Dating antique whiskey bottles
They all have vertical 8 sided bodies, blow-pipe pontil scars, cracked-off/sheared and rolled finishes and date from the 1840s to early 1860s period. Harrison who was a Philadelphia dealer in "books, maps and ink" from about 1843 to 1877 (Mc Kearin & Wilson 1978; Faulkner 2009).
Celebrating the gold rush to Colorado in 1859, these popular flasks were made throughout the 1860s and possibly into the early 1870s.
It is 9.5" tall, has a crudely applied "oil" finish or lip, a distinctly iron pontiled base (click on the image to see a larger version), and dates from the 1850s most likely.
This example is essentially "attic" mint having no evidence whatsoever of being buried, i.e., no staining, no chips, or cracks..a little wear on the base from having sat somewhere for 150 years.
Like a lot of figural bitters and other "catch-the-eye" type bottles (brilliant early marketing!
) from the 19th century, many of these bottles were never tossed, but kept around until they broke or some collector found it..this one.
Many of the flasks have the tree with leaves on one side and without leaves on the reverse - probably a reference to life and death?