The extremely rare Maynard’s Star Bitters from Pittsburgh


The Extremely Rare Maynard’s Star Bitters from Pittsburgh

07 September 2014 (R•102916)

Apple-Touch-IconAI haven’t thought about my Maynard’s Star Bitters (my example is pictured at the top of this post) until I saw another example in the upcoming Heckler Premier Auction 115. Their example is pictured below. I was able to pick up my example at the live auction at the FOHBC York National Antique Bottle Expo in 2008.


Lot: 3 “Maynard’s / Star Bitters” Bottle, America, 1860-1880. Square with beveled corners, medium yellowish amber in shoulders shading to reddish amber in base with puce overtones, applied sloping collared mouth – smooth base, ht. 8 7/8 inches; (3/8 inch by 1/4 inch open bubble on label panel, 1/16 inch flake from interior mouth edge, professionally cleaned with remaining stain on base). Unlisted Great whittled appearance. – Heckler Premier Auction 115


“MAYNARD’S – STAR BITTERS”, (unlisted), American, ca. 1870 – 1880, reddish amber, 9”h, smooth base, applied tapered collar mouth. A shallow open bubble is on a label panel, lightly cleaned. Good glass whittle and probably unique! – Glass Works Auctions – Auction #113

What is exciting is that five of these bottles were found in a dig in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. At that time, the bottle was a new find and unlisted. Two were broken and two had some damage. Four were in amber. My example came out in great condition and in unique coloration with olive amber tones. You can read about the dig and discovery in the July/August 2008 issue of the FOHBC Bottles and Extras.

Read: Bitter January Digs by Jeff Mihalik

The Carlyn Ring and Bill Ham listing in the upcoming Bitters Bottles Supplement 2 will be:

M 51.4  MAYNARD // STAR // BITTERS // f //
8 7/8 x 2 3/4
Square, Amber and Olive-yellow, 3 sp, LTC, Applied mouth, Very rare
A olive amber (revise) example, and three undamaged amber examples were dug in Beaver Falls, PA., two more amber examples, one with a potstone with tails and a cracked example were also dug.

E. Frank Maynard was a druggist and a manufacturer of patent medicines between 1869 and 1873 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is most likely that he put out a limited run of Maynard’s Star Bitters in 1870 and 1871. Later Maynard was a liquor broker at various locations in Pittsburgh. There is very little information other than he was born in Ohio in 1845. His parents were from Vermont. His wife was Rosanna Maynard and children were May, Nellie, Florence and Asa Maynard.


Maynard’s Star Bitters advertisement – The Cairo (Cairo, Illinois) Bulletin, 29 August 1871

Select Timeline

1845: Born November 1845, E. F. Maynard, Ohio

1867: E. F. Maynard, clerk, 40 Wylie – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania City Directory

1868: E. Frank Maynard, druggist,  3 Monongahela House – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania City Directory

1869: E. F. Maynard, Patent Medicines, 3 Monongahela House – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania City Directory

1871: E. F. Maynarddruggist, 3 Smithfield, h Bidwell n Ohio av, A – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania City Directory | Maynard’s Star Bitters advertisement (see above) – The Cairo (Cairo, Illinois) Bulletin, 29 August 1871

1873: E. F. Maynard, druggist, Pasture Lane, Mt W – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania City Directory

1875: E. F. Maynard, clerk, 2131 Sarah, s s – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania City Directory

1877: bookkeeper, 2111 Sarah, s s – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania City Directory

1878: E. F. Maynard, clerk, 148 Third Ave – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania City Directory

1879: E. F. Maynard, manager, Hiland Ave, 19th wd – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania City Directory

1881E. F. Maynard, clerk, Hiland Ave, e e  – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania City Directory

1882: E. F. Maynard, Grain Broker, 59 Fourth Av  – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania City Directory

1887-88: E. F. Maynard, bookkeeper, 19 Fourth – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania City Directory

1890: E. F. Maynard, 116 Smithfield – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania City Directory

1900: E. F. Maynard, Liquor Broker, Allegheny Ward 5 – United States Federal Census

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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