Monday, October 15, 2018

Better Check Your Bottoms

A while back I wrote a post titled “The Blue Soda Hole”. Basically a couple of hombres and I dug a small gold rush pit late one afternoon and recovered several blue sodas with iron pontil bases. When we finished the pit it was getting dark and I snapped a couple of pictures to possibly use in a post for this blog. When I posted the pictures on the blog I referred to the blue sodas as having “red iron pontils” – That was before I really examined one of the bottles.

After giving one of the Mineral Waters a nice warm bath I noticed that it didn’t have a red iron pontil after all. What it had was red paint over the iron pontil..... Very interesting I thought and left it at that.

A few days, or weeks, or it could have been longer or sooner (I have a time space thing happening as I get older) I mentioned the painted bottom sodas to Warren in a casual conversation. Of course Warren had seen sodas with painted bottoms, and in fact, knew why the bottoms were painted (which didn’t surprise me one little bit).

It seems that while doing research for his Early Glass Works book Warren ran across an ad for Phil Caduc telling the public to take notice that his genuine Napa Soda had the bottoms of the bottles “painted white”. What I thought, Caduc was really saying, was that all those white painted soda bottles belonged to him and he sure as heck wanted them back after you had polished off the contents. And this got me to thinking.......

 
 

.............Oh boy another mystery to try and unravel, might as well add it to the date and time of the western curved “R”, the Fish’s Infallible western or eastern brain twister, the Mlasko T*M western star and Dale’s maybe it just might be possible that the Chalmer’s Catawba Wine Bitters is a 25th anniversary of the discovery of gold in California bottle theory. Wow..... Its no wonder I have this time – space thing happening.

Warren also mentioned that he had seen other bottles with different colors painted on the bottoms and possibly the reason for the different colors were the bottles belonged to different merchants.
 
Image Max Bell

 
Image Rick Simi

 
Image Rick Simi





Monday, October 8, 2018

Sacramento Valley Museum Antique & Bottle Show Williams California

Sign as you enter downtown Williams


Sacramento Valley Museum


Show host Cristy Edwards

Mineral water raffle bottles

Mike Rouse

Randy Taylor

Margie Hansen

Don Grover & Doug Hansen
 
Mike Lake & Chuck Erickson
 
Gary Antone
 
Show floor
 
.
Thanks to Arno, Slim, Cristy and the girls for a old fashioned downhome show that we truly enjoyed.
See you next year!  - rs -


Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Upcoming Bottle Shows

 
First annual Sacramento Valley Museum Bottle Show
 
Hope to see you there for a strong kickoff to a new show - rs


Friday, September 21, 2018

Dr. A.E. Mintie Revisited

 


 
The first mention I can find of Dr. Mintie  is this advertisement for his product Nephreticum in the Sacramento Daily Union 1878
 
Dr. Minties Nephreticum San Francisco
lignum nephriticum (Latin for "kidney wood") was a traditional diuretic derived from the wood of two tree species, the narra (Pterocarpus indicus) and the Mexican kidneywood (Eysenhardtia polystacha). The wood was capable of turning the color of water it comes in contact with into beautiful opalescent hues that changed depending on light and angle, the earliest known record of the phenomenon of fluorescence. Due to this strange property, it became well known in Europe from the 16th to the early 18th-century Europe. Cups made from lignum nephriticum were given as gifts to royalty. Water drunk from such cups, as well as imported powders and extracts from lignum nephriticum, were thought to have great medicinal properties.
 
 
 
The Nephreticum was, more than likely, playing second fiddle to the Great English Remedy in the above advertisement
 
 
 Dr. Mintie was arrested for distribution of handbills on the streets of San Francisco (now a days you can walk naked on the streets of San Francisco and not get arrested)
 
 
 Sometime in the 1890's Dr. Mintie moved to Los Angeles
this ad is from the 1896 L.A. Herald
 
 
 Dr. Mintie had been practicing medicine for over five years with out a license
 
 
The Dr. Minties Nephreticum bottle
 
The Dr. Minties Nephreticum bottle comes with both an applied and tooled top and was more than likely produced from the 1870's and into the 1880's.  

