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American Bottle Picture Gallery

Picture Gallery is a new section of the American Bottle Auctions website. We will post pictures sent us from collectors around the world showing their favorite bottles or any other pictures of interest relating to glass and bottles. All we require is a name, which we will not post if you don't want us to, and a photograph. We ask that you limit photos to one or two and we'll be happy to share them with the collecting world! These pictures are just a sample of what you'll be seeing week to week as we display bottles of interest in our new Photo Gallery!


New Western Soda Discovered!
by Jeff Wichmann

Asher00Asher01An eight-sided soda marked Asher_S Taylor recently turned up and as far as American Bottle Auction knows, it appears to be the only one known or we've seen for that matter. A medium teal, the soda has a graphite pontil and is about as new a discovery for a western soda as there can be. It is known that Asher S. Taylor was a wholesaler of soda water, most noticeably the Taylor & Co. Valparaiso Chili (misspelled) soda made around the 1850's. It's not a complete surprise there would be a soda with just his name as it appears that when it came to having bottles named with his company, his name usually appeared as boldly as any of the writing on the bottle. It is believed he is was also responsible for a bitters with his initials embossed on the shoulder.

This new discovery however, is interesting in that the bottle is eight-sided, an attention getting shape, and is easily as early as the Valpariso Chili soda he marketed in blue and green colors. Why would he make another soda so rare and with just his name on it? A better question might be where are all the others? Originally from New York, Taylor headed west to find his fortune and he soon realized that most of the ships that set sale for San Francisco would stop after the trip around the horn at where else? Valpariso. There they would pick up provisions, make repairs and of course, look for a source of fresh water. Enter Taylor. It's not known if he had the bottles shipped from the east to Chile or San Francisco first, even Sacramento but what is known is he made a decent living selling water and other provisions to the travelers headed to San Francisco. For more information on Asher S. Taylor, please see Western Blob Top Soda and Mineral Water Bottles by Peck and Audie Markota, which is where I retrieved this information.

Asher02Asher03One thing is for sure about ole' Asher, he must have been an interesting guy. When I asked the new owner, Mike Lake of Santa Cruz (an interesting guy in his own right) what he planned to do with his newly found treasure, he laughed and said "I don't know." Although not a soda collector himself, Mike adds he might as well keep it as it is a pretty bottle and oh so rare. Mike said he's going to bring the bottle to the Auburn Show in December, "just to show it around," he laughs. There is a chip out of the lip which runs vertically up and down and some staining, but generally the bottle is very presentable. "It's not often you find a one-of-a-kind bottle," he says, "but you never know when you're going to get lucky." Lucky he is, best of luck and here's hoping no one finds a stash of fifty or so. That might just put a dent in the price. By the way, speaking of price, I asked Mike what he thought it was worth? "What somebody will pay to own it I guess," he smiles. "That's if I decide to sell it, he pauses, "but then again, everything's for sale," he says walking away, a smile ear to ear.

For more information on the bottle or the owner, you might just visit the Auburn bottle show coming up on December 5th at the Auburn Fairgrounds. Admission is free.


A long time client of ours recently emailed us pictures of two interesting finds. Although there isn’t much to look at, we were hoping someone could help to identify the bottles. The first being an embossed cabin found in four shards, and the second, merely a single shard embossed, “L.K. & CO.”


Although it's a little early for Christmas, we had to include this incredible grouping of bitters bottles from the John Lawrey collection. If I didn't know better, I'd say the Prairie Bitters on the far right used to be mine! Also included is from left to right; a Best Bitters, a beautiful light greenish yellow Fish Bitters, a straw colored Sachem's, a wonderful American Life and a Landsberg in pure yellow. A nice collection John, but Christmas is still a ways off. Thanks for the great picture!



“I dug both of these about ten years ago. The quart came from up here in Vancouver and the pint was dug in Camas, WA. In all, I know of four to five of these beers running around, two of which I dug. It has to be one of rarest beers on the West Coast, I would think.”

