Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Here are a couple of Choice Old Cabinet Ky. Bourbon(t-31) fifths from my collection.   We haven't done a post on the Cabinet bottles so I thought I would put the trademark information out here for you to read.

There is a fairly extensive write up on the history of the Crane, Hastings & Co. in WHISKEY BOTTLES OF THE OLD WEST  - John Thomas.   You should try to get a copy of that book if you are serious about glob fifths and flasks.   

Rather than copying that information verbatim,   let's just say the Crane, Hastings Co. had it's beginnings in San Francisco as early as the early 1860's.    Byron G. Crane and Everett Hastings moved from being silent partners in the original firm,  to headliners,  sometime in 1874.   Their partnership continued through the mid 1880's.  (Note the Calif. Trademark date of March, 1885)  

Their "Claim of Trademark"  states that Crane, Hastings & Co. has been using their particular trademark for "twelve years".   

If that statement is accurate,  that would mean a start date of 1873 for the Choice Old Cabinet trade mark.   Embossed bottles as early as 1873?   I would highly doubt that, but I would venture a guess that the embossed bottles began sometime in the late 1870's, and continued through early to mid 1880's.

These fifths are found with both glob tops and tool tops.   The tools are usually very strongly embossed,  made more noticeable because the globs are often somewhat weakly embossed.    If you are looking to add a glob Choice Old Cabinet to your collection try to find one with strong embossing and character.  

Not a particularly rare fifth,  seems like American Bottle Auctions has had one in each of their past 3 or 4 auctions,  but a popular fifth with collectors.   These bottles are often found in lighter shades of amber,  and sometimes have quite a large applied top.  

Most all of these Cabinets have been found in Western Nevada, California, Oregon, and quite a few in Washington.   A better than average,  yellowish amber one sold on ebay several weeks ago.  I believe was dug in Washington.      



  1. SOLEAGENT, did I send you the CA trade marks info on the Crown Cabinet? If not I have it.

  2. Yes Mike, I think you gave them to me a couple of years ago. I will scan them in when I get my scanner to work... Thanks for all that cool info. that I have bummed off you over the years.

  3. Great write-up Sole Agent and boy what a nice pair. While most do not some of the Choice Old Cabs in my opinion do exhibit all the characteristics of an early 70s 5th but these are quite rare. I can think of a super crude one in particular that is green, hammer whittled, has a huge top and a super duper strong strike.
    They may be common but only once has a fragment of one crossed my shovel in many years of digging Nor Cal and that's it.

  4. Enjoyed the post SoleAgent!
    I've always really liked these fifths. Great western glass, lots of embossing, the ever popular "crown", and "San Francisco" spelled-out.
    My opinion is, the earlier Choice Old Cabinets have the small tops and the 80's examples have the bigger more exaggerated tops. Same thing as the OK Barrel/Crown Cutters. The embossing usually is a little crisper on the small-topped Cabinets, indicating that the mold has not began to wear-out yet.
    I was thinking the same thing as you stated, that these seem to be coming up for sale quite often lately. That's how it is though, especially with even rarer bottles than these. If you look at a 30-40 yr timeline in collecting, you'll notice a pattern of certain fifths and bitters becoming available in threes and fours w/in the same one yr period. Then you might not see another for sale for another 5-10 yrs.

  5. Thanks for the comments A.P. & G.P., that is interesting about the tops, similar to the OK Cutter.

    It is funny how these bottles show up for sale in multiples of three or fours, then you don't see one for years. Sometimes all it takes is an example selling for a big number for a couple of others to shake out. Not so much the case with the Cabinets, though I think that latest ebay Cabinet was a bargain for someone.

    Guess we won't have to worry about this multiple bottle thing with Laurel P.

  6. The only TM that I could located for the Cabinet Choice Old Bourbon was dated 13 March 1885. The bottled dates from then until the early '90s. Unless there is an earlier TM that is the time frame.


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