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FloridaRecycled
09-02-2009, 11:37 AM
Cecil Munsey
13541 Willow Run Road
Poway, CA 992064-1733
(619-487-7036)
e-mail: <cmunsey@sdcoe.k12.us>
Rare bitters bottle sells for world's record price
by Cecil Munsey

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A world's record price of $68,750 was
successfully bid for a recently discovered bitters bottle dating from 1858. The
now-the-most-expensive-bottle-in-the-world, a rare "Bryant's Stomach Bitters,"
was the highlight of the over $200,000 antique bottle auction conducted on July
27 by Pacific Glass Auctions, a Sacramento, California firm that specializes in
Western bottles.
Bryant's Bitters bottles are among the rarest and most intriguing of all
bitters bottles. According the Jeff Wichmann, the owner of Pacific Glass
Auctions, "This is the first Bryant's Stomach Bitters bottle found in 25 years," The
bottle was uncovered at a construction site in San Francisco earlier this year.
Bryant's, a San Francisco company, produced the unique, green, eight-
sided, cone-shaped bottle in 1858 and just for one year, before realizing it was
too tall (approx. 14") and cumbersome to be a commercial success. A New York
Daily Times advertisement in the March 26, 1860 edition proclaims, "Bryant's
Stomach Bitters [in a shorter lady's-leg-shaped bottle] is a mild & gentle tonic
which is unequaled." The example sold July 27 is one of only three known and
the first to ever to be offered for sale. A second specimen was also found at the
same dig. The second bottle is cracked in three places and had a hole in it. The
second specimen has since had the hole expertly repaired and will soon be
offered for sale by one of the large antique bottle auction houses in the East.
The bidding started at $30,000 and quickly moved up form there. The new
owner wishes to remain anonymous but can be quoted as saying after the
auction that, "Had it been necessary, I would have gone higher than the
pre-auction estimate of $70,000."

HISTORICAL NOTE

Andrew Jackson Bryant was born in New Hampshire in 1831 and came to
California in 1850 and went to the northern gold mines. He was taken ill
after a year and returned to San Francisco where he recuperated. For a
couple of years he owned a cigar store and learned the express business.
He then went to Sacramento in 1853 and started an express and auction
business. George W. Chesley became a partner in 1856 and they soon
added the wholesaling of liquor to the business. Bryant left Chesley to
manage the business and moved to San Francisco. He later sold his
interest to Chesley and tried his hand in investments. By 1866 he was a
partner with J. C. Morrison, Jr. as liquor wholesalers. Later the same year
he accepted an appointment as a Naval Officer by President Andrew
Johnson. Bryant was one of the organizers of the State Investment
Insurance Company and was elected president of it in 1875. Shortly
afterwards he became manager of two other large insurance companies.
He was elected Mayor of San Francisco for two terms in the late 1870s.
He was also a co-partner in Occidental Sawmill in Eureka, California in
1880. He and his partner owned and harvested 5000 acres of old-growth
redwood forest. He was a Democrat and a strong advocate of the eight-
hour work day.

Historical Note Reference: Western Bitters
Copyright © 1969
By Bill & Betty Wilson
Northwestern Printing Company
Santa Rosa, California


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thought someone might find this interesting....

glass man
09-02-2009, 12:06 PM
COOL ARTICLE! I GOT AN OLDER BOOK OF CECIL"S I HOPE TO AUCTION OFF FOR THE FORUM SOON AS I GET THE SHIPPING MONEY. JAMIE

FloridaRecycled
09-02-2009, 01:05 PM
Jamie,

Which book do you have?

I found his website yesterday and the articles (on all kinds of bottles) and the research he has done is amazing...if you haven't seen it yet...go to the "New Website" section and check it out...that's where I got this from...it is one of his "unpublished" articles...he has a lot of those and ones that have been published.