Thursday, August 30, 2018

49er Roseville Show News

 
According to show chairman Mike Mckillip this years 49er show will be a one day show on  Saturday December 1st 2018. Show runs from 9am to 5pm, early lookers 9am to 1pm for a $10 entry fee.
 
 
I am glad to see the 49er club has taken a page from the former Downieville show playbook and changed the venue to a one day show. I think the one day show will be a big improvement for both the sellers and buyers. - rs -


Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Renz's Bitters...Unraveling the three variants

.
3 Renz's - image Rick Simi 
 
fig.4
fig.3


fig.2

fig.1


For the past 2 days I have been unraveling all my research material on Renz's products in order to put together a time line on his bitters products. I believe I have put together some pretty good evidence to distinguish when his three mould variants of his bitters bottles were put into use.

The first written evidence of Dr. Renz's Herb Bitters for public use comes from an article where Dr. Carl M. Renz (John's father) of Sacramento "exhibits a case of herb bitters of his manufacture, claimed to be an excellent article for diseases of the blood, spasms of the stomach, ague, scarlet fever, colic, etc." at the State Fair on September 16th, 1867.

The first advertisement for Dr. Renz's Herb Bitters appears on October 4th, 1867, by Dr. C. M. Renz & Son. This ad was slightly revised on October 17th to include J. Leuze as the first S. F. agent and now had J. Renz, Proprietor [his father would no longer be listed on ads, except as reference to].

John Renz would advertise Dr. Renz's Herb Bitters continuously from this second ad until June 1880 without interuption, using 41 different ads in Sacramento, San Francisco & Oakland newspapers for 14 years.
 
One particular advertisement for Renz's bitters 1 year anniversary, states that Dr. Renz's Herb Bitters was introduced to California on September 1st, 1867.

John Renz started his Paints, Oil, Glass busines in 1863 and continued to advertise his trade thru October 1867 when his advertisements stopped [although he continued in this business until it sold in 1871] and he began advertising his father's bitters product.

J. Renz exhibits his bitters in the 1868 State Fair but loses the First Premium Award to Dr. Henley's Wild Grape Root IXL Bitters. However Renz's Herb Bitters takes the First Premium Award (Medal) at the 1869 State Fair and again takes the First Premium Award at the 1870 State Fair.
 
On September 5th, 1870, John Renz places his first advertisement to sell his business, this ad runs for 1 month, see figure 1.
 
On October 5th, 1870, John Renz places another advertisement to sell his business, see figure 2.

Again on February 1st, 1871, John Renz places an ad to sell his business, see figure 3.
 
An advertisement on October 12th, 1871 shows that Renz has re-located to San Francisco and his bitters depot is at 221 Sacramento St, S. F. see figure 4.

When the small lettered embossed bottle was made precisely is unknown and by which glassworks precisely is unknown. However this particular bottle (mould) variant shares some unique features which are seen on the Cassin,s Grape Brandy Bitters [1868] and the Alex Von Humboldts Stomach Bitters [1868] of which both of these bottle moulds were made for SFGW by a pattern & machine shop in SF. This particular bottle mould has 3 distinct patches made to the mould, and bottles of this mould have been seen without embossing, indicating that the glassworks may have sold to Renz a used mould that was then engraved for his embossing at a reduced price [as new moulds made here were more expensive than moulds from Pittsburg mold makers] which had the majority of the US bottle market.
 
The large lettered embossed bottle variant have been found with both Sacramento and San Francisco labels. The straight legged letter R variant bottle is most likely a PGW made bottle, it shares the same style font as the Dr. Wonser's U.S.A. Indian Root Bitters bottle [including apostrophe style] which was advertised and marketed beginning June 1870 thru 1872. An advertisement for Renz's bitters shows this bottle and lettering style in an 1873 ad.
 
