Monday, August 5, 2013

The top Tens - Updated Friday 8/09

A while back, there was a discussion on the Western Bitters site about the top ten in terms of rarity within that collecting arena.

I'd like to offer up the same question in regards to San Francisco tool top whiskey fifths. I'd further propose to break it down into two segments; pictures and those without.

As most know, a number of bottles were blown in the old molds with both tooled and applied tops. Later, nearing the turn of the century, new molds were made that resembled the old molds, but with much crisper embossing due to advanced manufacturing and glass blowing techniques. I propose that we limit this poll to only the new molds.

I'd welcome hearing from one and all about your thoughts on the subject including numbers in collections at this time. And if I missed the boat on any, let's hear your nominations. And please, send me your photos.

Here's my nominations (not necessarily in any order).

Gold Dust Rye
Columbian (right face / Sole Agt)
Choice Old Cabinet
Laurel Crown
Tea Cup
Rothenburg (chicken)
Ahrens Bullwinkle
Old Joe Tracy
Golden Bourbon - Pony (Shea B &Co.)


Without Pictures:
Hilbert Bros
Copper Distilled
Pepper (in circle)
Kellogg's (W&Co only)
D. H. Hillen
Exposition Brand
H. J. Grauerholz
ABC House (Fergusson)
Tobin (49er)
Tobin (Behind the Barrel)
Rich Luchessi just agreed to lend a hand with his thoughts. Here's what Rich had to say;
Clear Phoenix
Pacific Club (Indian paddling canoe) (disqualified - Seattle)
Non Pariel Clear (pict deer head)
Log Cabin Kuhls & Schwarke
H.J. Grauerholz
Eagle Glen (Amber) Mohns & Kaltenbach (16 base)
Belle of Mason
Old Joe Tracy
Columbian Sole Agent
Gold Dust Rye
Just remembered the variant Royal Stag (Rich Siri)
No Picture:
Chenoweth & Tobin The 49er
Cables & Bailey
Crowley & Jennings
Copper Distilled
T.M. Ferguson 719 Market S.F.
J.D. Heise Grocers
McCoy Nesbitt Grocers
Oriental Cafe
Merchant's Inn Tony Ranzulo
Wm. Spreen Amber& Aqua
Got an email from Bill, down in No. Cal. this AM with another nomination. He said, clear / tooled, one known to his knowledge. I'd have to agree that it belongs in the picture top ten. Thanks for the email and photo!
Tom Q. emailed this AM with some great info regarding actual numbers known. Here's what his data states;
"These numbers include damaged or repaired examples but do not include glued together or shards.

Here's what I have as far as numbers known for the picture bottles you and Rich nominated:"
Gold Dust Rye = 3 known
Columbian (right face) = 2 known 
Choice Old Cabinet = more than a dozen
OPS = I didnt count those
Laurel Crown = I didnt count those
Tea Cup = 20
Rothenberg chicken = 26
Ahrens Bullwinkle = 17
Old Joe Tracy = 1 (repaired)
Golden Bourbon Pony = 10
Non Pareil 1/5 = I didnt count any
Kuhls Schwarke Log Cabin = 2
Phoenix (clear) = 2
Eagle GLen 16 base = didnt count any
H Grauerholz = 2
Belle of Mason = didnt count any
Royal Stag JP Schardin = 1

Bill, down in No. Cal. nominated another hitter; the clear picture Nabob. I've never had one.Yep, that's up there in my book.



Anonymous said...

The clear full-face Gilt Edge is very rare indeed, but I believe there are 2 or 3 more out there. I dug a mint one about 15 yrs ago (still have it) in a very deep well that was loaded w/ bourbons that were much older than the rest of the bottles thrown in the well. Someone must have cleaned-out Grandpa's liquor cabinet 25 or 30 yrs later !
I also am aware of one or two of these being dug by a well known Sonoma County digger.


California Kid said...

What about the "United We Stand" Wilmerding & Co. Sole Agents. Isn't there only about 7 known.

Kentucky Gem said...

Hi, and thanks for the input. The United We Stand is one of my favorite glop tops. I was fortunate enough to have had a "lost example" that turned up here in Southern Oregon back in the late 1970's. Wished that I still had it, crooked neck and all.

But, our discussion here is about the San Francisco tool tops and so, like the Pacific Club from Seattle, it isn't part of the equation. Just the same, your comments are appreciated!


Golden Plantation said...

Great discussion. I've dug 3 of the clear "Old Gilt Edge" 5ths and purchased another in the 70s that was dug in Santa Cruz. All were clear, almost a straw color that will not turn.

Golden Plantation said...

Tooled Tops:
"Non Pariel" Only seen the one I dug and sold to E.L.

"Choice Old Cabinet" (tooled) Dug 2 and have see at least 5 others.

"Eagle Glenn" # 16, have only see one that P.K. had.

Royal Stagg, haven't a clue.

"Copper Distilled" Have dug 3 and have seen at least 4 others.

"Hilbert Bros." Dug 1 and have seen maybe 3 others.

"O.P.S." Have seen at least six of these.

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