Bentley’s French Dressing

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vll970

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Hi all,
I got this bottle at an estate sale yesterday. There were literally hundreds of bottles but all looked rather common, not that I am an expert. I just liked the writing on this one, it’s local to me, and I don’t have it so I decided to get it. Now I can’t seem to find others like it online. I did find a bit about Bentley and about him working for Torrey then later becoming partner in the late 1880s but I was curious about the content and if it is rarer than I originally thought.
Thank you
6F17D7A0-8FDF-41DF-832F-9405B119F7B5.jpeg
 

DavidW

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I couldn't find a single example of that bottle on the Worthpoint / Worthopedia site, so that would probably mean it is VERY SCARCE!!

Is that a square bottle (like Frank Millers), or rectangular (like Whittemore)? Not sure from your pic but I assume it has a square "footprint" . Never heard of that brand, but it is a Shoe Dressing (shoe polish, leather dressing, shoe blacking) bottle. There are quite a few different bottles out there that have a typical square design like the "Frank Miller's Crown Dressing" which is the probably the most common. I think most of them are from the 1880s and 1890s.

I think they are so interesting and under-appreciated, but they are not avidly sought for and collected now (yet, as far as I know) but maybe they will develop more of a "cult following" in the future. Just to "document" a list of other bottles of that shape on this website, here are some other brand names on similar bottles:

(Can anyone add to this list?) It has to have a square shape (not round or rectangular).


Frank Miller's Crown Dressing / New York / U.S.A.

Saratoga Dressing / Trademark / Restorff & Bettmann / New York / U.S.A.

Saratoga Dressing [no other embossing - this bottle looks older]

Geo. H. Reed & Sons / American Dressing / Boston

Red Jacket is Crack Proof [from Louisville KY]

Joseph Goldbach Porpoise Oil Dressing / Louisville KY

Acme Shoe Dressing / Water Proof / The Wolff Chemical Co. / Phila U.S.A.

Eclipse French Satin Gloss Dressing [usually in olive green]

F. Stump's Leather Dressing [from Philadelphia PA]

Herriott Bros & Co. [from St. Louis, MO]

Raven Gloss / Shoe Dressing / New York, U.S.A.
 
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vll970

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I couldn't find a single example of that bottle on the Worthpoint / Worthopedia site, so that would probably mean it is VERY SCARCE!!
Thank you for checking and for all the additional information. I am very surprised it’s scarce.
Yes, it is a square bottle. I had heard of “shoe dressing” but I wondered why it would be “French”.
 

DavidW

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vII970, not sure, but I think "French" in "French Dressing" was just an attempt to sound sophisticated, like their shoe polish was a better brand, and comparable to UPSCALE, high-quality products imported from France, especially from Paris.
In the Victorian era it was very fashionable to use products from France, such as perfumes, cosmetics, fancy clothing, etc.
Here is a clip from the Shoe and Leather Reporter, a trade newspaper, showing an ad from another brand "French Dressing" (B. F. Brown & Company) Their product had evidently won an award at a Paris exhibition. : https://www.google.com/books/edition/Shoe_and_Leather_Reporter/Zd4-AQAAMAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&bsq=french dressing shoe dressing
 

DavidW

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I couldn't find a single example of that bottle on the Worthpoint / Worthopedia site, so that would probably mean it is VERY SCARCE!!

Is that a square bottle (like Frank Millers), or rectangular (like Whittemore)? Not sure from your pic but I assume it has a square "footprint" . Never heard of that brand, but it is a Shoe Dressing (shoe polish, leather dressing, shoe blacking) bottle. There are quite a few different bottles out there that have a typical square design like the "Frank Miller's Crown Dressing" which is the probably the most common. I think most of them are from the 1880s and 1890s.

I think they are so interesting and under-appreciated, but they are not avidly sought for and collected now (yet, as far as I know) but maybe they will develop more of a "cult following" in the future. Just to "document" a list of other bottles of that shape on this website, here are some other brand names on similar bottles:

(Can anyone add to this list?) It has to have a square shape (not round or rectangular).


Frank Miller's Crown Dressing / New York / U.S.A.

Saratoga Dressing / Trademark / Restorff & Bettmann / New York / U.S.A.

Saratoga Dressing [no other embossing - this bottle looks older]

Geo. H. Reed & Sons / American Dressing / Boston

Red Jacket is Crack Proof [from Louisville KY]

Joseph Goldbach Porpoise Oil Dressing / Louisville KY

Acme Shoe Dressing / Water Proof / The Wolff Chemical Co. / Phila U.S.A.

Eclipse French Satin Gloss Dressing [usually in olive green]

F. Stump's Leather Dressing [from Philadelphia PA]

Herriott Bros & Co. [from St. Louis, MO]

Raven Gloss / Shoe Dressing / New York, U.S.A.
Adding another square shoe dressing bottle to the above list: embossed "Porpoisine Mfg Co, Philada, PA."
 

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DavidW

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Another square shoe dressing bottle to add to list here: "SPOONER'S NAVY DRESSING / SPOONER'S BOOT DRESSING / TRADEMARK." As seen in listing on Worthopedia, in light sapphire blue color. Not seen another one for sale-------
 

DavidW

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Adding to the above list (9/26/2023) ---- two more antique square Shoe Dressing bottles:

W. Elmer Callaway / Black Oil Shoe Dressing / Jersey City, N. J.

(Horseshoe graphic) VICI / Leather Dressing / Robt. H. Foerderer / Philadelphia / U.S.A.
 

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