Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Unembossed Western Whiskies

Thanks to my friend, Dr. Barnes, I've spent the late hours of my evening attempting to photo some of the unembossed, colored, western whiskies I've picked up over the course of the last few years....Starting with the Whiskey Sixths (1/6th's), I realized one seemingly stark relationship between mold-type and base markings.

Pictured above is the standard "6-Pointed Western Star" on the base of a 3-Piece Mold, Applied Top 1/6th.

A few off-colored examples shown above.

I began to look at the variations of different mold-patterns (ie. 2-Piece mold, 3-Piece mold, 4-Piece mold) and noticed what seems to be a trend....All of the examples shown from the Puce-colored example (left side) through the Olive-Amber example (right side) feature either a 2-Piece Mold OR a 3-Piece Mold. Each of them feature a recognizable, raised DOT, of ranging sizes/boldness on bottom.
Case in point: 2-Piece & 3-Piece Mold-Patterns all seem to have a raised DOT of some sort?!?! How about the rest of you guys who have some 1/6th's or even 1/5th's laying around....Do you notice any similar relationships/patterns? It makes me wonder if this could be a start in narrowing down which glass house(s) might be responsible for specific Mold-patterns or particular markings on the base.

These above examples all have smooth bottoms...NO DOTS & NO STARS of any type (ie. 4-Pointed Star, 6-Pointed Star, Fancy Star, Floral-Design Star, Ship's Steering-Wheel Star, etc.) The weird thing....Each one is a 4-Piece Mold. Hmmm....
It was somewhat difficult for me to capture each color spot-on with the artificial white light, poor surrounding light, and my "Not so Lou-esque" experience with photographing Western glass.

A full line up shot.
My rough-draft conclusion based off of the slick cylinders that I have, seems to be:
-No marking on bottom = 4-Piece Mold
-Some type of marking on bottom (DOT/STAR) = 2-Piece Mold OR 3-Piece Mold

The Jury is still out on this one folks....So check your unembossed cylinders (1/5th's or 1/6th's) and try to figure out if there are any other peculiar connections!


  1. Great post Lance ! I am by no means an expert on these cylinders but I do collect and study them with a passion. I have observed at least 6 different stars on the earlier cylinders with the PGW example likely being the oldest.

    Which color is rarest, blue ???

  2. Andrew~

    Why don't we begin formulating some initial basic research and eventually write a book on the unembossed Western Whiskeys...

    One basic question I think a lot of folks have is: How can you actually "prove" which molds/stars/markings are undoubtedly "Western."

    The PGW cylinder seems to be very straightforward. However, from there, it gets increasingly dicey in terms of being able to know with 100% certainty which examples are of Western origin and which ones may not be.

    Usually most of us seem about 95% percent sure on the origin of most examples based on the sparklematic glass, where it was dug, and the overall makeup and markings. But I've got a few examples where I honestly don't know for sure...nothing I'd be willing to bet my pinky finger on.

    In terms of color, blue is definitely a very rare color. I've only seen or heard of a few examples. Off-shades of green such as pastel greens are also quite rare. Also anything in shades of puce, gasoline, apricot, or intense greens abnd yellows aren't by any means run of the mill colors either.

    Has anyone ever seen a cobalt blue example, amethyst, or true black glass color for any unembossed western fifths or sixths???

  3. Lance, great idea for an article or possibly even a short book ! I dug a broken example of a western 5th that was totally black and also an extremely light gasoline example that was so swirled the color appeared clear in certain portions of the bottle ! Those 1860's
    examples seem to come in just about EVERY known color !!!!

  4. I have a cobalt example, star-base, sixth, sparklematic, dug in the West. I also dug a Western wine in blue.


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