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Each edition of SOTW will begin with some stats on sales in the past 28 days to give us all a sense of where the hobby is going.  In the past four weeks, 169 pre-pro glass auctions closed, 46 closed with no bidder, average price of the glasses that sold was $16.30.   Two glasses sold for >$100, none sold for >$1,000. 

Greetings fellow glasslusters.  It's been almost four months since the last edition of SOTW, partly because of pressures of work (bad thing about working out of a home office is that you never get to go home) and partly because -- well, there's been sweet FA to talk about.

Before talking about how little there is to talk about, I need to pay respects to Howard Currier, who left us for the eternal glasslands at the beginning of October.  Howard was a remarkable man.  I will write up a more complete tribute to him at the end of the year, but he was a font of wisdom on many matters and a calm voice of reason that the Poo-Bah came to rely on when first developing the site.  He authored the first editions of Random Shots and was the person responsible for converting Bob Snyder's whiskey brand research into a searchable electronic form.  Howard was the first to start tracking eBay sales and try and make sense of the trends.  His interests switched from pre-pro glass to the Dead Sea Scrolls a few years ago, at which point he sold off most of his collection on successive Sunday evenings on eBay.  But his influence on the collecting community remains strong.  He's greatly missed.

If you've been paying attention, you'll have noticed that many other regular faces have dropped off eBay in the past year.  The most recent include Clyde Byram (cmlintx), who held a series of now-you-see-it, now-you-don't auctions both online and offline.  He's down the dregs now but he still has four glasses cycling through eBay at the moment.  lakerdude33 spent a month in the Betty Ford clinic and cured himself of his addiction to everything sparkly.  His non-west coast collection was unceremoniously dispatched in a fire sale, much of it heading to the west coast.  Say what??? 

But there are many new or unfamiliar faces swimming in the 'Bay.  The id's may seem unfamiliar because of eBay's privacy policy, but a quick glance down the bidder list for the past few months shows multiple hits for 209ronm, 62jeb, beer.hunter, blank9, crab131, flubberdoo, goldhayner, mad8992david, and sun_dner8wfl in addition to the usual suspects.

This past few months has been unusual, to say the least, in terms of both glass supply and demand.  To give you some idea, in the past four months, only eight glasses have topped the $100 mark.  The average price for glasses sold was down to $12.41 at one point.  In case you haven't figured this out yet, this is the pre-pro glass equivalent of the Dow Jones Industrial Average or the FTSE.  We should really give it a name.  The "PP" index has obvious problems.  Maybe the "HEC index" in honor of the man who started this kind of number crunching. 

You can pretty reliably estimate the value of your collection using the HEC Index.  Assuming it's an average collection with at least two  or three $100+ glasses in it, take the number of glasses in the collection and multiply it by the HEC Index.  So, for example, a 100-glass collection is currently worth $1,630.    If you're a bluroc, then multiply this number by 15.  If you're a beginner heavy on Hayners, Detricks, O! So Goods and Kellerstrasses, divide by 3. 

See!  Simple!

OK, enough babble, what about glass and high-jinks in the 'Bay?  The Poo-Bah has been neglecting to keep you updated for four months now and there are familiar rustling sounds coming from category: collectibles > shotglasses.  Time to shine a  light in there and see what scuttles for cover under the toaster oven.

This was THE most expensive glass to sell in the past 16 weeks - a "Sebree Springs Whiskey", from Clarence S Winstead of Evansville, IN.

So let me see - a plain old boring text glass from Nowhere, USA (at least in pre-pro terms).  How much do you think, huh?  Twenty bucks?  Maybe twenty-five, tops.  There is the Winstead name on it so maybe twenty-five?


Add a zero - this one sold back in September to capgrave for $255.00 + $5 shipping.


If anyone know what this one was about, please post a comment in the Chat room.


This was a neat find from a historical point of view.  The fluted Old I.W.Harper glasses are so common that they don't have any real value (and I have several should you want one!  Even before this auction!).  But this was a cardboard box that once held 12 of them.  The auction included only 10 of the original shipment, but the box was intact and a couple of the original wrappers were included.  It was addressed to a hotel in PA.

I've seen glasses in wrappers before, but  this is the first time I've seen a shipping container so this was a no-brainer bid.  I wonder if the box was a part of a larger shipment that included a barrel of hooch?  There was nothing on the outside of the box other than an address.

Here's an interesting duo that our GOOD friend Kurt Hultzman (xxxtruk) picked up.  Every liquor dealer between here and Timubuktoo had a Monogram brand, and #6 simply referred to a grade of whiskey, so this is a toughie to attribute.  Barb Edmonson places the glass with  Bertin & Lepori of San Francisco - and who is the Poo-Bah to argue?  The Poo-Bah pocketed one of these at an FOHBC show in Reno, which is consistent with the idea of it having west-coast origins. 

