J.H. Cutter Old Bourbon

Provenance: Stephen Hubbell Collection

The J. H. Cutter Old Bourbon fifth represents all that is great about bottle collecting. Named after a man from New England, made from the great whiskey from Kentucky and sold and drank by men pioneering the west during and after the gold-rush days.

The J. H. Cutter Old Bourbon, A. P. Hotaling Sole Agents bottle represents the first of the Cutter bottles, circa 1869 to 1871. A. P. Hotaling & Co., also embossed on the bottle, was one of San Francisco’s best-known liquor houses.

The bottles do not have an embossed crown on the shoulder as another of the J. H. Cutter bottles (see above scrolling image). The bottles have an applied top and can be found in shades of amber ranging from yellow-amber to a blackish-amber. Our museum example is extraordinary as it is in an olive coloration with striations. You can date the bottles by the time they were found in mining camps as the camps only lasted a year or so.

John H. Cutter was born in 1807 in Hollis, a town in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire. It is thought that he followed his older brothers to Louisville, Kentucky, where they all entered the liquor trade.

The J. H. Cutter Old Bourbon brand proved the most successful beginning in the very late 1860s and running until National Prohibition. Cutter retired early and became a gentleman farmer. His J. H. Cutter brand would then change in many ways over the years, with a dozen or so different embossed bottles and many characters involved all along the way. Our museum will have other Cutter examples and the stories behind them for your enjoyment and comparison. See: J. H. Cutter Old Bourbon (Circle Cutter).

Read: C. P. Moorman and the Cutter Connection at Those Pre-Pro Whiskey Men! by Jack Sullivan

Support: Whiskey Bottles of the Old West by John L. Thomas

Support: Window bottles and painted tin sign images from Michael Dolcini.

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