If you are a serious Warner’s collector, you will likely remember the first time that you actually laid eyes on an Animal Cure. I had collected Warner’s on and off for over two decades before I actually held one in my hands. I had read about them in Mike Seeliger’s book, where he says
“[p]robably the rarest Warner presently known. Only two green ones are known to exist.”
H. H. Warner: His Company & His Bottles at 20. That was in 1974. In the intervening 34 years, more Animal Cures have surfaced, but they are far from common. Indeed, depending on color, they generally sell for between $900 and $1800+. I know of two labelled Animal Cures that exist (one with the contents). Needless to say, the price for the labelled ones would be exceedingly high, assuming they ever go up for sale, but don’t hold your breath.
The Animal Cure itself is a fascinating bottle. Americans refer to it an the Animal Cure, while the Brits apparently all it a Mammoth Cure. Its 40 ounce size makes it stand head and shoulders above the average Safe Cure pint. It appears in various shades of green and amber in the London variety and various shades of amber in the 3-City variety. It is unclear as to whether there was actually a difference between the ingredients of the Safe Cure for humans and that for animals, although the labelled Animal Cures state plainly as the bottom “To Be Used for Animals Only,” which implies that it would be unfit for humans. Indeed, a page in both 1887 Warner’s Artists Albums is devoted to the Animal Cure. It states in part:
“Warner’s Safe Cure for Animals” is a special preparation for animal use, and should not be used by mankind. For all ordinary troubles, liver and blood disorders, proceeding from mal-assimilation of food and imperfect action of the kidneys and liver, it is a specific. It is put up in very large bottles, and sells for $1.25 per bottle. It has been used in many cases with most signal success, and many thousands of dollars of horse-flesh alone has been saved by the timely use of this great remedy.
Warner’s Artist Album (1887) (see above). The scarcity of Animal Cure bottles suggests that it may not have been as popular for use with livestock as it was with humans. Nevertheless, Animal Cures provide a wonderful addition to any Warner’s collection.
Photos courtesy of Ed Ojea and Jack Stecher.