View Full Version : Dalby's Carminative

05-11-2012, 07:55 AM
I'll post a few pics of various British Dalby's bottles here over the next day or three. Starting off with the one in this picture:

A Gell's Dalby's Carminative. One of the most common of British pontilled medicines, although the one in this picture is the relatively scarce early type, with very large and bold embossing. There are later pontilled types with much tidier embossing which are more common, and smooth base examples which, from a labelled example in my collection, must have been in use up to about 1900 or later.

Frances Gell (nee Dalby) was the daughter of the orginal inventor of Dalby's Carminative, which was first sold in the mid 18th century. She eventually sold the rights to her version of the medicine to Newbery & Sons of London, who were one of the main patent medicine proprietors in the UK. They continued to use the 'GELL'S' name for the medicine, and embossed it on their bottles, until the 20th century. There was (as seems to be usual for many of the earlier patent medicines) a family feud between Frances Gell and another family member (can't remember the relationship right now - possibly a cousin) about ownership of the 'rights' to the 'original' Dalby's Carminative. That rival used clear flint glass bottles embossed with the name 'James Dalby'. Photos of that and other types to follow in the next few days.


The little Turlington's in the centre of the group is an American example!

05-11-2012, 05:19 PM
Three different ages of Gells Dalby's Carminative bottles:
- On the left, smooth base with label and contents. Label (with alcohol concentration indicated) suggests an 1890s or early 20th century date.
- Middle is almost identical to the bottle on the left (possibly even blown in the same mould) but with pontil mark on the base.
- Right is the early type, same as in the photo in the first post on this thread.


A closer view of the label on the smooth base example, with the Newbery signature and London address, and with Francis Gell's name in full.


05-11-2012, 08:41 PM
Great bottles Jerry,Here are some of my American knock off bottles made at either the 1780 to 1821 Glassboro New Jersey glass works that Dr Dyott was either a partner or sole agent or the Gloucester Glass works of which he was an agent for the years 1815 to 1820. Recent research I have done shows that he was at first a sole agent for the Olive works ( Glassboro) from the 1808 to 1815 in which the next year he was in fact part owner up until 1821. The very next year he purchased the old Kensington works and the rest was history.In Dyotts early advertisements from the years 1809,1810,1811,and 1812 in News papers which I have shown numerous times at this forum he lists Cephalick Snuff,Dalbys Carminitive and Liquid Opodeldoc as products he has in great numbers at his store front at Second and Race Streets. Here are those three bottles left to right produced at either Glassboro or Gloucester.


05-11-2012, 08:47 PM
The True Cephalick Snuff By The Kings Patent is a rare American version of your original British bottle. The embossing spells Cephalick with the ick my spell checker kept trying to change the word to Cephalic without the K. Is the British version spelled with or without the K?


05-11-2012, 08:48 PM
I love this bottle it is very crude.


05-11-2012, 08:49 PM


05-11-2012, 08:50 PM
As Chris Baltbottles will attest to Dyott made medicine bottles had a very unique umbrella shaped, flared tops.


05-11-2012, 08:52 PM
The Dyott Dalbys Carminitive bottle with a rolled lip.


05-11-2012, 08:53 PM


05-11-2012, 09:01 PM
Liquid Opodeldoc a Dyott bottle 1815 to 1830. Forum member Roadog (Rory ) has two flared lip versions of these also one with a longer neck. If you still have them could you post them please Rory.


05-11-2012, 09:10 PM
2. I am not sure if the British Versions just said plain Liquid Opodeldoc or had a proprietors name embossed also. I have seen British Opodeldoc bottles with a larger mouth/neck though almost like the Cephalick snuff I posted..


05-11-2012, 09:13 PM
Another Dyott umbrella flare.


05-11-2012, 09:15 PM
Your Dalbys are great looking bottles Jerry. Do you have any for sale right now.

05-11-2012, 10:42 PM
various British Dalby's bottles

Its hard to tell much about Dalbys from the early USA ads.
It seems to be treated in a very generic way.
For example this 1811 ad.
They dont give much clue to its origin, whether its imported or put up locally.


05-11-2012, 10:53 PM
A generic recipe from Fenner's formulary....

3958. Carminative Cordial.
Catechu, 4 ounces av.
Opium, 1 ounce av.
Camphor, 910/2 ounce av.
Oil of Peppermint, 1 fl. drachm.
Oil of Cinnamon, 20 minims.
Oil of Cloves, 20 minims.
Sugar, 2 pounds av.
Alcohol, 2 pints.
Water, sufficient to make 1 gallon.
Macerate the Catechu, Opium and Camphor, with 12526/2 pints of Alcohol,
mixed with 2 pints of Water for seven days, agitating every day, pour
off the liquid and reserve; pour the drugs upon a filter and percolate
them with Water until 3 pints of percolate have been obtained, mix this
with the reserved liquid; dissolve the Oils in the remaining half pint of
Alcohol, and add to the mixture, then filter, dissolve the Sugar in the
filtrate, and add enough Water, if necessary, to make a gallon of, the
finished product.Dose, for children, from half to a teaspoonful; for adults, a teaspoonful.

05-12-2012, 05:24 PM
I don't have any for sale now Steve, but will do at some point. I'll make sure to let you know when it happens.

We get both spellings of Cephalic / Cephalick on the snuffs. Most have the 'k', with only maybe one or two variants without it.

'Liquid opodeldoc' seems to be a purely American thing. British opodeldocs sometimes have the proprietors name (most common is Steers Opodeldoc - although I don't have one : so far I've always been in the wrong place at the wrong time, so missed out) but they also turn up as generic bottles with only the medicine name. They are almost all wide mouth bottles, probably because it wasn't the 'liquid' type.

Here are some more British Dalby's. These are all but two or three of the known main types (but there are dozens, if not hundreds, of variations on the generic type).

James Dalby. Embossed "Dalby's / Carminative // Prepared by / James Dalby". This was one of the main rivals to Francis Gell, of Gell's Dalby's Carminative. Almost always in heavy flint / lead glass. There's an early aqua variant which is very rare: a much taller thinner bottle, more like a Godfrey's Cordial shape.


Two generic types. The one on the left is probably quite late (maybe 1850s) and the one on the right with lip damage is much earlier, 1800 - 1830s. Neither of these is rare, but good undamaged examples of the early one are hard to find (I don't have one yet).


Here is the later type of pontilled Gells alongside a mystery bottle: 'Eve's / Dalby's // Carminative". One of only three known (at least here in the UK): one is in a very long-standing collection where it's been sitting for the past 20+ years; this one was dug in southern England in 2003, and a third turned up quite recently via ebay. Looks very similar to the Gells, with almost identical style of mold engraving, very similar lips, bases and pontils, but no one has yet come up with any definite information about 'Eves'. Could this be American? It doesn't look American to me, especially with the similarity to the Gell's bottles which are 100% definitely English. But maybe someone here knows different?


05-12-2012, 06:02 PM
Real interesting variants and info Jerry.... Dalby's....Very cool bottles in their own right. Now I'll be looking closer for differences.

glass man
05-16-2012, 12:05 AM