The large lettered embossed bottle with curved legged letter R is seen with a SF label only and is most likely a SF & PGW made bottle, with Renz's Blackberry Brandy product being marketed in 1875 and his Bonanza Bourbon product both made with a stylized letter R font as well. With the merger of the SFGW & PGW glass factories in August of 1875 this bottle is most likely a product of the combined company.
 
Some collectors have seen a tooled top example of the embossed Dr. Renz's Herb Bitters, this seems logical since most likely Renz continued to market his embossed bottle up to his last advertisements in 1880.
 
John Renz married Wilhelmina in 1870. They had a son in 1871, and had a daughter in 1872, who died in 1874. John Renz advertised a saloon for sale in 1892 which was successfully run for the last 15 years. John Renz died in March 1897.
Trying to determine which glassworks produce the Renz's Bitters is difficult, one of the influencing factors was San Francisco Glass Works period of time that they were in non-operation due to their disasterous fire, [the factory ruins were purchased by PGW]. The private moulds were owned by the customer and this mould may have been salvaged and used by PGW. SFGW was not operating from July 24th, 1868 thru September 11th, 1870. That's 780 days or 2 yrs & almost 2 mos. I also examined 2 photographs that I have, one of PGW in 1869 and one of SFGW in 1874. There are examples of square bottles in both, however even with magnification it is difficult to identify any of these as a Dr. Renz's Herb Bitters.


Western squares - image Warren Friedrich

Tuesday, August 14, 2018



We just acquired this aqua colored base embossed OGW , Oakland Glass Works, Oakland, California demijohn. The first I have seen in aqua. We now have three, light pink, amber and aqua. I consider these to be the " Holy Grail " of Western demijohns.     

Friday, August 10, 2018

Check out the new "A.P. Hotaling & Co."

http://www.hotalingandco.com/

J.H. Cutter Whisky

J.H. Cutter Whisky
J.H. Cutter represents the finest tradition of A.P. Hotaling’s heritage of blending and bottling the finest American Whiskies worthy of the Hotaling name. The J.H. Cutter name and bottle are inspired by the original J.H. Cutter Whisky, which was a product offered by A.P. Hotaling & Co. in the mid to late 1800s. Anson P. Hotaling arrived in San Francisco during the California Gold Rush, but like the vast majority, failed to make his fortune as a gold miner. After working for a local liquor merchant, Hotaling found his true calling and opened his San Francisco wholesaler liquor business in 1865, under the name “A.P. Hotaling & Co.” A.P. Hotaling was the largest liquor wholesaler on the West Coast in the late 1800s, and the Hotaling warehouse in San Francisco famously survived the earthquake and fires in 1906. J.H. Cutter Whisky was one of Hotaling’s flagship brands and was a blend of some of the finest whiskies from the best producers in Kentucky and other parts of the United States. Today’s J.H. Cutter blend brings together three whiskies to achieve maximum complexity and includes 73% sourced bourbon from Kentucky Bourbon Distillers, 17% Old Potrero 18th Century Style Rye Whiskey, and 10% Old Potrero Port Finish Rye Whiskey. Inspired by the original packaging, today’s bottle is amber with an A.P. Hotaling & Co. emboss, replica topper and an antique silver-colored capsule. 48% ABV

Monday, August 6, 2018

Hey Look! A new bottle show in Central Caifornia!


Just a quick posting to let everyone know about a new show!


 
 
 
 

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Western or ?



I just noticed an auction listing on ebay for a wine bottle with an applied seal impressed with the words
S. Larnac.

