Listed in Category:   Collectibles Barware Shot Glasses

            You didn't win this auction, glassluster.


Each edition of SOTW will begin with some stats on sales in recent weeks to give us all a sense of where the hobby is going.  Last month, 315 pre-pro glass listings ended, 105 closed with no bidder, average price of the glasses that sold was $31.07.  Five glasses sold for >$100, none sold for >$1,000. 

This edition of SOTW marks a sad day in the evolution of eBay. The auction site began implementing changes to "protect the identity of bidders" some time ago, the rationale being that it prevents scam artists targeting unsuspected buyers and tricking them into falling prey to bogus second chance offers. Coding bidder id's did provide a level of anonymity, but the full bidder identities could still be discovered fairly easily through feedback and eBay regulars soon came to recognize that h***w and oldwhiskey, or p***e and deppen76, for example, were synonymous.

The latest changes drop an opaque veil over feedback - not only is the winner of an auction coded, it's coded in a different way from that used to create a bidding history. Thus oldwhiskey becomes y***y, and xxxtruk is x***x as opposed to the more familiar k***x. A buyer's feedback has also been sanitized by removing links to the auction that generated the feedback. In effect, there is no easy way to identify an bidder id in its uncoded form, although there are at least two remaining options for a determined (some would say nosy) auction sleuth.

The great danger in dropping this veil over bidding activity is that it opens the door to shills. Thus, imagine imanevilseller listed a prized picture glass, which was soon bid up during an initial feeding frenzy to $100, with oneluckybidder now in pole position and sadloser just behind. imanevilseller then drops an e-mail to his buddy, sneakyshill, who creates an artificial bidding war and pushes the final price up to $400. oneluckybidder gets to take the glass home, but if sneakyshill had not been driving the bidding, it would have cost him $200 less. sneakyshill gets a nice $50 cut from imanevilseller for his participation and eBay, which facilitated this activity, gets a 9% cut also. In the old days, the shill would have been easy to identify, but as s***s or l***l (or however the anonymity algorithm renders the full id) it's almost impossible.

The second downside to secrecy is that it prevents the collecting community from warning newbies about fakes when they appear for sale. One could argue that caveat emptor rules and the newbies should have done their homework, but communities of like-minded invidviduals protect their own, even when newbies.

And it's the loss of community that's the saddest part of these latest changes. The Poobah dropped into the 'Bay a few days before 9/11 (2001) in the guise of pdp77. The id did not really stick and was sidelined in favor of oldwhiskey, but before I'd earned even a yellow star, I'd come to recognize that there was a set of dedicated collectors hunting glass (and frequently outbidding me) and that I'd joined an online community. Familiar names from back then included hecurrier, fathertime15857, junkmoney, cmlintx, lghorn, ikelekt, and jokermom34. Some such as mrkmitch, bluroc, atakeda, azsaloon, and thegenuine are still around (thegenuine changed his name to thegenuineflask), but the rest have dropped off eBay or shifted interest. I was soon communicating with many of these collectors on a regular basis, both by e-mail and by phone, and I learned much from them about the hobby and playing the eBay "game". I won't go into details, but fathertime15857, junkmoney and I ended up with some very expensive glasses as a result of trying to outwit each other during a seven-day auction listing! eBay back then was entertainment. The creeping anonymity that characterizes eBay today means that we've lost that sense of community and much of the fun that came from participating in auctions has gone with it.

With reflections out of the way, time to review what's been on offer on the shelves of the brand-spanking new e-Mart.

The 'Bay has been awash in glass in recent months. hottshotts is still offloading 40 or so glasses every other week which skews the stats somewhat, but we are in the middle of the traditional selling season and this year is no exception. Most of the glasses on offer have been of the ho-hum variety. By far and away the best of the bunch, to my mind at least, is the Sunrise Rye that has been the subject of two previous editions of SOTW, once when it was won by bluroc and then again when he sold it in a $225 bin to lakerdude33. The new owner tossed it back into the 'Bay within months, from whence it was fished out by a very grateful hasterlik for the same asking price.

