Are Pressburgs Still Rare?

Green Pressburg with Label 9

The short answer is an absolute “Yes”!! The reason that I post this question is that it has been asked of me on several occasions, most recently at the Baltimore Antique Bottle Show earlier this month. However, as with assessments of rarity among antique bottles, the answer comes with caveats. Indeed, not all Warner’s Pressburgs are created equal. In an absolute sense, even the most common Pressburg, the amber pint Safe Cure is considered rare among Warner’s collectors, but just not as rare as it used to be.

Pressburg Diabetes Cure 3

The rarity of Pressburg Safe Cures turns on a number of different factors; however, chief among them is the fact that the Pressburg Office was open only between 1888 and 1890. As Warner’s foreign offices go, that was extremely short. Although I have never seen an production estimates for the Pressburg Office, its limited existence means fewer bottles of Safe Cure went into distribution and in a smaller market. Another factor is that until the late 1980’s, the former Pressburg was located squarely behind the “iron curtain,” with exceedingly limited access by Western collectors. Since then, more Pressburg Safe Cures have surfaced and, I expect, will continue to surface.

BlueGreenPressburg3

To my knowledge, Pressburg Safe Cures have appeared in three color variations: amber, green and aqua. The green variant tends toward the blue/green end of the spectrum as opposed to the more common olive greens we see in the Frankfurt and London Safe Cures. Of these three color variants, amber is the most common, followed by green and then by the most rare aqua. At this point, there are two important caveats. First, my comments are limited to the “Safe Cure” only. The Safe Diabetes Cure (“Diabetic Cure” on the label) is amber, but is in a league of its own. Second, labelled Pressburgs, regardless of color, are extremely rare. A label in good condition is a premium and all bets are off.

Warner's Safe Cure Pressburg with labels

Pressburg Safe Cure 4

As a rule, Warner’s Pressburgs are not strongly embossed. The reason for that is unknown. It does, however, suggest that the Pressburg bottles were not made in the United States, London or Frankfurt and shipped to their ultimate destination. I have also been asked about valuing Pressburgs. I always hesitate to value bottles, because as soon as you do it, the information is obsolete. With that in mind, several years ago amber Pressburg Safe Cures were bringing $900-1000 a piece. Recently, I have seen them in the $350 -400 range. The green and aqua variants have held their value. Greens tend to bring $1200-1500 and aquas, if you can find them around $2500+.

Green Pressburg with Label 7 Green Pressburg with Label 8

Finally, so far only the Safe Cure and Safe Diabetes Cure variants from Pressburg have surfaced. If you know of a Pressburg Nervine or Pressburg Rheumatic Cure, please let me know. Examples of either would peg the rarity meter. And so, I hope I have shed some light on the current market for Warner’s from Pressburg. If not, shoot me a comment.

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