St. Drake bitters bottle polishes off $37,950

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A St. Drake’s Plantation 1860 X bitters bottle, made circa 1862-1872 and one of only a few known in the blue-green color, soared to $37,950 at American Bottle Auctions’ Internet and catalog sale #58, which ended June 30. It wasn’t the most ever paid for that bottle in that color, but it was very close – a tribute to its rarity.

A uncommon sight, this blue-green St. Drake's 1860 X Plantation bitters bottle took top lot honors after yielding $37,950, during the June 2013 online auction at American Bottle Auctions. (Photo courtesy American Bottle Auctions)

A uncommon sight, this blue-green St. Drake’s 1860 X Plantation bitters bottle took top lot honors after yielding $37,950, during the June 2013 online auction at American Bottle Auctions. (Photo courtesy American Bottle Auctions)

In all, 165 vintage and highly collectible lots came up for bid, earning around $290,000, making it one of American Bottle Auctions’ most successful sales.

The St. Drakes Plantation X Bitters was the top lot of the auction. “Of the three or four blue-green examples known, this one may be the prettiest,” said Jeff Wichmann of American Bottle Auctions.

Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.

Two other lots topped the $15,000 mark, and both were new world auction records. One was a brilliant deep blue quart scroll flask (probably GIX-2), 9 inches tall, graded a near-perfect 9.8 out of 10 for condition ($19,550: a new record for a quart scroll flask). The other was an Ira Harvey (Providence, R.I.) tepee-shaped blue soda bottle ($16,100: a record for a soda).

A large, uniquely shaped J.H. Cutter Old Bourbon  (A.P. Hotaling, Sole Agents), made circa 1869-1871 and one of the few Western whiskeys made in green, graded 9.8, brought $14,400, shattering the previous record for a similar item; and a St. Drake’s 1860 Plantation bitters, the only one known in the “cherry Coke” color, made circa 1862-1872, graded 9.9, hit $13,225.

A pair of bottles knocked down for identical selling prices of $3,910. One was an A.P. Hotaling Co. (Portland, Ore., Sole Agents) whiskey bottle with embossed crown, made circa 1884-1890, light to medium reddish amber, graded 9.7. The other was an A.M. Binninger & Co. (N.Y.) example, with no address on it, from 1860, colored strawberry peach puce and graded 9.8.

American Bottle Auctions has announced the launch of American Marble Auctions, with a new website and an auction event planned for September. Details will be revealed as September nears. For more information, contact 800-806-7722 or info@americanbottle.com, or visit www.americanbottle.com.

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