Saturday, November 28, 2009

Mystery bottle

OK, it's most likely NOT a Bitters, but does anyone have any information about what this bottle might have contained? The embossed scene on the bottle is reminiscent of the Hostetter's label, showing St George slaying the dragon. In this case it appears to be a snake. It is trade marked, but not in the CA State Archives book of applications. To the best of my knowledge, they are only dug in the West. I have dug amber examples, here locally, and found a aqua specimen at a show.


  1. You may want to consider looking a little further to the North for the origin of this bottle. I know of at least two of these to have been dug in the Portland Oregon area but yet I have heard of them also being found in California.

  2. I have an aqua and an amber one of these .I was hoping it was Hostetter related but it's not . I have a screw cap labled only version .It's Stomavita ,distributors ,Los Angeles .Another possiblity "ZOAGREIAINE" asthma and catarrh cure .L.A.Smith& Co., New York .I have a mint box but it came without a bottle so ?? The embossed bottle does fit in the box perfect and because it says cure would date the bottle better.Both use kind of the same logo but the 'STOMAVITA" logo on the box is almost a dead ringer to the one on the bottle .

  3. I know of one that was dug a few yrs ago in the L.A. area. So, I would lean towards the Stomavita theory that Richard suggested.

  4. Are a number of Eastern SARSAPARILLA bottles with a similar mold/form. I'd wager it's a Sarsaparilla.

  5. I dug the So Cal example (in Los Angeles) along with a partner a few years ago out of a deep 1880's-90's hole. It is a very light honey amber. I also have a completely different example of the same bottle in the shape of a warners safe cure!?!

    Rick -- Give me the blessing as an author on this site so I can post the pictures of the two totally different examples that I have. Only a few collectors (Mike D., R. Hall, R. Siri, and Dale M.) who either own or who have seen these examples. It seems they primarily come in shades of amber, sometimes clear or aqua (most likely less than 7-10 Nr. Mint+ examples known in total from my count).

    I've always thought they were a sarsaparilla, possibly a medicine/cure or a bitters of some sort. I have not done any extensive research on this bottle. In terms of where they are dug/found, it seems primariliy in the bay area up into the Northwest, with perhaps the lone exception of the example I dug in the Los Angeles area a few years ago.