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 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.
The Gold Dust Kentucky Bourbon was a very popular brand from the moment it was introduced to the Pacific Slope by Barkhouse Bros. through their agent the John van Bergen Co. of San Francisco. The name is a natural for the early California and Nevada trade, it probably was a significant factor in the brand’s popularity. The Gold Dust name however, is in reference to the horse depicted in the trade mark, and of course embossed on the bottle.