Another Patended Landsberg Bottle
by James Viguerie
04 February 2014 (R•021214) (R•121318 -New Example)
While going through my copies of bitters patents today I thought I had accidentally made two copies of the Landsberg’s patent (see Figs: 1 & 2 above) for the Century Bitters bottle (patent 12,861 – L13, L14 L15 in Bitters Bottles). They are incredible bottles so I could see where I might have wanted two copies, in case I lost one. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that one patent was submitted a year later. At first I thought it was for a subtitle design variation. I know there are Landsberg bottles from Chicago, New York and St. Louis. However, this patent was for a very different bottle design (see Figs: 3 & 4 below).
The design on this bottle is incredible. I would very much like to get my hands on one. OK, I would love to own any Landsberg bottle! But this one having a mortar and pestle would make it a good fit for my druggist bottle collection. I do not know what this bottle held. However, it being very similar to the other Landsberg bottles, I would guess bitters.
I like how he refers to the bottle as the “Sphinx”. Being he referred to the earlier patented bottle as the “Century”, and it held “Landsberg’s Century Bitters”, I am unofficially calling this bottle the “Landsberg’s Sphinx Bitters”.
The earlier bottle, patent 12,861, has a spread eagle, rayed sun, shield, “1876”, beautiful corrugated corners and hexagons at the base (see Figs: 5 & 6 below). The neck of this bottle was meant to represent a handle and the shoulder a bell with stars on it. Truly an exceptional bottle design.
This newer bottle (patent 13,699) equally, was quite ornate, perhaps even more so. The bottle not only has a Sphinx and a mortar and pestle, it has the figure of a griffin, a human headed lion, corrugated columns at the corners, birds, animals, hieroglyphics and the “M.G.L.” monogram. The neck of the bottle is shaped into a base and obelisk. Perhaps he told the craftsman who designed the first bottle to just let his imagination run wild on the second bottle.
Quite a few of the bitters patents I have were for label only bottles. While those can be exciting bottles to have, and very rare, nothing beats a well embossed bottle. It is exciting to think that this bottle was actually made. Nothing in the design looks too hard to have made, considering the other Landsberg bottles. I hope some lucky collector has one sitting on a shelf right now. They can call be when they get bored with it.
*** UPDATE *** Ladies and Gentlemen… the Landsberg Sphinx Bottles