Bloomingdale's Brothers Eau de Cologne

I recently purchased this bottle at an antique store. It's 12" tall, clear, unembossed and in excellent condition. Based on information on the bottlebooks.com website, the bottle itself appears to have a hand-tooled lip and smooth base. The seller thought the bottle dated from the late 1800's. The label however appears to date from 1917-1929.

I have a book on the history of Bloomingdale's which indicates that the store did not occupy the entire block until 1917 and was incorporated "shortly afterwards". Bloomingdale's Brothers, Inc. joined Federated Department Stores in 1929, when presumably "Brothers" was dropped from the name. I previously showed pictures (along with the Bloomie's historical information) to a perfume bottle collector who gave me this feedback:

"I think what you have is either a dramming bottle or else an essence bottle used in making perfumes. The dramming bottle is less likely. It was used by stores to sell perfume by the ounce a bit earlier-perhaps 1900 or so. The bottle here is later -1920's- and would seem to be a container made to hold perfume prior to making a proprietary fragrance for Bloomingdale's. This bottle is a nice bit of perfume trade history and I haven't encountered this scent name before. Large important stores in the 1920's had entire lines of their own perfumes that aren't well documented today-the name I-a-dor will be added to my data base, since this is my first reference to that scent name. The size on this bottle is amazing and also leads me to think it was for importing their own perfume oils to be later diluted and used in their store line."

 Personally, it didn't make sense to me that a bottle for perfume oil would be marked "" so I'm more inclined to go with the dramming bottle theory. But I'm no expert! I've searched the web couldn't find any similar bottles or a reference to "I-a-dor". I've sent the appraisal fee via PayPal and look forward to your response. Susan

Hey Susan, I always love a good mystery. Here's my $5 worth. The information below concerning the history of the company is sound and in concert with what i found. The bottle is made in the old style and in my opinion could not be later than 1920. Given its size, and the fact the inside of the mouth is ground is could be up to WWI. The bottle shows evidence of manganese (it has a purplish cast) which was needed for the war effort. So I can date the bottle 1900-1920 and be comfortable.


As to the use- I find it hard to believe that the cologne would have been mixed at the store. More likely they would have used this bottle to fill smaller bottles, so I am going with the dramming theory.

Finally- I can tell you that the I-A-DOR brand appears to have been used from 1919 until about 1932. But that I-A-DOR cologne was only advertised once and that was June 29, 1919 in the New York Times. I have attached several items for your viewing pleasure. I think the bottle could have been filled in late 1918 or early 1919 for use in the store as a dramming bottle.



Value-that's another thing. Typically such a bottle with a perfume label would bring $30-40 on a good day. Being as though it si a Recognizable brand, I would suggest it might go for $75+

Digger