E. Dexter Loveridge – In the House
A Treasure Trove of Wahoo Bitters items goes to Auction
24 April 2015 (R•051215)
One of the more entertaining aspects of collecting antique bottles, and in my particular case, bitters bottles, is the interesting names that we have to work with. Recently, I wrote a post about Zulu Bitters and then the similarly named Zu Zu Bitters. Then you get the cool “Dr. named bitters” like Dr. Rattinger’s Bitters and Dr. Plannett’s Bitters, weird ones like Aimar’s Flytrap Bitters and Carey’s Grecian Bend Bitters, and the military ones like Barto’s Great Gun Bitters and General Scott’s Artillery Bitters. Next there are the Indian bitters like Old Sachems Bitters and Wigwam Tonic and the subject of this post, E. Dexter Loveridge’s Wahoo Bitters. I could go on and on.
About a month ago one morning, I opened my various electronic mail boxes. I have like four or five e-mail addresses for different things like FMG business, Peachridge Glass and the FOHBC. Kind of ridiculous, I know, but it does let me compartmentalize my work and believe me, the nets do catch some fish sometimes.
The subject e-mail that caught my attention like a shiny coin in the mud is represented below:
I have been trying to research some items I have. Years ago, we purchased a home built in 1891 with all of its contents. I had sold quite a bit of the beautiful items found in our home, but have put aside a few things so I can research them. Our home once belonged to E. Dexter Loveridge’s granddaughter, Louisa. Edwin’s daughter, Mary, and her husband, Judge Halsey, lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. When Louisa got married, he built this Western Springs home for her wedding gift. Mary was here often, but Louisa lived here. Since Louisa was the last living relative of the family, she inherited everything from both Milwaukee, and also, Buffalo, New York. And it’s all been in the attic for so many years like a time-capsule.
Among the items that we have found so far include an E. Dexter Loveridge Wahoo Bitters bottle, still wrapped in cellophane, and still with a cork in it. There are two framed Loveridge advertising pieces, a photograph of his establishment in Buffalo with him standing in front, and believe it or not, his top hat. We also have paper items, such as a Loveridge advertising envelope, trade card, a handbill, various photos of him, an illustrative portrait, stationery and a photo of his home in Buffalo.
I realize there are a lot of websites out there that deal in bottles like this, and I’m just starting my research as to how to sell these items. Any input would be helpful. I can send photos, but wanted to reach out to a few people before I do. Thank you for your time,
Diana from Chicago
Well, fast forward a bit. After a couple of phone conversations with Diana, who was as excited as an eastern gold miner in California, and quite a few e-mails, we both decided that the best and most fairest course of action for her would be to auction the items with the hopes that it would end up in a location that would cherish and group the items with other historical bottles and related ephemera. So what auction house? Well, the treasure trove of Loveridge items is headed to the FOHBC 2015 Chattanooga National Antique Bottle Shows “Rolling Thunder” auction that is being conducted by Daniel Auction Company on Saturday night, August 1st 2015. This will be a live event preceded by an online auction similar to other Federation national show auctions. Man, am I excited! I wonder if that hat will fit on my head? My wife says no, as my head is big enough? What does that mean?
Look for a full article in the upcoming July-August issue of BOTTLES and EXTRAS. In the meantime, here are a few pictures from Diana to whet your appetite.
Updated 12 May 2015: Diana up in Chicago has found E. Dexter Loveridge’s cane! Dagger concealed within. This will join the other Loveridge items at the Chattanooga National Auction. See pictures at bottom of post.
“So, we’ve been working frantically to get ready for our Saturday sale, and we almost forgot about our cane collection that was in our foyer all these years. There were about a dozen really cool ones, and so Jim started polishing the tips of the silver ones. And…when he did…he could read the inscription on the end of one…E. D. LOVERIDGE, BUFFALO, NY. It had been pretty tarnished, so we had no idea it said anything.”