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, 150 pre-pro glass auctions closed, 19 closed with no bidder, average price of the glasses that sold was $21.23. Three glasses sold for >$100, none sold for >$1,000.
Greetings fellow glasslusters - it's now only three weeks until Christmas and eBay is still dead in the water -- at least so far as "interesting" glass is concerned. The numbers above show that there's still gobs of glass being listed (and most of it is selling, which is unusual), but there really hasn't been too much worth bidding on -- let alone fighting over -- for weeks now. Most of the glass action has instead been taking place outside of eBay: more on that in a moment.
First, I need to take care of some old business. The last edition of SOTW featured an "Old Valley Whiskey" glass, from Cook & Bernheimer of New York - a pre-pro classic. It was listed by wyowarren and sold to lakerdude33 for $370, with oldwhiskey in pathetic, sniveling, second-place LOSER position (see pic below, top). As pointed out in the chatroom, this was not quite the end of the story, however, because within hours of the close, Warren shot oldwhiskey a second-chance offer on a duplicate glass (pic below, bottom), bin price: $365.
I had to think about that one. Dialing $365 into the snipe-o-matic is one thing - especially when there's a pretty good chance of being outbid -- but paying out $365 in cold hard cash is something else entirely. That's quite a chunk of change, even for one of the Great pre-pro glasses. But - and this is the one thing I really, honestly, truly LOVE about eBay's latest contortion - is that they now regularly send their VIP (duh! - read MMTS!) bidders 10% off coupons, plus they skim profits from sellers to reward VIP bidders with eBucks. Since the latest coupon was set to expire the same day as the bin and the eBucks not long after, this turned out to be an easy decision and eBay ended up paying for almost half the glass! But here's the kicker - when the glass arrived, it was not the one pictured on the auction listing! Instead, it was yet another variant with a bottle that was not showing its label - as you can see from the pic at right below!
When I met with Ken Schwartz a couple of years ago, he told me that at one time he had owned three variants of the Old Valley glass. Since I didn't own even one back then, I was somewhat skeptical, but in the intervening years I've indeed logged three into the database. This latest addition makes four.
In the past couple of months, our flea-ridden collecting ranks seem to have been joined by "mad8992david" and "flubberdoo". Love that last id - I wish eBay still showed winning bidder's names in full - for entertainment value alone.
Here's an interesting trio - all very nice glasses, although all the ones I've seen from this company all seem to have the cobweb stress crazing in the wall of the glass:
|#1: lakerdude, 9/21/2009, $29.90||#2: lakerdude, 11/4/2009, $36.00||#3: lakerdude makes a grab for it but nuffbarn takes it, 12/1/09, for $47.90|
|I mentioned action outside of eBay. Part
I begins with a glass won by mimiski back in 2003 (Mimi !!!!
Are you still with us? We haven't heard from you in a while!
Call home when you get the chance - we're worried!!!). It's a
"Conway's Famous Shakeup" (shown at left) - you probably recognize
the pic as having come from one of Paul Van Vactor's (stilz)
auctions. It's a great glass - a nicely-detailed image of a
bearded man, although we didn't at that time know where it
originated. I remember the auction well - not only because Mimi
stole it - but also because Howard Currier lambasted me for not
selecting it as the SOTW that month. See - people were throwing crap
at me even back then, and every barbed comment is felt, remembered,
internalized. If I grow up to be a twisted, bitter soul, you know
exactly where the blame lies.
This is the first and only time I've seen this glass. At least it was until recently - read on, dear surfer.
About six months ago, a Houston-based collector dropped by the website with a list (no pics) of 150 or so glasses, asking for a valuation. Many of them were very common, but one on the list caught my attention: a Conway's Famous Shakeup. I ran the glasses through the database and came up with a value that I still think is fair, even though they were still sight unseen. He thanked me and told me he was going to try and sell them locally as a collection. That was the last I thought of it until last month, when one of our snittering, sniping colleagues sent me an email with pics of two glasses attached, asking for info on his latest acquisitions.
|One was a Conway's Shakeup - ta da - but this
one (left) was a variant that gave the name of the liquor dealer - Henry E
Dowd, of Toledo, OH! More interestingly - even though the glass is
cloudy and sick on the inside, it's clearly an old Truog design.
Sick or not, I was interested in adding this one to the Truog gallery at Poo-Bah Central. We worked out a trade on the glass and it's now in the database.
Shake me up Judy!
(huh? See Bleak House, by Chuck Dickens)
|Within days of the trade, the appearance
of a THIRD Shakeup shook me to the core, - shake, rattling, and
rolling out of oldamerica's
store on eBay. This latest glass was similar to mimiski's
- no name, just the bearded dude. Actually the dude looks like
Darwin, but then everyone with a beard looks like Darwin to me.
Survival of the e-Fittest and all that. oldwhiskey shook the
piggy back, manipulated Conway's base 13 function, and was glad to take it
home for a penny less than $81.
But I digress.
The two glasses that came attached to the e-mail were sufficiently rare that the pairing could only have come out of the Houston collection. And I was correct - they were now being sold off individually and mostly at a price below my six-month old valuation. Plus - there were many unusual or rare glasses that were in very NICE condition, so I walked off with as many as I could carry that day.
Part II - I hate to do this to you (no I don't) but, where else can I gloat. Earlier last month, I had the pleasure of spending a day with Pat Baker. You won't know the name, but during his working years, he used to trawl flea markets and antique malls in the San Francisco bay area looking for old glass. His entire family seems to be collecting maniacs. His sister collects bricks. Really. As is "builder's". They enthusiastically supported his addiction by picking up glasses for him whenever they saw one (I wish I could train mine to do this, but then they are all in the UK ~~ quel fromage). Although he ultimately assembled a relatively small collection of shots and beers (200 or so), predictably cluttered with Hayner's (4), O! So Goods (2) and Harvest Kings (3), but the collection was heavily weighted on the other end of the spectrum by unusual and/or rare western glass. Pat moved on from glass to mechanical puzzles (think Rubrik's cube, bent nails, and geometric shapes that come apart if you know the secret of assembly and disassembly ~~ he has about 5,000) many years ago and was now looking to sell the glass.
Pretty please! Woof! I'm here, slobber slobber! Here's a sampling:
So what about a pick for SOTW?
This is a tough one, but since I featured a clapped-out Miller's Gamecock reverse-on-glass sign in the last edition of SOTW, maybe it should be the go-with:
|Very nice and extremely hard to find is this Pre-pro whiskey or shot glass by Miller's Game Cock Rye Whiskey. The King of All Whiskies John Miller & Co Boston, Mass. I believe they were in business between 1859 and 1916, dates may not be exact, but that is the information I found. In fantastic condition it measures 3 inches in height with a taper or flared top. 2 1/4 inches at the opening and 1 3/8 inches in diameter at the base. Any questions, please ask.|
The bidding was fairly lack-lustre even though it's in nice condition. On the plus side, this is the only glass we know of from John Miller & Co. but, on the negative side, it's a tall flared glass and it's just so damn hard to get them to fit into the display case, by crimeny. It ended up selling for $88.00.
That's all folks - happy hunting and see y'all on eBay....
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SOTW: Friday December 04, 2009
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