An XR, Dr. Paetz’s Stomach Bitters makes an appearance


An XR, Dr. Paetz’s Stomach Bitters makes an appearance

27 June 2014 (R•110814)


Apple-Touch-IconAI was a little stunned when I received an auction announcement from Greg Spurgeon and North American Glass earlier in the month. The surprise was not another fine auction of fruit jars which I have come to expect, because Greg is the “fruit jar auction man”. The surprise, and the part about being stunned, was seeing an example of a Dr. W. Paetz’s Stomach Bitters included in his auction lots. See Listing

Sure, he has other bottles in his auctions, and I did pick up this peachy-puce Baker’s Orange Grove Bitters earlier this year from one of his events. It’s just that I have never seen a Paetz’s. What a beauty! With a super, red iron pontil and looking like a Hostetter’s Bitters bottle, this boy was real. When I contacted Greg about the bottle he said, “Yes we just came across this one from an older couple of “closet collectors” here in the Midwest.” The bottle ended up selling for a$1,810 not including the auction house premium.

Carlyn Ring and W.C. Ham have it listed as the following in Bitters Bottles:

P 4.5  DR W. PAETZ’S / STOMACH BITTERS // f // f // f //
9 7/8 x 2 7/8 (7 3/4) 1/4
Square, Amber, LTC, Applied mouth, Metallic pontil mark, Extremely rare

Update from Bill Ham:

Paetz was in Columbus Ohio by at least 1855, and then moved to Gallion in 1860. He moved to Indianapolis in 1869. He is listed in the 1870 census in Indianapolis as being 46 years old.

Three examples are known to collectors. One found in a sealed house attic in Cincinnati Ohio with a group of pontiled embossed bottles and a second example was sold at an estate auction in Indianapolis, Indiana in 2006. 

There is virtually nothing out there on this bottle but I will go deeper this weekend. I did find this amusing clipping in the Harrisburg (Pennsylvania) Telegraph from 22 October 1883. Yes this is late for this bottle which is Civil War era but interesting none-the-less. Maybe the doctor succumbed to the evil of drink only to be whipped to his senses by his wife.


Same bottle shows up 5 months later at Glass Works Auction 105


175. “DR. W. PAETZ’S / STOMACH BITTERS”, (Ring/Ham, P-4.5), American, ca. 1850 – 1860, deep amber, 9 1/2”h, red iron pontil, applied tapered collar mouth. About perfect. Extremely rare! To our knowledge this is one of only three known examples, all were found in either Ohio or Western Pennsylvania. – Glass Works Auction 105

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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One Response to An XR, Dr. Paetz’s Stomach Bitters makes an appearance

  1. jhbottle says:

    Hi Ferdinand, I believe this to be a Columbus Ohio bottle. I have some research somewhere on it. I will look for it. I have a perfect one of these and have only seen one other besides mine until now which I owned briefly years ago. It now resides in Northern California in a prominent collection. All of these have been found in Ohio as I was told the above example was found in Western Ohio. One of the other examples was found in Findlay, Ohio in an attic and the other which I currently have was found north of Columbus and sold through Glass Works several years ago. Jamie Houdeshell

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