Thursday, October 29, 2015

Early "Western" Squares....

Let’s talk about some early squares. While these may not be Western blown glass, many collectors have always stated that these products were almost exclusively distributed on the West Coast. Based on the dates of the ads below, most seem to be right around 1860, with some going up to 1865 and others back to 1858.

****UPDATE: Turns out Patten & Samson were proprietors of a Schiedam schnapps that was probably put up in their square bottles. They were from New York City.

Anyone have a photo of a Patten & Sampson or the Farquar's ?

Pure Holland Gin / M. Frisius & Co. / San Francisco (1855-1861)

Farquar’s Medicated California Wine & Brandy (1859-1860)

Wistar’s Clubhouse Gin (advertised 1863)

Catawba Wine Bitters 1860?

London Jockey Clubhouse Gin (1859-1867?)

W.S.C Gin ???

J.T. Daly Club House Gin ???

Voldner’s Schnapps 1857-1864???

Barbier Schnapps (1856-1857)

Russ’s Schnapps - 1856-1862 ?

Lediard's - 1860-1865 ?

Patten & Samson -  1860-1864 ? The mystery has been solved, this is not a western product !!! This is from the 1860 NYC directory. Still a great looking bottle.


  1. A newspaper article dated 17 April 1853 shows both names listed as consignees to cargo which arrived in S.F.. The cargo was on board a ship by the name of the Golden West, which had originated in Boston, and made the journey "Around the Horn".

    However, the names are listed separately and Barry is listed in partnership with Patten. Coincidence?

  2. Great write-up Numa G.
    Were you able to find anything on the Woodgate Clubhouse Gins? From my knowledge they too have primarily come out in the west.

  3. Andrew These are some of my favorite bottles not manufactured in California but very early gold rush bottles Anyone digging these bottles today is a very fortunate digger. Don't forget the Booth and Sedgwick gin and the Vonthofens two more really great gins Squares are very difficult to unearth in mint condition MAX

  4. I'm now leaning towards Patten & Sampson not being a San Francisco product. It's probably just wishful thinking as there is no record of that partnership and nobody by the name of Sampson connected to the liquor trade in the 1850s or 1860s.

  5. Fantastic post Dr. Star !
    Back in the late 1970's, we did several digs at a very early site in Benicia that produced quite a number of the early squares... at least 50 intact examples. Some of the bottles mentioned in this post that I recall being found were: London Jockey Clubhouse, Wistar's, Vonthofen's, Vonthofue's, Voldner's, Lediard's, Patten & Sampson, Daly. Also, shards of a Frisius and a Barbier's.
    Of all the squares found, the only examples I kept were the two London Jockey's. Years later I heard that the Patten & Sampson's were from San Francisco. I thought to myself..."boy did I screw up !". Even though now it's looking like they might not be S.F., I think more research needs to be done on this company. It's kinda odd that all of the known examples have been dug in the West...

  6. Also the Turner Bros. squares... not western blown, but largely a western distributed bottle. It likely contained several different products.

  7. The Wister's Clubhouse Gin bottles are much earlier than 1863. They are an eastern manufactured product of which a couple hundred cases were acquired by a commission house in San Francisco and sold at auction during each week in June and July of 1863. No advertisements for this product have ever been found while the product was being marketed in any western newspapers. I suspect it was very short lived with all the other competition at the time.

  8. Try checking the Sampson spelled as Samson. I find a reference to "Patten & Samson" in an 1862 NYC directory liquor and cigar wholesalers. 265 Wash'n.

  9. Thanks Mike, that helped, I couldn't remember how it was spelled on the bottle. Looks like they were from New York and put out their own brand of Schnapps.

  10. Thanks for the post Numa. G. I've dug shards of the Lediard's, Voldner's and Clubhouse Gin in British Columbia. Makes me wonder what else made its way up North.