Buried glass bottles can be delicate things and can break easily when the soil is being worked, so I thought myself lucky to unearth this one. It’s a Victorian ink bottle and is very similar to one held by the Museum of London, which dates their piece 1866-1900.
Being octagonal in style, it may have once held ink for a rubber stamp and carried a label like the one below.
The property I found it on was once the village post office and this bottle must have been discarded over 100 years ago. Other items occasionally surface from the garden here – this is where the old slate pencil popped up.
Another little piece of history turned up last week in the soil of a very old garden in Witney, Oxfordshire. Old gardens in Witney are a good source of garden finds and this fragment pleased me. I’m pretty sure it’s the neck of a salt glazed gin bottle, possibly Dutch, and 18th or 19th century.
Finding part of a gin bottle in this particular garden brought a smile to my face as a small gin story could go with it. A couple of years ago, I was working in the front garden which faces onto the pavement. The owner, an extremely respectable older lady, was talking to me there when one of her neighbours, known to both of us, happened to pass by. They chatted for a moment or two and, since she’d recently had a fall, he enquired after her health. Then he leaned in a little more closely and, after a perfectly-timed pause, asked quietly, ‘Was it the gin?’.