What did this bottle have inside? Honey? Oil?

Harry Pristis

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While your anecdotal observations are fun, the fact is that ribbed or "beehive" bottles are not uncommon. The Old Monk bottle appears to be American-made, judging by the "patent" visible in your image. I think it unlikely that expensive olive oil would be exported in fragile, space-inefficient bottles like this. Remember, the bottle is 11 inches tall. Conversely, inexpensive domestic vinegar or pepper sauce seems more likely.
It's evident that these bottles were produced using two different empontilling techniques, "sand" and "blow-pipe." That could suggest that more than a few of these bottles were made. Yet, we see so few of them today. I think that is a testament to their fragility.
Is Eastern Canada -- Quebec -- a good place to find old French import bottles? Have you seen many? Any like this one? My French food bottles suggest that the common color was emerald green and the pontil scar is a disc pontil.

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CanadianBottles

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While your anecdotal observations are fun, the fact is that ribbed or "beehive" bottles are not uncommon. The Old Monk bottle appears to be American-made, judging by the "patent" visible in your image. I think it unlikely that expensive olive oil would be exported in fragile, space-inefficient bottles like this. Remember, the bottle is 11 inches tall. Conversely, inexpensive domestic vinegar or pepper sauce seems more likely.
It's evident that these bottles were produced using two different empontilling techniques, "sand" and "blow-pipe." That could suggest that more than a few of these bottles were made. Yet, we see so few of them today. I think that is a testament to their fragility.
Is Eastern Canada -- Quebec -- a good place to find old French import bottles? Have you seen many? Any like this one? My French food bottles suggest that the common color was emerald green and the pontil scar is a disc pontil.


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There are a few French imports that you often find Quebec but the number of products seems to have been quite limited. In the 19th century Quebec was nowhere near as predominantly French as it is today, and a lot of the French-speaking population was quite impoverished and not in a position to be buying many imported products. Quebec francophones also tend to lack the cultural connection to France that anglophones of that era had to England, and may simply not have been particularly interested in buying French products in the first place. I'm not sure if French imports up here are actually any more common than they are in the US. One thing we do find fairly commonly here are the bottles in your first picture, which are considered to be caper bottles (not sure whether or not they were exclusively used for that). I'm not sure whether or not they actually are French in origin though, I've only ever seen one from that era with embossing and it was marked with the name of a London firm, although that could always have been a French-made bottle intended for export. I've never come across French bottles like your pontil versions, although I definitely would love to. Finding anything with a pontil up here tends to be pretty difficult.
 

Harry Pristis

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Yes, capers bottles is how I think of the trio. I included them for the color, 'cause I have not seen this type with a pontil scar. Caper were phenomenally popular for cooking in the Eastern USA in the second half of the 19th Century. France had a near monopoly on capers export; but, that must have ended with WWI. I tried one -- they leave a flowery perfumey aftertaste. (They are, after all, flower buds.)
I appreciate the summary insight into the history of French-speaking Canada. I had wondered about the frequency of French glass in Quebec ever since I obtained my first examples.

Here are some modern capers.

capersmodern.jpg
 

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