Constitution Bitters

Provenance: David Sidelinger Collection

For the background of this Constitution Bitters brand (there is another figural bottle with the same name), we are dealing with Stephen B. Seward and Burr S. Bentley of Seward & Bentley in Buffalo, New York. There are also listings for Seward, Bentley & Cheney, Ward & Bentley and Daniel Seward & Co., that show obvious changes in partnership and ownership later in the 1860s. Stephen Seward even got his start earlier than that as his name occurs as S. B. Seward in the late 1850s on bottles and advertising etc. When this bottle mold was produced, Cheney had not yet joined the firm.

The label reads, A.M. 1864 S.2. Prepared from a formula of an eminent physician and used for many years with wonderful success as a tonic, for the strengthening of the system, giving tone to the stomach and creating a healthy appetite. It has no equal.

What does “A.M.S.2.1864” stand for? It means, “All must surrender to Constitution Bitters” as noted in an advertisement in The Indiana Herald on Wednesday, August 19, 1868.

The Carlyn Ring and W.C. Ham listing in Bitters Bottles is as follows:

C 222 A.M.S.2. ( au ) / 1864 // CONSTITUTION / BITTERS // A.M.S.2. ( au ) / 1864 // SEWARD & BENTLEY / BUFFALO, N.Y. //
9 1/4 x 2 7/8 x 2 1/4 (7 1/4) 1/4
Rectangular, Amber, LTC, Applied mouth, 4 sp, Rare

Read More: The Constitution Bitters from Buffalo, NY

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