Jack Daniel’s collectibles & memorabilia

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2015-06-26 11:05:30

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Jack Daniel’s collectibles & memorabilia

Jack Daniel’s is a brand of sour mash Tennessee whiskey. Advertising memorabilia related to the brand is a popular area of collectibles.

Background

Jack Daniel’s’ founder Jasper Newton ‘Jack’ Daniel founded the company in 1975. The company passed down through his nephew until 1947.

During America’s Prohibition era (1920-1933) stopped production of the brand, restarted in 1938. Production was also stopped during World War II.

Today, Jack Daniel’s is the oldest distillery in the United States, and the highest selling American whiskey in the world.

Its square glass bottle and black label are iconic and recognised the world over.

Advertising campaigns

Old No. 7 is the original Jack Daniel’s whiskey. The mysterious number ‘7’ is not given an explanation, marketing suggesting it may have been the number of loves Jack had in his life, or his lucky number, or the #7 train carrying his barrels.

The recognisable black label was introduced in 1911, in honour of Jack Daniel’s death.

Until the 1950s, sales of Jack Daniel’s whiskey accumulated mostly through word of mouth, with very little advertising employed.

A few 1950s magazines articles boosted attention, as did the accolade of entertainment celebrities such as Frank Sinatra.

When they began advertising in earnest between the 1950s and 1970s, demand exceeded supply. Orders could only be made on allocation. They were too successful.

The brand’s advertising often uses the lore and legend of the company’s history to market itself. They regularly makes use of the distillery’s locality. They show black and white images of local Lynchburg people, in everyday work clothes, evoking a place of timelessness and the idea that the way the whiskey is made today is the same as how it was made in the 19th century. This Lynchburg-based imagery remains a mainstay of all Jack advertising. Many of their bar signs read simply: ‘Jack lives here, old no. 7’.

They also stress their pride in independence, recent adverts declaring: 56 men signed the Declaration of Independence. One man put it in a bottle’.

The brand’s iconic status in popular culture makes too much advertising unnecessary. It is seen as the drink of the maverick, the independent, and heavily associated with American spirit.

Collectible items of memorabilia

  • Limited and special edition bottles of Jack Daniel’s whiskey

  • Antique & vintage Jack Daniel’s bottles

  • Antique & vintage ceramic Jack Daniel’s pitchers, jugs and crocks

  • Jack Daniel’s shop displays

  • Advertising figures of Jack Daniel
  • Antique & vintage Jack Daniel’s posters
  • Antique & vintage Jack Daniel’s metal signs
  • Jack Daniel’s advertising clocks and watches
  • Jack Daniel’s advertising thermometers
  • Model Jack Daniel’s cars and trucks
  • Jack Daniel’s whiskey barrels
  • Jack Daniel’s wooden crates
  • Jack Daniel’s bottle openers
  • Jack Daniel’s playing cards

Variants and other products

  • Gentleman Jack
  • Jack Daniels single barrel
  • Tennessee honey – flavoured variation with honey
  • Green label
  • Silver select

Collecting tips

Jack Daniel’s memorabilia is widespread and affordable.

Due to the late stage at which the brand began advertising, there is not the same extent of merchandise and advertising collectibles as with some other brands.

However, old bottles, barrels and jugs are very available. advertising displays cheaply.

Many collectors who are also whiskey drinkers like to collect current limited & special edition bottles, drinking the contents but saving the glass and label. Some of the limited edition bottles are related to musicians or groups, and these may also be collected by fans of that music.

Items from the original distillery are unique, but remarkably affordable if you are lucky enough to come across them. The demand for antique & vintage Jack memorabilia may well rise as the brand develops further.

Notable sales

  • Led Zeppelin special edition Jack Daniel’s bottle and decanter, one of the 50 gift sets given out to the band’s friends in 2007. Sold for £600 at The Fame Bureau in 2008.
  • Life sized Jack Daniel’s advertising statue, sold for $500 at Burley Auction Group in 2007.
  • Pair of vintage Jack Daniel’s wagon doors, later 19th-early 20th century, from the original distillery. Sold for $450 at Great Gatsby’s Antiques and Auctions in 2010.
  • Original Jack Daniel’s white oak whiskey barrel, signed by distiller Jimmy Bedford. Sold for $350 at Great Gatsby’s Antiques and Auctions in 2010.
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