Wednesday, July 15, 2009


The month of June saw a few more globs available for purchase on Ebay. Westernglassaddict had a pair of nice fifths listed and they both found new homes. A mint, yellowish amber McKennas(t-168) not much whittle, but with a good, solid strike sold for 1350.00. It was a good price, and a good example. What else am I going to say, as it now is in my collection! Also a good example of a Hotaling-Portland Crown fifth(t-56) sold for a fairly strong 3028.00. It was also in perfect condition, with a strong strike and in a fairly typical medium amber color. BottleVault had several glob fifths that were sold including a passable O.K. Cutter(t-41) that went for an uninspiring 178.00, also a somewhat weakly embossed Circle-Cutter(t-44) brought a fair 153.00. A W.A. Gaines(t-110 ) was sold for the disappointingly low price of 570.00 and change. The buyer was probably happy, but it's sad to see a nice, classic old glob top get such little respect. To be honest, the picts. on 'vaults' items seem to be a bit fuzzy, to me anyway, and that Gaines in particular was hard to get a good idea of the character of the bottle. A couple of those fifths may have done better if he had a bit more clarity in those pictures. I'm not sure of his technique, but leisalu's bottles look so sharp on there that they may just roll off my monitor and into my lap.

Don't know about you, but if I'm buying something on fleabay, I need all the encouragement I can get.... guess that starts with the photos. Sorry, it sounds like I am beating on bottlevault maybe a bit too much. He provides a tremendous amount of inventory for collectors to consider, that takes a lot of time and effort ... and picture posting.

Globtop has been a familiar name on the 'bay the past few years. He has posted some nice pictures as background to some of his listed items. Appears to have built one heck of a collection up there in Alaska. The Spruance,Stanley fifth(t-145) he just sold should have brought more than 160.00. Needed some "extenze for bottles" or something to lengthen the neck on that spud.

Nothing in the way of auctions to speak of. The glob top whiskey world is waiting for the August installment of American Bottle Auctions. The California Clubhouse Pure Bourbon(t-119) is certainly a hot topic right now and probably right up to 'hammer time'. Pro or con, numero uno or not, where ever you weigh in on the Cal-Club it will be an excellent opportunity to view, and even hold, one of the great western fifths at the National Show in Pomona. Should be fun, lots of bottles change hands in room sales. I'll have a spread there, nothing killer, but look forward to seeing everyone.

------- Jno. C. Morrison Jr.


  1. Jno,
    speaking of ebay, did you see Leisalu's Jesse Moore is sitting at $403. $403? are these bidders out of their minds or are his pictures of the bottle that good?

  2. Well I don't know about them being out of their minds G.O. How many labeled glob top Moore's have you had or seen ? I recently saw a labeled S.F. beer on Flea Bay that would normally sell for around 100 go for almost 1k. Lets see now, that's 10 times what a non labeled one would sell for. Apply that same scenario to the Moore and you have a 1500 bottle!!!

  3. Anonymous,
    I guess its different strokes for different folks. I wouldn't pay $400 for a full bottle of Jesse Moore, let alone one that's empty with some torn up labels.

  4. Wow, I guess timing... and luck, is everything. That looks like the labeled Moore that I sold last yr and didnt even get half that for it ! More power to the seller !

  5. There's just no rhyme or reason why prices go the way they do occasionally on bottles at auction. To some folks labels are meaningless and many a good labeled whiskies have been destroyed by their owners just so they could better see the glass itself. To others labeled bottled are priceless and most definitely harder to come by. Back in the 70s I met a carpenter who found two "R. T. Carroll" 5ths, a "Kane O' Leary" 5th and three wine bottles inside a wall standing upright on the sill plate. All had their original labels that he washed off so he could see the pretty glass as he called it, wow what a loss.

    Now speaking of full bottles G.O. Recently at an outdoor get together "Bottle Camp" a friend showed up with a full bottle of "Kellogg's Nelson County Bourbon" circa 1890. He found the bottle in the root ball of a giant redwood tree that blew over in a storm last winter. The full bottle sat buried & undisturbed about two feet below the ground in the cool costal climate along the cost for almost 120 years. It was remarkably good with a sweet, mellow taste and caramel flavor. Needless to say it was empty by the end of the day!

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  7. I figured that I'd toss in a response to Mr. Morrisons' observations regarding the poor quality photos on BVault's ebay offerings. This post can be viewed as being directed at any of the myriad of folks pushing western whiskeyana on ebay and not necessarily at BVault in particular. That being said...

