A Smörgåsbord to Watch

I’ve mentioned this many times before, but eBay is not everything (well, almost everything) when it comes to growing the pre-pro glass collection. In pre-Covid times, one could actually go to antique malls and to bottle shows and find glasses in the wild, but for the face-mask-weary, there are still online alternatives such as Glass-Works Auctions (GWA).

Glass-works Auctions used to be associated with Antique Bottle and Glass Collector (ABGC) magazine in the days before the magazine was sold off and its interests were more wide-ranging than bottles, bottles, and more bottles and the occasional insulator. The auctions have continued, however, and, once in a Blue Moon, they have pre-pro glasses on offer.

They are currently running auction #149 that features five lots of rather scruffy-looking glasses with a few gems thrown into the mix. The listing photo are shown below (I was unable to link in the individual auctions – search on “shot” in the auction catalog to find them). There’s an interesting back-story to this collection that dates back 15 years or so and to a famous American football player — but I’ll leave that for another time.

I have bought glasses from GWA in the past and they are a solid company that I have had no issues buying from and would not hesitate to buy from again. The only caveats are that a) the bid increments tend to be high (compared with eBay), b) there is a 20% buyer’s premium added to the final bid price (17% if you send a check rather than use a credit card), and c) their shipping rates tend to be hefty (the glasses arrive very well-packed; they know what they are doing and a good packing job costs a little extra).

Just an observation – many of the GWA offerings end on on eBay in diggerdaveb‘s online store, so if you see something interesting that escaped you, it may be a good idea to bookmark him and watch for the buy-it-nows.

Oh – and for the curious, 160 shot-glass auctions closed during the past 28 days. Of these, 86 closed with no bidders and the average price of glasses sold was $35.24.

One to Watch: Old Valley

Amazingly enough, a rare and desirable picture glass has shown up on eBay twice within the space of a couple of months (see the Eleventh Day of Christmas for the other example).

It’s an Old Valley Whiskey glass, featuring three old gents and a bottle of — what else — Old Valley Whiskey. The example shown below was listed by eBay seller trsan-5934 with an opening bid of $15.75. As I write, the bidding stands at $38.00. The listing photos leave something to be desired – is that a crack in the rim at the 11 o’clock position? The seller describes the glass as “This shotglass is in awesome shape and it will look great in your collection!!” – maybe the artefact is a trick of the light, but it may be worth asking ahead of time.

One to Watch: Hermann Loge

Pre-pro shot collectors as a general rule tend to eschew masonic glasses, preferring instead to limit their collections to liquor advertising glasses. That’s perfectly understandable given that collecting budgets are often limited and there are, quite literally, many tens of thousands of liquor-related glasses to go after.

However, if you have a nice display case (especially a mirror-backed display case), here’s a masonic glass that is well worth adding to the collection based on display value alone.

It’s a Hermann Loge glass from Philadelphia, PA. and is dated 1900. The inscription is in cream and gold – it’s quite a stunner. It’s offered for sale by friend of pre-pro Pam Hadley under the seller id itsnfs8 with a starting bid of $85.99. Be warned, however, this is a big glass at 3″ x 2-1/2″ so you may have to adjust the display-case shelves to accommodate it, but it’s well worth the effort.

Happy hunting!

So how did this work out? The original auction ended without a bidder, but Pam relisted with a buy-it-now of $65.99. It sold the same day. Nice!

One to Watch: Red Top Rye

I was going to title this posting “Blood, Bath, and Beyond”, because there is the potential for this auction to set records.

The Red Top Rye shown above (the listing photo slots are mostly empty- keep scrolling right to find the listing images) just listed for sale with an opening bid of $50 and already there is a bidder in place. Offered by eBay seller scoobydoo22222, this one promises to be “interesting”. RTR glasses have a massive following and this is one of the rarest of them. Let the games begin!

So how did this auction work out? The bidding war that might have been expect did not play out in practice and the glass sold for $356.56 in the final seconds. Congrats to the winner – definitely a top-ten, display-worthy glass!

On the twelfth day of Christmas, eBay brought to me… (and then disappeared it)

There have been so many stellar glasses to choose from this past couple of weeks that it’s difficult to pick a favorite and I’m not going to here, but I can’t close without at least mentioning the ever-popular Royal Stag that was listed by digbybot before Christmas.

Royal Stag was a Ahrens-Bullwinkel Co., San Francisco brand and there are at least 6 different variants of this glass that I know. This is another glass that usually stays close to home and rarely makes it onto eBay. The last one to show up sold for close to $300. True to form, the glass shown above was sniped for a cool $290.

