J. H. Dudley’s Jockey Club House Bitters


J.H. Dudley & Co’s Jockey Club House Bitters

Boston, Massachusetts

21 February 2016 (R•060319)

Apple-Touch-IconABack in early February, Steve Ketcham, FOHBC Director-At-Large, (Edina, MN) put this really cool J. H. Dudley & Co’s Jockey Club House Bitters package on ebay. I set the pictures aside for a later post though I did put it up on Daily Dose. Here are the rest of the pictures, Steve’s ebay listing text and a little information on Mr. Dudley.

[Steve Ketcham] This product box once held a bottle of Jockey Club House Bitters, a product of J. H. Dudley & Co. of 14 Broad Street, Boston. Ring and Ham list the bottle as J-42, though no illustration is available, and we can find no records listing this bottle as having ever been sold at auction. As shown, the box label depicts a jockey flirting with a young lass as she leans out a window. The label shows the yellowing and stain of age, and this one is early. The wrapper was printed and then wrapped around the box. At the bottom of the label we find, “Entered according to Act of Congress, 1858, by J. H. Dudley & Co. in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of Massachusetts.” The box is still quite solid, and a block of styrofoam was slipped into the box to keep it from being crushed or bent (this is how we found it). The lid, printed with a warning about cheap imitations, lifts off. About 9 1/2 inches tall by 3 inches square. Not many early bitters boxes out there!

The package sold for $462.








James H. Dudley

A quick glance at the package might make it seem like you are looking at a related product for the well-known London Club House Gin. An example is pictured below. Many bitters collectors have examples of these bottles because the are so darn great with the embossed horse and jockey. Read: London Jockey Club House Gin

Jockey on Running Horse - LONDON CLUB HOUSE GIN - photo Ferdinand Meyer V

Jockey on Running Horse – LONDON CLUB HOUSE GIN

Well, this is not the same proprietor. In the case of the Jockey Club House Bitters, we are talking about J. H. Dudley & Co. who were the proprietors located at 14 Broad Street in Boston, Massachusetts. James H. Dudley was born in Pembroke, New Hampshire in 1801. His father was named Trueworthy Dudley. Now who can not trust a first name like that? In 1832, they are both listed as grocers at 82 Pond in Boston. A bit too early for this bitters though.

From about 1848 or so, we can place James H. Dudley & Co. at 14 Broad Street which is listed on the box. The 1850 United States Federal Census lists James H. Dudley as being 50 years old and a grocer. His wife was Elizabeth Dudley, 37, and his son, Thomas E Dudley, 20, had started an Apothecary. Dudley stays at the Broad Street address until about 1858 so we can place the brand in this window though the box has “Entered according to Act of Congress, 1858, by J. H. Dudley & Co. in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of Massachusetts” on the front bottom panel. We also see advertising in newspapers in 1858 for the bitters.


Dudley’s graphics are wonderful on the box with this “Romeo” jockey sipping a glassful of Jockey Club Bitters that his Juliette hands him from her porch window. She has a larger container of bitters on the ledge. I guess her house was right next to the race track. J. H. Dudley also has his signature on the box which is pretty neat. He said that two or three wine glass fulls a day, placed in your wine or schnapps (I guess that you are already drinking) will cure your headache, stomach ache etc. I bet so, at least for a while. I also have never seen a bottle.

Here is an advertising trade card from the Joe Gourd collection. Note the same illustration 0f a courting jockey at the window of a damsel. Note that English Crown Bitters is mentioned. This was unlisted prior to Bitters Bottles Supplement 2. The box has also been listed.

Trade card
E 44.5 ENGLISH CROWN BITTERS, printed one side, Dudley & Thornton, Sole Agents for Jockey Club and English Crown Bitters, No. 67 Kilby Street, Boston
(see also J 42 Jockey Club House Bitters)
J 42 JOCKEY CLUB HOUSE BITTERS, J. H. Dudley & Co., 14 Broad Street, Boston, Entered According to Act of Congress, 1858, by J. H. Dudley & Co. in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of Massachusetts.
9 1/2
Trade card
J 42 JOCKEY CLUB HOUSE BITTERS, From J. H. Dudley & Co., Proptrs., Dudley & Thornton, Sole Agents for Jockey Club and English Crown Bitters, No. 67 Kilby Street, Boston
(see E 44.5 English Crown Bitters)

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

L…Jockey Club House Bitters
J. H. Dudley, 14 Broad Street, Boston, Massachusetts
9 1/2 x 3 1/4
Box for the bottle with picture of jockey on horse talking to women in stands.
Entered according to to the Act of Congress 1858
New England Directory 1860The Vermont Patriot and State Gazette, November 5, 1858

Select Listings

1801: James H. Dudley born in Pembroke, New Hampshire, father Trueworthy Dudley (1753–1846) – Dudley Genealogies
1832: Harvey and Trueworthy Dudley, Grocers, 82 Pond – Stimpson’s Boston Directory
1839: Birth of son Thomas E Dudley (1839–1848) in Ware, New Hampshire
1848: Birth of son Franklin H Dudley (1848–), 23 Feb 1848, Boston, Massachusetts
1848: James H. Dudley & Co. (John T. Brenan), W. I. goods, 14 Broad – Boston Directory
1850: James H Dudley, 50, Grocer, Birth Year: abt 1800, Birthplace: New Hampshire, Home in 1850: Boston Ward 10, Suffolk, Massachusetts, Household members: James H Dudley, 50, Elizabeth Dudley, 37, Thomas E Dudley, Apothecary, 20 – United States Federal Census
1854-1858: James H. Dudley & Co. (Thomas E. Dudley), W. I. goods, 14 Broad, house at Milton – Boston Directory
1858: Entered according to Act of Congress, 1858, by J. H. Dudley & Co. in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of Massachusetts.
1858: Newspaper advertisement (below) Jockey Club House Bitters. J. H. Dudley & Co., 14 Broad st., Boston, Proprietors – The Vermont Patriot and State Gazette, Friday, November 5, 1858

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.
This entry was posted in Advertising, Bitters, eBay, Ephemera, History, Medicines & Cures and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply