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  Shot of the Week - Jack Daniel's Update Item number: 280340328122

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Sorry, you were stomped on at the last minute. This item sold for US $761.01.


Up a Level Shot of the Week Hee Hee Hee Fakes Sniping Selling

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, 161 pre-pro glass auctions closed, 39 closed with no bidder, average price of the glasses that sold was $24.66.   Five glasses sold for >$100, none sold for >$1,000. 

Two editions of SOTW in one week??!!  This HAS to be a record.  No doubt someone will gripe that I put the previous edition up and took it down again before they had had a chance to read the sagely words but, ALL IS NOT LOST!  The last edition has been archived, so go get up to speed on Ralph Van Brocklin's latest win and then check back here to read the update. 

As I mentioned in the earlier edition of SOTW, the auction was a doozy because it set a new record for price paid for a plain old text glass .   Ralph, aka thegenuineflask, fended off 26 competing bids and snagged it for $761.01, a sum so staggering that it defies the usual lame superlatives.

Etched Shot Glass - "Jack Daniel / Old / No. 7 / Nashville, Tenn. / Hopkinsville, KY. / St. Louis, MO.". Thin glass, stands 2 1/8" tall X 1 7/8" across top. Perfect condition and a very old one !


But -- and this is a BIG, supersized-fries-and-Coke Butt -- there is something decidedly fishy about the shot, even ignoring the fact that it's the only known example of a three-city JD glass.  Ralph just received his prize and was kind enough to take some pics and send them along.  After some discussion, we both agree that it's a fake, for the reasons outlined below.  Please feel free to weigh in on the discussion via the Chat Room: there is no real way of telling whether it's genuine or not and no-one claims to be an expert.  I'd be very interested in hearing what the collecting community has to say. 

Here are the pics:

Here's why I think it's a fantasy glass:

1)  Even newbie collectors will frown at this glass because there's something clearly UN-pre-pro about it.    Sure, it's a thin-walled glass, but look at the label.  When did you EVER see blocks of text left-justified on a pre-pro glass?  Take a look at your own display case - I'll wager that the text is centered on 100% of them.  The only glasses I can think of that are labeled with blocks of left-justified text are in the Carroll Rye "Toast" series, the one shown at left below being a prime example.

2)  Genuine pre-pro JD glasses refer to their product as "Jack Daniel's Old No. 7", as in the example at right above.  The eBay offering omits the apostrophe  and reads "Jack Daniel Old No. 7"

3)  Jack began his illustrious career in Nashville, but was chased out of Tennessee by State prohibition.  Distilling operations were relocated from TN to St Louis, MO., with warehouses in Hopkinsville, KY. being used to store aging hooch in the interim.  Genuine JD glasses typically refer to only one of these locations and it would seem improbable that the company would refer to a now-defunct plant in Nashville after having made the move to St. Louis.

4)  And then there are the tell-tale etching anomalies.  First and foremost are the "bleeds" on the lower lines.  Look at the enlarged image at right:

See how the the "L" and "O" of St LOuis and the "O" of the previous line have little blebs?  This kind of etching error occurs when a label is applied using an incompletely adhered stencil, much the same way as paint inevitably creeps beneath masking tape when one is trying to create a perfect ceiling line when redecorating the living room.  The old glasses were "etched" using a rubber stamp to transfer a vitreous labeling compound and these kinds of glitches do not occur.

5)  Look at the letter "I" in the image at right and on the trio of pics above.  It's shorter that the remaining characters.  This is a feature of modern font design and the kind of detail one would expect to see on word-processor generated text.  On the old glasses, blocks of letters were typically of equal height.

6)  In the images above, you'll notice that the cities and states read Nashville, Tenn., Hopkinsville, KY., and St. Louis - MO.  The final line uses a dash instead of a comma between city and state.  The manufacturers were not too careful when it came to producing these old give-aways so goofs of this nature are not uncommon.  But maybe someone was copying text off other glasses and thought that St Louis - MO was the standard way of designating the location, just as Nashville, Tenn. was used in place of the more modern Nashville, TN.

Of course it's impossible to be 100% certain that this is a product of someone's fantasy rather then a genuine JD glass, but the arguments for it being a fake are strong.  Most likely the faker applied a new label to a pre-pro blank to make it look convincing.  Blank glasses are relatively easy to come by (or one could also erase the label from an already ghosted O! So Good, for example): take a look at the article on pre-pro fakes if you need any convincing.

Any other thoughts -- both for and against the arguments above -- would be welcome.....



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Last updated: Friday May 15, 2009
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