I'm really excited about how much I am going to learn from reading all his stuff!

glass man
09-02-2009, 05:56 PM
TINNA: I HAVE "THE ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO THE COLLECTIBLES OF COCA - COLA" 1972. HAS THE ORIGINAL DUST COVER AND IS IN GREAT CONDITION! I GO TO HIS SITE FROM TIME TO TIME. SO MUCH IT IS HARD TO TAKE IT ALL IN! YES HE IS AN AMAZING MAN. BEEN KNOWN IN BOTTLE CIRCLES FOR A LONG TIME! JAMIE

glass man
09-02-2009, 06:09 PM
MUST BE ! YOU GOT THAT RIGHT! JAMIE

FloridaRecycled
09-02-2009, 08:04 PM
When I first saw the article on his website - I looked for the article date because I did notice that a lot of the research and info was dated earlier...but I couldn't find a date anywhere - I still thought that the info/facts about the bottler were interesting...after reading your reply I really wanted to try and find out when that bottle sold...I don't have the year yet...but I just google'd "Bryant's Stomach Bitters Bottle auction" and this reference is from June of 09...it doesn't list the price it went for but said that only 1 specimen has ever been up auction and it holds a record?

http://www.westernbittersnews.com/2009/06/bryants-stomach-bitters.html

Maybe it's just for a bitter's bottle? ...heck I'm just learning and thought the background info on that bottle would be interesting? I'll see if I can find out the year it was auctioned off...

Anyhoo...

FloridaRecycled
09-02-2009, 08:16 PM
ORIGINAL: glass man

TINNA: I HAVE "THE ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO THE COLLECTIBLES OF COCA - COLA" 1972. HAS THE ORIGINAL DUST COVER AND IS IN GREAT CONDITION! I GO TO HIS SITE FROM TIME TO TIME. SO MUCH IT IS HARD TO TAKE IT ALL IN! YES HE IS AN AMAZING MAN. BEEN KNOWN IN BOTTLE CIRCLES FOR A LONG TIME! JAMIE


I bet that digdug (the guy that has the coca cola bottle research book) might want to take a look at this (if he hasn't seen it already - did you read the preview pages in his book? Very readable - and informative)...

Yes Cecil Munsey is amazing - he has a list on the website of all the magazines/books/reference materials that he has in his personal library...WOW...I read a little about his personal story and how he got started...way cool...what a way to make a living huh! Talking about/speculating about your passion! Probably would be a cool person to sit and have a chat with!

bottle_head9
09-05-2009, 11:41 AM
The Bryant`s sold in 1998. If I remeber correctly, there was a short segment on cash and treasures with Jeff Wichman showing it.I thought he was the one who bought it.I might be wrong though.

onekick1
09-06-2009, 10:55 AM
The Bryant's Stomach Bitters (cone) was dug in San Francisco in February of 1998. It sold in Pacific Glass Auctions July 1998 Auction # 17 for $68,750. It was the first Bryant's to be offered at public auction. It was purchased by a central California collector. Just recently the same Bryant's sold to a Houston Texas collector. There are several different accounts of the selling price (anywhere from $60,000 to $100,000) but I do not know for a fact what the sale price was. There are 4 intact Bryant's bottles: 2 were dug in Sacramento Cal. in the 1960's, 1 in San Francisco during the 1998 dig and 1 in North San Juan Cal.
Jeff Wichmann is the owner of the auction house that sold the Bryant's bottle. It was called Pacific Glass Auctions when the Bryant's was sold. It is now American Bottle Auctions.
The Antique Bottle and Glass Collector magazine will feature an in-depth article on the Bryant's Stomach Bitters sometime this fall, possibly in the October or November issue.

glass man
09-06-2009, 02:35 PM
I AM THINKING A HARRISONS COLUMBIAN COBALT GALLEN[?] INK WENT FOR MORE THEN THID YEARS AGO AND WAS SAID TO BE THE HIGHEST PAID FOR A BOTTLE AND IT ALSO SOLD IN 1980 AND AT THAT TIME WAS SAID TO BE THE HIGHEST BOTTLE SOLD. CAN ANY BODY REMEMBER THE BOTTLE I AM TALKING ABOUT? I STILL HAVE THE BOTTLE MAG ROUND HERE SOME WHERE. SEEMS IT SOLD FOR 80.000 THE 2ND TIME. JAMIE

appliedlips
09-07-2009, 10:50 AM
Jamie, I think the cobalt Harrison's brought $33,000 or something close, which at that time (70's-80's) was a record. The next time I believe it sold for less. I think 30 maybe but no where near 80. Many bottles have sold for more than the Harrison's since.

