Sunday, September 5, 2010

Wormser Bros. San Francisco

The Wormser Bros. of San Francisco produced some of the earliest Western flasks. Actually, all of the Wormser Bros. variants are earlier than the vast majority of flasks produced and distributed throughout the Western states. I have posted "vertical" Wormsers before, and there have been some amazing colored examples posted by other collectors...but the single roll type top is one that you just do not see every day. Here is an example with nice olive tone, and every specimen I have seen has been this color. I am curious if there was only one batch blown, and they are all this olive toned golden coloration? Also, this single roll top is virtually identical to several of my Miller's Extra large pattern flasks. They were quite possibly made at the same place, and used the same lipping tool. Compare to the very large double roll top example. Quite a difference. This particular flask is also very whittled, which is not the norm for a Wormser. Have there been any of these flasks dug in the past 10 years? I have not heard of even one. I know they have come from the Bay Area, and Sacramento, and of course Nevada, and Utah. I am not sure if any have been found in Oregon or Washington, but I do know the extremely rare "horizontal" version has come from Oregon, Just not by me!


  1. Two years ago we pulled out a broken PURE green vertical from the Bay Area that would have been the top example hands down ! Lance has some photos, hopefully he will post.

  2. Hey Andrew,
    I remember that "close call" very well! I think I have photos of it, and what an example that would have been. I have seen one that is pretty close to that one in Santa Rosa area collection. It is in the latest Thomas book.

  3. I have been fortunate to dig over a half dozen of those flasks over the years. I remember one old house where there were hundreds of flasks in one pit, with the vast majority broken and crammed in. Only 12 survivors, three of which were those Wormser's.

  4. Which top is more popular or Scarce? DB

  5. I have only seen maybe 4 or 5 single roll tops in several decades of collecting these. Popularity is kind of subjective, as these come with at least 3 distinctive styles. The large double roll, the small double roll, and the more scarce single roll type. To me the most attractive are every one of them! It does seem that the large double roll top examples appear earlier than the other two...but that may not be the case.I do know that they come in the best colors, and are sometimes whittled, where the smaller double rolls seem to have the strongest embossing which blows my large top-earliest theory! Maybe they were all blown around the same time by different glasshouses. The single roll top examples are all the same color though, so that must mean something...I am open to thoughts on this.Overall a nice and early flask that does not take a second mortgage to acquire.
    Dale M.


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