Antique Bitters Bottles



2015-06-26 11:15:19

Antique Bitters Bottles are original glass bottles dating from 19th century which are highly popular with collectors.

Brief history and description

During the Temperance Act during the 1800s, Bitters bottles (the term "bitters" referring to a type of "bitter" tasting medicine that is produced form roots and herbs), were once used as alcoholic beverages yet disguised as medicine.

Antique Bitters bottles typically feature figural shapes such as an ear of corn, a barrel, a log cabin or a pig, and can come in a variety of different colours such as amber, aqua, amethyst, puce, yellow, emerald green or black glass.

Guide for collectors

Yellow, amber, black or cobalt blue-coloured Bitters bottles are considered to be more rare than aqua or clear-coloured Bitters bottles, as well as bottles with an ear of corn or log cabin figural shape.

Restoration of an antique Bitter bottle is not recommended, as restoring an antique Bitter bottle will reduce its value.

For more information regarding antique Bitters bottles, visit Antique Bottles, Great Antique Bottles or Antique Bottle Trader.


Antique Bitters bottles

Wickliff & Associates Auctioneers in Carmel, Indiana sold:

  • An amber Robacks Stomach Bitters bottle (9.5" in height) for $125 in January of 2010.
  • An amber Brown's Celebrated "Indian Queen" Herb Bitters bottle for $475 in January of 2010.
  • An amber Holzermann's Stomach Bitters bottle (10" in height; log cabin style) for $200 in January of 2010.

Cordier Antiques & Fine Art in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania sold:

  • An amber Brown's Indian Herb Bitters figural bottle (12" in height) featuring an Indian holding a shield and reading the text "Brown's Celebrated Indian Herb Bitters/Patented 1867" for $400 in November of 2008.
  • A yellow Drake's 1860 Plantation Bitters figural bottle (10.5" in height) which was designed in the form of a log cabin and marked as "S.T. Drake's 1860 Plantation X Bitters" and "Patented 1862" for $1,800 in June of 2008.

National Bitters bottles

Amber "Ear of Corn" National Bitters bottles are worth between $110 and $325.

Share on social media
Write a response...

The bookmarklet lets you save things you find to your collections.

Note: Make sure your bookmarks are visible.


Click and drag the Collect It button to your browser's Bookmark Bar.

collect it