Trying to discern age, use, value of this little bottle...

Exhuminator

Jr. Member
Jan 13, 2021
49
62
Georgia, USA
Detector(s) used
Minelab Vanquish 540, Bounty Hunter Discovery 3300, and my keen intuition...
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
I found this little bottle in the woods where a plantation homestead used to be in the 1800s. The bottle was partially submerged in the ground, I carefully freed it, then washed it gently with dish soap and water. I'm assuming it's a medicine or inkwell bottle from the early 1800s, but I have no real idea. If anybody can help me discern how old it is, what it was used for, what it may be worth, that'd be great. The bottles about 4" tall by 2" wide, weighs about 4oz. The glass is heavy and thick, there are small bubbles within the glass, the glass has a slight cyan hue to it. The outer bottle body has no seam, but the neck has a seam. Appears to have had a cork top. No stamped labels or print on the bottle anywhere. The base of the bottle's scarring to me indicates blown glass, but again I'm no expert. Here are photos (click on the photos to enlarge them):

P1030789.JPG P1030790.JPG P1030791.JPG P1030794.JPG P1030796.JPG P1030798.JPG P1030799.JPG P1030800.JPG

Thanks to anybody who can help ID this one.
 

CreakyDigger

Gold Member
Jul 23, 2019
7,150
23,443
Upstate NY
Detector(s) used
White's Spectra v3; Equinox 600
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Sorry I can't help with your questions but you do take great pictures!
 
OP
Exhuminator

Exhuminator

Jr. Member
Jan 13, 2021
49
62
Georgia, USA
Detector(s) used
Minelab Vanquish 540, Bounty Hunter Discovery 3300, and my keen intuition...
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #4
Sorry I can't help with your questions but you do take great pictures!
Thank ya.

Looks like a shoe polish.....maybe 1910 +-
After doing a little searching I think you're right, it's likely a shoe polish bottle. I'm just not sure about 1910, because the photos of bottles I'm seeing from that age are more cleanly made than this bottle. They tend to have embossed logos and a less rough bottom (like they were machined?). Here's some examples:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/717408861/collectible-whittemores-shoe-polish

https://www.ebay.com/itm/372061285515?hash=item56a094ac8b:g:vrMAAOSwOdpX1qHp

https://www.etsy.com/listing/837108803/1920s-bartons-dyanshine-shoe-polish

I imagine this bottle at one time had a label and cork like this.

So I think you nailed it with "shoe polish bottle". But due to the more rough construction of this bottle, I wonder if it's from the late 1800s as opposed to the early 1900s. Granted I don't know much about bottles!
 

villagenut

Gold Member
Oct 18, 2014
5,178
8,691
florida
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
From .looking close at the finish, or neck and lip, there is a seam line around the very top indicating a machine made finish. This would put it after 1903 round about.
 
OP
Exhuminator

Exhuminator

Jr. Member
Jan 13, 2021
49
62
Georgia, USA
Detector(s) used
Minelab Vanquish 540, Bounty Hunter Discovery 3300, and my keen intuition...
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #7
there is a seam line around the very top indicating a machine made finish
Seam goes around lip, and over lip. Machine made. Post 1910

I just took a really close look at the neck and lip. The seam starts at the bottom of the neck, then continues up to the lip, but does not go over the lip. What the seam does, is go around the lip, it follows the top of the lip's circumference. Then the seam continues back down to the bottom of the other side of the neck. Now I'm not saying this isn't machine made or from ~1910. I'm just saying the seam doesn't continue into the inside of the bottle. There are small cracks in the lip of the bottle that may look like a seam in the photos. What I'm most interested in right now, is why this bottle has no insignia markings imprinted in it. And why its bottom looks so rough (like broken off from a blow tube) versus other bottles I'm seeing from that time period which have nice clean bottoms.
 

villagenut

Gold Member
Oct 18, 2014
5,178
8,691
florida
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Early ABM bottles had often a suction scar on the base, not to be confused with a pontil scar. Many 1900s bottles had no markings on the bottom, when Illinois Glass and Owens Glass took over a large portion of mfg they were marked. yours is likely just one of many beforehand that were mass produced for a paper label to be applied as needed.the maker may never be known.....a few dollars at most is the value.
 
OP
Exhuminator

Exhuminator

Jr. Member
Jan 13, 2021
49
62
Georgia, USA
Detector(s) used
Minelab Vanquish 540, Bounty Hunter Discovery 3300, and my keen intuition...
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #9
Interesting stuff. I was wondering if there was a pontil scar, didn't know about "suction scars". Well a shoe polish bottle from the early 1900s is still a cool find. Not something I expected to find out in those woods. I found a Model T distributor cap from the early 1900s nearby too (dug metal detecting), so this bottle fits the same time period. Thanks for all the info!
 

Tpmetal

Silver Member
Jan 4, 2017
4,226
7,094
Western ny
Detector(s) used
equinox 800, Whites mx sport, Garrot carrot, bounty hunter time ranger
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
i agree with above replies, post 1900.
 

No gold in NY

Bronze Member
Mar 22, 2015
1,687
2,914
Detector(s) used
Whites Coin Master,
Whites Gold Master GMT, Whites MXSport
High banker/dredge,
DIY hand trommel,
DIY Miller table,
DIY fluidbed gold trap sluice,
Keene A-52 A-52s
2186 Wheaties
Primary Interest:
Other
Just adding my 2 cents...I think I have seen these bottles listed as muslage bottles also.
 
Last edited:

Top Member Reactions

Users who are viewing this thread

We Dig Metal Detectors
Top