Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Mini National Show Report

I'll leave the 'Official Report' on the National Show to our Blog Master....But here's a quick rundown and analysis from a dealer/buyer in the field....

There were some great displays at the show: George Washington Historical flasks, unembossed colored Western bottles, hutch sodas from the various U.S. States, Demijohns and Carboys, Indian wicker-wrapped bottles, and a "crier" display that I took part in (along with some key pieces of glass from Super-digger/collectors, Lawson & Quinn).

Here's a quick rundown of just a handful of the whiskies I saw offered up for sale. I am going to do my best to indicate what the following bottles were listed for, and if I happened to notice them sell, what they sold for. I will ask you all to not take the following information as 100% fact, but simply one man's account of just some of the whiskey offerings at the Pomona Show:

(9) J.F. Cutter Star-Shield Fifths:
$2,250 -- Green-yellow, Variant 3 or 4, flash in top, smoothed-out open bubble on front
$450 -- Olive, excellent charcter and large top, Variant 3, (SOLD for $450)
$375 -- Olive-amber, Variant 3, (SOLD for $350)
$375 -- Apricot-red-amber, Variant 3, (SOLD for $350)
$350 -- Olive-amber, Variant 3, (SOLD for $350)
$350 -- Light Old-amber, Variant 4, TRADED for a medium-amber J. Moore w/ a repaired top.
$275 -- Variant 4, amber, no sale data
$250 -- Variant 4, amber, no sale data
$235 -- Variant 4, amber, no slae data
(4) Aqua Gold Dust Fifths:
All appeared to be damage free, fairly decent to good examples, but I didn't notice any of them actually selling.
(3) Choice Old Cabinet Fifths:
$2,750 (dark amber)
$2,200 (light amber)
$2,200 (killer yellow one with minor flash in base)
I did not see any of them sell.
(3) Tea Kettle Ffiths:
$2,100 (Killer example with solid strike in yellow coloration)
$1,600 (nice dark-amber example with excellent strike and huge top) -- ended up selling/part of a multi-bottle trade.
$1,250 (dark-amber example with average strike)
(4) AAA Old Valley Flasks:
$2,500: Light orange-yellow, typical weak strike for such a light color
$1,800: Medium old-amber, good character, mint
$1,600: Medium old-amber, good character, near mint, ice-pick crush on inside of lip
$12,50: amber with suspicious indentation on base
(2) Renz's Blackberry Brandy Fifths:
$4,000 (Yellow)
$3,000 (amber)
(1) Lilienthal Banded Distillers: $375 (1/2 Pint flask, light orange colroation, crude tooled-top)
(1) Lilienthal Banded: $1,400 (amber w/ flake, smooth chip on base)
(1) Lilienthal Coffin Distillers: $3,500 (Pint, amber, sparkle-matic glass)
(1) Durham Whiskey: $825 (Eastern variant w/ foot, whittle w/ typical scratching and wear)
(1) J.H. Cutter Mid-Crown E. Martin Fifth: $850 (Medium-amber, good whittle)
(1) J.H. Cutter Shoulder Crown E. Martin Fifth: $1,600 (amber)
(1) J.H. Cutter Shoulder Crown E. Martin Fifth (no embossing on reverse): $3,500 (amber)
(1) J.H. Cutter Shoulder Crown Hotaling Fifth: $2,200 (amber, very minor inside lip bruise)
(1) J.H. Cutter Shoulder Crown Hotaling Flask: $7,000 (light amber, good strike)]
(1) O.K. Old Castle Fifth: $900 (Medium amber, crisp strike, good character)
(1) OPS: $1450 (light orange-amber, crude transitional tooled-top, unimproveable strike)

Once again, these are just a few of my simple observations from the show. I can think of about two to three times this many whiskies that I saw for sale, but I am not going to beat a dead horse here. To be honest, I can't really remember what they were all priced for, what the full damage-inspection report is, and which ones traveled back home with the dealer or with a proud new owner. To put it simply, it seemd that about upwards of 85% or more of the whiskies did not sell. Many of these were familiar bottles with the same price tags, with a few fresh ones still managing to surface.

I did see two J.F. Star Shield flasks and a Miller's flask....all three had damage or I really don't care to go into detail on what they were priced for or what the degree of damage(s) were....

If you didn't go, I believe you certainly missed out! I can understand the Early Bird fee seemed a bit steep to some (plus travel & lodging arrangements)....but this kind of show only comes around every two years....and who knows when the next one will be staged in SoCal?? I hope to see those of you who didn't attend the Pomona show at the Downieville, Santa Rosa, or the Auburn show(s)!


  1. Thanks for the report !

  2. Hmmm, what's a "J.H. Cutter Shoulder Crown Hotaling flask"? Have I missed something?

  3. Correction: E. Martin, not Hotaling.
    So much for the benefits of Copy & Paste....

  4. Heh, heh, I knew that. I sure would like to see a Hotaling Shoulder Crown flask, though. Hail I'd take a "Pure Old Rye" fifth.

  5. On that subject, I've always thought is was weird that Hotaling didnt come out w/ a flask earlier on prior to the CP Moorman flask... Those are late 70s at best after his court victory, and may even be 80s when all the proceedings were actually finalized. Maybe Martin beat him to the punch, and he didnt want to play "copy cat" like Martin !!

  6. Not much I can add to this comprehensive report. Good job L.!!
    I did see two Mid Crown E.Martin fifths find new homes. One whittly, light amber went back to Utah with Glen G. and the other went south with a notorious flask collector that claims to not have any bottles anymore...
    I did not see a single Circle t-43, maybe one t-44. These bottles seem to find homes as soon as they come out of the ground.
    I added a puny J.F.Cutter fifth v.2, or flat A, just cause I didn't even have one to show people the different variants. I waited too long and had to settle for my 3rd choice, I think there were 5 or 6 of them available Sat. afternoon. Pete H. had 3 of them on his sales display, but by Sunday morn just one left and it had a radiating potstone.
    Did better on the return home trip through Nevada. Picked up a few bottles from a digger, including a nice Circle Cutter, Blakes More-Reynolds, Wormser flask, decent no circle IXL, and an amber Cundurango.
    As far as the show being smaller than the typical National, yes, but it certainly wasn't a failure.
    It was what it was, you just try to support the hobby the best way you can.

  7. On the subject of the CP Moorman flasks, I believe they were in use for alot longer than originally thought. I have seen them colored, and nasty crude,with bold embossing and no air vents... and also examples with tons of air vent bumps on every letter, but still applied. I have an example with a tooled top as well with very neatly cut lettering. It is my opinion that they were blown well into the 80s.


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