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Lacour’s Western bitters bottle may cap off $50K

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Two major fine bottle collections – the Vince Madruga collection of Western bitters bottle and medicine examples, and the John O’Neill collection of mostly early San Francisco bottles, whiskeys and sodas – will headline American Bottle Auctions’ Auction #63, a two-part online and catalog auction scheduled for Feb. 10-18 for Part 1 and March 3-11 for Part 2.

Interested bidders may register for Auction #63 now, at Inquiries may be made via e-mail, to

“Auction 63 will offer quite possibly the top Western glass auction ever presented,” said Jeff Wichmann of American Bottle Auctions. “Vince Madruga amassed his collection over a 50-year span, and his bitters bottle examples include many of the top Western examples known. All are relatively fresh to the market. And many bottles in John O’Neill’s collection are one-of-a-kinds or extremely rare.”

Uncommon Bitters Bottle Examples Headlining Sale

Highlights of the Madruga collection include a turquoise Catawba Wine Bitters and an E.G. Lyons

Sarsapariphere Western bitters bottle

Lacour’s Sarsapariphere Western bitters bottle, circa 1866-1875), ($20,000-$50,000). (All photos courtesy American Bottle Auctions)

from San Francisco. “These are simply the tip of the iceberg,” Wichmann remarked. “Of the 89 Western bitters being sold from the Madruga collection, many are either one of a few known or market fresh, having never been sold at public auction before.”

The number of bottles that have never come up for auction from the O’Neill collection will give collectors a chance to bid on items previously unavailable or even unknown to the hobby. His collection of Pacific Glass Works base embossed items are not only rare, many are unique and never before seen. O’Neill’s collection is an eclectic mix of rare and desirable examples of various bottles, including bitters bottle specimens.

“Together, these two collections presented in a two-part auction should elicit a ton of excitement among the Western bottle community and, really, collectors all over the country,” Wichmann said.

Auction Structure and Specifics

Part 1 of Auction #63 will begin at 12:01 a.m. Eastern time on Friday, Feb. 10, and will end on Sunday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m. The same start and finish times will apply to Part 2, starting at 12:01 a.m. March 3 and ending at 7 p.m. March 11 (all times Eastern). The split will allow bidders to see every lot available and plan with time in between, if they plan on bidding in both Parts 1 and 2.

The lots will be numbered in consecutive order. Invoices will be issued after the second auction unless American Bottle Auctions is instructed otherwise. There is a buyer’s fee of 15 percent for this auction only, up 5 percent from the previous auction. The additional 5 percent will be used for extensive national advertising and additional costs associated with an auction of this caliber.

Standard auction rules will apply. American Bottle Auctions does not do callbacks but, rather, has a 10-minute rule that applies to bids at the end of the auction. In essence, every bidder has a last opportunity to make a last winning bid. An online printable color catalog will be available soon, and all of the lots will be photographed and displayed in pictures and a streaming video.

Additional Information

Every effort will be made to present the items as close as possible to the real bottle. Additional pictures or videos are available on request. Potential customers are encouraged to come by the American Bottle Auction showroom for an in-person review of all the bottles in the sale, although appointments are required. To schedule an appointment, call 800-806-7722.

American Bottle Auctions is always accepting quality consignments. To consign a single bottle or an entire collection,call ABA toll-free at 1-800-806-7722; or e-mail

To learn more about American Bottle Auctions and Auction #63, slated for February 10-18 and March 3-11, visit

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