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Harry Pristis
12-15-2015, 03:56 PM
Anyone got an onion bottle to show us?


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Bass Assassin
12-15-2015, 08:39 PM
I wish I did Harry. I don't think there a very many of those within a couple hundred miles of me!

bne74honda
06-07-2016, 05:05 PM
I have a couple. Give me a coupla days and I'll post some pics.

capefeardiver
03-30-2017, 12:46 PM
I've got a nice Dutch onion I found diving off the coast of NC. I'll post a pic this evening when I get home. They are great bottles, def in my top 5 favorite bottles I have found.

scubapro67
03-30-2017, 03:02 PM
English from right around 1700. Been in seawater - surface is a bit rough.



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scubapro67
03-30-2017, 03:07 PM
Here's another seawater find. A little rough around the string rim. Debating whether to clean off the barnacles............thoughts?

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nhpharm
03-30-2017, 04:22 PM
I'd definitely leave the barnacles on it! Those are both beauties for sure!

Harry Pristis
03-30-2017, 04:28 PM
Here's another seawater find. A little rough around the string rim. Debating whether to clean off the barnacles............thoughts?



Outstanding finds, scubapro67! Can you ascribe any particular history to them?
I would leave just that small patch of intact barnacles that is high on the shoulder in your image. That would show the marine origin of the find. The other marine adhesions are superfluous.


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Here's a pic of a bottle I found years ago on the bank (private property) of the Suwannee River on the Gulf Coast of Florida. The bottle is an English onion from about 1700 (+/- 10 years).
At that time, the only European settlement in peninsular Florida was Spanish St. Augustine on the Atlantic Coast. At the same time, English soldiers and slavers from the Carolina colonies were wiping out the Spanish missions to the Indians in the interior of the state. By 1710, the aboriginal Indians in North Florida had either moved westward out of Florida or were living in the immediate area of St. Augustine.
So, was my onion bottle brought to this remote area on the Gulf Coast of Florida by English soldiers and slavers? Maybe. This river does reach the area of the Spanish missions, and rivers were the routes of access to the interior.
But wait. At this same time, William Teach, the famous English pirate known as "Blackbeard" is reputed to have sheltered in the river. My onion bottle was found not far from the place where local lore holds that Blackbeard buried some treasure!
Wooden vessels were sailed up freshwater rivers in order to careen them. The sailors would tie ropes to trees on the bank and use winches to tip the ship. Once the hull was exposed, the sailors would scrape away the marine growth. Then they reversed the ship to clean the other side of the hull.
A clean hull meant less drag in the water. Less drag meant greater speed. Speed could be crucial if you were a pirate. Blackbeard was slain in 1718 in a fight with a British force off Ocracoke Island, North Carolina.
So, was Blackbeard the last person to drink from this onion bottle? Maybe. It's fun to think about it.
---------------Harry Pristis

scubapro67
03-31-2017, 01:49 PM
Harry - Nice bottle! I especially love English onions - even better if they are the pancake variety. I have a couple more, and one that came out of the James River here in Virginia.
Both of my bottles above came from the British coastline. The barnacled one I bought at auction so don't have any additional background. The first is believed to come from the Goodwin Sands area off the Kent coast. There is no direct attribution to a wreck, but the most famous in that area was HMS Stirling Castle that went down in the great storm of 1703. The bottle style works for this time period. There were however 13 men-of-war and 40 merchant vessels lost in this same storm, so no way to tell which ship this came from.

Duncan

Harry Pristis
03-31-2017, 09:47 PM
Thanks, Duncan!

Here's another I brought back from Guyana. Guyana (Dutch Guinea) was a Dutch colony, so "Dutch" onions are what is found there. These onions were blown in a number of countries in Western Europe for the Dutch overseas trade.


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scubapro67
04-01-2017, 07:48 AM
I have a few Dutch onions from Guyana also. Occasionally they do find English bottles. I'd really love to find an early English bottle from Belize - apparently they are quite abundant, but there's restrictions on their export.
Attached a picture of the James River English Onion - note the rather unique blue color that appears in natural light (possibly glass gall - reused glass/ other impurities). This style is similar to yours from the Suwannee. The narrower, longer neck and tooled V string rim places it around 1710. But as we know, the styles overlapped a fair bit.
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Harry Pristis
04-01-2017, 03:43 PM
I sure didn't see an English onion in Guyana. Any that are found must be quickly filtered out of the commercial stream to be offered to select customers. Later, I was offered a pancake onion from Guyana through a Guyanese dealer, but we couldn't get together on price.

Van den Bossche provides a good explanation of glass gall, an interesting phenomenon. I have an extra copy of Van den Bossche's book, still in the publisher's shrink-wrap, that I might trade for decent black glass.

Here's another "Dutch" onion from Guyana:

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Harry Pristis
04-03-2017, 03:55 PM
Glass gall is a contamination with sodium sulphate (Na2SO4) of a glass batch or of individual bottles from the batch. The common source of this contamination is ground blast-furnace slag. Here ground slag was used as the "sand" in a sand pontil.



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RelicRaker
08-03-2017, 07:36 PM
Found this heartbreaker an hour ago. Couldn't locate the neck.
Embossing in seal is hard to read. Possibly "J.F.T. & Co." Phila PA.
Color is actually a very dark honey-amber. Does have a pontil scar on base.
Any info appreciated.

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Harry Pristis
08-04-2017, 12:48 AM
Found this heartbreaker an hour ago. Couldn't locate the neck.
Embossing in seal is hard to read. Possibly "J.F.T. & Co." Phila PA.
Color is actually a very dark honey-amber. Does have a pontil scar on base.
Any info appreciated.


I found one in a Glass Works Auction in 1992. The seal reads: J.F.T & CO. / PHILAD. Med. amber; 7 1/8" H; open pontil; applied handle and mouth; American 1860 - 70. This one had a 1 1/4" crack. It sold for $90.

RelicRaker
08-05-2017, 11:14 AM
Thanks for the info, Harry!