Vagn Petersen's Danish Bottles




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The history of the P.F. Heering Cherry liqueur.


Peter Frederk Suhm Heering was from the start in 1818 a successful Danish grocer. In the beginning his company was a cellar shop in Copenhagen, from where he started producing his liqueur "Heering’s Cherry Cordial". This was name of P.F. Heering's liquor until 1945 where it changed to “Cherry Heering”, in 1974 is changed again to “Peter Heering Liquer”, today’s name, which was easier to protect in all 144 export countries. In 1838 the company moved to a big house on Christianshavn, located a few kilometres from the centre of Copenhagen. At the same time the company gave up the detail-business, and would from now on only produce liqueur and do engross business in many different kinds of imported wines and spirituous. In 1944 the company bought the cherry plantages near Dalby, where the production continued. Sales and administration stayed on Christianshavn untill 1977, where it also moved to Dalby.


The P.F. Heering Company used several glassworks over the years, maybe also some foreign glassworks to produce his bottles. I believe that Conradsminde (1835-1857) in Northern Jutland produced some of the early bottles. The red/amber or “fire red” colour and the mushroom blob top are typical for bottles from Conradsminde. Some of the ribbon sealed bottles might also have been made at Hasle Glasswork, Bornholm. The glasswork started in 1847, financed by P.F. Heering, so they could get their bottles from there. Though the finance, they couldn’t keep Hasle Glasswork alive; their coals were simply not good enough for glass production. Therefore the company was closed in 1848 after just one year’s production.


The Danish bottlebook “Danske Flasker” (Danish bottle’s) by Mogens Schlüter has 8 pages regarding P.F. Heering bottles, showing the different bottles used through the years. The book doesn’t show the very early bottles, which were blown in a dip mould. Regarding the change from the ribbon seals to the shoulder embossing, it seems that no one knows for sure, whether they were immediately replaced or if it was over a period. In the book Mogens Schlüter assumes, that they was a replacement because the handmade ribbon seals became too expensive to produce. There is also a difference in the crudeness of the ribbon sealed bottles, which makes me believe that they were made until circa 1880.


The design of the rectangular embossing on the shoulder, and the 8 pointed star embossed on base was registered as their trademark in 1880. Last aspect, besides the appearance of the lip of course, is the colour: Also, circa around 1880, the company chooses the "fire-red" colour as their "trademark" for their bottles. I guess this colour wasn't easy to copy, and it was especially not easy to produce when the first machines to produce bottles came. Therefore the first machinemade P.F. Heering bottles were made at United Glass Bottle glasswork in England. The company was probably fighting hard to protect their product from being copied. Other companies had similar brands in ribbon sealed bottles like: “P. Haering”, “P.F. Hering”, “P.Herrink” are the most obvious. At least they are now considered to be P.F. Heering copies. Most of these copies were probably other grocers located around the US Virgin Islands, which was Danish at that time.


Locations like the US West Indian Islands, Panama Canal Zone, Guyana, Key West and South Australia are all places where old P.F. Heering bottles have been recovered, while practically none was recovered here in Denmark.



Vagn Petersen, July 2001.


Below you can read more about the P.F. HEERING bottles and their development.

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Studies of the generations of the P.F. HEERING bottles:

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These three bottles represent the first generation of ribbon sealed P. F. Heering bottles, circa 1835-1850. They are all dark green (black) glass and all have glass pontles.

The one on the left was recovered by a diver off Key West, Florida.

The middle one was recovered from the harbor on St. Thomas, Virgin Islands (the former Danish West Indies).

The one on the right was found in Guyana, South America.

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These three represent the second generation of ribbon seal P. F. Heering bottles, circa 1850-1865. They are all amber in color.

The two on the left have glass or sand pontles, but the one on the right has either an iron or some sort of improved pontle. The one on the right was also blown in a dip mold and turned -- the shoulders are very sharp on this type -- and the lip is formed with a lipping tool and less crude than its predecessors.

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These three represent the third generation generation of ribbon sealed P. F. Heering bottles 1865-1891.
All are 3 piece molds. The two on the left have iron pontles; the one on the right has an embossed base.

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Some years ago the owner of these bottles examined the bottles in the companys collection, which consists of one full case from each year from 1881-1925:

1881-1888 three piece mold; tooled blob top with pointed ring below
1889-1891 three piece mold; straight top with rounded ring below
1892-1924 two piece mold; straight top with rounded ring below
1925 machine made

The final picture to the left is a bottle presented by the company, taken from the oldest case in their collection, 1881.


From the book Danske flasker, to show the development of the Heering´s:

Danish bottle book 001.jpg (14369 bytes) 4 amber 3/8 pot ribbon sealed stamped "P.F.HEERING" , A, B & C is turned in mould, D is strongly whittled.

A. H: 202 mm, dia.: 65 mm, base: 14 mm high. Broken fragments of this type of seal is found at Conradsminde glasswork (1835-1857)

B. H: 226 mm, dia.: 70 mm, base: 21 mm high. Found in Panama Canal.

C. H: 221 mm, dia.: 71 mm, rounded base: 23 mm high. Mould reaches shoulders. Might be from Hasle Glaswork (1847-1848) as this is from the Heering family´s private collection.

D. H: 227 mm, dia.: 62 mm, base: 11 mm high. Lip like A. Blown in  cast iron mould. Circa 1860-1880.

Danish bottle book 002.jpg (12460 bytes) A & B: 2 BIM´s with a 8 point star on base. Embossed "KIØBENHAVN"  (spell-method for Copenhagen, after KIOBENHAVN and before KØBENHAVN) on rim of base, and "P.F.HEERING" on shoulders. Text-embossings are registered as trademark in 1880.

A. Red-amber 3/4 pot. H: 266 mm. This bottle is from a liquer-lot from 1882.

B. Amber 1/2 pot,  considerable younger than A.. H: 258 mm. Also avaialable in 3/4 pot, and in 3/16 pot with a 4 point star on base, and in a 3/4 pot green WWI-bottle or a "Krumel Liquer"

C &D: Machineblown (C with a 7 point star on base).


Same 8 bottles but closer looks:

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Book by Karl Heinz Poser, Plön, Germany:

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Book about The Peter F. Heering Collection:

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