Old Mr Boston Decanters
Old Mr Boston Decanters are decanters produced to promote the American alcoholic distillery based in Boston, Massachusetts.
History & Description
Old Mr Boston was founded by Irwin “Red” Benjamin and Hyman C. Berkowitz in Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1933. The distillery produced its own label of liqueurs, brandies, rum, bourbon and gin.
The distillery changed hands a number of times throughout the mid-twentieth century, resulting in the words “Old” and “Mr” being dropped from the distillery’s name until it was simply known as “Boston”. Once the major employer in the Boston area, the distillery closed down circa 1986 when its parent company, Glenmore Distillers, went bankrupt and the “Boston” brand vanished.
Guide for collectors
Old Mr Boston decanters come in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials, ranging from simple glass bottles to more elaborate figurines and models, such as clown-heads, speed-boats, frigates, golfing shoes, guitars and American landmarks.
Unopened decanters that have retained their original contents typically realise the highest prices and are particularly sought after by collectors.
Perhaps the most collectible Old Mr Boston decanter, particularly for American collectors, is the 1953 Presidential Inaugural Bottle, which has a list of all the United States Presidents on the rear of the bottle.
Old Mr Boston decanters are rarely sold through auction houses. However, they are frequently advertised on internet bidding sites, such as eBay.
Notable auction sales
On January 28th 2004 at Quinn’s Auction Galleries in Falls Church, Virginia, a selection of five vintage whiskey decanters, including an Old Mr Boston clown-head, realised a price of $80.
On February 9th 2012, a vintage 1937 Old Mr Boston sloe gin liquor bottle decanter that had never been opened was sold on eBay for $105.33.
On March 28th 2012, an Old Mr Boston bourbon whiskey speed-boat decanter, made by Royal Halburton, circa 1973, was sold on eBay for $43.89.
On April 9th 2012, a vintage 1975 Old Mr Boston whiskey bottle frigate decanter that had never been opened was sold on eBay for $39.99.
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