    The issue of poor quality photos, either by default, or by choice, brings up some ethical questions. Poor quality, low resolution photos can be attributed to one of two things. They can be minimally sized in the processing and download process to maintain minimal file size and to allow for faster up and downloads. They can also be kept at a minimum resolution to minimize the warts on a questionable listing and or allow the seller a graceful way out of a "listing error".

    We recently discussed an issue with a Kelloggs' that was advertised as a glop top. It was, in all reality, a run of the mill tooled Kelloggs' with a sloppy tool job on the IT top; and nothing more. The listings photos were of inferior quality; grainy and of poor focus, hence leaving the question open to an amateur of whether it was fish or foul.

    Had Leisalu posted the item, his exceptional photographic abilities would have told the tale and the bottle would have hammered where it should have since nothing would have been left to the imagination of the bidder. Instead, the bottle was initially mis-represented. The photos left much to the hopeful imagination, and the successful buyer tripped all over themselves on their enthusiastic journey to the pay window. The end result was that the piece brought at least double what it would have realistically sold for on the open market, had the photos been up to Leisalu's standards.

    Let's face it; new high quality digital cameras are bundled with good processing software and can be had for peanuts. If new is out of the budget, look at pre-owned. One can pick up a gently used like new SLR digital that sold for nearly a grand not long ago for less than a hundred dollar bill!

    If a person is in the internet business and plans on making a living by representing his goods via a computer monitor, a good digital camera should simply be viewed as a necessity and a normal cost of doing business. Digital photography is not expensive and it's not rocket science in this day and age.

    Lousy photos by chance; I wonder.

  8. You see lousy photos on the Bay, don't bid unless you know the bottle!!!

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  10. That Kellogg's was "passable" whiskey, but paled in comparison to the Teakettle. IMO, there is no "Jesse" worth anywhere near $400, except the very rare "greenish" ones. Like the "JFs", there are a jillion of them around, but the Cutter seems to draw some real interest for some reason. Even the late ones with the cross on the base get respect.

    No, you won't be seein' this child at Pomona. No way am I burnin' fuel to drive down to gangland for what amounts to a FOUR HOUR SHOW. Besides, with HUGE taxes due in August it's time to lay low for a while.

  11. OldCutters, No gangs in Norcal.. ?? You've been diggin in the mountains too long, haha !

    Good point on the Jesse's. Kinda weird how there are only a few greenish examples, and I havent seen a pure green yet. Given the amt of Jesse's out there, you'd think there would be more greens. You dont see the spectrum like on the Circle Cutters, and there are just as many of them out there. More-Hunt must have been real pricks w the Glass Factory, demanding only "brown" bottles?? Most of the greenish examples I've seen are from the later mold and tooled-top. Probably made towards mid 90s when the Jesse Moore-Hunt Co. was transitioning to gain control of the company.... less quality control, pickyness??
    Wish I could've tried some of that Teakettle too!


  12. Gentlemen, lets no be so hard on the B-Vault as he provides a good service with a never ending supply to many beginning and advanced collectors alike. The difference in photos from my perspective is that he is a dealer trying to make a profit and I a collector who just like's old bottle glass. I don't believe he is intentionally trying to fool anyone. He makes his profit by selling mostly lower end items in volume where in a situation like that, time is money. From a buyer/collector stand point I want to see what I'm buying, so as a seller I see the need to try and provide that. It doesn't take an expensive camera to get good results, it takes time in knowing what to do and how to do it. Most folks have not a clue as to the amount of time I spend on getting good pictures. Usually I'll do up to 12 auctions max and then I've had enough. The B-Vault on the other hand will list up to 200 items at one time. With that kind of volume it's doubtful anyone could produce high quality pictures for that many auctions in a reasonable amount of time.

  13. The Old Jewels with the label was found in a barn in Quincy,Cal.. Boughtby my brother Ted and sold to Bob Cardwell who washed the label off .John THomas got the collection from Bob and I now own the bottle . The two that were found under the Gem Bar in Winnemucca came from an outhouse that was built over and when they expanded the basement they dug into the outhouse finding many bottles. There were lots of Sole Agents Jessie's there also and a few Peruvian bitters .Non of which had labels .I saw these bottles in the basement myself but could not get the guy to sell.I later told Alan Wilson where they were along with lots of other western whiskeys and bitters that I never could get .Alan being a good talker managed to get most of what I put him on to .


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