On the seventh day of Christmas, eBay brought to me $1,000,000…

…and a welcome to Millionaire’s Club!

This glass caught my eye for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that Isaac Mansbach & Co. hailed from my old stomping grounds of Philadelphia, PA.

Mansbach & Co. were in business under this name from 1897 to 1914 and left us a handful of interesting glasses. The images in the database are poor and need updating, but the “Ten Years Old” glass is a beauty and lives in one of my top 1% cases. Another Mansbach glass appears to be the handiwork of George Truog, although there is no signature.

Anyone familiar with Truog’s work will also recognize the label on the Millionaires Club glass shown here to be one of his also. The flower-and-wreath design is a classic Truog, as is the small design located between “Fine Old” and “Whiskey.”

What I find interesting is that a similar flower-an-wreath design appears on two gold Thos. Pollard glasses, one of which is shown below.

Pollard was based in Pittsburgh, PA. Did Truog produce these glasses also? Gold labels are extremely rare. Aside from the Pollard whiskies, I only know of four others, all Shriner glasses. Three from the Syria Temple of Pittsburg, PA. the other a Hermann Loge of Philadelphia, PA.

The Millionaires Club glass shown above was listed for sale by eBay seller hear_2 and it fetched $70 in a “best offer” deal.

On the sixth day of Christmas, eBay brought to me…

I wanted to give a shout-out during this 12-day Christmas sequential to a Zahringer’s glass that has been circling the eBay drain for several months now. The glass was first listed by napa-capecod sometime back at the beginning of annus horribilus 2020, along with over 100 others from his personal collection. This is a collector with a well-honed eye for great glass, and his presumed New England (Cape Cod) connection gave him access to offerings from Boston, a city that rivals San Francisco in terms of having produced the greatest number of iconic pre-pro picture glasses.

Zahringer glasses hail from neither San Francisco not Boston but rather from Peoria, IL., but they stand among the finest in terms of pre-pro artistry. Back in the days when I was a fledgling glassluster and there was no internet or eBay, the only reference material available to me was Barbara Edmonson’s Historic Shot Glasses. I distinctly remember wondering if I would ever possess a glass so fine as the Zahringer’s Pure Stock illustrated on p. 200 under “Z” with the iconic camel, pyramids, obelisk, sphinx, and palm-tree design. The advent of the internet meant that I’ve seen and owned several examples of this glass over the years, and we now know that John Zahringer gave away many different variants.

The example shown above has some rim issues but the etching is nice and enough to make a collector appreciate what a truly great design this is. It finally fell in a buy-it-now for $28.00.

On the fifth day of Christmas, eBay brought to me, five go~o~ld rims…

Who can resist a pre-pro glass with a shiny gold rim, even if it’s a common Hayner. Not me. Here’s five to enjoy – three common glasses from the past few weeks and two worthy of a special mention.

The two Hayner glasses were listed for sale by humbay; the Hayner Distilling glass sold but the lockbox is still listed for sale for $17.50. The Zimmerman was listed by barberkim4675 and sold for $15.50.

The T M Ferguson is a San Francisco classic that looks great in the display case when in mint condition, and most of the extant examples I’ve seen indeed look to be mint. The example shown above was listed for sale by digbybot and sold for $121.35, which I think is well worth the price for looks alone, even though they have traditionally sold for less.

M Quinn glasses such as the one shown above are something of a puzzle to me because the always sell for a high premium. Yes, they’re KC glasses and there are many KC collectors vying for them, but there’s got to be a back story that accounts for their desirability – if anyone could shed light on the matter, please add a comment below. I know of three different Quinn variants. The one above is an example of the rarest of the three (there is also a rare “Bouquet Whiskey” glass and another flared QQQ glass that can be found in the database). It was listed for sale by qualtiqs and sold for $152.50.

On the fourth day of Christmas, eBay brought … what the Ebner???

This is one of the auctions that helped drive up the mean sales price this past month. It’s an Ebner Bros. Co. glass from Sacramento CA. It was listed for sale by digbybot, along with a handful of other Western glasses, two of which are still open for bidding.

There’s perhaps four known Ebner glasses; the one shown above (“Fine Quality Goods”) and three different variants of a Colonial Whiskey glass. They’re nice enough glasses and they’re Western, so they typically sell in the $40-$50 range, with a couple of them flirting with three digits. The glass shown above attracted a two-way bidding war before being sniped in the final seconds for an impressive $205.00.

