#Vintage Bitters Bar Bottles Bringing Premium Auction Prices

A Kelly’s Old Cabin bitters bottle, made during the time of the Civil War and in an exceedingly rare light green color, soared to $45,360 in an Internet and catalog auction held Aug. 17-26 by American Bottle Auctions. The bottle was the top lot in an auction that saw 184 examples change hands and grossed $343,196.

After the Kelly’s Old Cabin bitters, the undisputed champs of the sale were from the one consignor’s back bar collection, none of which were expected to top $5,000.

• A Fine Old Port label under glass bottle, made in the 1880s by S.B. Rothenberg (Oakland, Calif.), graded 9.5 out of 10 for superior condition, hammered for $30,240.
• A Jesse Moore’s Old Bourbon label under glass fifth, most likely also made by S.B. Rothenberg and possibly the only one in existence, in perfect condition, hit $23,520.
• A Fine Old Gin label under glass bottle, again, by S.B. Rothenberg, with a picture of an almost Annie Oakley woman, graded a near-perfect 9.5, topped out at $20,160.
• A Fine Old Rum label under glass, like others by S.B. Rothenberg, showing a very pretty woman wearing an exceptionally colorful bonnet, graded 9.5, made $17,360.
• A Fine Old Sherry (S.B. Rothenberg) label under glass example, also showing a good looking lady but with a spider-type crack on the bottle’s shoulder, brought $11,760.

Read the full auction report on Worthpoint.

Findlay Antique Bottle Club
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