While we are all familiar with the so-called “3-Cities” (Toronto) and “4-Cities” (Dundein, New Zealand) Safe Cures, no one had ever showed me an example with no city on the base. Not, at least, until recently, when one appeared on eBay. The bottle was auctioned by a seller in Switzerland and fetched just under $1000 by auction’s end. My first reaction to the bottle was one of skepticism. How could a completely unheard of Warner variant appear for the first time after all these years? And, why would Warner package a product that omitted it’s point of origin? If nothing else, Warner seemed to take great pride in his foreign offices, which he bragged “Belted the Globe” with his Safe Cure. This bottle is truly a mystery.
My other instinct was that perhaps it was an example of a bottle with extremely light embossing or perhaps the embossing had worn down to the point it was unreadable. For example, many of the Pressburg Safe Cures I have seen over the years are poorly embossed. Even so, I had never seen one where the embossing was undetectable. Although I did not have the opportunity to see the bottle first hand, the pictures posted by the seller and reproduced above seem to show no city embossed. At least, none that I can detect. In all other regards, the bottle looks very similar to ones issued by the Warner Office in Frankfurt, Germany.
After the auction, I contacted the seller, who kindly allowed me to use his images of the bottle. He was unable to provide much history on the bottle, except that it came from a store near Zurich. Although Warner clearly issued bottles from his foreign offices in Europe, including London, Frankfurt and Pressburg, he also claimed to have a presence in Switzerland. The 1891 Safe Cure Almanac is one of my favorites, because its cover highlights the international reach of Warner. If you look closely at the hands reaching out toward the Safe Cure box, each of the sleeves is marked with a foreign office. The third sleeve down on the right clearly says “Dundein, New Zealand”. You also cannot help but notice that the sleeve directly opposite it is marked “Rangoon, Burma”. Burma, really? Guess that sounds exotic.
I have previously posted about foreign offices claimed by Warner, but, for which we have little or no evidence in the form of a bottle. One example was the Paris Office. Over the years, I have seen examples of Warner advertising claiming a Paris Office, but never any bottle embossed “Paris” at the base. The closest thing I have ever seen in that regard is a London Safe Cure with a French label. Without the label, it would simply be another London Safe Cure.
Perhaps there were Safe Cures sold in Switzerland or Belgium or even Burma with labels targeted for those populations, but without embossing attributing them to those locations. At this point, one can only speculate. Which brings us back to what I have called the “No City” Safe Cure. I believe its point of origin will remain a mystery until another example surfaces. For now, it remains a unique example of Warner’s Safe Cure.