Circa: 1857 – 1859
In his advertisements Bryant claimed his bitters were an unrivaled stomach corrector and had no equal at restoring the vital energy of the entire system. He recommended a half a glass of his wine bitters before meals to impart a keen relish for food.
Bryant probably only produced this bottle for no more than a couple of years and by 1870 all mention of Bryant ends.
Relation to Sierra County
Early day Downieville bottle diggers claim to have found pieces of the Bryant’s cone shaped bitters in the downtown area behind the present day Yuba Theater. I cannot confirm these allegations, even though I have dug extensively in this area of Downieville. A Nevada City digger reports that shards of the Bryant’s cone were discovered in the town of Camptonville in Yuba County. Camptonville sits twenty miles south west of Downieville on the early supply road from Marysville to Downieville. A broken example was dug in San Francisco in the 1990’s along with shards of another example.
It is believed that there are only four intact Bryant’s Stomach Bitters and another three examples that have been repaired or pieced together. It is reported that an intact example was recovered from Sacramento sometime in 1962 and another complete Bryant’s was un-earthed in the gold rush town of North San Juan. The third complete specimen of the Bryant’s was discovered at the “big dig” in San Francisco and a fourth example was found in Portland. At least three of the four intact examples of the Bryant’s are located in California collections, two in northern part of the state and the other in central California.
The Bryant’s Stomach Bitters is an extremely rare and important piece of California gold rush history and a highly desirable addition to an advanced bottle collector. This bottle is so desirable that the only specimen that has come to auction fetched a record setting price and is believed to be the highest price ever paid for a bottle. Bar None!