Thursday, November 23, 2023

Collection Additions, November 2023

Thanks to Adam, a friend of mine that collected Michter's decanters, I now have two Sour Mash decanter prototypes. Shown in the photo below are what appears to be (From right to left) the original mock-up, a revision without full paint, and the commercially released decanter. The Sour Mash decanter was released as only 500 decanters in 1985 to commemorate the distillery dog of the same name. Yes, Michter's had a dog that lived at the distillery!

Let's take a look at the three decanters individually. First, let's look at the original prototype. Note the larger ears, more texture for the fur, differently shaped nose and mouth, and small barrel. The paint detail is excellent as well. 

Next is what appears to be a production body and head but with no dark fur highlights. Note how many of the details of the prototype have been smoothed over and the barrels has been greatly enlarged.


Lastly comes the version the public got. Less detail, large barrel, dark fur highlights, and a Michter's Sour Mash sticker glued on the barrel and a clear Michter's whiskey sticker on his butt (See above photo showing rears of all 3 decanters for detail of this sticker). 

And for comparison to the real deal, I present Sour Mash the distillery dog!

If you'd like to order a Sour Mash, you're 38 years too late. However, here's the original advertisement announcing the decanter's arrival......

Friday, August 25, 2023

Michter's Decanter and Other Item Variants

 I will preface this blog post by saying this is not the total list of variants found in Michter's items. These are to give a visual guide to some of the imperfections, variants, and abnormalities in their various products versus an actual different decanter, cup, knickknack or whatever Michter's product you may be looking at. 

First thing's first: Most Michter's decanters, in some capacity were hand made, or if made on a production line, made in small numbers. Variants in color, blending of paint, edging, and ability of the painter/manufacturer are common things to see on Michter's decanters.....

Note the poorly drawn pinstripe on the Packard car:

Or the abnormality in the lower black area of Nefertiti's hat. Or the blue outside the line on Tut's hat:

Here you can see obvious differences in the lines on the football decanters:

 Noticeable here is the large variance in the background color of the Pitt Panthers decanters:

There were also variants in the heat or machine applied decals as well:

Note in the two below photos the green and brown Michter's logos on the bottoms of the Hex pitchers:

1/10th pint Jug decanters in blue and green. It is rumored that since the first edition of Michter's jugs did not include a 1/10th pint jug, when the 1970 series came out, some were made in green to fit the earlier series. It is unknown if that is true or not.


 Sometimes there were small changes in text or orientation of graphics. One very easily noticeable variation is on the Hex jug tops. Also of interest on the forward-facing text top is that a sticker has been applied covering the 4/5qt text with a 750ML label.

Variants carried over into other items too. Here are some various cups that, while they are the same type, have small differences:

Addition of "MICHTER'S" text on side of Hex cup sets:

Two different Irish Coffee mugs, both made by Hall China:

Four slightly different coffee mugs (Three made by Hall, one made in England):

Variants carried over to shot glasses too. In the first photo you can see the center graphic changes and in the second photo, you can see the addition of the "EST 1753" text:

Like everything glass and ceramic, there were a multitude of variants of other Michter's items as well. A quick rummage through the cabinet yielded 3 different fabric patch variants and 3 different variants of the same coin:

This is just a TINY sampling of unique variants of items made by or made for Michter's over the years. When dealing with decanters, it's important to make the distinction between a variant and an actual different decanter. The Hex decanter had a 230th Anniversary version made, then there were the gold pot stills, the series of footballs, the series of casino decanters, or even the red and blue Fireman's Convention decanters. None of those are variants as they are all individually cataloged and marketed decanters. I am attempting here to show some of the variants in a singly cataloged or marketed product. If you ever come across something that you're not sure if it's a variant or something entirely different, please send me and email and I'll help you determine what you have.

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Michter's Drinkware- With a January 2023 Collection Addition

 As many of you are already aware, Michter's loved putting their name on things that would sell well alongside their whiskey or at the Jug House store at the distillery. Here's a sampling of the various pieces of drinkware Michter's made over the years:

Many of the mugs I've found were made by Hall China in Ohio. Note the suggested recipe for Michter's Mocha on the rear of some them!


Michter's went a step further with a few of their sets of mugs too. The below "hex" mugs and water pitcher coordinated with their cube Hex Decanter. A note on these sets- some of the small mugs were made with black "Michter's" lettering on the side. These are very rare.

To coordinate with the highly successful line of Tut decanters, two water pitchers based on the hex pitcher design were released with additional info printed on them.

Lastly, Michter's made water pitchers and mugs to coordinate with their Series B and Series C ceramic decanters. These pitchers and mugs carry the same logos as their decanter counterparts and were released in 1976 and 1978 respectively to correspond with the release of the decanters. Note that instead of Michter's Mocha, there's a recipe for Michter's Amish Coffee on the rear of the mugs.

Glassware was naturally shot glasses. Several different styles and two different sizes rounded out the offerings. Note one of the shot glasses has "EST 1753" on the rear. These are quite rare. The plastic cup is also very rare as they were disposable.


And finally, the collection addition, which goes right along with the drinkware- a silver spoon with the Michter's logo on the top. Want to add some sugar or dried creamer? Why not use a Michter's branded spoon too! A big thank you to Woody for this new piece in the collection!

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Collection Addition- October 2022

 Sometimes I get stumped by something I find. It's rare, but it happens. Such is the case with this latest find. In 1978, Michter's did a special run of decanters for the opening of the Resorts International Casino in Atlantic City, NJ. They came in a velvet box and looked like this:




So what the heck is this thing......................................

I can only assume it's a prototype, but without any supporting literature from my collection, I can't say for sure. Definitely never a mass-produced decanter, but it is properly labeled for filling and sale if it would have been.

Regardless, George Washington looks pleased in the above photo as he gazes upon it!

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Collection Addition- August 2022 Edition!

 Was down in Havre De Grace Maryland for the day today checking out the antique stores and found this amazing gem at Bahoukas Antique Mall & Beer MuZeum. What's so special about it? This is another Michter's item I didn't realize existed. Of course the Liberty Bell and its wooden stand are well known, but being in one proprietary package? That's a new one for me! Note the box even mentions the Bell and stand and has a graphic on the long side of the Bell and stand together. The Bell carries its Maryland tax stamp as well. I would imagine nearly everyone threw out the outer carton, which is why I only became aware of its existence today. It makes me wonder if any of the other decanters that came with stands also had an outer single carton too?

Sunday, March 20, 2022

An Assortment Of Clothing From Michter's

 Over the years, Michter's made shirts, hats, and even aprons. These days, these items are quite rare, but I've been fortunate to collect a few remaining examples. This is not the definitive collection, there are still plenty of items I'm sure I don't have. But this gives you an idea of what Michter's was making and selling through the Jug House....


Then there was this shirt- not made by Michter's but instead made by a Harley Davidson dealer for a trip to Michter's back in about 1986....


Then there are the items I know exist but have yet to find. Here's a few old photos from Michter's (And a Historic Schaefferstown event) showing some neat views of what once was......