The Importance of Labels – Part 2

In most cases, labels add to the aesthetic value of bottles as well as to their monetary value. Labels give you a sense of seeing the product as it might have appeared to a potential buyer in the 19th Century. This is particularly true of Warner’s Safe Remedies, because they provide such great detail about the ailments the product was designed to alleviate.

Warner's Safe Cure Label

In the case of Warner’s Safe Kidney and Liver Cure, that included “Stone in Kidney & Bladder, Inflammation of Kidneys, Bladder & Liver, Catarrh of Bladder, Jaundice, Dropsy, Malaria, Female Weakness and Pain in Back”.  The Warner label is also colorful because it includes the trademark iron safe along with the names of all of the Warner’s Safe Remedies available for purchase.

The value of a label also turns on its condition. The above label is in virtually mint condition, which really adds to the character of the bottle.  However, like bottles, labels are not always mint. Often, portions of the label are missing or may have content stains that make the label unreadable.  If a label is less than 50%, I don’t think it adds much, if anything, to the value of the bottle. Indeed, I have heard some dealers say they would rather remove a bad label than keep it on the bottle. The same is probably true for labels in poor condition.

Warner's Animal Labeled

Although I am a bit biased, I would say that Warner’s Safe Remedies labels are a bit more interesting than your average patent medicine label. Perhaps it’s the wonderful graphic of the iron safe or the detail detailed claims of the maladies it was designed to cure. Whatever it is, well-preserved Warner labels add a unique flavor to the bottle.

WSCurePressburgLabels

Labelled Warner's Safe Cure Pint from Frankfurt in Emerald Green

Needless to say, labels on rare Warner’s are even more valuable. Above are examples of labels on a green Animal Cure, on a Pressburg Safe Cure and Safe Diabetes Cure and a rare apple green Frankfurt Safe Cure. Labels on these rare bottles are extremely hard to come by, especially in good condition. In short, the value of labels on Warner’s Safe Remedies defy any hard and fast rules. It is safe to say, however, that the better the condition and the more complete the label, the greater the value it adds to the bottle.

Dan Cowman Collection  Dan Cowman Collection

Indeed, there are some Warner’s collections, like Dan Cowman’s, Terry McMurray’s or Mike and Kathie Craig’s, that are built on labelled Warner’s and other labelled cures. While no one can quibble with some of the wonderful colors in which Safe Cures appear, shelves full of labelled Safe Cures make an amazing impression. One can only imagine walking into a drug store in the 1880’s and seeing boxes and labelled bottles of Safe Cure lining the shelves.

While the bulk of my Warner’s collection consists of unlabeled variants, I really treasure those nice labelled examples that I have. Labels simply add to the excitement and appeal of the bottle and…..in most cases…..the value.

 

Warner’s Safe Cure Blog Images on Pinterest

Safe Cure Blog on Pinterest

 

In addition to the social media that most of us are familiar with, there is another genre that I was marginally familiar with, but had not paid it much attention. It is the whole group of social media sites devoted to “pinning” images into, what amounts to, a virtual scrapbook. Chief among these so-called pinning sites is Pinterest.

Periodically, I search for images of Warner’s Safe Cure bottles and ephemera to use on this blog. As a rule,  I try to ask permission of the person who owns the image, before using it. I find that most folks, including auction sites, are willing to allow me to use the images provided I give them credit.  However, I started to see a trend of many of my Warner’s pictures, or those I had obtained permission to use, showing up on sites without any accreditation or permission. 

One of the really nice things about collecting Warner’s Safe Cures is that there is an almost unlimited supply of images, both of the bottles and of the advertising that help build the Safe Cure empire. My objective has always been for my blog to provide not only Warner’s Safe history, but also access to images. With that in mind, I have created my own Pinterest board devoted to Warner’s Safe Cure images. I am happy to share those images with interested collectors and would only ask for credit if they are reposted or reblogged.  I also welcome any contributions of Safe Cure images to add to the board. It will take a while to add all of my Safe Cure images to the board, but I hope you will check back regularly.

The address for my Pinterest board is: http://www.pinterest.com/jackson4060/warners-safe-cure-blog-in-photographs/.