On the third day of Christmas, eBay brought us Jingle bells, Jingle bells…

Disclaimer: There is only one jingle bell. And it’s cracked, so it probably doesn’t jingle or even clang – more like a thunk. “Thunking bells, Thunking bells”, doesn’t quite have the same ring to it (hah!) so I’ll move on…

jcbottles brought this one to eBay – it’s a Liberty Bell Fine Rye Whiskey glass featuring the famous bell that currently resides behind bullet-proof glass in Philadelphia, just in case anyone might be tempted to tap it to remember the meaning of liberty in those halcyon days before we were all tracked and chipped and monitored 24/7. Of course the Founding Fathers did have cholera, smallpox, syphilis, and plywood teeth to deal with, so maybe they would think that the tradeoff was worth it.

I digress…. 🙂

It’s a rare glass that I’ve only seen once before (azsaloon picked up the other one back in 2006) that is attributable to Walter Moise & Co. of Omaha, NE (thanks to Brian H. to pointing this out to me). It sold for $45.00.

On the second day of Christmas, eBay brought to me…

barberkim4675 recently listed a handful of Seattle glasses for sale on eBay that were expected to net hundreds of dollars given the present glass-hungry climate, but several of them turned out to be steals. Here’s one of the better ones – a beautiful red-etched Maryland Monogram Rye glass from Rothschild Bros. of Seattle, WA.

The glass listed with a $75 opener and closed with only a single interested bidder.

barberkim4675‘s listings were tucked away in a darkly-cobwebbed, dusty corner of the eBay universe in category Collectibles > Bottles & Insulators > Bottles > Antique (Pre-1900) > Flasks, which perhaps explains why there weren’t more followers.

Here’s another nice rare Seattle glass from the same seller:

True, it has a significant bruise/flake in the rim at front, but the final bid price of $37.66 is still a bargain considering that the mint condition examples are worth $200 or so now. See the database for more on the history of this glass.

On the first day of Christmas, eBay brought to me…

Not a shot glass and not a whiskey glass but a highball advertising the Schiller Cigar Factory & Schiller Cigar Store of Portland, OR. The glass was offered at auction by seller cquimby2, who notes that it “is from the estate of CQuimby”. It’s a beautifully-etched glass and a pre-pro classic. It has a some minor rim damage at rear, but still a bargain at $32.00. Thanks Santa!

Christmas baubles and lumps of coal

‘Tis the season of giving and eBay has rewarded the patient glassluster with hoardes of sparkling glasses to bid on, and bid on the glasslusters have – with wild abandon. The stats speak for themselves. In the past 28 days, 277 pre-pro glass auctions have come and gone on eBay, 122 auctions closed with no bidders, and the average price of glasses that sold was $49.92.

Maybe it’s cabin/covid fever that’s driving the price increase, but pretty much anything seems to be selling at the moment. By way of example, the B. S. Flersheim glass shown below was first listed for sale by lithiumgrin back in June, 2018. It failed to attract a bidder even after relisting twice with an opening bid of $23.00.

Fast forward to November 27, 2020 and lithiumgrin drags the glass out of the sales stash, blows off the dust, spits on it and polishes it with his shirt cuff and relists it with an opening bid $20.00. Third time lucky, because the auction closes on December 7, 2020, with a final bid price of $131.59!

There are far more glasses to talk about than can be comfortably handled in a single SOTW, so I’ll save them for subsequent posts, but Santa also left a couple of lumps of coal that I’ll touch on here.

Here’s a nice Casper Co. glass – it’s one of the rare Roanoke, VA. variants that fetches >$250 in mint condition. It was listed for sale by josbe-9495 with a $20 opening bid and a $40 bin.

It’s a little faded – okay, a lot faded – but worth $20 as a placeholder , right? Someone clearly though so and snapped it up for the $40 bin price.



Did you look at the other listing pics?


If you’re at all familiar with this site, you’ll know how I feel about “desert glass”. By that, I mean that a glass that has been rendered a ghastly shade of putrid purple by exposing it to UV light, either through prolonged tanning under the sun or, as in this case, through artificial irradiation. I may have had a teensy rant about intentionally purpling glass in this way not so long ago.

This one was listed for sale by aquameds with a $35 bin. The listing did come with a disclaimer, much to the seller’s credit: “This shot glass is considered to be “IRRADIATED” as it got it’s PURPLE COLOR by MECHANICALLY ACCELERATING the “PURPLING PROCESS” through intense ULTRA VIOLET RAYS that would have taken a long time in the same ULTRA VIOLET RAYS of the SUN as opposed to the accelerated machine process. The glass was made with MANGANESE in the GLASS MIXTURE and that’s where the COLOR comes from……………..

Kellerstrass glasses are easy to come by in nice condition for less than the one shown above, so I was more than a little surprised when the auction closed a few hours later for the asking price of $35. Maybe someone is starting a purple glass collection? We’ll probably never know.