westernbittersnut
09-11-2009, 03:41 AM
The initial write-up about the Bryants Stomach Bitters is erroneous. This is a New York concern by a G.N.W. Bryant and this bottle and product were made and distributed from New York state. A lot of these bottles were sent by ship to San Francisco where the agent for this product was Wm. Newell & Co. Some of these bottles (broken) have been dug back East. They were just an early bitters that was marketed in the West in 1859. Just like Dr. C. W. Roback's Stomach Bitters, Old Sachem Bitters and Wigwam Tonic, Catawba Wine Bitters, Dr. J. Hostetter's Stomach Bitters and a host of other eastern bottles during the late 1850's and onward.

CALDIGR2
09-11-2009, 01:39 PM
I always maintained that the Bryant's was an Eastern product, but the "believers" wants so badly for it to be of San Francisco origin that a simple conjecture became accepted as fact by the collecting community. After the first one was dug in Sacramento, way back in the '60s, this myth has perpetuated, despite evidence to the contrary. Research on the Bryant's bottle led me to this conclusion many years ago, but the locals refused to allow facts to overide their preconceived notions. Thanks for posting this information, Warren. It's about time this "misunderstanding" was clarified, so perhaps the record will be corrected. I won't be holding my breath, though.

GuntherHess
09-11-2009, 01:59 PM
bottle myths are tough to dispell. people believe what they want to believe.

Oldtimer
09-11-2009, 03:16 PM
I had always understood it to be an eastern made product.

CALDIGR2
09-11-2009, 04:16 PM
Yes, but some folks still insist that is is a Western product. A few cases of the Ladies leg type were pulled from the harbor in Sao Paulo, Brazil several years ago. The water was only about 12' -15' deep and you could see the bottles sitting down there. They were cargo on a ship transporting goods around the "Horn" to SF. The ship sank in the harbor and some goods were not retrieved at the time, the bottles among them.

glass man
09-11-2009, 09:53 PM
DOUG:I found the mag from july 1980 where the RARE HARRISONS COLUMBIAN MASTER INK WITH EXPANDED JAR MOUTH. HEIGHTH:10 /12 INCHES ,DIA.6 1/8INCHES BRILLIANT DEEP SAPPAIRE BLUE,SHEARED MOUTH-SCARED BASE. IT SOLD FOR $8000 WAS PART OF COVILL'S COLLECTION AND AUCTIONED BY SKINNERS AUCTION HOUSE.
I AM ALMOST SURE IT SOLD FOR $80,000 IN 1990,BUT THE BRAIN IS A SLIPPERY THING![:)] I HAVE THAT BOTTLE MAG. IN THIS HOUSE SOMEWHERE. AMAZED ME TO FIND THE 1980 ONE. I FOUND MY EXPO 96 BOTTLE MAG TOO,WITH A PICTURE OF NINA IN IT! JAMIE

beendiggin
09-12-2009, 11:56 AM
http://www.americanbottle.com/ A Bryant's just sold recently. Here's the link.

blobbottlebob
09-12-2009, 12:07 PM
Great link Beendiggin. I would have liked a little more specifics about the sale but I suppose 'the six-figure catagory' is close enough.

glass man
09-12-2009, 07:22 PM
AM ALMOST SURE IT SOLD FOR $80,000 IN 1990, DOUG I ALOMOST SURE I AM LOSING IT![SURE THAT SURPRISES NO ONE] THE ink did sell for 8,000 in 1980 and like you and Jeff told me later sold for $33,000! [8D] OH WELL! jamie