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Don Dwyer Collection

Catalog for Auction # 70 Part 1
Closing Monday March 8th, 2021 at 8:00 PM PST / 11:00 PM EST
Each Lot Closes Separately when a bid is not entered for 10 minutes

Auction Local Time: Feb 27, 2021 16:31:00 PST
Feb 27, 2021 19:31:00 EST

Picture of Don DwyerWe are proud and happy to be presenting the Don Dwyer Collection of Soda and Bitters bottles for auction 70. Don began collecting antique bottles in the 1960’s when he was checking out some old Chinese camps near his home in Oroville, CA. Owner and founder of a lumber business, Don found some old bottles and other items years back and became hooked. Working in the forest gave him the opportunity to enjoy his time outside and visit old lumber camps while he also kept his eyes peeled for bottles and other artifacts. He also has a keen interest in mining placer gold. Back then he collected various types of bottles, but he said when the Wichmann Bitters book came out in 1999, Antique Western Bitters Bottles, he decided to concentrate his collection solely on bitters. His goal was to try and get every specimen in the book and he came very close.
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Catalog Lots 1 to 15

Lot
Number
Description
Current Bid
 BENNETT’S WILD CHERRY STOMACH BITTERS with CHENERY, SOUTHER & CO SOLE AGENTS SAN FRANCISCO CAL. B 74 Applied top. There are two variants of this scarce bitters, this example with the curved embossing is considered rarer than the other variant. Nice orange color, decent crudity and about perfect. Grades an 8.5  
$ 100
 JEWEL BITTERS with A. FORTLOUIS & CO. Applied top J 35. Dug in Weston, WA. Weston is a ghost town in Washington and this bottle was found there in 1980. There are two variants of this bottle, the other having the John Bowman name embossed. They were specifically distributed in Seattle and Washington. According to Ring/Ham there was a saloon located in the state that sold the bitters in the early 90’s, owned by Fortlouis. Almost perfect, this one grades a 9.  
$ 210
 PERUVIAN BITTERS with original label. P 66. Don was an avid collector of some particular western bitters and the Peruvian is a perfect bottle to find numerous variants. We have here just half of examples from his collection. Here is a labeled example with the label 100% intact with original foil seal. Condition couldn’t get much better as we will grade it a 9.  
$ 60
 PERUVIAN BITTERS red amber, 1871-91. P 66. These red amber examples are a terrific looking bottle and whether they were made here or in Germany, either way it displays beautifully. Hard to believe but this grades a 9.  
$ 80
 PERUVIAN BITTERS medium amber,1871-91, P 66. And yet another Peruvian, this is the variant with the later monogram on reverse in an orange amber. This was the last monogram they embossed the bottle with and used around 1890-91. There is a little bit of interior stain but extremely minor. It looks like this bottle was never even cleaned with a bottle brush. Grades an 8.  
$ 10
 PERUVIAN BITTERS light amber, 1871-91. P 66. This one is a nice light amber with an applied top and the “W&C” monogram on reverse. The initials are for the Wilmerding Company. Grades an 8.5.  
$ 50
 PERUVIAN BITTERS clear glass 1871-91. P 66. Here is the rare clear version that we don’t see very often, and it’s considered rare. The glass will turn purple and has a light amethyst tint. Some decent crudity and grades an 8.5.  
$ 110
 ALEX VON HUMBOLDT’S STOMACH BITTERS. Applied top. 1868-72. Here’s an early example of the bitters that began being blown in San Francisco in the early part of the western bitter’s movement. The name of the bitters was based on a famous botanist named Buenman Von Humboldt. We see these in varying shades of amber and then crude showing their early S.F. heritage. This one is old amber and has some nice overall crudity. A high-grade example that we would easily grade an 8.  
$ 275
 GRAND PRIZE BITTERS. Applied top. 1880-84. Here is one that the very large and successful Louis Taussig Co. put out as their entry into the bitters market. With the label reading Cooper’s Grand Prize Bitters, it won first place at the 1876 Centennial in Celebration in Philadelphia. Looking like a Peruvian Bitters, these bottles are very rare and one we don’t see often. There are some well-placed bubbles in the shoulders and although it’s not a super crude example, none of the ones we’ve seen are. It’s a wonderful example of the production of bitters in San Francisco during the 1880’s. Unlike the Peruvian’s, notice all four panels are inset. Grades an 8.5+.  
$ 50