Schweyer & Co. glasses are relatively common but the peahen-barrels-and-grain-sheaves image is a pre-pro classic that should feature prominently in any good generalist collection. The glass at left below appeared back in September and went unsold even though it listed with a $9 opening price. The label is a little weak in the lower regions, but a nice glass nonetheless and should have sold for around $20 had there not been two similar example listing around the same time. The seller (tattoomagoo0106), not to be deterred, relisted the glass a month later but this time with a catchy listing title and photo: "SUPER RARE PRE PROHIBITION JOHN SCHWEYER & CO CHICAGO SHOT GLASS URANIUM CLEAR". The new listing brought a smile to the Poobah's eye because of the seller's creativity and for noting that a subset of pre-pro glasses respond to a black light with the yellow-green glow common to vaseline glass. The response is due to the presence of uranium. I'm not sure if uranium is a natural glass contaminant or due to addition of vaseline glass to the cullet - it would be interesting to research it if one had the time and inclination. Some pre-pro glasses have a very obvious obvious green tint and light up well, but the majority do not. It would fascinating to hunt down the few and put them in a custom lighted case for display in a bottle show, for example. Regardless, the modified listing below attracted a couple of bidders and it eventually sold to codeman1990 for $17.05.

September 21,

No bidders, $9.00

November 3, tattoomagoo0106:

Sold, $17.05

bluroc nabbed two of the best glasses to  list in recent weeks - a pair advertising Tippecanoe Whiskey from Jacob Peffer of Cincinnati, OH.  The Pfeffer lug is the second most common label-under, if "common" is an adjective that can be used in reference to the ultra-rare.  bluroc took it without much of a fight for $605.01, the only other serious contender being xxxtruk.  The partner glass is one I've not seen before and has an almost home-made feel to it.  It attracted serious attention from several bidders and eventually sold for $95.20.



 The Black Cat Whiskey shown at left is one of two such transfer glasses listed by seller pas-attic.  The first was sold in an auction to atakeda back in April of this year for a hammer price of $224.72.

It's twin (left) was plucked off eBay on August 28 by lakerdude33 in a $275 buy-it-now.   As you can see from the photo, the transfer has some condition issues, especially at lower right, and the less-than-pround new owner dispatched in back to Fort Myers for a refund.  pas-attic relisted with a $275 bin or best offer, and the listing ran until November 25 with the owner declining multiple offers by lakerdude33, the-paper-man, bluroc, and most recently by new bidder masesocali.

The kittie relisted two days later with a $249 bin or best offer, and sold within a day after an offer from atakeda.  Black Cats are superb glasses that are highly sought-after.  They can fetch up to $400 in mint condition so $250+ for this example is probably a fair price.  We'll need to keep an eye on pas-attic to see if there's any more in the litter box.

The glass at right is perhaps my favorite of all the glasses to list in recent weeks.  It sold for $36.50 back in September  and came cheap at the price.  The lisiting photo shows a mark across the label and there is a chip out of the base, but the glass is has a pristine gold rim and a big, bright, and bold frosted label that makes for a great display glass.


It features the Maltese cross that was used by R S Strader & Son of  Lexington, KY and refers to the "Big Four Distilleries".  Strader was known to be associated with the Ashland and Pepper distilleries, but I'm not sure who the other two that make up the four would be.  Another little research project to add to the bulging files...

 Shots with a gold rim in mint condition can be breathtaking, even if only a text glass, which is why the glass below is a clear pick for SOTW.  It's a Kansas City glass which makes it hot property these days, and from Stulz Broz. which themselves have a dedicated following.  I haven't seen this glass before, although an identical inscription appears on a stemmed glass from the same company.  The seller (chippewavellayconsignmentshop) listed the one shown below on October 13 and it eventually sold for $55.58.  Four more in identical condition soon followed, all but one selling for a similar price.


"Vtg/Antq Adv Pre Prohibition Shot Glass/Stulz Bros. Kansas City MO/Early 1900's 2 1/4" H x 2" D (top rim)

Words on glass: Compliments of Stulz Bros. Kansas City, MO.

Excellent condition: study photos for details, easy to read advertising words, curlicues to either side of text, gold trimmed edge/rim, no breaks/chips or repairs, well cared for, functional, displays well.

Superb adv shot glass/Stulz Bros. Kansas City, MO Brewery/Beer collectible"


That's all folks - happy hunting, happy Thanksgiving - and don't forget to check out the latest listings on the sales page here at pre-pro.  You'll find a fine selection of glasses that I'm currently listing on behalf of five different collectors.  There are approx 300 glasses listed for sale present and I have another 150 or so to work through, so check back daily to catch the best and rarest! 


Note that you can browse many previous 
choices for SOTW in the Archives.

SOTW: Wednesday November 27, 2013
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