- Jan 12, 2009
- Reaction score
Went digging in my "back-up" lot where I haven't been skunked yet. Digs like a city or neighborhood dump, with pockets of trash dating from 1890's back to the sixties when the houses now gone were built. Got into this exploratory hole as it probed out as likely just an ash pit, and sure enough, plenty of ash was there! After a bit of hard "dirty" clay, got into something more than bones and plate ware. First bottle was the earliest Kleindienst Hannibal soda dating at least after 1866 as Kleindienst was listed as a brewer then but most likely before his demise in 1876. A bonus is the A&DHC on the backside, only the second one of these I have dug and only one without damage. The others I have are embossed C&I on the back. So I was a campy hamper! Anything after that was just gravy. Or groovey. Anyhoo, I digress......Next out was the Sanford's Liver Invigorator. Not as nice as the later Radical Cure in cobalt, but I like the earlier meds anyway, and this one looks 60's to my eye. Nice early half-circle key mold with a tiny embossed cross on one corner. Never seen that before. Get back to diggin', and I scrape along the side of a stoneware something. Been finding busted stoneware all day and about 5 jugs all crushed, one older than the dirt it was made from, ovoid shaped with a huge flat and thick lip. Wouldda been a beauty! So I am thinking, This has to be broken." But I dig as if everything is whole until I am proven otherwise. Besides, it's good practice to dig even the obvious junkers as if they are the rare ones. One never knows, and I have outsmarted myself in the past. I could see the salt glaze and shape taking form and realized this was an oldie and might not have been made with a handle, which are usually broken. Suddenly, I uncover the handle and start to think this one might have a chance. Slim, but a chance. Suddenly, out from underneath this beast pops a nice little turtle ink embossed S. MFG. CO. in perfect condition! How does THAT happen? (Thought it looked familiar and when I got home I compared it to another one but it is an igloo ink embossed S. MANFAC. CO.) So, about a half hour later after poking my screwdriver through hard packed clay at the bottom of whatever I'm in, out she comes, and she's a beaut! No cracks, chips, dings or issues other than some minor rust staining! Sadly, no decorations or stenciling, but still has to be my oldest. I am no stoneware expert and generally not my favorite category to collect. That said, I do have my collection of stoneware beers, inks and jugs, and this is as old or older than anything I have. I am guessing this one and the broken one with the fat lip were a late throw from the 40's or 50's, possibly 60's, but I have dug enough 60's stuff now to think this would be a bit late for this style. First couple pics show the shallowness of the hole and has no discernable sides to it. Third pic shows the finds, including the only find from day 2, a crude key mold flask. Keep waiting for a Pikes Peak, or Eagle or SOMETHING! These flasks are taunting me now, as they are coming out whole and perfect. I guess I shouldn't complain. If they were Pikes Peaks, they would be busted for sure! HA!