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Question subject

Date Asked

Antique Bottles

July 9, 2012
Question by: Susan, Swansea, GB

Q:

I have two dozen old port bottles from 1820 to 1910 I believe, one has a p embossed in the glass, one has seams where each of the halves of the bottle join, one has the glass maker Bower Hunslet  within the glass on the base, one has M and M LPool  the rest have no markings, just the base is pointed up inside the bottle, not flat.  Please can you tell me if i should chuck them in the bottle bank or if they have any value, there are no labels.

A:

Hi Susan, Please don't recycle them yet!  Old bottles can be lovely, and the style of the bottle can help to date it as changes were made in the way wine was sold or laid down, and the manufacturing process developed over the course of the 19th century.  Also some bottles were specially made and marked for their owners, who asked wine merchants to bottle wines for them from cask.  You can read a brief history of wine bottles relating to Port, with a photo of some of our own collection, in our article on the Evolution of the Port Bottle, under Port Basics.

We would suggest you show these to a local antique dealer or auction house, as they will have specialist knowledge about glass and local producers, and could advise you best on their value and possible re-sale.



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