A labeled Dr. Stephen Jewett’s Tonic Bitters


A labeled Dr. Stephen Jewett’s Tonic Bitters

22 April 2014 (R•031619) (R•032319)

Apple-Touch-IconAYet another fantastic, labeled bitters from New Hampshire submitted by Brandon DeWolfe. We are talking today about Dr. Stephen Jewett’s Tonic Bitters from Rindge, New Hampshire. The example that Brandon submitted is also pontiled and signed by Stephen Jewett. This goes along with the previous Tuft’s Tonic Bitters, Annabel’s Mandrake Bitters and Russell’s Alterative and Tonic Bitters. Many bitters collectors are more familiar with the embossed Dr. Stephen Jewett’s Celebrated Heath Restoring Bitters.

Read: Dr. Stephen Jewett’s / Celebrated Health Restoring Bitters / Rindge, N.H. on eBay

This bitters is actually unlisted in both of the Ring & Ham Bitters Bottles books will need to be listed in Bitters Bottles Supplement 2.

J 39.5  L . . . Dr. Stephen Jewett’s Tonic Bitters
Oval, Aqua. NSC, Applied mouth, Pontiled?

Dr. Stephen Jewett’s / Celebrated Health / Restoring Bitters / Rindge, N.H.” Bitters Bottle, a Stoddard glasshouse, Stoddard, New Hampshire, 1840-1860. Rectangular with beveled corners, brilliant olive yellow, applied square collared mouth – pontil scar, ht. 7 1/4 inches; R/H #J-37 A beautiful and light color. Fine condition. Estimate: $2,500 – $5,000 Price Realized: $5,265 – Heckler

Stephen Jewett was born in Rindge, New Hampshire on October 21, 1764 and was the son of Ezekiel and Hannah (Platts) Jewett and brother of Dr. Thomas Jewett. The Jewett’s were among the first settlers of Rindge. Stephen married Nancy Colburn on May 30, 1786 who was the daughter of Ebenezer and Mercy (Everett) Colburn. Stephen and Nancy occupied the farm previously owned by his father, known today as the Ware Farm. Stephen and Nancy had twelve children.


Ezekiel Jewett House, home of Dr. Stephen Jewett

The Jewett family was an enterprising group with interests in several mills and factories in that town. The family was best known, however, for its involvement in the medical field. Although Stephen Jewett did not pursue a regular course of professional study, through his good natural abilities, and ordinary degree of common sense, which schools cannot bestow, he built a lucrative medical practice in the Rindge area. Dr. Jewett became well known in his field and was frequently called to Boston and other cities for professional consultation for the cure of both chronic and acute diseases.


Dr. Stephen Jewett’s Celebrated Heath Restoring Bitters in yellow-olive – Glass Works Auctions | Auction 100

Dr. Stephen Jewett’s Celebrated Heath Restoring Bitters, (Ring/Ham, J-37), (Odell, pg. 133), New Hampshire, ca. 1840 – 1860, medium yellowish olive amber, 7 1/2”h, iron pontil, applied ring mouth. Perfect condition, excellent overall glass whittle, bold impression. An extra appealing  ‘flow’ of glass on the side of the neck occurred when the lipwas being applied. Here’s a ‘top shelf’ example! $5,500 – Glass Works Auctions Direct Sale [March 2019]

Dr. Stephen Jewett is best remembered for his patent medicines. He developed the medicines, but it was his son, Dr. Stephen Jewett, Jr., who was also not really a doctor, made Dr. Stephen Jewett medicines known far and wide. The younger Jewett continued the manufacture of the medicines after his father’s death and marketed them with great success.


Dr. Stephen Jewett’s Health Restoring Bitters b/w proof – Library of Congress

Stephen, Jr. located the main office of the Jewett Company in Boston. He purchased bottles from the glass factories at Keene and Stoddard to package the Health Restoring Bitters. The labels on the bottles stated that the bitters would cure chronic diseases, cancer, all disorders of the blood, skin and digestive organs, liver and kidney complaints, and many other disabilities. In fact, the label indicated that “all can be cured if within the power of medicine.” These small bottles of bitters sold for 50¢ each and were a huge success. Stephen Jewett Jr. passed away in 1862 and his medicine company closed within ten years.


Label detail for the pontiled, Dr. Stephen Jewett’s Tonic Bitters. Note faded Jewett signature on bottom – DeWolfe Collection

Primary Reference: Monadnock Moment No. 049, Era 4: Expansion and Reform – 1800 to 1860

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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