Thursday, February 19, 2009


Finally!!! Some 40 years after the first broken pieces of the A.M Smith California Wine Depot flask were first discovered or at least identified, an intact example has surfaced. This bottle has been long sought after by collectors of Utah bottles and then by an even broader group of western whiskey flask collectors. It has been an elusive little bugger! After Blackie Owen found and identified the first broken one in Jan. 1968, there had only been 5 or 6 other confirmed finds, all broken.

There is a big story here, but I need to leave that to the new owner -- Ralph Van Brocklin. He is a much better writer than I and as soon as his feet touch ground again, I hope he will get that story off to the Federation's BOTTLES and EXTRAS.
Ralph sent me a couple of pictures... Look at those curved leg "R's"


  1. SoleAgent

    That's amazing an intact example of the elusive AM Smith flask finally surfaced !! Do you know if it was recently dug or had it been sitting in some contractor's garage all these yrs ?? Was it found in Utah??


  2. Hello A.P., it was found about 20 yrs. ago by a construction worker that lived in Idaho and worked during the week in Salt Lake. Kept it all those years and was about to toss it when a relative found one of Ralph van B.'s want ads on the web. Ralph flew in, drove to Idaho and sealed the deal. I think Ralph is working on the story, so we will all find out more details soon I hope. I think we are getting a little better idea on color with the Wine Depot. There are three broken examples seen in this amber color. One seen in light yellow green, one in a fairly green olive amber, and the fluky aqua one. One would think more whole ones would show up as he had several batches made it seems.

  3. soleagent,
    That "western R" threw me a "curve" ball. I always assumed the Smith flask was Eastern blown as it has an Easterny look to it, but now I have my doubts. I need to see a few good photos of the base. Do you have any photos of the broken examples that you could post?


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