Western Bitters Square; Star of the Union.
This beautiful square bitters bottle was recently acquired from the digger, who found it in Northern California several years ago. It is a gorgeous light yellow olive, and covered in whittle effect. The top is similar to the E.G. Lyon's square. The embossing consists of a large star, with the letters"T" and "M". Since the first example of this bottle turned up in Oakland 25 years ago, there has been much speculation as to the bottle's origin, contents, and exactly what the embossing indicates. Now with about 7 known examples(all dug in California, and Nevada), there is a growing sentiment that this is indeed a Western blown bottle, and that it dates to the later 1860s- early 1870s. The color is a dead match for some other Western squares, and other bottles blown in San Francisco.Several Western bottles display the prominent star as a trade mark. The Star Shield Cutter whiskey, which began in 1869, the Pacific Glassworks pickle bottle, and this bitters. There is a strong indicator to lead one to believe that this product was for "Star of the Union" Bitters, and was distributed by the A.Fenkhausen Company. The advertisements for the brand are pretty clear, showing the star as the trademark (which I believe the TM indicates), and the age of the bottle in relation to the product distribution. This is a great bottle that is gaining in popularity. The value has risen with demand, however I believe it is still a solid value. Being extremely rare, there are not enough to go around.Western bitters are growing in demand, and few are available for sale.