Wednesday, January 13, 2010


J. H. CUTTER  E. MARTIN  CROWN SHOULDER  no circle on reverse (t-48)

To really appreciate this bottle you have to be a real connoisseur of Cutter containers.   It is usually just described as the "Martin shoulder crown,  without circle on the back".   That it is.. but there is more to it.  This is a completely different mold than the (t-48a),  and if recent popular theory is accurate, it is Martin's first J.H. Cutter fifth.   We will put a post together next week to get into more detail about the possible time line, but this bottle is larger than the 48-a,  has a different base, lettering is larger, and higher up on the bottle.   The beginning of the copycat fifths, as E. Martin tried to grab some of the J.H. Cutter magic using containers that looked very similar to Hotalings. 

This is a real decent example of the t-48.   Has a bit of character,  they don't have a real wide range of color,  which is kind of surprising because this bottle is thought to have been first used in 1873/74.  That is prime age for color.    Another bottle that has declined in price from the bubble times,  but they are still pretty scarce.   Maybe most collectors aren't all that interested in the nuances of these different bottles.  If you are serious about Cutter fifths,  this is an important bottle.

--- base comparison.

Reducing the capacity of the container by an ounce and a half,  pretty subtle,  but say the barrel had 44 gallons,   container from 27oz.  reduced to 25.5 oz.   = 12 extra fifths per barrel.   All profit...   Have you bought a Hershey bar lately,  that's not subtle.  They're about as thin as a dime and not even ashamed to raise the price.


  1. Great write-up, Roger! Cool diagram and examples to illustrate the differEnces between the bottles as well as the "profit-margin."

    Mr. E Martin must have been one sharp and industrious fella. I guess you'd have to be in order to try and compete head-to-head with that Hotaling guy!

    The Shoulder Crown E. Martin bottles don't necessarily give me "goose-bumps" (mainly due to the usual lack of crudity and color-range). But that's not to say I still don't want to own the two variations of the E. Martin Fifth and the matching Flask at some point during the next half-century.

    Although I like the Hotaling bottles, I'm more of an E. Martin guy at heart (especially the Star-Shields, Mid-Crowns, and Miller's Extra bottles). I might make a run for that Miller's fifth (along with an investment partner) if it's feeling a bit sluggish on the auction-block. I would love to see it end up somewhere due South of Cerro Gordo and just North of the U.S./Mexico Border...Time and price will tell.

  2. At one point in time it was also my goal to own all of the E. Martin bottles, but the Miller's fifth stymied that plan. Now that my focus is on Hotaling the Martin bottles have gone to new homes. I kind miss 'em, but A.P.'s advertising was singing it's siren song to me.


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