Friday, February 19, 2010


Old Private Stock. A friend of mine recently gifted me with a bottle of a little known and highly touted brandy. In perusing the catalogue that came with it, I noticed that they offered their own "Old Private Stock". Funny, the more things change, the more they stay the same...

A. P. Hotaling's OPS brand first appeared on the market around 1878. Two very similar examples exist. One is #52 in the latest Thomas text and was blown in a full face two piece mold with an applied top. It is embossed OPS / Bourbon / Whiskey / From / A. P. Hotaling's / Old / Private Stock . San Francisco. Another nearly identical mold variant exists, but is missing the "OLD". It's listed as #53. It's actually the older of the two. A very small number of #52 have been seen with tooled tops and are extremely rare. They fall into that crossover category that we recently discussed.

Ebay currently has an opportunity for someone looking for one of the tooled variants. The seller has described it as "OPS in fancy monogram / BOURBON / WHISKEY / FROM / A.P. HOTALINGS / OLD / PRIVATE STOCK / SAN FRANCISCO / .. A Pristine example with ZERO ISSUES .. Tool top, 2 piece mold with the front being nicely whittled, a few scattered bubbles. Only the OPS bottle is being offered. Superb example of a 1885-1892 Western whiskey. Listed in Barnett # 218 t." The photos appear to depict an exceptional example with strong overall character and a great strike.

According to his count meter, quite a few folks are watching it and I wouldn't be surprised to see the snipers hard at work tomorrow afternoon when it closes!

Photos courtesy of Ebay and the consignor, "dabitterinn"

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