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Hello to the reader!

The photos have no artistic pretensions. Not all are well done, but I had become familiar with my digital camera ……!

The photographs are in reasonable limits, to highlight clearly mignon, in order to see the differences between one and the other, as the majority of the differences (from which one can infer the “story” of the liquor itself, that is, the house producer), are READING ‘s label, mainly, and “interpreting” the lettering, print type, the style of drawing and writing, the font used, size, etc..


And also by the shape of GLASS, by its color, the type of CAPPING and, last but not least, the type of state mark for the alcohols, which do not in all states is applied, as in the UK, France, Germany .. … , While in the U.S. was applied until the end of the 80s and often carried the date affixed, which makes it possible to date the mignon almost all ‘exact year of production.

Italy “has given us in bad” with the variations of the mark, the emissions of which have followed the war and the myriad legislative changes of the 50s, 60s and 70s, and there are now, of course: beginning of the 40s were already watermarked paper, but did not last long, replaced by what we collectors call “stamp” or “seal” (which has nothing to do with the word “sealed”), which also functioned as a guarantee of not tampering with the liquor contained in the bottle. In fact, many retailers they bottled liquor selling, with the permission of the manufacturer, of course, which is also replaced in the payment of ‘set, seal (yes) with custom capping, and applying, with seals provided by the state, the metal marker (tax paid to ‘UTIF until a few years ago, that was even before UTIS) which tax agency granted the license for the sale of alcohol, with an assigned number. It follows that the lower the number of the manufacturing license, is the oldest distillery and older are mignon that it may have on sale here … the likely rarity to find!

Given sensitive also the “clamp”, which has the printed letter of the alphabet, followed by serial number and subseries progressive, from which, by reading the serial number, it may be inferred easily if it is old or not: if it brings the letter A o13 series / subseries …, is certainly one of the first productions, much older, for example, the one with the letters MA Series 001/sottoserie …, then there’s the color to consider ….. ,

The first “clamps” (around 1934 years) had printed since. or the Royal Coat of Arms of the Republic of Salò, which lasted from ‘1943 to 1945 (mignon is more rare to find), replaced by metal marks first with the coat of arms of Savoy, then with the coat of arms of Savoy with the fasces on either side, then with the profile of a woman representing the New Italian Republic.

Last with the five-pointed star in the center of a gear between sheets of olive and oak, in force since May 1948.

In 1952 began the implementation of the signs in watermarked paper, but, for companies, until exhaustion of stocks of metal markers.

For those looking for the miniature antique this is the primary subject: the seventy-STAMP, because, before the advent of industrialization, did not produce thousands of miniature day, as did the STOCK Trieste in the 70s, but you did all the production process by hand: you want …..!

If we consider the fact that the first collectors of miniature off their “Stamp” because they, rightly, ugly, we can safely conclude that it is the only “Sticker” to bear witness to the age of the miniature, especially from the 50s then (with the advent, in 1952, of the “bands”, they were replaced, but until all of their stocks, a period that continued even in the 60s), but many other details.

And even here there are variations: there mignon identical, or nearly so, with two or three different marks “stickers” (corresponding to different periods of distribution), which later became “clamps” watermarked paper and always applied to the same liquor, as well as the new productions. Very often this has led to changes or changes its labels: another way to date the mignon.


Very important is the CAPPING: I can safely say that if the cap is made of cork, the miniature is certainly very old, prior to the 60s, though some companies already in the 30s 40s used a type of cap screw without tearing, widely used in the United States until the ’70s.

In England the old mignon have always had the cork, or a pull cap, much more robust than our pull plugs used in the 60s, which allowed a better “seal alcoholic.”


Often the difference is on the flat part of the closure, which is stamped or printed the name of the manufacturer and, sadly, the pictures can not be seen: I can safely say that the old ones almost always had markings on the cap and even glass. Then, over the years, and the increase in costs, these things are not done, as you are no longer respected the original shape of the bottle.

To conclude the list of sensitive data, and certainly not least, here is the GLASS bottle or mignon, which at first sight declares his age. The oldest are in blown glass, thin and not always perfectly shaped, some with frosted glass (beautiful). Then the technique made it possible to produce with the molds, and here begin to see the glass imprinted with your company name or with his mark, or slogans (see Amaro Ramazzotti). I found a miniature that has all the business data on glass: the name of the liquor, capacity, gradaz. alcoholic license UTIF, dyes …. and no label. Ditto for the mignon PUNCH BONOMELLI, with the data of law imprinted on the tongue of the pull cap.

Unthinkable today: with the current costs is already difficult to put in the Commercial mignon with glasses the same for all manufacturers, but once the liquor had its classic glass, especially for sweet liquors: the MILLEFIORI with the bottle high, tapered, the DOUBLE Kummel bottle cube with rounded corners and perimeter grooved, or rectangular base and sides much rounded, the GRAPPA with single glazing and rough, the COGNAC or BRANDY, in elegant glass slightly truncated cone and a long neck, slender; VERMOUTH the glass very classic, the MARASCHINO, always “stuffed” ….. Some glasses have also stamped —> the base date of manufacture, element useful for evaluations.

This is also found in U.S. mignon, that do not have many different forms between them, but, on the other hand, have glass machined, beautiful and original (as the OLD MISTER BURTON or Bardstown DISTILLERY), thing that is not seen in British mignon, always simple and with a few varieties except in glass colors: green, light brown, dark brown, sometimes golden, almost always cylindrical or flat glass for years are just the same as a standard for many manufacturers of Scotch whiskey. But they are made of beautiful, for export to the United States in the ’30s ’40s (see McConell’S DISTILLERY or LONG JOHN).

The forms adopted in France COGNAC still unchanged and symbols of the manufacturer: HENNESSY, CORVIOSIER, MONNET, MARTELL, Gaston de Lagrange, Croizet; flattened shape of the classic distilled wine ARMAGNAC …


One understands, at this point, that the VARIANT can be many and sometimes very difficult to notice, because it may consist of small words, in the length or in the number of rows on the label, in the variation of the degree of alcohol, in the characteristics of the press, angles delletichetta etc..

I’m sure many are very difficult to detect. These components of the bottle of liquor, whether large or small, give directions very reliable, sometimes precise, its age of manufacture, but you must know how to interpret correctly and it is not always easy. As with everything, it takes experience and research, because there is a catalog, “official”, that can give indications about.

I personally had an Australian collector a publication that allows us to date the American mignon, reading the markings on the glass at the base, not always present, however, with the date, and also on the emissions of various marks each U.S. state who used them, because few are dated. E ‘in English. But I translated it and now I know.

Very few Italian companies have retained memories of old productions, preserved their history many have thrown away everything sold out, buried, or never kept anything from the past. So it is very difficult to reconstruct their history. But we can do it with our miniature collectors and antique bottles: I have to say with pleasure that many companies are working together, or ask for collaboration, groped to reconstruct the past. It is nice to forget, even if it’s just drinks, and even this is history, culture, fond memories of the “good old days”.

But I would say with pleasure, as a collector as well as consumers, which in recent years have come back into production mignon quality, attention to detail, aesthetically valuable, demonstrating that the miniature liquor has again become important promotional vehicle, with our subsequent satisfaction: something new and beautiful we can still find, for our windows!


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