There were only two glasses to fetch more than the Stag recently, one from Marysville, CA., the other a P. Morville’s AAA Old Bourbon from Taussig & Co. of San Francisco (below, left). These were also digbybot offerings.

This is a nice showy glass that I would estimate to be worth around $125 base on how many I’ve seen and prices realized on eBay. Somewhat surprisingly, the glass shown was bid up to and sold for $305 in the closing minute.

Shortly after the first of the two glasses sold, a second of these glasses listed with an identical photo (the one shown at right) with a $50 opening bid and a $250 bin. Today, the listing vaporized with a “no longer available” message. Did it get binned or better offered? Enquiring minds want to know….

Today (Jan 6) is Epiphany, which marks the end of the 12 days of Christmas and is the day when the observant take down the decorations and pack them up in boxes until next year. Many of my neighbors stripped the Christmas cheer on Boxing day and deposited it on the curb for the trash dudes to pick up and are already looking ahead to Valentine’s day and St Paddy’s day … big sigh…..

Given the recent political shenanigans (I’m in Georgia, which appears to be ground zero for shenanigans), I’m fearful about what the coming year may bring us, but I wish you all a safe and healthy 2021, and I’ll see y’all on eBay.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, eBay brought to me, two stolen picture glasses…

Technically speaking, these auctions closed on the ninth day (i.e., ladies dancing day), but who’s counting.

Accumulated eBay wisdom dictates that you don’t list glasses for sale between Christmas and New Year’s Day because collectors are typically very distracted by domestic drama involving relatives that have violated Ben Franklin’s infamous three-day rule and have overstayed their welcome. Distracted collectors typically are not checking eBay listings as regularly as they would normally or, if they are, may lose track of nice glasses and then forget to set a snipe. That’s why savvy collectors pay particular attention over major holidays, because that’s when they get to expand their collection at minimal cost.

Such was the case with the two classic picture glasses shown below.

I’ve seen many examples of both glasses over the years, although the Remington Liquor Co. glass usually stays close to home and does not make it onto eBay. Both are top-notch glasses that rank among the top 1% in terms of display-case appeal. Historically, these glasses have sold in the $200-$400 range, depending on condition.

Both glasses were listed for sale by cquimby2, whose other offerings have appeared earlier in this 12-days posting. The Remington Liquor Co. glass has some rim damage, but the etching looks to be strong based on the listing photo. It sold for $46.85. I suspect it was purchased by someone who’ll flip it in short order.

The Old Valley is the more common of the four known variants but is in very nice condition. It sold for $52.00. Congratulations to the two winners!

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

Here’s one that we haven’t seen on eBay before, although it is in the database, the listing courtesy of the late Bob Mraz.

Not the fanciest of pre-pro glasses, but the King Kotton Korn (abbreviated “KKK”; was this intentional, I wonder?) brand name was owned Heller & Co., who were based in Bristol, VA. right across the state line from Bristol. TN and who had branches throughout the Southern States.

The VA/TN connection to this glass guaranteed that the final bid price was going to be high given the number of collectors interested in pre-pro collectibles from these two States, but even I was surprised by the auction outcome. The glass was listed for sale by tpe_asl and was sniped in the final seconds with a final bid price of $277.72.

On the ninth day of Christmas, eBay brought to me… huh?

If we ever needed proof that VA collectors do not take pris0ners when it comes to beating out the competition for rare Commonwealth glasses, this auction is it.

Judging by the overall style, I’m guessing that the glass dates to the late pre-pro period – maybe around 1917 or 1918? If we substituted “Chicago, IL” for “Pocahontas, VA”, we’d be looking at a glass worth $15 on a good day.

The glass shown above was listed for sale by greek38 with an opening bid of $50; I’m guessing that the seller knew exactly what he/she had based on the high starting price. By the time the auction closed, it had been bid up to $257.09, which is impressive for a plain-Jane text glass such as this.

I’ve not seen an Elkhorn Liquor Co. Ltd. glass before, so it’s definitely a rare one . The only other glasses from Pocahontas that I know of are a couple of L Lazarus & Co. variants, one of which is in the database. Hmmmm… maybe I need to increase my collector’s insurance coverage this year…

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

Following up on the desert theme established with the Zahringer glass, here’s a steal of the season brought to us by cquimby2.

This another glass that hails from Portland, OR. Botefuhr & Co. gave away two variants of this glass – the waisted, heavy-bottomed version shown above and a regular shot. Both are super-rare (this is the first time that I’ve seen the waisted version on eBay) and, even though the one offered for sale has a rim flake, the $30.00 closing price is still a bargain. Congrats to whoever picked this one up!

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.