-Paul Jeffries




Here is the latest picture of Tom Doligale’s Udolpho Wolfe's Schnapps collection. These are ALL Udolphos, totaling ninety-three, and in a rainbow of colors!



The colors of Fall, thanks to Mike Rouse.




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Some recently dug sodas from the high country of central California, courtesy of Max Bell.


"This is a Rare G11-38 Dyottville Glass Works Flying Eagle with shield.
In puce. There are darker saturations going down the center."
Thanks to Rick Weiner


"Check this one out - We dug a nice, early '50s pit on a warm Saturday afternoon a couple of weeks ago. House built in 1854/55 by a family named Folger."
Thanks to Michael Dolcini


"Here's a few colorful shots of some western sodas and whiskey 1/6'ths...
Thanks to my good friend, Mr. Rick Hall, I too jumped right on the bandwagon of collecting colored soda runs, starting up my fun quest around the age of 16."
Courtesy of Lance Westfall


A Run of Casey's and a Hall's Sarsaparilla's Group
Thanks to Rick Hall



Some Meds: Stovepipe Dickey and Dr Adolphus
Thanks to Dennis and Joni Eastley


Color run teakettles courtesy of Richard Siri

"Super rare 1/2pt. beers - these are 5 splits you won't see hardly EVER. The Pearson Bros. is one of only 3 known." Thanks to Mike McKillop.



"Here are a couple pics of the greatest digging find of my life. An Olive Green Avon Spring Water in quart size, fully intact and just some light scuffs that should come out with a light tumble. Found in Niagara County, New York, June of 2009. They are still out there folks!!! "
Thanks to Dave Kam


"Here is a picture of my best (?) cryer, a partial Jacob Denzler Circa 1883-85, I dug in Napa Valley In the 1990s."
Thanks to Martin Ludtke, Arcata Ca.

"A group of my Caseys" from Mike Rouse. "About the cheapest Western Soda color run you can get".


Soda Criers, dug in the mid 70s, from Mike Rouse.


Henleys Royal Balsam, 2 Indian Queens and Regulator sent in by Dennis Eastley


Green Jakes sent to us by Rick Hall


Extract Fluid of Manzanita - Drs McDonald & Levy - Sacramento City - California
Sent to us by Ralph Wenzel


A collection of Milk Glass Bottles


"Here is a pair of AAA Old Valley flasks I dug from a hole for a church... believe it or not!! ....."
Sent to us by David Storey


"This is the extremely rare, 5 figure, Olive amber "Stoddard Flag Flask"....... Easily the biggest heartbreaker of my 30+ year digging career....."
Sent to us by Bill Ladd


Old Soda Bottles sent to us by Robert Biro


J.F. Cutter Color-run thanks to Lance Westfall


PA Coal Region examples thanks to Bob Trevorah


Here's a group shot of a Corn For The World color run.... these are all the GVI-4 mold



  How about a few colors of Cunders.
  Thanks to Michael Dolcini


Above photo of Colored Half Pint Mineral Waters thanks to Mark Peters of Hadley, New York.


Above photo thanks to Dave Kyle; a grouping of his past purchases from American Bottle Auctions


Here are some "criers" from Lance Westfall's collection.
All bottle diggers know the sorrow of pulling out a gorgeous bottle only to find it is damaged.
Here's one of the nicest (worst?) collection of what diggers call "criers."
I'm sure more than a few tears were shed over these beauties.
Left to right is a Crown Shoulder Cutter whiskey flask, G.O. Blake's fifth, a yellow Gold Dust whiskey fifth and a rare green Wormser flask.





Here is a photo of a recent find.
It appears to be the lightest Kane O'Leary flask known.
Thanks to Andrew K.


Above photos thanks to Tom Doligale


Here are a couple real beauties just unearthed. Wow! The Grattan's is the only applied top variant we've seen and the Vichy water is a quart in a gorgeous green. Who says no one is finding anything these days?



