Incredible sealed wine bottle find

Bill D. (VA)

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Wish I could say that I found this one. But it was recently discovered by a friend of my buddy Stan in the low tide muck near an early colonial site. It's just an awesome looking specimen. We've been trying to ID the seal but have not had any luck yet. I was hoping that some of you familiar with this sort of thing just might happen to recognize this particular crest or coat of arms. Please chime in if you can help. Thanks!
 

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Bill D. (VA)

Bill D. (VA)

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Bill your friends crest may possibly be from the Burgess family. I will see if I can get any more info but it is a possible lead.
Burgess Family Crest and History

If this is the case then check out this on Waki.
House of Burgesses - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

ZDD

Thanks for taking the time to look into this Dave. I checked out that Burgess family crest you identified. It does have some similarities to the bottle seal, but it's definitely not a match. I don't think it's going to be easy to solve this puzzle, but maybe someone will get lucky and stumble across something. And with your tenacity it won't be long before you find a sealed bottle of your own. Thanks again and good luck!
 

Kev Woodward

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Bill, your seal coat of arms is for the Lee family and will be a branch of the family that Robert E Lee came from. The coat of arms is described as 'Gules a fess chequey Or and argent between eight billets argent', which when translated to English means, 'On a red background a horizontal chequered band of gold and silver between eight rectangles coloured silver'. The crest on top is a sitting squirrel. The branch of Robert E Lee's family have a slightly different coat of arms with ten billets instead of eight and the squirrel crest has a small tree or plant at the side of the squirrel. Lee Coat of Arms
Your branch of the Lee family is from Langley and Coton Virginia, with British roots in the county of Shropshire.
There is a book about this Lee family on this link which also mentions the coat of arms and a cup they donated to Queens College Oxford in 1658 which is still held there. Lee of Virginia, 1642-1892 Biographical and Genealogical Sketches of the ... - Google Books
For the crest click hear Lee Surname Meaning, Lee Name History, Lee Crests, Coat of Arms & Genealogy : MyFamilySilver.com
These bottles with seals intact and identified are expensive to buy and with the family connections to one of your famous generals it will be all the more special, your friend has found a wonderful thing.
 
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detroitdigger

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I love those seal bottles!!!
 

joeyfresh

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Wow, Kev. That is wonderful and it really fit's with the area. How did you find it so fast? I think Bill has another seal he may need help with.

Bill, your seal coat of arms is for the Lee family and will be a branch of the family that Robert E Lee came from. The coat of arms is described as 'Gules a fess chequey Or and argent between eight billets argent', which when translated to English means, 'On a red background a horizontal chequered band of gold and silver between eight rectangles coloured silver'. The crest on top is a sitting squirrel. The branch of Robert E Lee's family have a slightly different coat of arms with ten billets instead of eight and the squirrel crest has a small tree or plant at the side of the squirrel. Lee Coat of Arms
Your branch of the Lee family is from Langley and Coton Virginia, with British roots in the county of Shropshire.
There is a book about this Lee family on this link which also mentions the coat of arms and a cup they donated to Queens College Oxford in 1658 which is still held there. Lee of Virginia, 1642-1892 Biographical and Genealogical Sketches of the ... - Google Books
For the crest click hear Lee Surname Meaning, Lee Name History, Lee Crests, Coat of Arms & Genealogy : MyFamilySilver.com
These bottles with seals intact and identified are expensive to buy and with the family connections to one of your famous generals it will be all the more special, your friend has found a wonderful thing.
 
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Bill D. (VA)

Bill D. (VA)

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Bill, your seal coat of arms is for the Lee family and will be a branch of the family that Robert E Lee came from. The coat of arms is described as 'Gules a fess chequey Or and argent between eight billets argent', which when translated to English means, 'On a red background a horizontal chequered band of gold and silver between eight rectangles coloured silver'. The crest on top is a sitting squirrel. The branch of Robert E Lee's family have a slightly different coat of arms with ten billets instead of eight and the squirrel crest has a small tree or plant at the side of the squirrel. Lee Coat of Arms
Your branch of the Lee family is from Langley and Coton Virginia, with British roots in the county of Shropshire.
There is a book about this Lee family on this link which also mentions the coat of arms and a cup they donated to Queens College Oxford in 1658 which is still held there. Lee of Virginia, 1642-1892 Biographical and Genealogical Sketches of the ... - Google Books
For the crest click hear Lee Surname Meaning, Lee Name History, Lee Crests, Coat of Arms & Genealogy : MyFamilySilver.com
These bottles with seals intact and identified are expensive to buy and with the family connections to one of your famous generals it will be all the more special, your friend has found a wonderful thing.

