ST. DRAKE’S PLANTATION X BITTERS BOTTLE (CIRCA 1862-1872), IN THE RARE BLUE-GREEN COLOR, WILL HEADLINE AMERICAN BOTTLE AUCTIONS SALE #58
The bottle, one of only a few known in that color, could change hands for $20,000-$40,000.
(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) – A St. Drake’s Plantation X Bitters bottle, made circa 1862-1872 and one of only a few known in the very rare blue-green color, is expected to sell for $20,000-$40,000 at American Bottle Auctions’ next Internet and catalog sale (#58), which will go online Friday, June 21st (at www.americanbottle.com) and conclude on Sunday, June 30th.Around 150 rare and highly collectible bottles – many of them premium whiskey bottles and scarce high-condition handled whiskeys – will come up for bid in an auction that American Bottle Auctions owner Jeff Wichmann described as “one of the better auctions we’ve had in some time, with something for everyone in all price ranges – the good, the great, the ultra-rare.”
The St. Drakes Plantation Bitters most definitely fits into the ultra-rare category. Of the three or four blue-green examples known, this one is quite possibly the prettiest. Mr. Wichmann added, “It may be the best colored bottle of any type out there. It’s also one of the finest bottles we’ve ever sold. It has all three elements of a great bottle – color, condition and of course rarity.”
The bottle could actually be called turquoise, which is significant because the difference between blue-green and green-blue can be dramatic when determining its rarity and value. The word Drake’s is weak (possibly from the bottle being removed from the mold too quickly) and there is some light wear on a roof edge corner, but it is still graded 9.7 out of 10 for condition.
Another potential superstar of the sale is a 9-inch quart scroll flask, graded near-perfect at 9.8 and with a pre-auction estimate of $10,000-$20,000. “This is one of the finest scrolls we’ve handled in our 20 years in business,” Wichmann said. “With an open pontil and sheared lip, it’s what serious collectors are looking for. And the brilliant deep blue color really lights up a room.”
The auction will also feature sodas, whiskeys from both the East and West, bitters and more. Mr. Wichmann remarked, “The market for collectible bottles appears to be very strong. Even the average good quality pieces are being priced upwards. When you combine color, condition and rarity, records prices are going to be set. It’s a great time to be a bottle collector.”
A Jenny Lind Glassworks flask, with “S. Huffsey” on the reverse and bearing the image of Ms. Lind (“the Swedish nightingale”), carries a pre-sale estimate of $5,000-$10,000.The open pontil, 10 ¼ inch flask (G1-99) is an extraordinary example of a popular bottle. The color could best be described as emerald blue and the condition is exemplary, with little wear to speak of.
A J.H. Cutter Old Bourbon (A.P. Hotaling & Co., Sole Agents) bottle – one of the few Western whiskeys that were actually made in green – should realize $3,000-$6,000. It is the earliest of the Cutter bottles, made from 1869-1871, and it has a unique large top and shape (a prototype for the Western whiskeys to come). With loads of whittle, the bottle is graded 9.8.
A Vidvard & Sheehan early handled flask, with applied pour spout and handle, has a pre-sale estimate of $3,000-$6,000. These flasks generally come in shades of green, and this one is pure green in a light to medium shade. It is virtually perfect, with no distractions at all, and it is one of the rarer and more colorful whiskeys in the sale – a fine addition to anyone’s collection.
A P.M.S.S. (Pacific Mail and Steam Ship Company) Western fifth with applied top, made circa 1880-1895 and graded near-perfect at 9.8, is expected to change hands for $2,000-$5,000. The bottle is different from typical Western fifths because of its short neck and small top. And it’s not known for its rarity. Still, it’s a favorite among Cutter and Western whiskey collectors.
An A. M. Bininger & Co. (19 Broad St., New York) whiskey bottle, 12 ½ inches tall and with the original label 95 percent intact (a substantial selling point by itself), should command $2,000-$4,000. The bottle’s condition is nearly perfect, and the label shows an Arab Sheikh sitting next to a woman holding an American flag, with cherubs and other colorful graphics.
American Bottle Auctions has announced something brand new – American Marble Auctions, with a new website and a premiere auction event planned for September. The firm has incorporated marbles into its bottle auctions in the past, but now the category will exist on its own, with a website and separate auction calendar. Details will be revealed as September nears.
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 1-800-806-7722; or, you can e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about American Bottle Auctions and Auction #58 (June 16-June 30), please log on to www.americanbottle.com
Category: Auction News