View Full Version : bottle info please

03-22-2004, 09:59 AM
Dug this yesterday it is 5inches tall and 3 inches around it is the second one I've found so it must be a product of some sort. It is a three peice mold Can anyone help with this??
Check out the coin that was inside of it an 1867 U.S. nickle it's not in great shape but it's one of the extra things that make this hobby [addiction] so exciting it is the first coin for me. It also makes the bottle info more interesting. Does anyone know what a sand pontil is and what it looks like? Thanks
Tom Olddump


03-22-2004, 11:46 AM
sand pontil
hello olddump, i found this bit of info,

Another pontil variation is the sand pontil which is a diffuse and sparse scattering of sand grain sized glass particles on the base - often found on bottles like Dr. Townsend's Sarsaparilla's, rectangular snuff bottles, and others. This was cased by dipping the hot glass tipped pontil rod into sand to keep the pontil rod from adhering too much to the bottle base.

i found this info about your coin.

e-bay (http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3903635128&category=11952)

above info taken from the book, poor man's guide to bottle collecting by ferol austen

03-22-2004, 12:14 PM
Great work Tim I tried an ebay search but did'nt ask the right things. I have a few books but none had any info on sand pontils. Now I can go over a lot of my stuff and I have an idea of what I'm looking for. Keep up the good work and thanks. And I'll keep an eye on the coin too[:D]

Tom Olddump

03-22-2004, 12:21 PM
Timothy has the information correct for you. It's pontil not often found. When it is found, collector's often refer to it as a graphite pontil or iron pontil that has asll of its color oxidized away. It's not.

Now, I've got an unusual pontil to describe to you. Many years ago, I had an greenish aqua bottle with an amber pontil. Now that's not too bad, but this one was diamond shaped! There was no question about the shape or color, but what kind of rod would have been diamond shaped?

Harry Pristis
03-22-2004, 05:10 PM
Tom . . .

Tim does have it right: To get a "sand pontil scar" (remember "pontil" is the iron rod), the pontil rod tip is tipped with molten glass, then dipped lightly into crushed glass, sand, or crushed furnace slag. The crushed material preserves a boundary between the pontil rod glass and the glass bottle, making it easier to later separate them when the bottle is finished.

The appearance of a "sand pontil scar" is that of a peppering of the bottle base with bits of crushed glass or whatever was used. Sometimes this peppering is very light, hard to discern without dragging a fingernail across the bottom surface. Sometimes it is much more prominent.

If crushed furnace slag is used as the "boundary material" (notably in black glass bottles), glassgall (sodium sulphate, Na2SO4) may be transferred from the slag to the base of the bottle. This glassgall leaves a milky or turquoise discoloration around the area of the pontil scar.

The iron pontil is just that. It is a bare iron rod with a mushroomed tip which is heated, then applied directly to the bottom of the still-molten bottle. Neither graphite nor crushed glass was used as a "boundary material." Because nothing but the bare iron rod was needed, it was dubbed an "improved pontil."

The tip of the iron pontil rod, when broken free, left a thin layer of iron adhering to the bottle base. This iron residue is dark gray, but may oxidize to a rust-color (because it is rust!).

There is no such thing as a "graphite pontil" scar. Graphite was not used as a "boundary material" or separating agent on the end of a pontil rod. The grey iron residue left by an iron pontil rod may resemble it, but it is not graphite.

"Graphite pontil" is a misconception which persists because people keep using the term. The mistake is found in collector books and on amateur web-sites. The error is thus perpetuated.

The term "graphite pontil [scar]" will not go away soon because it has infiltrated the jargon of collectors. New collectors may wish to opt for accuracy by developing the habit of using the term "iron pontil scar" or "improved pontil scar" when they are speaking carefully, that is, for publication.

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

Maine Digger
03-22-2004, 06:32 PM
Tom, how great is that, a two-fer, bottle and coin, too bad it wasn't a gold one. lol You're right though, it's the 'extras' we find with the bottles that add a little kick and twist to the trade. I found an art deco pin last year that is gaudy as can be with lots of semi-precious stones in it. It wasn't a particularly good day bottle-wise, but finding the pin made it an ok day. We should set aside a new topic on the forum for 'odd-ball' things we've found when digging - what's everyone else think?

03-22-2004, 07:05 PM
I like it I'm sure it will be intresting as I have a case of things that are other than bottles that I've found that people find as intresting as my bottles just the clay pipes alone are really nice. I hope others agree good idea Norm. It was neat the coin was inside the bottle dos'nt get any better [:)]

Tom Olddump

Maine Digger
03-22-2004, 07:32 PM
Tom, I sent that idea on to Roger, the 'Boss Man' of the site. We'll see what happens.

03-22-2004, 08:35 PM
Just a comment based on Harry's response. Yes, there is no true Graphite pontil scar, but, since most collectors use the term, I was simply repeating what term is in general use, even though it is technically wrong.

Harry Pristis
03-23-2004, 03:47 AM
Hey, Mike . . .

I didn't mean to sound critical of any individual. I guess I was trying to write an answer to the FAQ: "What is a pontil?" If this is to be our "sand pontil" thread in the archives, or on a search engine, I just wanted it to have comprehensive and reliable information.

It's amazing how commonly-used is the term "graphite pontil"! Mostly, it's middle-aged collectors I hear using those words at bottle shows. I didn't compose my long post for them. I wrote it for the new collectors who are still acquiring the vocabulary of bottle-collecting. There must be lots of 'em lurking or occasionally posting.

Call me silly, but I feel an obligation to bring along the neophytes with reliable information. I am sure you feel the same, Mike, or you wouldn't have written books. :^)

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

Maine Digger
03-23-2004, 11:29 AM
Hi all, as I campaign for my suggestion, just let me say, if elected, I will ensure there's a cobalt blob top in every site you dig! lol It's not a matter of 'needing' another forum, rather a matter of intellectual curiosity. We are after all, cultural waste archeologists, are we not?

03-23-2004, 01:40 PM
Hi Harry,

No offense taken at all. If we could actually hear our voices (instead of only see black and white messages) we would be better off. No, I am in complete agreement with you. Graphite pontil is WRONG. I've had a very extensive background in chemistry and mineralogy (teaching) and I would love to see exactly how graphite could be used! That would be very interesting!

04-30-2004, 06:55 PM
hello olddump, i was just wondering if you saw the winning bid on the coin, 1867 sheild nickel.
e-bay (http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3903635128&category=11952)