View Full Version : Pontil mark?

02-24-2013, 12:33 PM
I am new to this site and to digging bottles. I posted this in the pre-1900's forum, but I figured I would post it here too. I have been digging in a trash pit that has given me bottles from 1890-1920 period. Then I found this broken bottle (attached). I don’t have a lot of experience, since I am new to collecting and digging bottles, but this looks to me like black glass (from everything I’ve read and seen on different sites). When I look at it, it looks like it’s black. When I hold it up to the light (looking through one layer of glass) it appears to be dark green. The bottom is 2 ½ inch diameter. With my little experience, it looks like it has a pontil mark, and is sunk in at least an inch. The rounded bottom edge is not perfectly round. The bottle doesn’t appear to have any seams running up the side. My question is, is this black glass? Is that a pontil mark? What date period is this from? I understand that someone could have had an old bottle back in the early 1900’s, and it finally got thrown in the dump. This dump was along a fenceline of a house that is no longer standing, and the dump was only about 10 x 10 ft area. All the bottles were found from the surface to 5 inches down. Below that was just regular colored dirt. I found about 30 unbroken bottles, and identified about 20 or more broken bottles. There was tons of fragments in this area. But they all seemed from the same period.

Any help anyone could give me on dating this would be great. I know this is broken, but if this bottle is much earlier, I want to be sure to pay closer attention to this site.


02-24-2013, 12:34 PM
Here's another pic.


02-24-2013, 01:26 PM
It looks like the base to an early Wine or porter bottle. It could have been in a family cupboard and then tossed away with later glass. It is pontil marked and could be as old as the late 1700s. The push up type base is seen often on those type of black glass bottles from the 1770s to the early 1840s. The base appears to have quite a bit of honest base wear suggesting the bottle sat for quite some time and was moved around a bit also suggesting some kind of long standing aged liquor that was used over a long period of time. I am sure other will chime in soon enough good luck!!

02-25-2013, 01:42 PM
Steve, thanks for the reply and info. Is it common for a bottle of this age to have no seam running up the side?

RED Matthews
02-25-2013, 07:24 PM
Bumpa66, Hi again, It could have been blown in a dip mold - and not had a seam. Is there a gradual change to a larger diameter as you check up the sides? How much of the bottle do you have? RED Matthews

02-25-2013, 08:09 PM
Red, I only have about 4-5 inches of it. It looks like it is mostly straight up, with the roundness being a little off as it goes up.