 MOHICA BITTERS with ROTH & CO SAN FRANCISCO on reverse. 1871 only. Applied top. The Mohica Bitters was put out by the well-known Roth Co., just another large company to try their hand in the bitters market. Why not? These bottles are considered extremely rare as apparently the product was not a popular one or they used labels only for others they sold. These unique bottles have great appeal, if not just for the name. Another fine western bitters that grades an 8.5.  
$ 160
 DR. RENZ’S HERB BITTERS with applied top in amber. 1868-81. Don had a definite love affair with western squares, which became very apparent when we saw the number of Renz & Rothenberg bottles. Here is the large-lettered variant in an old amber, with a good deal of crudity. It’s amazing that Renz’s are seen in green as often as they are. With most old western bitters, the opposite is true. Here is a fine example that grades a solid 8.5.  
$ 210
 DR. RENZ’S HERB BITTERS with applied top in yellow green. 1868-81. Here is another example with the large lettering in a mellow yellow green. It has some crudity and would look very nice on any shelf. An easy 8.5+ grade.  
$ 650
 DR. RENZ’S HERB BITTERS with applied top in green. Ex. MacKenzie, Siri collection. 1868-81. As we go through the Renz’s, we have here a beautiful brilliant green example with the large lettering. This one has a large drip running down the neck and aside from a couple scratches is about perfect. This bottle was purchased from Richard Siri and previously sold from the Judge MacKenzie collection through Norm Heckler. This one deserves a lot of attention. Grades a 9.  
$ 1,000
 DR. RENZ’S HERB BITTERS with applied top, variant 1 in amber. 1868-81. Here is the early version of this bottle with the smaller lettering, these were made as early as 1868 under the direction of John Renz, a German native. There are three variants of these bottles and the previous three lots are considered the 2nd variant, as the R’s are not curved but have large lettering. This example does not have curved R’s either but as we discovered through the years, the manner in which these were made becomes clearer all the time. In the Wichmann bitters book, the order of manufacture is listed backwards. This is a beauty and grades a 9.  
$ 300
 DR. RENZ’S HERB BITTERS with applied top in light yellow green. Ex. Mlasko, 1868-81. Here is the final example we have to offer, with more coming up in part two of Don’s collection. This has very thin glass and feels fragile. It is a very interesting color and one that may not be in a lot of collections. You might call this a light-yellow green. Another high-quality Renz that grades an 8.5. We could honestly grade all of these with a 9, we just want to make sure we are more conservative as we don’t need surprises. There is just a hint of interior haze but nothing that detracts. Grades a 9.  
$ 275
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Don Dywer Story Continues
The bottles Don accumulated often came in different variants, applied top or tooled top of the same bottle, color runs and at the top of his list were squares. Among the many bottles we are selling are his run of Renz’s Bitters and Rosenbaum’s. From the very rare and valuable to the grouping of Lash’s Bitters in every shape and size, Don knew what a collector must do when trying to put together every specimen, and he did it.

His desire to collect sodas and mineral waters was a valiant one. Where most western collectors go after either just the examples made in San Francisco, Don had a varying number of pontiled examples that were made in the east and brought out west for a western company. Once again color runs were another exciting part of his soda collection as he has different colored examples of the same bottle.

Don will still maintain his vast collection of Marysville bottles. His home is located directly in the forest and with the fires that have occurred over the last number of years, he won’t miss what seemed a yearly evacuation to save his bottle collection. He looks forward to taking it easy and doing some hunting and fishing and maybe find some gold. He has three sons he’d like to spend more time with and although collecting is in his blood, he will still maintain his local collection and enjoy the free time he will have. We have to say we were excited to hear from Don when he first called our office and said he had made his decision. I asked him at least a few times, “are you sur you want to sell your collection, ” and each time came the same answer, “Yes.” We hope you are excited as we are, and we look forward to presenting this part 1 of the Don Dwyer Collection.

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