View Full Version : Found in Portobello Edinburgh.

03-11-2004, 04:25 PM
This bottle was found in Portobello, Edinburgh.
It is approx. 7 inches tall and 2.5 inches in diameter at the base.
The colour is 2-tone and is a light creme colour in the lower half and a glazed tan colour at the top section.
The inscription reads...... "BLANCHE & CHRISTISON, wine merchants, 77 slateford road, EDINBURGH"
At the above address now, is a wine merchants, (victoria wine) but the shop workers have no knowledge of any history of the shop.
There is also a small, what looks like a manufacturers "stamp" at the bottom (not underneath). Unfortunately, this isn't too clear except for the words "portobello & edinburgh". There is also a small "crown" above the words.
Being a newbie to this forum, I posted it here because I couldn't find a mould seem at all. (pre 1900's ?)
I hope somebody can shed some light on this.Thank You.


03-11-2004, 05:43 PM
I would say this is most likely a Ginger Beer bottle however they were used by some as a bottle for Stout or similar heavy Ale's.
Nice bottle.


Harry Pristis
03-11-2004, 06:19 PM
Huge numbers of such bottles were exported from Scotland to the USA. These contained ale or stout, based on remnants of paper labels on bottles excavated from frontier forts from 1850-90.

The bottles are slip-molded, I believe. Some have the maker's mark debossed (as does yours), but many do not. They were made locally in Scotland.

As the details of these bottles go, I'd guess that yours is not among the oldest, and could easily be early 20th century. I imagine your bottle was never intended for export, and it may be an uncommon find.

With this as background, your bottle should be readily trackable to the business that used it. Check with the reference librarian at the public library in Edinburgh. City directories at the turn of the century should yield info on this company.

Interesting bottle -- let us know what you find out.

--------------Harry Pristis

03-12-2004, 12:31 AM
I used to dig and collect ginger beers and stoneware ales over in England and the sort you have there is not very common. Some of the actual bottle makers used to put out demo bottles that were debossed in that way but to see the wine merchant's name and address debossed in that way is fairly unique. About the only way to value it would be to find out if that particular Edinburgh bottle is common or not. You can do that easily enough on the internet by simply going to the bottle collectors web-ring and enquiring at some U.K sites that specialize in gingers and stoneware. I've dug a few bottles quite similar to that one in the U.S but they were all unmarked. I've dug them from 1870 (U.S) all the way up to 1910 (u.k). The lips vary over here, but because that one was made for the U.K market, I'd date it to about 1900-1910. Wish I could tell you more but I'm no expert!


03-12-2004, 12:59 AM
I just looked up some bottle makers and their styles of bottle and that little stamp at the bottom of your jug may well say "Kennedy". The only other possibility would be "Buchan". However, Buchan favoured transfers on that particular style of bottle, so I'd guess it was made by the firm of Henry Kennedy & Sons at the Barrowfield potteries in Glasgow.


03-12-2004, 01:08 AM
Is the inside of the lip threaded for a screw-in stopper or is it smooth for a cork? If it has the threads it could even be as recent as 1925 (jeez... I'm learning a ton of stuff just reading through this book!)


03-12-2004, 01:14 AM
Ah..ha! I just found a stamp that says W.A. GRAY & Sons, Midlothian Potteries, Portobello, Edinburgh. Since you could make out " Portobello" and "Edinburgh" perhaps that's the one? Anyway... I'll shut-up now and go to bed...lol.

03-12-2004, 03:01 PM
Thanks everyone for your replies. This is the first bottle i've found and the details posted have been really interesting.
In reply to Bluegrass, The inside of the lip is smooth ( no screw top) but the interesting thing is the stamp at the bottom of the bottle, as well as "portobello and Edinburgh" I can make out 3 letters......"UCH" the rest is unreadable. So I'm guessing it says "Buchan"
Thanks everyone.

03-12-2004, 09:43 PM
ok... that's got to be: A.W. Buchan & Co Potteries.