The  description of this wine bottle includes "I’ve often suspected these were a Western product because of where their found and some recent research may confirm that". The description includes "In 1868, Wine merchant Adrien Chauche of San Francisco filed a trade mark for the "LARNAC" wine label pictured. The date of this filing is very close to the context the bottle was found in, late 60s. The few of these I know of were all found in Northern California". The description concludes with: "Likely a product of the “San Francisco Glass Works. While not 100% certain this is a  Western wine, the research certainly seems convincing". 

I was interested in this bottle and did a little research on the San Francisco Glass Works and the Larnac trade mark.
 
The San Francisco Glass Works ( Newman & Brannan) was destroyed by fire on July 23, 1868. It was not rebuilt and  back in operation until September 23, 1870.

According to the California State Archives S. Lognac and S. Larnac are attributed to the Bordeaux region of France.


 
The Larnac label
 
Reproduced below is the trade mark for the Larnac label filed on November 28, 1868, over four months after the SF Glass Works was destroyed.
 
 



 
 
 
 
The above trade mark is for the label - not the bottle 
Western or ?   You be the judge
 
Thanks to:
The California State Archives
Bruce Silva
Dale Mlasko
Early Western Glassworks - Warren B. Friedrich




Tuesday, July 24, 2018

John T. & William H. Daly

John T and William H. Daly, wholesale liquor dealers located in New York City, bottled several types of spirits from the early 1850's and into the 1860's. William Newell and Company, located in San Francisco, were the west coast's sole agents for the Daly brothers products during this period.


William H. Daly bottle
 
There are three variants of the Daly whiskey shaped bottle: the John T. and William H. Daly shoulder embossed, William H. Daly with the John T. slugged out shoulder embossed and the William H. Daly with no slugged out area. The John T. and William H. Daly is, I believe, the first and earliest variant as all examples I have examined have a sticky ball pontil on the base.

Shoulder embossing on the Daly's


The William H. with the John T. slugged out appears to be the second variant and the William H. with no slugged out area the third. All three variants of the Daly bottle contained Aromatic Valley Whiskey and were advertised as a "medicinal whiskey"

William H. Daly, listed as sole proprietor in 1859, claimed that "Produced as it is, by a process only known to the manufacturer, and extracted from the choicest grain, which grows nowhere, but in a favored location in the Valley of the Monongahela and contains no deleterious admixture".

Counterfeiting Daly's best selling products, during the gold rush era, seems to have been a problem for Daly, as can be seen by this advertisement from the January 1860 Nevada journal.

CAUTION 
It has come to my knowledge, that parties in San Francisco have resorted to the base artifice of attempting to forage my label, with some slight alterations using the name "Delays" instead of "DALY'S AROMATIC WHISKEY" and also using the name "Cumberland" instead of "MONONGAHELA"
These bogus labels have been put on bottles of entirely different shape from mine, containing the commonest trash and packed in cases intended to imitate and branded similar to the genuine, using the name "Delays" instead of "DALY'S" Dealers in the inferior as well as consumers are cautioned not to be imposed on by this bogus article. Particular attention is called to the shape of the bottle, which is unlike any other, and also th the name "WILLIAM H. DALY, NEW YORK" blown in each bottle.
I have no fears of this or any other spurious article interfering with the sale of my "AROMATIC VALLEY WHISKEY" but I cannot allow such a base fraud to be practiced upon honest merchants and the unsuspecting consumer without noticing it.
 
Wm. H. Daly
Sole Proprietor
New York
 
There it is in a nutshell, one of the reasons that manufacturers, proprietors and sole agents had their names embossed on their bottles and sought out unusual shapes to bottle their products in. This counterfeiting was not unique to the Daly brothers. Udolpho Wolfe's Schnapps, Dr. Rosenbaum's Bitters, A.P. Hotaling,s Cutter brands are a few that immediatly come to mind of the many products that were being fraudulently copied and pawned off to the public as the genuine article. 
 
