Whiskey Bottle Fetches More Than $30K at Auction

A medium chocolate amber California Clubhouse Whiskey bottle, made circa 1872-74 and one of only nine examples known, soared to $30,240 in an Internet and catalog auction held Aug. 10-21 by American Bottle Auctions (americanbottle.com). The bottle, highly prized by collectors, boasted a fancy monogram in the center, a gorgeous embossing pattern and a 9.5 grading.

“Time and time again, when votes are taken for the most desirable western fifth, the California Clubhouse comes out on top,” said Jeff Wichmann of American Bottle Auctions. “They were only produced for three years, and the one just sold is the first example ever offered at auction, in any color or condition. It was last purchased at a show in the 1970s.”

Two other bottles topped the $10,000 mark. One was a bourbon whiskey bitters, straw or wheat in color and with an applied top in light yellow, loads of whittle and an amazing light color. The bottle, graded Mint 9.2, coasted to $10,640. The other was an original concentric ring eagle flask (the GII-76A variant), in nearly perfect condition except for some high-point wear. Graded Mint 9.3, it made $10,080.

Mr. Wichmann wrote and published The Best of the West – Antique Western Bitters Bottles, a top research guide. He has also written many articles on the subject of antique bottles.

About Art After X

With the death of President Kennedy in 1963, America changed. As hard as it is to minimize that sentiment, the effect of Dallas was even greater. The same year saw the merging of the Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts, which had been central to the art scene, and the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. Douglas MacAgy, then the director of DMCA, not only opposed the merger, but also declined to directorship of the combined museum. The regionalist movement which had been strong for decades, was giving way to more of an interest in what was going on nationally, and internationally. Like it or not, Dallas was on the national stage.

When the Kennedy’s arrived in Fort Worth, local collectors had decorated a hotel room with internationally-renowned works. While the president and his wife learned a great deal about the ability of Texans to collect major art, there was little they could glean about the local scene in this era-defining city.

With this in mind, we have begun a project to look not back at the art scene in Dallas, but foreword from 1963. We are interviewing gallery owners, curators and others involved in the art scene then, but this will be a story told mostly through interviews with artists active in the city from that point into the 1980s.

The result will be a book with a video component.

We hope you will join us in our journey. The hashtag for the project is #artafterx and the url artafterx.com will point to the latest updates on this weblog.

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