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Rare bottles offered in June 29-July 8 online auction

A Gold Dust Barkhouse Brothers Kentucky Bourbon bottle, dating to the mid-1870s, is among the unique and rare bottles headlining American Bottle Auctions' upcoming sale.
J. W. Garrison rare bottle

Rare J.W. Garrison Bullit (St. Louisville, Ky.) soda bottle in emerald green.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – American Bottle Auctions’ Auction 65, with bidding set to run from Friday, June 29 through Sunday, July 8, will cater to bottle collectors from coast to coast. The bottle auction offers important and rare bottles, including Western whiskies, rare bitters examples from East and West, soda bottles from Kentucky and Arizona, plus Western, early American and Masonic flasks.

Also offered is a diverse selection of medicine bottles – Eastern and Western examples – as well as teakettle inkwells and master inks. Auction 65 offers an equal number of Western bottles and Eastern bottles.

Rare bottles of the whiskey variety

“Western whiskies have come on hard times but can still sell for decent numbers depending on the variant,” said Jeff Wichmann of American Bottle Auctions. “That’s especially true when you have the best of the best. We’ll try to oblige with Gold Dust Whiskey bottles in four different variants, a fine showing of Cutter bottles and dozens of other examples in excellent condition.”

Gold Dust Barkhouse Brothers Kentucky Bourbon rare bottle

Gold Dust Barkhouse Brothers Kentucky Bourbon bottle (N. Vanbergen, Sole Agents), with applied top, boasting a mint grade of 9.5.

A Gold Dust Barkhouse Brothers Kentucky Bourbon bottle (N. Vanbergen, Sole Agents), with applied top, boasts a mint grade of 9.5 out of 10. The bottle, produced circa 1871-1874, medium amber in color with lots of whittle, is one of nearly all of the variants known in this auction, all of which are in outstanding shape. Gold Dust was named after a famous racehorse of the time.

Another whiskey to watch is a Turner Brothers (N.Y.) barrel-shaped quart bottle, reddish amber (or puce) in color and a strong example with an 8.5 grade. Turner Brothers also marketed bitters bottles, but this one is believed to be a whiskey.


Fans of Western flasks will be wowed by the Goudie & McKeley Peppertree Saloon (San Pedro, Calif.) coffin-shaped amber flask, graded 9.9.

Horse shoe bitters bottle

Horse Shoe Bitters H 189 bottle (Horse Shoe Medicine Co., Collinsville, Ill.), with embossed galloping horse and tooled top, amber in color and graded mint 9.5.

Other Western flasks include some rare pumpkinseeds and amber flasks, plus an Arlington flask. Tops among the early American flasks is a beautiful Lafayette GI 86 bottle in the half-pint size, a nearly perfect piece of glass in a medium olive amber color. The flask, showing a bust of Lafayette (Coventry / C-T – Liberty Cap / S & S) grades 9, just for the wear, otherwise perfect.

Bitters bottles

Rare Pocahontas bitters rare bottle

Pocahontas Bitters bottle, aqua, covered in a Benicia film, graded a 9.8.

The rare bottles of the bitters variety, representing both coasts, will feature a run of Drake’s Plantation Bitters, including a green example and a purple variant, both in mint condition; a run of National Bitters shaped like an ear of corn; and some lovely Western bitters, including the Henley’s IXL Bitters, an Alex Von Humboldt, a Lacour’s bottle, a dozen rare amber squares and other examples of rare bottles.

A Horse Shoe Bitters H 189 bottle (Horse Shoe Medicine Co., Collinsville, Ill.) has an embossed galloping horse and tooled top. It is one of only a few known. It is amber in color and graded mint 9.5. Additionally, a Baker’s Orange Grove Bitters bottle with applied top, smooth base, roped corners in an orange amber color with light overall crudity grades 9.9.

An Original Pocahontas Bitters bottle, aqua, is graded a 9.8. Also, a Great Universal Compound Stomach Bitters bottle was patented 1870 (Professor Geo. J. Byrne, New York, USA). The bottle has an applied top and an unusual flower design base, medium to deep amber, grades at 9.5.

Soda & mineral water bottles

Sodas are a big hit with collectors of antique and rare bottles. The sale features some rare bottles from Kentucky, to include the Garrison, J. Brosee Maysville and Lamppin’s Mineral Water, all from Kentucky. A genuine head-turner is the blue-green Geo. Eagle soda with applied top and iron pontil, an unusual bottle with a unique ribbed design having a beautiful color. It’s has a repair to the back top of the lip.

A J. Brosee (Maysville, Ky., formerly known as Limestone) Mineral Water bottle dates to circa 1848-1861. With an applied top and graphite pontil, it sold at a prior ABA sale in 2008 for $7,500. Also, an early and rare bottle from J.W. Garrison Bullit (St. Louisville, Ky.) (soda) with applied top and open pontil, covered with whittle and crudity, is a beautiful emerald green.

A cleaned Lamppin’s Mineral Water (Louisville, Ky.) bottle with applied top and smooth base is a brilliant medium green. It carries a grade of 8.5. From the medicines category, a Wynkoop & Co. Tonic Mixture bottle (N.Y., “Warranted to Cure Fever & Ague”), 6 1/2 inches tall, with applied top, open pontil, is graded 8.5.

Details about the June 29-July 8 rare bottles auction

antique Plantation Bitters bottles

Drake’s Plantation Bitters on offer include a green example and a purple variant, both in mint condition.

Interested bidders may register for Auction #65 now. ABA issues invoices after the auction closes unless other arrangements are made. A 15 percent buyer’s fee will apply to all purchases. 

Standard auction rules will apply. American Bottle Auctions does not do callbacks. Instead, there is a 10-minute rule that applies to bids at the end of the auction. An online printable color catalog will be available soon.

Additional pictures or videos are available on request. Potential bidders should inspect auction lots at the showroom; make appointments in advance. To schedule an appointment, call 800-806-7722.

American Bottle Auctions is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign a single bottle or an entire collection, call 800-806-7722 or email 

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