WOW - that's some incredible info Kev! Thank you so much for taking the time to figure this out for me. And thank you Cru for bringing Kev in on this. That's just awesome that the owner of this bottle was part of Robert E. Lee's ancestry. When I get more time I'll thoroughly check out all the links you sent. And the owner will be absolutely estatic when he gets the news of where this bottle came from. Based on the bottle shape it appears to be c1700 give or take a few years, so it might be possible to determine the exact member of the Lee family who owned it. Thank you again Kev for making my day.
 

Silver Tree Chaser

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That's fantastic. Someday I've got to focus my time on digging for black glass, though I don't know hunters in my area of Southern New England who have dug whole black glass bottles. Most recovered samples seem to be from water sites perhaps due to accidental losses? I recall reading that black glass was usually kept for reuse until broken, whereas bottles from the 19th century were tossed out whole. I'm sure that there are exceptions. I certainly know very little about searching for old bottles.
 

Zodiacdiverdave

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Holy Moly Kev that is amazing detective work, and to tag it to Robert E Lee's family line makes it a true piece of American history. This is why I love this hobby, finding arifacts that can be tied to the beginings of our country, and to think they are just laying in the mud or on the bottom of the sea.
ZDD
 
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Bill D. (VA)

Bill D. (VA)

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That's fantastic. Someday I've got to focus my time on digging for black glass, though I don't know hunters in my area of Southern New England who have dug whole black glass bottles. Most recovered samples seem to be from water sites perhaps due to accidental losses? I recall reading that black glass was usually kept for reuse until broken, whereas bottles from the 19th century were tossed out whole. I'm sure that there are exceptions. I certainly know very little about searching for old bottles.

You're exactly right Silver Tree. Colonial glass and pottery were reused over and over until they were broken and discarded. But if any whole bottles were thrown out it was done by the wealthy landowners who were the same ones who could afford to have their wine bottles shipped from England with personalized seals.
 

CASPER-2

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CRUSADER

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Bill, your seal coat of arms is for the Lee family and will be a branch of the family that Robert E Lee came from. The coat of arms is described as 'Gules a fess chequey Or and argent between eight billets argent', which when translated to English means, 'On a red background a horizontal chequered band of gold and silver between eight rectangles coloured silver'. The crest on top is a sitting squirrel. The branch of Robert E Lee's family have a slightly different coat of arms with ten billets instead of eight and the squirrel crest has a small tree or plant at the side of the squirrel. Lee Coat of Arms
Your branch of the Lee family is from Langley and Coton Virginia, with British roots in the county of Shropshire.
There is a book about this Lee family on this link which also mentions the coat of arms and a cup they donated to Queens College Oxford in 1658 which is still held there. Lee of Virginia, 1642-1892 Biographical and Genealogical Sketches of the ... - Google Books
For the crest click hear Lee Surname Meaning, Lee Name History, Lee Crests, Coat of Arms & Genealogy : MyFamilySilver.com
These bottles with seals intact and identified are expensive to buy and with the family connections to one of your famous generals it will be all the more special, your friend has found a wonderful thing.

Thanks, you have quickly proved an asset to this site. As you can tell, the people here real care about their/our history!
 

kuger

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Welcome Kev!!!!Please stick around.Thanks for posting Bill,that is flat amazing and then to have a tie to Lee?How cool is that!!!!?
 

Kev Woodward

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Could you post up a bigger picture of the other seal please Bill as the one shown is not really clear enough to help for an identification?
 

pepperj

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What an awesome seal bottle and Kevin on the ID, congrats to both of you.
 

Nutriasub

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Fantastic bottle, and in great shape!
 

Tnmountains

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This is a good post and great detective work. What a cool find.
 

prolab69

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Now that find had one heck of a silver lining. just when you thought they found it all, someone out there once again makes my jaw drop. lol
 

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