Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Old Virginia Peach Brandy

Here is a very elusive and mysterious Gold Rush artifact which is very beautiful. I have only seen a couple of these and they seem to be found exclusively in the Sierra gold camps. I trust that there has been some research done on the rare bottle besides what little I have been able to find.
This large gallon size container closely resembles a demijohn, and has been seen with both tapered tops such as this example, and a tapered top with ring similar to a whiskey. They are always iron pontiled, and except for this specimen, typically come in a dark olive amber shade. This example is heavily whittled and came from the Oroville, California area.
Is there any advertising for this product? It appears to be 1850s to me, and any information regarding this brand, and exact location of the distributor would be appreciated.


  1. Dale,
    Yes this product was advertised by some importers in the early 1850's newspapers of California.

  2. In October 1859 "S.S. Phillips" located at 137 Front St. in S.F. were advertising this product.
    October 1860 list "S.C. Shaw" at 138 Front St. 119 cases in 3/4 quart bottles being received.

    I might assume since these guys were within spittin distance of one another that it's possible that Shaw may have bought out Phillips stock on hand.

    I find no other reference to the product being sold other than this period of one year 59-60.

  3. Gorgeous piece.
    It even sounds good!

  4. GREAT bottle! Few bottles have the word peach on them. Thinking of my Loftus Peach Bitters.