. Mihalovitch as Secretary, Clarence Mihalovitch as Asst. Secretary, and Albert Mihalovitch as Superintendant. They also listed agencies in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, New Orleans, San Francisco, Louisville, Denver, and Galveston.
The company used the brand names: “Fletcher’s Bitters“, “Golden Wheat”, “Hopewell”, “I.C.U.”, “Lucky Mystic”, “Mihalovitch’s Hungarian Blackberry Juice”, “Moonshine Bourbon”, “Old Bass Island wines”, “Old Kaintuck”, “St. Jacobs Bitters“, and “St. Jacobs Malt.”
This Mihalovitch, Fletcher & Co. 1890 letterhead below, from the Joe Gourd collection, notes both the Fletcher’s Bitters and St. Jacob’s Bitters. The second letterhead is also from Joe’s collection.