Sunday, December 5, 2010

Auburn IXL Showdown

On Saturday December 4th the 49er Historical Bottle Club held their annual bottle and antique show.
After a brisk Friday afternoon dealer setup Saturday’s attendance was steady and most of the dealer's I talked with reported strong sales all day long.

It was great to see all the fellow bottle collectors and I visited with collectors from Northern California, Southern California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Texas, Arizona, Wisconsin and many other regions.

One of the highlights of Saturday’s show was the Dr. Henley’s Wild Grape Root IXL Bitters “showdown” that was conceived and overseen by western collector “The California Kid”. I am not positive, but I believe, there were over a dozen entries of IXL’s in the circle and non circle variants. The varied and stunning colors that the IXL is known to come in made for a very colorful display.

After the three judges conferred, they awarded first place in the non circle category to collector Richard Siri for beautiful amber colored IXL. Richard also received first place in the circle IXL category with a drop dead deep blue aqua Henley’s – a clean sweep of the showdown for the Santa Rosa collector.

Thanks to all that participated in the showdown and to the Auburn club for an entertaining and well run showdown. I have heard rumors that next year’s showdown will be Phoenix western fifths and flasks. Excellent!


  1. Those were "Fantabulous" IXLs. Sorta makes me wish I'd kept a few, but being poor made me stick to one category.In your photo the winners were the far right bottle and the blue one six to the left of it.

  2. The IXL showdown was spectacular and added tremendously to the enjoyment of the show. A huge thanks to the owners for sharing them.

    It was a little painful seeing that blue circled IXL win within its category. I was offered that bottle several years ago for what now would be a song and dance. Before seeing it, the previous owner described it as emerald green. When I visited his home and learned it was not emerald green, at least not in my eye, I was so disappointed that I passed on it, not fully realizing how truly unusual it was. Yeah, hindsight is a mofo...

  3. I was asked to be a judge on this 1st annual showdown event. The entries were fabulous and as judges (3) we were given instructions to judge on 3 criteria; color, crudity & condition. It was a difficult choice to make to pick just two winners. A successful first showdown and I hope many more to come.