Schroeder’s German Bitters – Baltimore


Schroeder’s German Bitters – Baltimore

03 March 2015

Apple-Touch-IconABob Ford with the Baltimore Antique Bottle Club posted the picture below of the extremely rare, and very uniquely designed Schroeder’s German Bitters from Baltimore, Maryland recently on the Bitters Bottles Facebook page. It reminded me of my example which is pictured at the top of the post. This bottle walked into the Baltimore Show in 2007. I followed the bottle and was able to add it to my collection the following year via a Glass Works Auction. My example is near mint though it has been slightly cleaned.

The Carlyn Ring and W.C. Ham listing in Bitters Bottles is as follows:

S 73drawing

// b / VA. S.W.C.W.CO. / BALTIMORE / MD.
10 1/2 x 3 3/4 x 2 1/4 (5 1/2)
Oval, Amber, LTCR, Tooled lip, Extremely rare
3 rows of hexagons on shoulder
Note: Ring at base of shoulder which has swirled flutes. Top and bottom of lettered panel has a ring. Lettering reads from base to shoulder. Base lettering stamped twice N&O.

You will notice three other pictures of the Schroeder’s German Bitters in this post besides mine. There is the Bob Ford picture, the Bitters Bottles Supplement picture and a later Glass Works Auctions example. Actually if you look closely, these are the same bottle.

Read: Leading up to Baltimore Glass Works


Schroeder’s German Bitters – photograph Bob Ford


Schroeder’s German Bitters – Bitters Bottles Supplement


Lot 101. “SCHROEDER’S / GERMAN BITTERS”, (S-73), Maryland, ca. 1875 – 1885, medium amber, oval form with octagonal shoulder panels,10 5/8″h, “VA S.W.C.W. CO. / BALTIMORE / MD.” on smooth base, tooled mouth. A 1/2″ long stress crack is located in the side of the mouth. Also a 1/4″ in diameter milky bruise is near the base below the embossing. Extremely rare, only three or four examples are known to exist. Here’s one that you should buy when you can, even if it has minor flaws. – Glass Works Auctions

There is scant information on this bottle. No Schroeder’s Bitters newspaper advertising, trade cards or a tell-tale labeled example. There are dozens of “Schroeder” directory listings in Baltimore City in the 1880s and 1890s including multiple listings for grocers, saloon keepers and merchants. There is even a Ferdinand Schroeder. Probably one of them is our Schroeder.

The only clue comes from an embossing on the base, which reads, “VA. S.W.C.W.CO. / BALTIMORE / MD.”. This stands for Virginia Seal Wild Cherry Wine Company. Interestingly enough, there is also a concern with the same name in Winchester, Virginia, Cincinnati, Ohio and New York city in 1900. Must have been franchised. Look at the stoneware jug below. The Wild Cherry Wine Co. was chartered in Winchester, VA on August 4, 1897.


Rare Large-Sized Winchester, VA Stoneware Jug with Cherry Wine Advertising, American, circa 1900, cylindrical jug with sloped shoulder, squared spout, and applied strap handle, the front featuring the dark-blue-glazed advertising “VIRGINIA SEAL / WILD CHERRY WINE CO. / WINCHESTER. VA” over a cream-colored Bristol slip glaze. Jug measures approximately six gallons. Reglued handle. Spout chip. Otherwise excellent condition. H 19″ – Crocker Farm Auctions


Virginia Seal Wild Cherry Wine Co. mentioned – The Cincinnati Enquirer Wednesday August 25, 1897

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Virginia Seal Wild Cherry Wine Co. mentioned – Executive Documents, Part 2, Ohio, 1898

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Virginia Seal Wild Cherry Wine Co. mentioned – Annual Reports for …, Made to the … General Assembly of the State of Ohio .., Part 2, 1898

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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