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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Makin' a wish~

Good morning all.

A good friend of mine touched base with me today hoping that I could help locate a special want. Well actually two. He's on the prowl for a couple of bottles to "make his day". I've got a couple of each, but until the time comes to liquidate my collection, they are firmly entrenched here.
Not neccesarily in order, Choice Old Cabinet glop top or tool top in the new mold. And of course the venerable Tea kettle~

And so here's hoping that someone out there has a duplicate that they'd be willing to cut loose of. Of course, the label is strictly optional (nice but not neccesary).

Lemme know what you have. Send me a detailed description and crisp unaltered digital photos and I'll try to help grant his wish.


Saturday, December 8, 2012

News Flash - Blind Squirrel finds acorn!

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Ebay's auction format has earned a much deserved black eye in the antique bottle world. The overwhelming abundance of ignorant sellers and unscrupulous scoundrels is nothing short of amazing.

The lack of photographic skills, kindergarten level spelling and punctuation, combined with inaccurate descriptions or downright deceptions never ceases to amaze me. And the "one of a kind" one line J. H. Cutters, and the unlisted Roth Lawton Rye's with the "no harm 1/2" flea nibble and crack running from base to lip" are always cheap entertainment.

But once in a blue moon, something really awesome makes an appearance. If listed properly, in the right category, and with "Lou-esque" photography, the sky is the limit. Take for example the Phoenix Whiskey that recently sold for in excess of $1450~; without a doubt, a new "high altitude record" for that bottle. Nice; no arguments here, but how much...
On the flip side, there are some sleepers still making an appearance. Few and far between, but still out there. I just wish there was a way to design software to sleuth these buys out~ But, until it becomes available, you just have to be in the right place at the right time.

The other day I got a call from a fellow collector asking what I knew about Seagrams 7 advertising decanters. "Just send me some photos " and I'll look in my Jim Beam / Ezra Brooks blah, blah, blah, (yawn) catalogue and see what it was worth back in the 70's... A couple of days later I received some pics of the "Seagrams 7 decanter" that he was curious about.

Lousy auction listing photos at best; but good enough to give me a wake up call! The logo, smack dab in the center of this piece literally screamed San Francisco.

Hello Earnest Rueben Lilienthal!


And the decanter wasn't some cheesy white glaze ceramic piece, it was glass (probably flint or lead) with ornate etching and a tulip shaped lip topped by an ornate faceted bulbous closure. Oh, and did I mention that it advertised a brand we'd never heard of? Yup, "Noble White Rye".


Obviously the Creme de la Creme of the Cyrus Noble Line.

Once in a blue moon, watching ebay pays off.
Yep, that squirrel found himself one heck of an acorn!


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Good by friend~


Rick just posted this on the bitters site. I feel it neccesary to post it here as well.


I am very sad to report Mike Dolcini passed away today December 4th at 3:00 pm. Mike will be greatly missed by all of his friends and the bottle collecting community. What a great loss to all of us that knew Mike and to the bottle collecting hobby.
Mike was an avid digger, collector and researcher of western related bottles, advertising, antiques and Winchester rifles. No details as of yet but I will post the details about the services when I receive the information.
My feelings follow;
Mike was a great person and a valued member of our fraternity. He also was an invaluable researcher and contributed greatly to the hobby. As a fellow collector of both western whiskies and antique Winchesters, I can say that he will leave a void in both hobbies.

I'll miss you, Mike.

PS: Here's a link that you my find interesting;

A Personality Flaw...


Crown Distilleries miniature, amber 5" tall, rare slug plate variant w/correct
Embossed Riley inside thread stopper.
Ok, I admit it, I'm not perfect. I've got lots of small flaws in my personality. Such is life. I've done my best to overcome these flaws as I've aged. My efforts have been successful most of the time. But I still have two glaring faults. And frankly, there's nothing that I can do about them.

You see, I HATE thieves. I know, HATE (bad word) - not very biblical, especially at this time of the year. Tough luck. And worse yet, I don't have an off switch. Yep, beneath this normally affable facade, white hair and smiles, lies the worst flaw I possess. You see, the fuse is long, but once lit, it's probably best not stick around to see the end result.

Auburn has been marked on my calendar for thirty some years. Mostly as an attendee as I could never seem to get a sales table and the waiting list was long. Friend, Steve Abbott, finally got my foot in the door four years ago. And my table location seemed like the cats meow; front and center, right across from the entry table.

Trouble is, my wife's schedule precludes her from attending. As such, I'm alone trying to meet and greet fellow collectors at the table, handle sales and watch my wares. Year one I had a glop top whiskey disappear to the tune of a grand. Yep, a thousand smackers. So much for breaking even after expenses. Year two, two bottles grew legs. The loss was significant; way / way over the first in terms of value. Not to mention the pissed off level.

And so, that brings us to 2012. Mike McKillop was good enough to move my location down to the lower building where I'd hoped to get a break from the thievery. Not! Friday afternoon saw Tom at the table in back of me loose a high dollar ink. Saturday greeted me with the theft of a rare variant of the Crown Distilleries miniature. No matter how much diligence one pays to their table, it appears that it's never enough. There are low life SOB's that seem to crawl out of the woodwork every year at this show.

I am, in a nutshell, fed up. I'm beyond pissed that some moron (or morons) feels that it's perfectly acceptable to steal. Did I mention that I HATE thieves?

The fuse is lit.

You (thief) will get sloppy. You (thief) will get caught in the act. You (thief) will attempt to escape being retained by us (that's right not just by me, as everyone is fed up) for the authorities. And when we are done "subduing you", the police will be the least of your worries.

As old pal Rick Simi just posted on the Western Bitters website; "You have been warned!"

No brag; just fact.
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