C H Graves Bottle

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2011/12/05 10:09:38 (permalink)

C H Graves Bottle

Hi Folks,

I found this bottle yesterday while hiking in Amherst, NH. Any info on it would be appreciated.

Say C H Graves & Sons Co - since 1849

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    RE: C H Graves Bottle 2011/12/05 10:25:07 (permalink)
    1900's Case Gin bottle...worth about $10-15....welcome to the forum...Jim

    "CASE GIN" Info from here... http://www.sha.org/bottle/liquor.htm#Case Gin bottles

    Case Gin bottles: Some of the earliest liquor bottles were like the one pictured to the left which is square in cross section and generally designed to contain gin though undoubtedly contained various types of liquor and possibly wine. Commonly called "case gin" or "taper gin" bottles since they would pack more efficiently to a case (6 to 24 bottles) than round bottles (Illinois Glass Company 1903). Case gin bottles are square with a more or less distinct taper inwards from the shoulder to the base (or a flaring from the base to the shoulder if you prefer). The neck is very short to almost non-existent with the finishes varying from a laid-on ring, flared, mineral finish, oil, and even a blob. This shape and style of bottle originated in and was commonly made in Europe at least as early as the mid-17th century and have been found in contexts as early as 1745 in the New World (Jones & Smith 1985; Hume 1991). However, some case gin type bottles were made in the U.S. during the time span of popularity for this bottle type from at least the early 19th century (McKearin & Wilson 1978).
    "Taper gin bottles" were listed twice in the early 20th century Illinois Glass Company catalogs as available in "imported colors" as well as "domestic flint." The "domestic flint" bottles are assumed to have been made in the U.S. by that company and were available as a "plate mold, from which lettered bottles can be furnished...". Embossed examples of case/taper gin bottles with U.S. proprietary embossing for U. S. companies have been noted (Wilson & Wilson 1968). The domestic versions were slightly more expensive to buy than the "imported colors" versions, which are thought to have been imported from Europe and sold by the Illinois Glass Company, though it is possible these were actually made by the company in the typical "imported colors," which undoubtedly meant some shade of olive green (Illinois Glass Company 1903, 1911).

    The example pictured above is typical of the shape with a distinct taper to the body, but with a flared finish which appears more common on the earlier (pre-1880) case gins. This example was produced in a dip-mold and dates from the mid-19th century (Shafer 1969). This bottle is not pontil scarred and was found in western Oregon in the context of Civil War era (or shortly thereafter) items which places it towards the end of the dip mold era (1870s). It is possibly American made, though that is impossible to tell for sure. Although there are no mold seams in evidence body of this bottle there is a faintly embossed cross on the base of the bottle - sure proof of molding of some kind and in this case, surely a dip mold. Click base embossed cross to view a picture of the embossing. Base embossed dip molded bottles are unusual though obviously occurring. The distinct taper to these type bottles helped facilitate removal from the dip mold. Click case gin shoulder close-up to view a close-up picture of the shoulder, neck, finish.

    The large (well over a quart) case gin bottle pictured to the right was produced in the late 19th century (i.e., probably between 1880 and 1900), although virtually identical bottles were also produced earlier and later than that date range. This example is embossed A VAN HOBOKEN & CO. / ROTTERDAM on opposite sides and is - as the embossing indicates - of foreign origin (Wilson & Wilson 1968). (The pictured example was found by the authors brother in Malaysia.) However, Hoboken bottles are not uncommonly found on historic sites in the U. S. This particular bottle is of typical shape and proportions for a case gin, was produced in a two-piece cup-bottom mold, has a crudely applied "blob" finish, no evidence of air venting, and has a blob seal on the shoulder. This bottle is an example of how American manufacturing based dating ranges can not be reliably used for foreign made bottles. If American made, a bottle with these diagnostic features (except maybe for the cup-bottom mold feature) would likely date from between the mid-1860s and mid-1880s. Click on the following links for more images of this bottle: base view; side view; close-up of the shoulder, neck, finish, and blob seal. One-part blob or oil finishes on mouth-blown case gin bottles are typical of items made from the 1880s to about National Prohibition in the late 1910s.

    Dating summary/notes: The "case gin" style of bottle dates to at least as early as 1625 to 1650 and are European in origin (Hume 1991). Examples of case gin bottles were found on the Zeewijk, a ship which sunk off the coast of Australia in 1727. Early case gin bottles were sometimes formed with paddles or square wooden blocks instead of a dip mold - possibly with a "shingle mold" (Boow 1991). Earlier (18th century) versions usually had little taper to the sides and are often essentially vertical from shoulder to heel (Jones & Smith 1985). In the 19th century the taper seems to become more pronounced with the pictured examples being fairly typical, though some late 19th and early 20th century examples can have even more taper (empirical observations). Mouth-blown examples of this style were made into at least the mid-1910s with machine-made versions made at least up until at least World War II, with some continued use after the war in Africa (McKearin & Wilson 1978; Vermeulen 2000).

