Values of Shot Glasses


It goes without saying that value is determined largely by what someone is willing to pay for an item.  The same's true of shot glasses.  By way of example, the most common pre-pro glasses are Hayner's, such as the one shown below.  I've watched about 50 of these glasses come up for auction online over the past year.  Excluding all the chipped, dinged and worn glasses, the pristine ones have sold for as much as $41 when the right mix of collectors is  in the audience, whereas others failed to sell even at the minimum asking price of $5.  It all depends on who's watching and what they're willing to pay.  


Having dispensed with the caveats and legal disclaimers, one can make some generalizations about the value of pre-pros.  These valuations assume the glasses are in good condition, meaning that we're willing to overlook a small nick in the rim and minor wear to  the label, but are otherwise excellent.  

Values are quoted with a low  - mean  - high price range.

Generic brand-name glasses, such as "Rosebud Whiskey" or "Brookwood":  $10 - $15 - $22
Glasses with a brand and identifier such as a city and state or brand owner $12 - $20 - $30
Glasses with  a brand and interesting design or monogram $25 - $35 - $50
Glasses with brand information and a simple picture, such as a head-and-shoulders portrait of the owner $40 - $60 - $80 
Glasses with a more unusual or detailed picture  $60 - $80 - $120
Detailed picture glasses  $60 - $80 - $150
Glasses with enamel labels $100 - $180 - $300+
Glasses with a Label-Under-Glass $200 - $400 - $800+

There are many exceptions to this rule.  Some glasses are so common that they should be easy to obtain for  $15 or less.  These include most glasses by Hayner, Kellerstrass, Detrick, and Sunny Brook.

(Click here to see a listing of the top ten most common pre-pro glasses)

Some states command premium prices.  Most expensive are west coast glasses, especially CA.  Other expensive states to collect are CO, FL, OR, WA, and PA.

Some shot glasses attract interest from other collecting categories and this tends to drive their prices up.  Bitters glasses are included in this category.  'Red Top Rye' glasses are avidly sought out by collectors interested in anything from the brand-owner, and 'McHenry' glasses similarly command a premium from folks interested in the doomed distillery from Benton PA.

last updated: November 24, 2010                  

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