Sunday, December 7, 2014

Hamburger Trophen Bitters

Here is an aqua case gin style bitters which has been a mystery to me for years. This aqua tooled top is very elaborate in it's embossing with what look like Veloceraptors on both sides of a crest. These are pretty rare and this is the only example I have actually handled. It showed up in Roseville this week.
 According to several western bitters references, this was a bitters put up by Wm. Hoelscher & Co. in San Francisco. Hoelscher was also responsible for a few nice western whiskey bottles. I believe the Hamburger Trophen Bitters was distributed in the 1890s and other than not being milk glass, closely resemble the Rothenberg, and Hartwig case gin bitters from the same time period. I have no clue who John Carl Mitau was, but hopefully someone does. I would also like to know how many of these exist in collections. I know they also come in an amethyst in addition to this aqua.
Kind of an odd ball but a nice and rare western bitters from a well known Western liquor distributor.
( As always, click on the photo to enlarge)


  1. Anthony and I dug a mint aqua example in 1985 nr. Willows, Ca. I believe he recalled seeing a labeled example in the back of Wilson's book and immediately knew it was a Western Bitters ! The context in the pit was late 1880's. There was also a CW Stuart's fifth with a very faint strike that was destined not to survive our dig...

  2. An aqua and amethyst example reside in an Oroville, Ca collection.