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, 146 pre-pro glass auctions closed, 23 closed with no bidder, average price of the glasses that sold was $28.76. Five glasses sold for >$100, none sold for >$1,000.
The last edition of SOTW apparently spun off an e-hex, because it ended a very promising run of interesting glasses. There followed a two-week dawdle in the doldrums, during which time little of note listed save for a few ubiquitous 1905 Pan-American Expo glasses and an odd Canadian glass. The tedium was eventually broken by wyowarren, who dumped a small collection of CA glasses into the fray: more on that in a moment.
|Before reviewing the good stuff, here's an auction that had
collectors scratching their collective heads in the
chatroom. It's a Dayton/Chatanooga Detrick glass, as shown at
right. If you're new to the wonderfully dysfunctional world of
pre-pro glass collecting, you may not know that this is one of the most common
glasses and you should easily be able to find on in good condition for
$10-20. Sellers who don't know any better have been known to list
glasses like this as a $350 bin, but no-one takes much
This one listed with a starting price of $85.00, high enough to make seasoned collectors raise their eyebrows in disbelief, but no so high that some unknowing punter might actually place a bid.
(from the Chat Room: "A recent Ebay listing offered a Detrick shotglass with an "extravagant" buy-it-now price. When I questioned the seller about his price for this relatively common shotglass his response was "It's an original, not a reproduction". Am I missing something here? Are there "original" glasses vs. repro's of this, what I thought of as a common shot, out there? Is that also true for other "commons" like Hayner. etc.? Or was this just a seller who didn't have a clue?")
Seven days later we found out: the auction closed at $85 and thereby set a new record for this kind of glass. I guess it IS in good condition. Really really good condition!
|Here's another head-scratcher, although technically not a
shot glass. In fact it is -- or was-- a reverse-on-glass sign
that advertises Miller's Gamecock from John
Miller & Co. of Boston, MA. When new, the field of the
sign would have been in rich color and the details of the text and
gamebirds would have been picked out in a different color and/or gold
leaf. As is, all that's left is a glass blank.
When it listed, I wondered why anyone would go to the trouble of actually photographing it and putting it up for sale on eBay - it clearly should go straight into the recycling bin, after all. The seller takes a flight of fancy (unlike the featured birds) and suggests that "Somebody with a steady hand could easily paint it in with some thin diluted paints that would flow up to the edges of the words and graphics. Iíd do it but at 67 years of age, my hands and eyes just donít have those abilities anymore."
You know, come to think of it, I might be able to put the seller in touch with someone who repaints shots, maybe listing it is not such a bad idea after all. Yea right.
Once again, I was impressed by the depth of my own ignorance: it sold for a truly unbelievable $910!!. I didn't think they were worth that much in mint condition....
Back to shots and here's a sampling of the good stuff that showed up over the past few weeks. First up is a "Pride of North Carolina" from Chas Arey of Salisbury, N. C. It failed to sell, but only because the starting price was $199.99! Unlike the Detrick glass discussed above, $200 is not too far off its actual worth, as chapelhilldigger, the seller, well knows. He's sold several of these glasses in the past for $160, give or take a few dollars.
The "Fit for a King" shown at center below is a rare old glass from a distillery in Cheswick, near Pittsburgh, PA. The details of the etching have a Truog-y feel to them, but the value lies in its rarity and PA origins. There are two other known "Fit for a King" variants, both from the Metropolitan Distributing Co. of New York, NY. The example below was taken by flagstop for just under $77.
It's difficult to discern what the condition or even subject of the glass shown at upper right might be given the appalling photo. The seller's description was even less helpful. In fact it's an "Ideal Whiskey" glass from Willet Boyer of Pottsville, PA. The sales database logged 12 of these glasses over the past 8 years so it's not terribly rare, but it looks good in the display case. lakerdude33 took a leap of faith and won it for just under $90, with a newbie bidder (ozaki.2009) snapping at his heels. The seller has a second glass that he listed using the same image. Since the Dude had proclaimed his win to be mint, #2 was less of a gamble and oldwhiskey nabbed a nice upgrade for only $30.
Here's another example of how supply can quickly strip value. eBay seller lmtradingpost (located in Barb Edmonson's hometown of Chico, CA) has been listing a small cache of CA glasses in minty-mint condition. One was a rare "Capitol OK Whiskey" variant (below), the other an "Old Club" from Hildebrandt-Posner of San Francisco. The first Capitol sold for $89.88 to bluroc, with ozaki.2009 in #2 position and lakerdude33 in #3. Unbeknownst to anyone, the seller had three of these glasses. He made a second-chance offer to ozaki.2009, who declined, and another to lakerdude33, who picked one up for his bid of $66.99. The unclaimed third glass was thus tossed back in the Bay - it sold a week later for $33.90. Given the rarity and condition of these glasses, all three were probably great buys!
|Here's the "Truog Glass of the Month". It's a souvenir tumbler from Detroit, MI and features a classic Truog flower and bird design. Detroit collectors are VERY serious about their glasses: this one sold for a few pennies short of $100.|
|"bluroc's Glass of the Month" came from the Independent
Distilling Co. of Kansas City, MO. Regular white
frosted glasses from this business are very common: most collectors will
have one or more in their display case. This
one is red-etched and the first I've seen. Given that
competition for anything pre-pro and colored is intense, it's no surprise
that Kevin had to pay $179.50 to take it.
Rare glass, but is it a contender for SOTW? Nah, don't think so. Too boring.
So what IS the latest pick for SOTW?
Most of the pre-pro action this past month has been generated by Warren Borton, aka wyowarren. Warren is based in UT but wrote a nice little book on Wyoming bottles. The illustrations in the book were so well done that I contacted him to find out who the artist was, hoping that I might use the same person for a book on shot glasses and come up with some original artwork for pre-pro.
Warren recently acquired a collection of Western signs, glasses, teapots and other items following the death of Ben Loader of Provo, UT., and has been selling off most of the collection on eBay during the past month. Most of the more common CA glasses were snatched up by ozaki.2009, a relatively new collector to eBay with a voracious appetite for beer and shot glasses. The best of the bunch was an "Old Valley Whiskey", from Cook & Bernheimer of New York.
Warren's auction photo's are typically soft-focused and overexposed which makes it difficult to assess condition of his items, but the photo above leaves little doubt that this is a wonderful example of pre-pro artistry. If there's any doubt, take a look at Kevin Wade's photograph of his listing in the database.
There are three or four known variants of this glass and there are several known examples in collections around the country. xxxtruk locked onto to this one early, but Arky Joe was determined to take this one home and fired both barrels to blow away Kurt, ozaki.2009 and oldwhiskey. Ouch that hurt. The auction closed at $370.00. Nice going Dude!
That's all folks - happy hunting and see y'all on eBay....
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