Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Wormser Brothers

 

The firm of Wormser Brother was located on the corner of California and Front Streets in San Francisco and listed as importers and jobbers of wines and liquors. Started sometime in 1856 Isaac Wormser, who was living in Germany, was the president of the company and his brother Lewis was the manager. In 1864 Lewis left San Francisco and his brother Simon took over management of the company. In October of 1867, during Simon’s management of the firm, they trademarked the “Golden Sheaf” brand of whiskey. By 1872 the Wormser Bros. business was sold to the firm of Braeg Frank and Dallemand.




The Wormser Brothers produced some of the more desirable western bottles while they were in business in San Francisco. The earliest glass container from the Wormser firm is the large whiskey flask horizontally embossed WORMSER BROS. SAN FRANCISCO. The Wormser  flask is considered very rare with possibly 8 to 12 examples in private collections. Several of these early containers seem to have poor quality glass with annealing checks and other manufacture related problems. It is not known if this bottle was blown in a San Francisco glass house or manufactured in the east and distributed in the west. 


Horizontal embossed Wormser flask circa 1867-69


It is believed the barrel shaped bottle with an applied tapered top and a smooth base embossed WORMSER BROS. SAN FRANCISCO was produced for a very short period of time, possibly in 1869 only. Although I could not find any advertisements to confirm what these bottles contained, Western collectors believe this container held a whiskey bitters product.

Wormser Bros. barrel style bottles

This barrel shaped bottle comes in various shades of amber from light yellow to darker brown amber. Most examples show very little crudity but a couple examples that I have observed have some pretty good whittle to the glass.

It is thought that there are between 25 and 30 of the Wormser Bros. barrels in collections at the present time. 
 Years ago, in the Virginia City area, several examples of the Wormser barrel were recovered from a large bottle digging excavation.
 
Vertical embossed Wormser flask


The last bottle produced by the Wormser Bros. is the vertically embossed flask. These bottles were more than likely manufactured post 1869. They come in colors ranging from dark chocolate to green and are the most common of the Wormser bottles.



 

 

Thanks to American Bottle Auctions, Western Whiskey Gazette, Western Whiskey blog site and Dale Mlasko for the images - rs -


1 comment:

  1. Nice "crossover" article Rick. I've often wondered if there isn't, just maybe, an embossed Wormser Bros. amber glop top cylinder fifth floating around out there somewhere. Just imagine a picture variant of their Golden Sheaf brand ca. 1870~

    "If wishes were horses"...

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