I am not sure when I first met Dave, but it was either at the Baltimore Bottle Show or at the great Warner’s Safe Exhbit at the Genesee Valley Show back in April, 2001. In any event, Dave assembled a great Warner’s Safe collection in a relatively short amount of time. Unlike some of us slowpokes who have been at this for 30 years, Dave didn’t get his first Warner’s Safe until 1992. In the succeeding years, Dave amassed a great collection including a number of one-of-a-kinds. He also served as a source for Ed Ojea and Jack Stecher in the compilation of their book. Since then, Dave has sold off his Warner’s collection in favor of a new passion, figural bitters. Nevertheless, I wanted him to shed light on collecting Warner’s and coaxed him into answering the same questions I put to Jack Stecher earler. Without further ado, here is what Dave said:
1. When did you first start collecting Warner’s Safe bottles?
July of 1992
Was quite Impressed with the embossing, configuration, and the variety of their colors and Cities.
3. What was the first Warner’s Safe bottle that you added to your collection?
Safe Kidney &Liver Cure—- What else??
4. What is the last Warner’s Safe bottle that you added to your collection?
8/14/04 Yellow “Tippecanoe” Sold to me by Jack Stecher
5. Out of the Warner’s Safe bottles that you own or have owned, which was your favorite and why?
Has to be the full Labeled Pressburg Safe Cure—It was the ONLY one known
6. Is there a Warner’s Safe bottle that you always wanted, but were never able to add to your collection? If yes, which one?
The Pint Aqua London Safe Cure–Didn’t have the $ 2600 at the time-[someone] did though!!
7. Apart from Warner’s Safe bottles, is there another piece of Warner’s advertising or paper that is your favorite? If yes, what is it?
The large “Repo” “Safe Nervine” Woman stabbing the tiger
8. What’s your best story (or stories if you have more than one) about getting a Warner’s Safe bottle? The more details, the better.
The above mentioned labeled Pressburg,as my contact In Germany had told me about an old country man, who bought this bottle years ago in Vienna. He knew nothing about the rarity of this bottle,he bought It cause he thought It was a “neat bottle”. My contact did know the value of this bottle,but could not budge the old man to sell. This went on for years ,and fortunately for me, my timing was superb, as finally the old man did sell to the contact ,and he, in turn, sold it to me.
9. If H. H. Warner were still alive and you could interview him, what questions would be at the top of your list?
Did you alone dream up the design of your bottles, or were there others involved? Was your Bright’s Disease REALLY cured by your medicine, or was the alcohol affect enough to make you forget the Bright’s?
10. Other than Warner’s Safe bottles, what is your favorite bottle or bottles? Why?
My favorite category of bottles are figural Bitter’s.They are beautifully configured, stunning colors and their re-sale potential is quite good. Plus the interest in these bottles is tremendous, with many people involved.
11. What’s the best way to encourage young bottle collectors to develop an interest in Warner’s Safe bottles?
I would say to young people, join a Bottle Club, go to shows, get reference books ,follow bottle auctions even if you can’t afford to bid on anything, get In touch with the hard core “Warner” collectors.