Friday, February 3, 2012

Dr. Wonser's

I know that there have been several postings on the Dr. Wonser's Indian Root Bitters, but they are just such gorgeous bottles with everything going for them. There are several of you who are experts at researching and providing detailed history of western brands, and I have learned so much over the years. I guess my role on the blog is to occasionally post a photo and a few lines of inconsequential nothingness. I will leave the additional information to those of you who have done the work...I do believe these date from 1871-1873 or 74.
This particular example is in a deeper red amber and has a ton of crudity and character. It was found over 60 years ago on the surface while a gentleman was out cutting down his Christmas tree. I have not dug as nice a bottle as this in over 40 years of actually trying! It is amazing how some of the greatest finds have occurred over the years. I have not had my wife walk around while I am digging and come back holding a California Clubhouse Bourbon that she found under a arrowhead once, but that was it. I think it would be interesting to hear of more finds by non collectors under unusual circumstances.


  1. Dale,
    That is one heck of a nice example of a dark amber one! The story of this product is quite interesting. It was first advertised and marketed by Hawkins in June of 1870. His address at this time was different than later on. Hawkins or Wonser or both did in fact enter this product and exhibit several bottles in a couple of the San Francisco Fairs. The product seemed to have been marketed during the 1870 thru 1873 time frame. I found I believe three different illustrated advertisements for it during my research. Who produce the bottle is still not known precisely. It's a sure bet that it was indeed made by either P.G.W or S.F.G.W. The letting style, font and character is exactly the same as the variant 2 Renz bottle and most likely both were made by the same mold maker. The puzzling part is why there was a modification to the mold. I have owned both styles and in comparing them I do not believe their were two different molds, but that the base plate insert was changed. Which came first is not known. But it is intriguing to say the least!

  2. Beautiful Wonser's Dale,
    Could you add a photo of your lineup of Wonser's
    for all of the western bitters fans to enjoy.

  3. I actually like the darker examples; they are often much cruder than the "better" colored bottles. Yours is a beautiful Wonser's, Dale.

  4. wow and wow. I'd imagine that Dale now how the top Wonsers collection in the world ? that is just so incredible. did the guy who found it have any idea what it was worth. bubbles, whittle, colour, top. everything is happening on this piece of glass.