Wednesday, September 15, 2010

DOWNIEVILLE 2010 What-a-show !!!

A "good time was had by all" may best describe this years show in the little Gold Rush town on the Yuba River. The show kicked off Saturday morning with steady traffic throughout the day and saw about 40 sales tables holding quite a few surprises. We noted folks attending from 7 different Western States. On display were several killer Western bottles that have never previously been seen by the public. It's amazing how many good Western bottles for display & sale continue to pop up here year after year. This is the area lots this stuff has come from and the connection between that and this show just doesn't get any better.

Several key Western bottles were offered with some changing hands, a portion of what I noted: 3 Jockey Gins, Rosenbaums Bitters, 3 Tea Kettles, Jockey Club, two name Bear, one name Bear, 2 Choice Old Cabinet, multipal Cutters, OPS, N.Grange, 2 Pride of Kentuckys, Livingstons Black Berry, 3 Blakes, 2 Clarks, 4 Phoenixs, Dr. Millers, 6 Nabobs, 2 Gold Dust, Kentucky Club, 4 McKennas, 6 AAAs, 3 Lacours, Bennet's, Catawba Wine Bitters, 4 Renz's, Excelsior Bitters, 7 IXLs, E.G. Lyons, Moon Plant, 3 black Hostetter's, Western meds, sodas and a bunch more........

Friday nights excellent BBQ & Produce Exchange was attended by about 80 guest and was once again a huge hit among show goers. The Simis gracious hospitality and effort they put into this event is second to none. Ahhhh then there was the food, unbelievable, those mountain folk & the rest of the crew sure know how to do it up and the BBQ masters Rick & Tim did a fabulous job. An incredible bounty of delicious fresh produce was provided by prepared by Bob K. (Hoss) from the Ponderosa. Local business man Will Clark who owns and operates "49 Wines" wine shop in town provided tasting of some killer Gold Country reds, what a gentleman. There was Leisa's "Western Round-Up" theme cake, creative and quite yummy, just ask Warren. Definitely no shortage of good food and fun throughout the entire weekend.

You can put a value on any bottle but good times & friends like this, priceless.

A few pictures, enjoy!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Miller's Extra Flasks

My dad and I caught the Miller's bug a few years ago after being inspired by another collector who has long admired these attainable, yet classic, beautiful, and colorful western flasks. Miller's Extra was an old bourbon very popular amongst the old miners during the 1870's. At that time they were coveted for the whiskey "inside" that would gladden rough and tumble mountain-men after a long day of physically bruising work, help to fight off the bitter cold in their small tent cabin, or to perhaps celebrate and share the success of their most recent gold or silver strike....nowadays they are admired more for their "outside" aesthetics. From what I know these have primarily come from mining camps in California and Utah, some from Northern California towns, Oregon, and Nevada. Any other reports out there as to their popularity in any other Western states?

Pictured below from Left to Right:
*Small Design, Single Roll Applied Top in Olive-amber with dose of olive coloration.
*Large Design, Single Roll Applied Top in Yellow-green.
*Large Design, Double Roll Applied Top in an off-amber color.

A full line-up of Miller's Extra flasks:

The Wormser Bros. Strike Back

Miller's Extra recently posted a nice write-up on the differing lip and color variations found on the vertical Wormser Bros. flasks. These sure are classic, early, and nowadays tough to find flasks. I've never dug a whole one, just a bust Green colored one that would have been an arguable top example, right along with the nice Green one pictured in the Thomas whiskey book. I've also found a broken golden-yellow example of the Wormser Barrel in the Nevada desert (as pictured in the Downieville post prior)...and that's all I think I've ever managed to find from The W-Bros....

Pictured below is the "bay area" example found about 1-2 years ago. This one has a strong strike, very heavy whittle, super green color, and that sparklematic western has it all (except for the glue holding half of the pieces together and a few more missing pieces to the glass puzzle).

Bottom & Backside view:

Pictured between a few Western companions for color comparison:

My dad's current Wormser trio (below). From Left to Right: Yellow-Olive with smaller-sized double roll top, (Former R. Simi collection), Amber with olive tone, fat & large double roll top (Former J. Lawson collection), Amber with slight yellow-olive tone, flat top/over-sized double roll top (Former J. Lawson/Blake from Utah, collections).

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Wormser Bros. San Francisco

The Wormser Bros. of San Francisco produced some of the earliest Western flasks. Actually, all of the Wormser Bros. variants are earlier than the vast majority of flasks produced and distributed throughout the Western states. I have posted "vertical" Wormsers before, and there have been some amazing colored examples posted by other collectors...but the single roll type top is one that you just do not see every day. Here is an example with nice olive tone, and every specimen I have seen has been this color. I am curious if there was only one batch blown, and they are all this olive toned golden coloration? Also, this single roll top is virtually identical to several of my Miller's Extra large pattern flasks. They were quite possibly made at the same place, and used the same lipping tool. Compare to the very large double roll top example. Quite a difference. This particular flask is also very whittled, which is not the norm for a Wormser. Have there been any of these flasks dug in the past 10 years? I have not heard of even one. I know they have come from the Bay Area, and Sacramento, and of course Nevada, and Utah. I am not sure if any have been found in Oregon or Washington, but I do know the extremely rare "horizontal" version has come from Oregon, Just not by me!