Warner’s Safe Cure – Puric Acid?

Warner's Safe Cure - The Hamilton Journal News - 15 Mar 1895

This advertisement ran in the March 15, 1895 edition of The Hamilton Journal. In my research of newspaper advertising run by the Warner’s Safe Remedies Company and its successors, I have found that Warner often ran the same ads in different newspapers, probably to save on the costs associated with creating new ads; however, this ad in 1895 would have been after Warner left the company in 1893. It strikes the same tone and themes concerning kidney disease.

Perhaps the more interesting thing is the title “Puric Acid in the Blood.” I am not sure if this was a typo by the newspaper or just ignorance. To my limited medical knowledge, there is no such thing as puric acid. There is, of course, uric acid, which is a byproduct of the metabolic breakdown of “purines” and at high enough levels can lead to the development of gout, which is also mentioned in the ad. Perhaps that is where the confusion arose. Never fear….Safe Cure to the rescue!

Warner’s Safe Cure: Pressburg Diabetes Cure

Pressburg Diabetes Cure 5 Pressburg Diabetes Cure 1  Pressburg Diabetes Cure 3

Warner’s Safe Cures come and go on eBay. On any given day, there are dozens of them available for bid. Most of them are the ubiquitous Kidney & Liver Cure. But, every once in a while, a gem surfaces that catches everyone’s attention. Recently, one such gem emerged in the form of a Pressburg Diabetes Cure.

The Pressburg Diabetes Cure is, perhaps, the rarest Warner’s cure from the shortest existing foreign office in the Safe Cure empire. It is included in my “A List” of rare Warner’s Safe Cures and, prior to this sale, only one other was known to exist. The Pressburg Office existed for only two years from 1888 to 1890. When I wrote about the Pressburg Office back in July, 2008, I knew of only one example of the Pressburg Diabetes Cure. A labelled example, which was pictured. It now appears there are two.

The latest example was unlabelled and was listed by a seller from Poland. By the time the auction was over, the sale price had risen to an astounding $8735 driven by 49 bidders. I have to say that the final price suprised me. I knew the bottle would garner a nice price, but I had not envisioned a sales price approaching $9K. While I would love to say that it will be gracing my Warner’s collection, alas it is not so. As I have said many times, rare Warner’s Safe Cures do show up on eBay and other auction sites, but, unless you are watching, they too may come and go. One thing is for certain, they generate lots of excitement among collectors.

The photographs accompanying this post are courtesy of the seller.

Warner’s Safe Cure at Bolton’s Meat Market

For all of the Warner’s Safe Cure advertising I have seen over the years, I don’t recall seeing many examples of it in place. Given the volume of Safe Cure advertising, that’s pretty astonishing. Recently, however, I saw an example of a tintype on sale on eBay of the front of a meat market purportedly in New York. Sure enough, to the right of the market is a wooden fence plastered with Warner’s Safe Kidney & Liver Cure bills in various states of disrepair. The largest one appears to be a copy of the cardboard caddy in which the product was sold.  It’s a guess, but I would say the photo dates to the 1890’s.  Behold:

Bolton's Meat Market (Safe Cure Sign) 1

Some skillful enlargement of the photograph reveals both the detail of the Safe Cure bills and of the meat market’s sign. Special thanks to Brian Douglas for allowing me to use his photos, which, by the way, are still available for purchase on eBay : http://www.ebay.com/itm/321031652589?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2648

Bolton's Meat Market (Safe Cure Sign) 3

Bolton's Meat Market (Safe Cure Sign) 2

Warner’s Safe Cure: Nothings Says “Merry Christmas” Like……

Every family’s got one, the person who is impossible to buy a gift for. You spend weeks before Christmas searching for just the right thing, but nothing seems to fit the bill. What’s worse, the person won’t give you any hints or suggestions of something they need or like. Consequently, you are left to roll the dice on a gift that will either be a hit or a complete dud.  For some lucky folks 120 years ago, the answer was easy. Pickup a couple bottles of Warner’s Safe Cure for that hard to please relative.

Warmest wishes for the holidays and for a prosperous 2012!