 
 John T. is slugged out on this example
 


The Daly bottles are usually pretty crude and often filled with hundreds of seed bubbles and swirls in the glass. These bottles are considered common and collecting all three variants of this whiskey is an affordable and very nice addition to a gold rush collection. “Any real gold rush bottle collection has a Daly’s”
 
The Daly’s Aromatic Valley Whiskey was a very popular brand of whiskey in Sierra County during the gold rush era. The majority of early Sierra County merchants purchased bulk whiskey and bottled it on site in any container that was available for sale to patrons. These “bottled on site” whiskeys were often flavored and watered down with whatever was handy at the time. A bottle that had the agents name embossed on the glass and was sealed at the distillery or warehouse where it was bottled guaranteed the buyer “Genuine Goods” that were not tampered with.
 
Examples and shards of this bottle have been found in almost all of the camps, settlements and towns located in the North Yuba, Over North and Alleghany area. Three whole examples were found in Brandy City. The author found a dark green example sticking out of an eroded bank at Excelsior in 1988. A mint example of the William H. with the John T. slugged out was found at the site of the early gold rush settlement of Little Grizzly in 1982. Other camps in which the Daly has been found include: The Sierra Buttes Mine, Independence, Chaparral Hill, Downieville and Morristown. Of all the gold rush camps in Sierra County Monte Cristo, by far, has produced the most examples of the Daly bottle.
 
 
 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Whisky Display

Thinking about redoing the top western whiskey display at Reno 2020 .Would collectors be willing to put their high value bottles in a display??

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Collin's Valley Bitters

A western bottle of mystery no more, or is it still. Before the labeled Collin's Valley Bitters was discovered, the bottle which the label was on had been a mystery for a long time. There has only been a hand full of these bottles found over the years. Mostly from the Northern Sierra foothills ( Gold Country) The two in the pic. the amber one was found by D. Bell in the foothills and the yellow one I found in mining tailings in the foothills. The labeled one I discovered in an antique shop in downtown Roseville in 2003, putting the connection of where the bottle was from finally. Yahoo, its western!
The label reads; "Collin's Valley Bitters" A perfect tonic,  prepared by, Harry Collins apothecary. Clark and Mayhew sole prop. Red Bluff, Cal.
 
 
The connection with these bottles is the uniqueness in which the bottle was made. Not only in shape but the repairs to the mold that you can see on the bottles. There is 3 repaired areas on 2 edges. Two on one edge and one on another.(see pics) The amber ones repairs are more crisp than the yellow one and the labeled one. Showing the long use of the mold. Strange that the amber one is plain with almost no character to it at all with crisp repairs, while the other two are much cruder with weak repairs. I have seen these in some nice colors, even green and they all have those repair marks.
 
 


 Now with that said, who, where and when was the Collin's Valley Bitters born. Well all I could find out was, the C.V.B was put out by Clark and Mayhew from Red Bluff, Cal. They are listed as general merchants and the only ad for C.V.B. was in the Red Bluff Independent July 12, 1873 and June 27, 1874. That says prepared and sold by Harry Collins Main St. Red Bluff, Cal. This is the only reference of Harry Collins I could find selling his bitters. No other ads are listed. A very short lived western bitters.
 
 
His first ad shows up on May 23, 1866 when he owned Apothecaries' Hall
 
 
Then again on July 30, 1868
 
 
By Feb. 19,1870 he sold the Apothecaries' Hall to W.J. Mason
 
 
So, sometime shortly after 1870 Harry Collins open up the Practical Apothecary store on Main St. Red Bluff, Cal. and started selling his "Collin's Valley Bitters" by 1873. Still not sure how Clark and Mayhew became Sole Prop's
 
 The last great mystery is where was this bottle made. It is unique with its repair marks and shape. There is however the T.M. with star bottle that is the same shape and age, but with no repair marks and is very western. These Collin's bottles only come from a small area in Nor Cal. It is hard not to believe its western made, but by whom. A bottle short lived like the Collin's Valley Bitters.