View Full Version : Newbie With very old bottle

12-06-2004, 08:11 PM
I am a newbie o this forum, and i am really glad i found it. I have a brown bottle i found in Nassau Harbor (Bahamas)during an excavation project.
I know it has to be very old because its deformed(I think, it doesnt look like its original shape) it wont stand properly on the shelf because the bottom isnt straight. Nassau used to be a mecca of pirate activity, and new world settlers reached here around the 1500's. there are no seams or markings on the bottle. Also you can see small ridges in the glass due to it being washed around for quite some time. any help anyone can offer me would be great.

thanks in advance




12-06-2004, 11:10 PM
It is a handblown wine bottle circa 1790 - 1810. Most likely English in origin. They are usually very crude and misshapen which adds to their appeal to collectors. I recently bought one for $US45 in near mint condition.

PS. Looks like it is in it's original shape to me.

12-07-2004, 06:44 PM
That sounds about right. I thought it was misshapen because i was always told glass is liquid not solid. like old windows in new england houses, where the glass gets thicker at the bottom from the force of gravity pulling it down.
On another note i also have some old cathedral bottles that were found in a wreck off of the island of Eleuthera, here in the Bahamas. I need to get some shots up cause i am very interested to know what they are worth, But i will do that in another post

Thanks again for the feedback

12-07-2004, 07:47 PM
hello there, the reason your bottle looks deformed is simply because it was blown and handformed,and may have been cooled improperly or some other manufacture fault. But the most likly reason is because the bottle was blown -without- using a mold. and to get a wine bottle shape they were pushed down against a table when being made. if the glass was too warm at the bottom,the glass would flare out. as your bottle. if you had a bunch of these bottles you would notice that each one will vary slightly in height,width and all dimentions. i too have heard glass is a liquid.i also heard glass will lose its color (if it was colorized with a mineral). but both of these changes will occur over 1000s or 100,000s of years. not 100s. hope all this helps :)

12-07-2004, 11:14 PM
Glass as a liquid and the force of gravity making it thicker at the bottom over a long period of time is a fallacy. This window glass was handblown into a large disk shape and then cut up into square/rectangular pieces to be framed into a window. Many collectors have a square piece of old window glass with the pontil in the centre. This centre piece was, of course, not used due to the pontil scar. As this glass was handblown, the thickness was not uniform. Once it was cut into squares/rectangles it was mounted with the thickest edge at the bottom. Over time, methods improved and the thickess differential became less. This has given the false impression that the glass slowly "flowed" as a liquid due to gravity over hundreds of years.
If glass flowed over hundreds of years all those bottles from the 18th century that we dig up would be deformed or even flat due to the pressures exerted by being buried under tonnes of earth. But they are not and I have dug many bottles that, for all intents and purposes are empty due to being buried upsidedown. [8|]