by Mark Pickvet
Hardcover: 256 pages
Mark Pickvet is a well-known name in the shot glass world because he's published three books on the subject, beginning with Shot Glasses: An American Tradition in 1989. All three follow a similar format with a chapter on history and the manufacture of glass, followed by pages of relatively crude drawings of shots and their labels.
There's little to make them worth recommending to a pre-pro collector, although the history sections may be useful. The three books are highly repetitive and draw on essentially the same material each time so they feel much like revisions of the same work. The background section in The Definitive Guide to Shot Glasses is the most extensive and so that's the one to buy if you're interested. All three are widely available from used-book sellers and outlets specializing in remaindered stock and you should easily be able to acquire all three for under $10 total.
But the few references to pre-pro "samplers" (as he refers to them) show that Pickvet has little interest in, or even feeling for, this collecting niche, so my personal opinion is you'd be better off putting your money toward a second Hayner or two.
|Part of Pickvet's problem is that we've all been weaned on Barb Edmonson's two books whose appeal stems largely from the reproductions of the labels found on pre-pro glasses. She drew most of them freehand while visiting collectors, but many others were drawn by the collectors themselves. All managed to capture the spirit of the labels which, unfortunately, Pickvet seems incapable of, even on his best days. His drawings are clumsy and often erroneous (see below). On top of this, he has no sense of value, using a cookie-cutter approach to valuations that cannot help but leave a novice collector completely bewildered. The Detrick valuation shown at right is a prime example.||
This fourth effort offers more of the same, with the added twist that Pickvet has taken many of the drawings used in HSG and reproduced them, in many cases inappropriately, within clunky stenciled glass outlines.
"Shot Glasses" is a 2004 publication from Schiffer Publishing Co. It's hard-covered and glossy. Pickvet makes no attempt to introduce anything new in the way of text or information (there's two scant pages of Introduction and History) and instead relies on page after page of drawings and photos of mostly modern shots to justify the $40 purchase price. Toward the end of the book are several pages of pre-pro "glasses", with a few photographs and copies from bona fide sources mixed in. The photographs are of low quality with barely-discernable labels, while the third-generation copies of shots appearing in old Snyder articles from bottle magazines (unaccredited) are embarrassing.
|Any ideas what this is???||Photo of an "Old Maid" pirated from a Snyder article||A post-Repeal glass - and a dose glass at that!|
The mix also contains several modern, post-Repeal glasses incorrectly identified as being pre-pro, plus some dose
glasses (above). The original HSG drawings are presented alongside the author's own
crayoned images, but fail to raise them above the level of doodles. Indeed,
just having them appear here seems like a violation.
|Three examples of Pickvet's
handiwork. Bet you're glad to discover that the "Cuckoo"
is worth $150.00, right?!
.........meanwhile, the drawing of an Ell-Ell label from HSG is diminished by being placed over a modern glass outline (right).
And then there are all the inaccuracies. No, not printer's errors, typos and inconsistencies, of which there are many, but the signs that the self-proclaimed emperor of the shot-glass world is standing before us in his underwear rather than a gown of expertise. Mark Rauschkolb, who actually does know a thing or two about shot glasses, has compiled a partial listing at shotglass.org and I've provided a few examples below.
As you may have gathered, I didn't like the book. But take a look at the following and see what you think:
|Two identical glasses with very different valuations. Which is real?|
|Two examples of label-under-glass shots. In the real world, the labels are in the base and they're worth $300+. In Pickvet's world, the labels have moved to the side and the value has dropped accordingly.|
|Only a TRUE neophyte would be caught by this one - a Kellerstrass glass with the label drawn and listed as being a "Rellerstrass".|
If you're still interested in obtaining a copy after reading this, you should be able to find one on eBay for under $30.