Wow, what a name! Pacific Mail and Steam Ship Co. It would be hard to find another brand which embodies the Old West more than the P.M.S.S. whiskey. Being an A.P. Hotaling bottle does not hurt either!
It seems like the "German" red whittled western whiskey's have decreased a bit in popularity the past few years. I believe that the theory that several of the late 1880s and early 1890s whiskey bottles were likely not blown in the West has caused some collectors to back away from them. This is disappointing, as these whittled, red gems are for the most part all rare to extremely rare. For overall beauty, they are hard to match, and even an 1889+ blown bottle is now 124 years old. The bottles like the N.Ahrens, P.M.S.S., Wm. Cline, Hilbert Bros.Commin's,Spears and Chevalier Whiskey Merchant's are as pretty today as they were before the "German Connection" was discovered. I personally love the earlier glass as well, but these red whittled beauties are important pieces of western history. They look gorgeous mixed in with the greens, olives, and yellows which are so desirable in western whiskey bottles. I believe there are about 15 of the P.M.S.S. fifths in collections which would qualify them as rare. DM