What was peened out of the Apple Brandy Bitters?
23 December 2014 (R•122414)
The Apple Brandy Bitters is another extremely rare bitters square that Jeff Wichmann pictured and sold on his new American Bottle Auctions | Bottle Store page. Previously I posted about the Acorn Bitters and Rose Hill Stomach Bitters from the page. His description for the Apple Brandy Bitters:
Two of the panels have areas where letters were peened out.
Apple Brandy Bitters: 9 7/8”. (Ring/Ham 9.5) Applied top, A.&D.H.C on base. Aside from a tiny flake on one panel edge, this example is in great shape. A medium to light amber, it is fairly crude with an uneven front panel and some light crudity to the rest of the bottle. Two of the panels have areas where letters were peened out. A handsome bitters, here’s another extremely rare bottle and the first we’ve seen. We are aware of only one example other than this one, it being dug in San Jose. Western? We have no idea. Grades an 8.9.
In a previous post we have looked at Pure Apple Brandy Bitters made by Sanford, Chamberlain & Albers in Knoxville, Tennessee. This interesting figural barrel is pictured above. I believe we are talking about another brand here as the advertisements from The Indianapolis News (Indianapolis, Indiana) local section suggest below. Notice that they reference a W. W. Elliott on 66 South Pennsylvania Street. This is in the heart of the business district. He is selling a Elliott’s Pure Apple Brandy Bitters in 1877. Pure Apple Brandy Bitters to pull you back from bad health. Another angle for these bitters guys.
So is this bottle from W. W. Elliott? Hard to tell. Carlyn Ring and W. C. Ham do have a listing in Bitters Bottles for it but it offers no clues except the notation for the two slugged out strips and saying an example was dug in San Jose, California.
A 79.5 APPLE BRANDY BITTERS
APPLE BRANDY / BITTERS // slugged out strip // slugged out strip // f //
8 7/8 x 2 3/4 x 7
Square, Amber, LTC, Applied mouth, Extremely rare
Example dug in San Jose, California
Very strange. Why would an Indianapolis bitters be found in San Jose? What was on the slugged out panels? And what did the A & D H C on the base mean? Was this the bottle maker? Maybe someone has some more information here.
Update: The initials A & D H C stand for Alexander and David H. Chambers who operated a glasshouse in Pittsburgh 1841-1888. Read: The Glass Factories and Bottles of Alexander and David H. Chambers.
W. W. Elliott Listings
IF, and that is a big if, Warren W. Elliott worked at Gapen & Catherwood in Indianapolis in 1872 selling wines and liquors, he might have left the company and for a very brief moment produced the Elliott’s Pure Apple Brandy Bitters in 1877. Possibly the Gapen & Catherwood embossing and address was slugged out of two panels. Elliott disappears from Indianapolis in 1880. Maybe he went to San Jose and drank his last bottle of bitters, tossed it in a privy and that one was found. Can only imagine now.
1860: Elliott & Ryan, wholesale liquor dealers, Indianapolis
1871-1872: Gapen & Catherwood (Philip M. Gapen and Joseph Catherwood), wholesale wines and liquors, 92 and 94 s. Meridan – Swartz & Tedrowe’s Indianapolis Directory, 1872 (see below)
1875-1876: Warren W. Elliott, bookkeeper, J Catherwood, 180 N. West – Indianapolis, Indiana City Directory
1877: Warren W. Elliott, res St. Charles blk – S.E. Tilford and Co.’s Indianapolis city directory, 1877
1878: Warren W. Elliott, rooms 15 St. Charles blk – Polk’s Indianapolis (Marion County, Ind.) city directory, 1878
1879: Warren W. Elliott, res 28 Hutchins blk – Polk’s Indianapolis (Marion County, Ind.) city directory, 1879