Above Photos of Color Runs - Thanks to Ferdinand Meyer of Houston, Texas


Ferdinand is at it again! A row of Johnson's Calisaya Bitters in just about every color we've ever. My goodness!


Here is a run of National Bitters from guess who? Ferdinand Meyer once again. This is getting a little ridiculous. C'mon Ferd, you can't own all of em!


Here's a beer bottle we hadn't seen before. We've seen all kinds of Budweiser bottles before but never a blob top soda style. A great bottle recently dug by a bottle enthusiast. We've misplaced the name of the owner, so if you happen to see your bottle, just let us know.



From Mark Yates - Above Left: Chittenango White Sulphur Water quart Saratoga-type (one of 5 known) from his hometown of Cazenovia, NY.
Above Right: Unique colored pontiled medicine embossed: J. LAMPPIN's ARCADIAN ELIXER with all reverse embossing.
This bottle is from Utica NY where Lamppin was more well known as a soda/mineral water dealer.


Still one of our favorite pictures, for color and overall appeal, this grouping of Kelly's Log Cabin Bitters is hard to beat.
With the downturn in home prices these days, it might be a good time to invest in a new one. This could be just the thing.


Ralph Wenzel sent us these pictures of his open pontil Sacramento Eagle soda.
We don't see these often and this is the first Eagle with an open pontil we've seen.
Thanks Ralph!

Here is a bottle so rare, most people aren't even aware of its existence. The bottle reads: "Oldner's Superior Old Rye Is The Miners Protector". There are two miners embossed on the front with one digging with a shovel and the other holding a pick and drinking from a bottle (back to work!). It's a grape type puce color and loaded with bubbles and everything a collector could want. It is a two-quart handled jug and for our money, possibly the finest whiskey known. It may be the finest bottle known period! There are a lot of questions about this piece such as where it was made, why so rare? We could go on an on. All we know is that it is one of the most amazingly beautiful and historically significant bottles we've ever seen. Enjoy!

We happened across a couple Renz Bitters not too long ago. It's not often you see one with a complete label. We always wondered what a labeled Renz's looked like. Well, now we know!

Here's a grouping of horses, also known as the Gold Dust whiskey.
What a grouping!!!
It's not often you see more than a couple nice examples together but a whole row of them is unheard of.
A beautiful lineup, time to go for a ride!

Rare unknown glass co. - sent in by William T. Merritt:
"I have collected antique bottles for many years. I started while living in Greenville South Carolina in 1969. I moved to Central Fla. to work for Fla. Power Corp. in 1979. Having a job that took me all over the state, I often stopped in What not shops as well as antique stores. I often found some great bottles in these stores."
"While close to Sebring Fla. Around 10 years ago I found a very crude glass piece in an antique store. It was sold as a paper weight for a few dollars. It was obviously used as a candle holder at one time. I thought it to be a very early ink. It was not machine made but made by hand although the bottom must have been in a mold because of the markings on the bottom. The bottom is embossed SEBRING GLASSWORKS. It has what looks like grapes between the two words. The glass is full of bubbles and is so crude I began to suspect this may have been a test plug for someone not seasoned in the glass making business".
"I went to the Historical Museum in Sebring Fla. to find information. I found that the founder George Sebring came from a family of pottery makers in Ohio. It also said that it was believed that George Sebring did try his hand in glass making but not much was known about it. Since Sebring was founded around 1912 then this crude piece of glass may have been by George Sebring here in Florida or a process started in Sebring Ohio before he came to Florida. I would suppose this may the only piece in existence. If you or anyone you know that may have more information on this glassworks I would like to have such info."
Thanks to William T. Merritt - you can respond to him at [email protected]



All photographs and editorial copy appearing on this website are the exclusive property of American Bottle Auctions and may not be reprinted, quoted or re-published without the permission of Jeff Wichmann, the owner of American Bottle Auctions.