A Trademark Barkhouse Bros. & Co. Gold Dust Kentucky Bourbon bottle, one of the most popular western fifths and one of the finest known to exist, sold for $28,000 in an Internet and catalog auction held Dec. 9-18 by American Bottle Auctions. The bottle was the top seller of the 144 western whiskeys and historical flasks that changed hands.
The auction set numerous records and did well in virtually every category of bottle, and that prompted Jeff Wichmann of American Bottle Auctions to declare it “one of the strongest auctions we’ve ever had,” adding, “The bottles averaged around $1,700 each, and that includes the lesser pieces that brought less than $200.” Overall, the auction grossed just over $250,000.
“The western whiskeys did particularly well and the historical flasks were also very strong,” says Jeff Wichmann of American Bottle Auctions. “There were really no disappointments, as many lots soared past their high estimates. It helped that most pieces were graded 9.5 and higher (out of 10) for condition. The hobby is very strong, with eager buyers from every area of bottle collecting.”
Wichmann says the Gold Dust western fifth excited bidders for several reasons. It boasted loads of embossing, even with an embossed horse (which happened to depict a famous race horse of its time). It had a beautiful yellow olive coloration, with a ton of whittle and an applied top. The Gold Dust has become a “must-have” western fifth for serious collectors able to afford one.