If you’re on the hunt for glassware to enjoy your Mint Juleps in ahead of the Kentucky Derby, now might be the time to place a bid.
An upcoming online auction by Caswell Prewitt Realty will offer some 500 rare Kentucky Derby cups, according to the Lexington Herald Leader. The estate collection’s items vary in style and era: from glass to aluminum to even rare “beetleware,” the haul contains over 80 years of Julep history.
The collection belonged to Lexington, Ky. veterinarian Merritt William Marrs, who passed away in January 2023. Marrs is said to have been a fan of the Kentucky Derby and sipping the bourbon-based cocktail associated with the annual event.
The oldest item in the lot is a 1938 Churchill Downs racetrack pint glass, adorned with a white cursive script and flower decals. The first official Mint Julep glass was released the following year, and Marrs brought home every release until 2022.
Among the items are aluminum cups embossed with the Derby logo circa 1941, cups made using colored aluminum (1950), and World War II-era containers made of an early plastic material called “beetleware.” One 1940 Derby glass in the collection was one out of just 800 in production — and Marrs had it insured for $14,500 two decades ago, per the Lexington Herald Leader.
The extensive reserve also includes shot glasses, barware, derby art, and other memorabilia. On the auction platform, it’s marketed as “an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bid and buy the rarest of the rare.”
Online bidding for individual items will start on April 10 and commence on April 30 on Caswell Prewitt Realty’s auction website. Conveniently, the impressive auction concludes right before the 2023 Kentucky Derby, hosted in Louisville, Ky. on May 6.