Bitters bottle


Michelle Knows Antiques is a great way to find the value of your antiques. Submit your antique for appraisal on our easy to use form.
Here is a recent appraisal from Michelle’s column in Discover Vintage America:

Q: I have a plum colored “tonic” bottle which reads, “Col Sam Johnson Proprietor, Richmond, VA. A date perhaps of 1852 “A Lancaster’s Indian Vegetable Jaundice Bitters”. This is a corked bottle with 12 flat side panels approximately.3-4oz in size. In perfect condition, just missing the cork. Any ideas of it’s worth/rarity?

A: Your “A. Lancaster’s Indian Vegetable Jaundice Bitters” bottle is most likely a reproduction by Wheaton Glass probably made in the 1960’s-1970’s. It is among the most commonly reproduced bottles by this company and is also made in several Asian companies. Authentic bitters bottles are generally green, clear or brown in color.

As to the current value of your bottle, it would bring $10-$15 in the right market.

 ** All prices given are for sale in a private sale, antique shop or other resale outlet. Price is also dependent upon the geographic area in which you are selling. Auction value, selling to a dealer or pawn shop prices are about ½ or less of resale value.

Written by Michelle Staley

Michelle Staley has over 35 years of experience as an antique collector, picker and dealer. She has done hundreds of insurance and IRS appraisals in addition to just satisfying another collector or dealer’s curiosity concerning what an item is, does or its worth. Other experience includes her work as a forensics consultant and in archeological identification and dating.

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    • Michelle Staley

      I believe that you have sent the photos but I need to see a nice clear picture of the top and very bottom. If you could tell me the size that is also helpful. You can submit them for an appraisal the cost is only $25.

      Thank you, Michelle

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