Plows Sherry Bitters

Provenance: Ferdinand Meyer V Collection

The embossing on this figural bunch of grapes bottle reads, “Plows Sherry Bitters” leaving no indication of the proprietor or manufacturer name, nor a city where it was produced. For a long time, bitters collectors were mystified as to where this bottle came from with no advertising, no surviving label, no trade cards or any other ephemera that might assist in identifying the bottle. Eventually, an advanced bitters collector and researcher in Ohio cracked the case when he found a directory listing in Chicago in 1867.

Advertisement: PLOWS’ CELEBRATED SHERRY BITTERS, Plows, Harris & Upham, W. J. Plows, Wm. D. Harris, B. H. Upham, Wholesale Dealers in Alcohols, Cologne, Spirits and Foreign and Domestic Fine Wines and Liquors. Manufacturers and Sole Proprietors of”Plows’” Celebrated Sherry Bitters. No. 72 Randolph Street, Chicago, 1867 Chicago City Directory.

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

P 111 PLOWS ( cd ) / SHERRY BITTERS (cd) // c //
8 x 2 5/8 (5)
Round-bunch of grapes, Amber, NSC, Applied mouth, Extremely rare
Label panel is shaped like a grape leaf.

Read More: Plows Celebrated Sherry Bitters

Secondary Bottle Image: Auction Lot 2. “PLOWS / SHERRY BITTERS”, (Ring/Ham, P-111), American, ca. 1870 – 1880, amber cluster of grapes, 8”h, smooth base, applied ring mouth. A tiny 3/16” by 1/16” sliver type chip is off the inside edge of the lip. Extremely rare, one of the most difficult to find of the true figural bitters! Sidney Genius Collection. – Glass Works Auctions, Auction #130.

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