UNC Decanter Update

Several months ago I wrote an article on a UNC whiskey decanter I had acquired. In the past several weeks there have been two developments regarding the decanter that I think you might enjoy hearing about.

Recently I received a telephone call from a lady in Colorado Springs, Colorado who asked if I was Mr. RamFanatic. I don't ordinarily think of myself as RamFanatic except when I'm on the internet and I certainly had never heard "Mr." and "RamFanatic" used together before. As dense as I am, however, I felt confident she had reached who she was trying to locate and I was anxious to hear what she had to say.

She informed me that she had one of the UNC decanters that she had purchased in a thrift shop in Colorado Springs and had been trying for some time to find out anything she could about it. She said she went to "Google" and that had led her to ZiggaZoomba.com. She said she had written Mel Lewis on two occasions regarding the decanter but had never received a response. I explained to her that Mel and ZiggaZoomba.com were entirely different from Ramfanatic.com and that I didn't understand how she got ZiggaZoomba.com as a source for something that was connected to RamFanatic. I must admit, however, that I have not been to Google lately so I must allow for the fact that maybe something is contained therein that caused my Colorado friend to think that ZiggaZoomba.com could provide her with the desired information. I am, after all, the official historian for ZiggaZoomba.com and Mel is my friend. Maybe that's it.

Anyhow she had finally found her way to RamFanatic.com and she was asking me if I had any idea what the decanter was worth. While I am not a professionally credentialed appraiser, I have dabbled in this kind of thing for over 30 years and I told her I would try to help. I told her that, in my opinion, the decanter without any cracks or chips would probably be worth in the $75-$100 range and if she was able to locate an avid UNC collector she might be able to command $150. It's always risky to quote the high figure because it is predicated on the assumption that the seller is going to be able locate the ideal buyer and we know the chances of that happening are very slim. I used to tell people who asked me for appraisal information that if the item were in San Francisco, it would bring a much higher figure but I added, that they were not in SF. I got so many funny looks and comments that I discontinued making that statement. It just confused people. Another problem is appraising an item that you would like to purchase. Talking about conflict of interests. That must be the ultimate.

The caller acted a little disappointed that the value was no higher than it was and then reminded me that I had said in my article that the decanters were very valuable. I couldn't remember exactly what I had said but I didn't remember saying anything about the value of the decanter when I wrote about it on the web site.

I told the caller that I knew someone who was looking for one of the decanters and that I would inform him of the fact that she had one that she would sell. I did this and I am now pleased to report that they worked out a deal and there are three known UNC decanters in Richmond. I am thinking of having a reunion sometime in the near future. Purchase price $75. The decanter has found a UNC home and that's where it belongs.

This week I received an e-mail from another viewer who said she had purchased one of the decanters in a flea market in Reidsville for $5 and wanted to know what I could tell her about the decanter. She said she had experienced difficulty in reaching me with the e-mail address provided on the front page of the web site so she wrote his message in the "Guest Book" section. I have responded to her but I haven't heard back and now I see that her entry has disappeared from the Guest Book posts. Maybe it will reappear.

One thing I forgot to mention in the section about the lady in Colorado. I reread my article and I think I now know what made her think the decanters are worth more money than I had quoted. In the last sentence I said words to the effect that if someone located a warehouse find, that we would all be rich. I incorrectly assumed that all readers would know that a warehouse find would mean that many of the decanters would be involved, not just one. I would still be interested in locating as many of the decanters as I can because I don't think I would have any difficulty moving them. These items should be in the hands of very special Tar Heel fans.