Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Causal Resemblance?

Most of us are familiar with the Wolf, Janes & Co. slug-plate cylinder.  Up there near the top, it's a tough one; having been awarded the #4 ranking amongst all slug plates. Thomas dated is to ca. 1890. Based on my research, I'd say his guess was darned close to hitting the nail on the head. John Wolf and Lonis Lyman Janes entered into their co-partnership on September 10, 1889. It's flat out rare and I've seen only one example over the years.

For whatever reason, things didn't work out and by 1891, John Wolf had partnered up with William G. Wreden. The cylinders ustilized by the firm are a transitional bottle and were blown with both applied, and tooled tops. That relationship lasted for quite a while and the fifths, although not common, are one of the easier slug-plates to acquire. (I've got three at this time in case someone wants one - I know, a shameless plug~).

Backing up a bit, the first in the John Wolf whiskey lineage is yet another slug plate. The bottles produced for John Wolf & Co date from August 1, 1887 up until the time that Wolf & Janes partnered up. Incidently, Wolf was the "& Co." (he had no silent partners) and he was located at 410 Clay St. at the time. The bottle is embossed simply, John Wolf & Co. / large fancy intertwined logo / San Francisco. It too is rare. Thomas said one in amber and another in clear; both glop tops. Ever wonder what the label looked like?

I bet the labels gave old A.P. something close to apoplexy when he spotted them. Well, like my grand-dad used to say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. It also, no doubt, kept Hotaling's attorneys busy.

A Causal Resemblance?  NOT...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Missing Link

We are all familiar with the very common J. H. Cutter OK Old Bourbon Whisky with the embossed barrel, as well as the not quite so often seen similar bottle that contained A No 1 Old Bourbon. These bottles were trade marked in the State of California on March 24 1881. Along the the OK and A No 1 the claim of trade marks includes one that has not been seen by the bottle collecting fraternity. This one was for J.F. Cutter Pure Old Rye whisky. The embossing for the bottle and the printed labels for the Cutter Rye are spelled out in great detail in the trade marks claim. It has become apparent that despite the evidence that such a bottle could exist, none were likely produced. If they were manufactured and sold to the public where is the proof? No such embossed bottles, not even a fragment, have turned up in the past half century of bottle digging in the West. I am not suggesting that none being made is an absolute, but given the extreme popularity of Hotaling's products you would think that a few Pure Old Rye bottles would have been dug somewhere in the vast area where his Cutter Whisky was distributed. I could very well be that at least one such bottle will eventually be found, but that outcome remains doubtful. I, for one, would very much like to be proven wrong on this. You diggers out there should pay close attention to shards that you find, don't assume that that the pieces of the Cutters embossed with the barrel are OK or A No 1s. You could find the "missing link' in the A.P. Hotaling J. H. Cutter chain. Following are portions of A. P. Hotaling's Claim of Trade Marks for the barrel embossed fifths.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Totally Choice, dude~

Choice Old Cabinet

The name itself instantly conjures up the mental image of a top notch whiskey. And what better way to merchandise a top notch product, than to have a top notch mold made for the bottles that held it. A quick glance at the full face embossing tells you that the bottles were blown in San Francisco thanks to the "funny R". The amber applied top cylinders, what few of them are around, have that characteristic look of a late 70's - early 80's classic western glop top.

Click on the following link to read the article.