    Given the wide time span that this shape was used (over 300 years), manufacturing based diagnostic features must be used to help narrow down a date for these bottles. Even then, the dating is often unreliable since it is likely that most case/tapered gin bottles found in the U.S. were made in Europe where glassmaking technology was implemented slower than in the U.S. where mechanization and automation made the U.S. a world production and efficiency leader between 1880 and 1920 (Scoville 1948). For example, European made mouth-blown bottles commonly had "true" applied finishes much later than American made bottle, i.e., well into the 20th century. As an example of this, the crudely applied oil finish pictured to the left is on a Dutch-made gin bottle that bears a label identifying it as having been made no earlier than 1914 when an elephant became the trademark for H. H. Melchers - the Schiedam company that used this bottle (Vermeulen 2000; Vermeulen pers. communication 2008). This bottle also has additional body crudity to it (wavy bubble laden glass) that would diagnostically place it from the 1860s to mid-1880s if actually made in the U. S. Click the following links for more images of this Dutch gin bottle: base view (cup-bottom mold produced); view of the label and the trade mark elephant; view of the embossing. (Photos courtesy of Ed Stephens.)

    There are a couple morphological features of case gin bottles relative to the corners of the base that are more or less unique to the style and an almost positive identifying characteristic if one only has the fragmental base with the feature. The first is that many earlier (1870s and prior) free-blown or dip-molded (like the example pictured to the above left) case gins have distinctly "pointed" base corners. These bottles essentially sit only on the four small points of the base. In addition, later (1860s and later) fully molded case gins have distinctly - though variably - beveled or flattened corners like shown in the image the right. Click base view to see another image of this same gin bottle base (bottle dates from the 1870-1890 era) that shows this feature looking straight on at the base. Few if any other square bottles have either of the described base features; both are quite indicative of a bottle used to contain gin (though not all gin bottles have these features) and most likely imported from continental Europe.

    One additional mold related feature essentially unique to European-made case gin bottles is a vertically corrugated texture to the body sides. This is shown in the image to the left which is a large (quart+) late 19th century mouth-blown case gin with this body attribute. (Photo courtesy of Glass Works Auctions.) These are sometimes referred to by collectors as "shingle mold gins" due to the resemblance of the glass surface texture with that of wooden shingles. It is thought by some that earlier case gin bottles (first half of the 19th century and prior) were formed in dip molds comprised of four wood boards nailed together although this particular body feature is unlikely to have been caused by the boards (Jones & Sullivan 1989). (For more information see the related discussion on the Bottle Body Characteristics & Mold Seams page.) This body texture is primarily observed on later case gin bottles (1860s on) like the example to the left which was formed by a full sized closed mold which during the late 19th century was almost certainly made from iron or other metal. The vertically corrugated surface appears to have been purposefully formed on the inner mold surface for styling reasons as case gin bottles with this attribute are very common. Although foreign made, bottles with this diagnostic feature were imported extensively into the U. S. during the late 19th and early 20th century and the are commonly encountered on historic sites (empirical observations). This body texture feature is in the authors experience unique to case gin bottles; so much so that if a flat paneled fragment with that surface texture is found on a historic site it can be certainly attributed to being from an imported case gin bottle dating from the last half (and probably last third) of the 19th century to as late as the second decade of the 20th


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    RE: C H Graves Bottle 2011/12/05 10:40:55 (permalink)
    Awesome, thanks for the quick reply!

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    RE: C H Graves Bottle 2011/12/05 21:11:05 (permalink)
    Hey Pherz,

    Welcome to the A-BN, and thanks for bringing the Graves Gin. I like that checkerboard business it's got goin on. Could'ya maybe get some closer up photos of the bottle's strong points, any embossing, bottom and lip, too, please.

    Here's a few things I found out.

    "Many years ago my husband was given a 10 inch tall amber colored bottle. the bottom of which is embossed with CH Graves & sons Boston Mass. It originally had a cork, but the bottle was empty. It has side seams that run from the bottom to the beginning of its 4 inch tall neck. There are no side seams on the neck at all. It still has the paper label on it showing signature of Chester H. Graves. The label describes the Maryland Malt Whiskey within to be pure and reliable for the sick room. It also goes on to say that Physicians may prescribe it for Dyspepsia, Poor appetite and Lung affections. We have had this bottle in our possession for at least 30 years and are curious to its history Thank you in advance.

