Chalmer’s Catawba Bitters Bottle Leads Glass Works 101st Auction

The top of the auction was a Chalmer’s Catawba Wine Bitters Sutter’s Old Mill bottle that had a closing bid of $24,150.

LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. — On March 17 Glass Works Auctions conducted an absentee phone and Internet auction — it was the company’s 101st auction. The 402-lot auction grossed $427,000, including buyer’s premium, and the top of the auction was a Chalmer’s Catawba Wine Bitters Sutter’s Old Mill bottle that had a closing bid of $24,150.

“It was part of the Curt Paget collection, which made up the first 48 lots of the auction,” said Jim Hagenbuch, founder of Glass Works Auction. “Curt Paget was an early collector from California, and many of his bottles were from California proprietors.”

Also from the Paget collection, was an Old Man’s Stomach Bitters — Marcus Sass in amber. It brought $10,925. “One of the rarest of all California bitters bottles,” said Hagenbuch, “and a record price for a square amber bitters sold at auction.”

A rare, yellow-green citron colored Brown’s Celebrated Indian Herb Bitters, went to $14,950. Hagenbuch said, “If it was in its normal amber color, it probably would have sold for around $700, but color is king in antique bottles, and this one was rare.”

Another rare color bitters bottle was an embossed, Constitution Bitters, Seward & Bentley, Buffalo, N.Y., which sold to a Texas collector for $13,800. “This one was fresh to the market,” said Hagenbuch. “It was brought to us at the Oakland, N.J., bottle show, by a fellow whose father bought it in Buffalo, N.Y., in the 1960s.”

Of interest to both American and English collectors alike was a circa 1650–60 English Shaft and Globe-form wine bottle in yellowish olive green. It sold to an American collector for $13,800. “A strong price, possibly a record for this bottle,” Hagenbuch remarked. “Despite the weakness of the American dollar against the English pound, an American collector won the battle.”

A rare whiskey bottle with “Pacific Glass Works S.F.” embossed on the base sold to a California collector for $3,737. “We really weren’t sure what this could sell for as it’s the first one we’ve ever offered,” said Hagenbuch. “We had a $600/800 estimate on it, which was passed in the first day of bidding.”

Rounding out the sale was another bottle whose rare color sent it racing: a target ball with “Ira Paine’s Filled Ball Pat. Oct. 23, 1877,” sold for $2,415. Hagenbuch said, “In the normal amber color they sell in the $200/300 range.”

The company’s next absentee phone and internet auction is scheduled for June. For more information, 609-483-2683 or email glswrk@enter.net.

A rare, yellow-green citron colored Brown’s Celebrated Indian Herb Bitters, went to $14,950.

With a rare color, an embossed, Constitution Bitters, Seward & Bentley, Buffalo, N.Y., sold to a Texas collector for $13,800.

A circa 1650–60 English Shaft and Globe-form wine bottle in yellowish olive green sold to an American collector for $13,800.

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