A terrific selection of rare and vintage bottles from across the United States – to include Western and Eastern sodas, bitters, inkwells, whiskeys, and more – will be sold in Auction #64, an internet and catalog auction that goes online October 13 and ends on Sunday, October 22, 2017 by American Bottle Auctions (www.americanbottle.com) of Sacramento.
“This auction will feature the largest and finest selection of Western sodas we’ve ever offered, with many rare one-of-a-kinds,” said Jeff Wichmann, owner of American Bottle Auctions. The centerpiece of the category is the collection of the late Ken Salazar. “Ken was a picky collector who had some fine bottles stashed away that we’re proud to present at auction,” Wichmann said.
Also featured will be additional super sodas from the John O’Neill collection, a broad selection of Eastern sodas, rare bitters bottles from both sides of the country, a large inkwell collection and more. “Typically our sales are top-heavy with Western bottles and this sale has plenty of those, but we also have some of the finest known examples in many other categories,” Wichmann said.
The Wynkoop Sarsaparilla bottle in the sale isn’t particularly rare (it’s one of about 20 known), but it’s a highly desired medicine and sarsaparilla category bottle. Its early production, dating to the 1850s, combined with a beautiful blue color and crudity, make it one of the most popular bottles for collectors in that category. This example has a presale estimate of $5,000-$10,000.
The Wonser’s Indian Root Bitters is the aqua variant – the earliest made of the more prevalent amber examples. It’s somewhat rare, one of maybe ten known, and this one’s got color going for it: a fiery blue aqua with good crudity. Also, it’s in perfect condition. American Bottle has sold several amber versions of this bottle, but never an aqua. It should hammer for $8,000-$15,000.
The R&H Columbia soda bottle was made especially for the Gold Rush town of Columbia, in California, in 1852-1856. The fine example in this auction is one of only a half-dozen known and carries an estimate of $7,000-$15,000. Columbia, previously known as Hildreth’s Diggings, was called “the gem of the Southern mines,” having produced a good bit of gold during the rush.
The National Bitters bottle shaped like an ear of corn is one of the most popular of the figural bitters known. Produced in the 1870s, these bottles were either colored amber (the most common variant, selling in the $500 range) or aqua (much more rare and desirable). The bottle in this sale isn’t only aqua, it’s in perfect condition. It’s also expected to change hands for $7,000-$10,000.
Western whiskey flasks made between 1870 and 1900 are considered desirable and are a part of any serious collector’s arsenal. The Jessie Moore whiskey flask being auctioned boasts loads of embossing and should knock down for $5,000-$10,000. The bottle is one of perhaps 25 known, but one rarely comes up for bid because collectors like to keep their examples close to home.
The Brown’s Celebrated Indian Queen is another figural bitters that’s quite prevalent but very popular, too. Modeled after an Indian maiden, the bottle is usually amber, so when a green one turns up collectors pay attention. The bottle in this sale is particularly nice in color – deeper than the usual lime green. A flake on the mouth isn’t expected to deter bidders (est. $5,000-$10,000).
B&G (San Francisco) soda bottles were made in 1852-1856, almost always in cobalt blue or some variant of dark blue. So when this example, in deep teal aqua, presented itself, it was quite remarkable. The bottle, with the eight-sided mug base, is in excellent condition and is a must-have for serious collectors of early Western sodas. It has a presale estimate of $6,000-$10,000.
The 1860s Alex Von Humboldt’s Stomach Bitters bottle is another rare and desirable Western bitters bottle. There are many different variants of this bottle but this is one of the finest ones American Bottle Auctions has ever come across. It has loads of whittle and a gorgeous amber color, making this example hard to beat. It’s expected to find a new owner for $5,000-$10,000.
The lots will be numbered in consecutive order. Invoices will be issued after the second auction unless American Bottle Auctions is instructed otherwise. There is a buyer’s fee of 15% for this auction only, up 5% from the previous auction. The additional 5% will be used for extensive national advertising and additional costs associated with an auction of this caliber.
Standard auction rules will apply. American Bottle Auctions does not do callbacks but, rather, has a 10-minute rule that applies to bids at the end of the auction. In essence, every bidder has a last opportunity to make a last winning bid. An online printable color catalog will be available soon, and all of the lots will be photographed and displayed in pictures and a streaming video.
Every effort will be made to present the items as close as possible to the real bottle. Additional pictures or videos are available on request. Potential customers are encouraged to come by the American Bottle Auction showroom, for an in-person look at all the bottles in the sale, although an appointment must be made in advance. To schedule an appointment, call (800) 806-7722.
American Bottle Auctions is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign a single bottle or an entire collection, you may call them toll free, at (800) 806-7722 or you can email them at email@example.com. To learn more about American Bottle Auctions and Auction #64, slated to go online October 13 and end October 22, visit www.americanbottle.com.