    Your bottle is one of thousands of the so-called "Booze Medicines" described by the Holmes Commission Report. Until the passage of the food and drug laws around the turn of the century, druggists and distillers could avoid taxes by selling these preparations as medicines. The idea that alcohol has some positive medical benefits still rages today. During prohibition doctors regularly would prescribe booze. Many bottles from the prohibition era have labels with similar embossing to yours. Your bottle sounds earlier than those, perhaps dating into the 1880s. I was not able to find specific information about the Graves Company but it seems an appropriate name for the product they were pushing. I'd guess a $50+ value. Digger" From Digger Odell.

    "Taylor Whiskies and Hub Punch were products of C. H. Graves & Sons, Boston, Massachusetts. In 1893 Graves advertised the Taylor Whiskies with "There is no better medicinal Whiskey sold in this country of any other country." In an 1880 advertisement for Hub Punch, Graves wrote "The Hub Punch is good at all times and just the thing for use military encampments, picnic, yachting and excursion parties, clubs, hotels, and families." And this appeared in a 1904 advertisement "A shelf at home devoted to storing hub punch makes the householder feel as one feels with his family about him when well insured against fire, accident or death." From.

    A few have landed on these shores in days gone by:



    In a self published Booklet, they are described as, "C.H. Graves & Sons ...: alcohol distillers, importers and wholesale liquor dealers : proprietor, and manufacturers of the trade mark goods known as Graves' xxx extra French cologne spirits, Atwood's pure alcohol, Boston extra alcohol, Graves' grain alcohol.."

    They made little ones, too. "Graves Distilled
    Superior Dry Gin
    C.H. Graves & Sons
    Boston" From.

    Looks like the firm was burning about 1939 per this legal case.
    But perhaps that was a mere hiccup in the road.


    In a 1955 Trademark Application for the brand name "Strogoff" ownership had apparently moved to France


    Serial Number: 71694708
    Registration Number: 0634694
    Filing Date: Sep 15, 1955
    Last Applicant(s)/
    Owner(s) of Record
    Ggn Alfort Sarl
    1, Place Du Petit Pont
    Alfortville F94140 FR

    Federal Liquors Ltd. (C.H. Graves & Sons Co.)
    54 Chardon St.
    Boston, Ma US"

    Here's one that is perhaps typed incorrectly:

    "S. H. Graves and Sons, Co.
    Since 1849
    $10.00" From.

    There's a pair of the Standard Stop Sign Slugplate for sale HERE.

    Meanwhile, on a parallel plane, there was C.H. Graves of Philadelphia:

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - Naperville, Illinois
    The Universal Photo Art Company was one of several business titles under which photographer Carlton Harlow Graves sold his photographs late in his career. He was the son of Jesse Albert Graves, an important early worker who was based in the Delaware Water Gap area of Pennsylvania in the 1860-1880 time frame and produced some 500 generally fine scenic views of the western part of the state. Carlton learned the photographic art from his father and moved to Philadelphia to began producing on his own in about 1880. In his early years, he seems to have taken all the views which he published, but he soon began to buy or pirate images from others. Stereoviews issued under his own name are extremely rare.

    At its peak, The Universal Photo Art Company seems to have been a rather substantial outfit. In addition to the headquarters offices and production facilities in Philadelphia, there was a western branch in Naperville, Ill., under F. A. Messerschmidt as general manager. There are numbers listed to almost to 5,000, although the number of individual photos actually used is only about 1,300. By the late 1890’s, C. H. Graves company became a major publisher offering "Art Nouveau Stereographs" on light gray curved mounts. His trade list offered excellent views of hunting scenes, Jamaica, Japan, Java, New York City, Palestine and others. To compete with low priced lithographs and copies, Graves offered his "Universal Series" or "Universal Views" on black mounts with no credit to himself. These have the number and the title in the negative and were sold at a reduced price from the regular "Art Nouveau" issues. Graves also offered boxed sets but they were not sold in the quantities of Underwood and Underwood, the Keystone View Company and H. C. White. The company seems to have been active until about 1910 when its stock of negatives were sold to Underwood & Underwood and presumably went from there to the Keystone View Company with the rest of the Underwood photos.} From.

    Carlton Harlow did some American War Ship views:

    "USS Bennington (Gunboat # 4)

    Removing the dead from the ship, following her boiler explosion at San Diego, California, 21 July 1905. Photographed and published on a stereograph card by C.H. Graves, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania." From.

    "Photograph copyrighted 1898 by C.H. Graves, Philadelphia, and printed on a stereograph card. Raleigh is painted as she was during, and for several months after, the Spanish-American War. Courtesy of Commander Donald J. Robinson, USN(MSC), 1975.

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph #82659." From.

    "Universal Photo Art Co. (C.H. Graves, Philadelphia). 'The preparation of tea in Japan. Sifting and sorting tea'.
    Condition 7.
    Order #15567.
    Price $10. " From.

    There's several Spanish American War views Here.



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    RE: C H Graves Bottle 2012/09/07 14:40:13 (permalink)

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