It's a curious glass - the red label looks like that on a familiar Crigler & Crigler Woodland Whiskey, but the glass itself is heavy and paneled, much like the post-Pro Hiram Walker glasses from Canada.  It may be that this type of glass was showing up on the west coast even as Carrie Nation's axe was falling across the U.S.

BTW, xxxtruk has a nice RARE glass from Peoria swimming in the bay even as we speak - bid now, bid often....

Altschul glasses in their various forms used to be rare, then suddenly they became almost as common as a Hayner.  OK, slight exaggeration.  The traditional A-and-barrel-with-grain-stalks design is attractive and they're nice to include in a collection.  But their hammer price has been falling steadily in recent years.  We've also just come through a minor flurry of Old School Rye's, so I didn't give this latest Sweet Home Rye much of a  thought.    Then it sold for $46.71.  It's twin sold for $76.00 just a week later.  Which just goes to show you that you can never take anything for granted in pre-pro land.  The two known Sweet Homes come as a regular shot from Dayton and a cylinder from Springfield, OH.  This a new shot variant of the Springfield glass.  I GUESS that makes it worth $76 to the right person?
Worth it's weight? No cracks about this one... Pelham pooches

The three glasses above were all bluroc conquests.    Gold Dust was a Louisville brand but was designed for the nugget-laced hills of California.  It was distributed by Van Bernen & Co. of San Francisco, who also produced some rather rare and desirable picture glasses.  Anything with the Gold Dust brand on it sells well -- usually very well -- and this one was no exception.  It sold for a few cents less than $140.   The Black Buffalo in middle position above first showed up in its own listing for an opening bid of $3.  There were no takers - the picture the seller used was lousy but that's not what killed it - the humungous L-shaped crack running down the front of the glass was difficult to ignore.  It relisted with a Schweyer and an O! So Good - and a much nicer pic.  bluroc grabbed all three.  Finally - another not so great pic of another great glass from Boston - a Pelham Club Rye.  Boston and San Francisco must rank as the two cities that yielded the highest number of attractive glasses.  We've seen most of what there is to see from San Francisco, but Boston just keeps on giving.

And finally, a tale of two of pre-pro's finest glasses that came and then went without so much as a fight.  The Affront Whiskey from the Home Liquor Co. of Wheeling, WV, has shown up on a eBay a couple of times now.  The first time was back in 2004.  That time, thegenuineflask walked off with it for $80. 

The example at right listed with several other so-so WV and PA glasses, all with bid openers of $49.99.  Most of them went unsold.  This one just disappeared.   It's difficult to know how much it might have made if the auction ran its course - certainly $100+, probably $150+.  It's a classic frontiersman-type image, perhaps a reference to the Revolutionary war?

The Sunset is another classic glass.  It listed with the title "San Francisco California whiskey acid etched shot glass" and the listing description went on to explain that " The consigner informed us that this is a San Francisco shot glass handed down in her family to her".   The seller is identified as coming from Central Oregon, so it is possible that this glass originally came from San Francisco.  But the brand was trademarked by the Sunset Distilling Co. of Chicago IL, probably as a response to the popularity of Leopold Sonneschein's Sunrise and Sunshine brands.

This glass was quickly bid up to $50 before bids were cancelled and the auction ended.


Because the seller also included the following line in the item description: "We will consider an offer if higher than start bid to change the auction to a “Buy it Now” (but you need to make the offer, not us)"


It's not difficult to see why sellers are increasingly doing business outside of eBay.  Those eBucks everyone is enjoying is a kick-back funded by a tax on the sellers.  True, you can now list anything for nothing (which is why we have to wade through endlessly-relisting piles of garbage to find the good glasses) but if the item sells, then eBay skims off 9% PLUS another 5% or so when you use Paypal.  eBay put up  so many road blocks to using any other form of payment so Paypal has become the default.  So what would you do?  I wonder if eBay seller rage has anything to do with Meg Whitman's crushing defeat when she tried a "Buy-it-now" on the California Governor's House???!!!

So how about a pick for SOTW?

The Poo-Bah is a sucker for the pre-pro ladies and it shows in this -- er -- quarter's pick.  Most of the glasses above would have been contenders, but the Belle of Warren has everything going for as a pre-pro classic:

Very nice old painted label shot glass showing a pretty lady and reads:

Belle Of Warren / Very Old / Sour Mash / J.T. Doores & Co. / Distillers / Bowling Green, Ky.

Measures approx. 2 1/4" high. Has 1 tiny pinhead size nick on the rim. Nice lettering and great for display.


That's all folks - happy hunting, watch out for the roaches, and see y'all on eBay....


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


SOTW: Wednesday November 10, 2010
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