Extremely rare Senour’s Calisaya Bitters from St. Louis

Senour's Calisaya Bitters_s

Extremely rare Senour’s Calisaya Bitters from St. Louis

16 March 2016

Apple-Touch-IconAEarlier in March. I posted on Daily Dose about a Senour’s Calisaya Bitters saying, “Off to Dallas and then San Antone tomorrow night. Baltimore next week for the big antique bottle show and FOHBC board meeting. Here is another Senour’s Calisaya Bitters that crossed my path today (see below). Obviously with a problem. That makes the one dug last month (see above) and this one, the only examples that I have ever seen.” As you can see, both have issues.


The bottle is about nine inches tall. It has no other damage other than the top. It does have some oxidation from being dug. In a window it is honey amber. On the Senours side it displays nicely. The bottle with the rigaree, I found in an antique mall in Corpus Christi about twenty years ago. The only other one like it I have seen was in a New England bottle auction catalog about ten years ago. The only difference is that this one is a quart and the other was a pint. It is cloudy inside. Pontiled with wide wear band. If you are interested in the Senours what ever feels good to you is fine. Thank you for your reply. If you know anyone that needs custom furniture in the 18th or early 19th century style. This what I do. Have a blessed day.

So the complete Senour’s Calisaya Bitters was dug recently in Memphis, Tennessee. Probably was carried down the Mississippi some 145 years ago or so. You can read about the bottle dig at TheMemphisDiggers.



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

9 ¾ x 2 ¾ (6 ¾) 3/8
Square, Amber, LTC, Applied mouth, 3 sp, Extremely rare
Advertisements: The Leavenworth Times (Kansas), Thomas T. January and Charles T. Biser, Sole Proprietors, No. 206 Walnut St., St. Louis, Thursday, November 2, 1871, The Galveston Daily News, Sunday, Chas. Southerland joined firm November 24, 1872

Senour’s Calisaya Bitters

The first time I can find mention of Senour’s Calisaya Bitters is in a St. Louis, Missouri newspaper in 1871. January & Biser (Thomas T. January & Charles T. Biser) were wholesale liquor dealers and importers and were the sole proprietors of Senour’s Calisaya Bitters. In 1872, Charles Southerland was in business with January & Biser and his name dominates advertising that year. By 1873 and 1874, you can find most advertising in Texas where I suppose, the Hispanic market was targeted. They must have stopped making the brand in 1873 and shipped the remains to New Orleans and then over to Galveston, Texas. I suspect, someone will eventually dig a bottle in our port cities here in Texas. It is interesting to note that in 1874, Williams Brothers in Dallas, Texas was selling Senour’s Celebrated Calisaya Bitters by Mercer, Agnew & Co., London. Not sure of this London connection.


January & Biser Sole Proprietors for Senour’s Calisaya Bitters – The Lincoln County Herald (St. Louis), Thursday, June 8, 1871


January & Biser Proprietors Senour’s Calisaya Bitters – The Leavenworth Times (Kansas), Thursday, November 2, 1871


Charles Sutherland with January & Biser Sole proprietors of Senour’s Calisaya Bitters – The Galveston Daily News, Sunday, November 24, 1872


Charles Sutherland with January & Biser Sole proprietors of Senour’s Calisaya Bitters – The Galveston Daily News, Sunday, January 19, 1873


Interesting notice saying that Williams Brothers can sell Senour’s Celebrated Calisaya Bitters by Mercer, Agnew & Co., London – The Dallas Daily Herald, Thursday, February 19, 1874

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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