The Iron Maiden
23 April 2014
I received a call yesterday from an old-time historical flask collector named Joe Wood. We talked for a bit about the great flask collections from previous decades and he mentioned that he had auctioned off his flasks with Glass Works Auctions some years ago. We did end up talking about bitters as he had once owned an aqua, pontiled, un-embossed proof for the Simon’s Centennial Bitters but also had sold that off. I bet Dick Watson has it.
Joe also mentioned that he has a rather odd indian queen casting that looks very similar to the Brown’s Celebrated Indian Herb Bitters figural bottle. The piece had been wrapped and stored for over 25 years and just saw the light of day again recently. Though the paper was brittle with age, the queen was as black as coal and so heavy that Joe said he could not even pick it up with one arm. I guess we are talking cast iron or lead here. There was some type of faded gold, painted decoration on the form as you can see in the pictures. Inscribed on the bottom is ‘NEAL N. BROWN, 1867, PHILADELPHIA, PA’. Joe thought back and mentioned that he had purchased the piece from an old, roving bottle collector, named David Goad who traveled the states in a motor home. He always had good bottles and wheeled and dealed with collectors.
Anybody seen one of these before? The copy on the base looks machine engraved to me. Maybe added at a later date.