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!

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.

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.