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Kentucky Derby Glasses Price Guide

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Kentucky Derby Glasses Price Guide

Kentucky Derby Glasses Price Guide: A Comprehensive Guide to Collecting Kentucky Derby Mint Julep Glasses and Shot Glasses (4th Edition) edited by Judy Marchman

Eclipse Press

The Bottom Line

Since the 1980's, sports memorabilia has quickly risen to the forefront. Items that were once considered toys and throw-away trinkets are now kept in mint condition and resold at auctions both live and online, as well as at fan conventions worldwide. Horse racing is no exception, with the Kentucky Derby julep glass a timeless symbol of America's great race. Those interested in seriously collecting Derby (as well as Preakness, Belmont, and Breeders' Cup) glassware will find this an invaluable tool both for identification and pricing.
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Pros

  • Horse racing's equivalent of the influential Beckett Guides of other sports
  • Features every piece of official Derby glassware ever produced
  • Photographs of each piece to aid in identification when at flea markets and garage sales
  • Very useful Quick Reference Price List at the back, can be used as checklist

Cons

  • Prices may be slightly inflated as they include the higher-priced Louisville market
  • Photos of some of the unofficial "bar glasses" might have been helpful

Description

  • The market for horse racing glassware is not limited to just the Kentucky Derby, although these are still the most popular.
  • The two other Triple Crown races followed suit in the 1970's with similar glassware for their signature on-track drinks.
  • The Breeders' Cup has had glassware almost every year since its inception.
  • Like for the Derby, Breeders' Cup shot glasses are rarer than the julep glasses and command more on the open market.
  • Some years, such as shot glasses from 2004 at Lone Star Park, were inexplicably rarer and thus are more expensive.
  • The "Quick Reference Price List" at the back of the book lists all the glassware in fine print.
  • This makes for a useful checklist when cataloguing one's collection and when shopping for more.
  • It is important to note that the prices were averaged from several sources, including the higher-priced Louisville market.
  • Therefore, readers should consider the book values as the highest price to pay on eBay as opposed to the average price.
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Guide Review - Kentucky Derby Glasses Price Guide

In this, the 4th edition of the Kentucky Derby Glasses Price Guide, editor Judy Marchman and 6 well-known experts in racing memorabilia compile a list of every price of Derby glassware ever produced, including photos of the pieces and listing an average market price. You will notice that some years there are variations, and each goes for a different price. These range from limited edition glasses printed in gold, to manufacturers defects or errors in the information printed ("defective" glasses are actually more valuable), to variations in the material used. For example, in 1976 Churchill Downs used glasses in the grandstand and plastic cups in the infield, the plastic ones being rarer and slightly more valuable.

The guide is not limited to just Mint Julep glasses, as the Derby shot glasses, in their many variations (including stainless steel) have proven to be more valuable than the julep glasses as they are produced in smaller numbers. So much so, in fact, that several unauthorized shot glasses were produced for the 1996 running, and these are noted in the guide with asterisks.

It is worth noting that there are so many unofficial glasses that the uninformed collector could find himself paying hundreds for a glass only worth $20. On the other hand, those who frequent flea markets and garage sales may find that the Derby glass they bought for $5 is actually worth thousands, the collector's equivalent of hitting a Pick 6.

Prices have remained relatively stagnant lately so the book should be accurate at least until the next edition. The sports memorabilia market continues to grow to this day and horse racing is no exception. The Derby has steadily increased the selection of glassware it offers every year, and this guide may also help you decide which variations are more likely to appreciate in value and which are the "duds".

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