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Salt-Glazed Stoneware Bottle

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Artifact Description

This tall, cylindrical, salt-glazed stoneware jug may represent either cargo or ship’s stores. As the only such example recovered from the Jacksonville "Blue China" wreck site, it seems more likely to be part of the domestic shipboard assemblage. This unmarked vessel is similar to other stamped examples from the latter half of the 19th century known to have been used to hold various fluids that were best stored in dark, cool environments: mineral water, sarsaparilla, wine, beer, vinegar cider, oil, molasses and even ink. While the origin of this jug is unknown, the bottle style is similar to stoneware jugs that have foreign pottery or company marks, most frequently from Denmark, England, Germany and Sweden.

Twelve bottles of Amsterdam ale packaged in tall, wheel-turned reddish-brown unglazed stoneware bottles were recovered from the hull of the steamboat Bertrand—which appear to be similar to the sole “Blue China” example. The cork stoppers sealing the Bertrand bottles are covered by embossed thick foil caps which extend onto the necks, suggesting the manner by which the “Blue China” bottle was sealed as well. The relief-stamped cap features the words ‘WYNAND FOCKINK / AMSTERDAM.’ The words ‘AMSTERDAMSCHE’ and ‘AMSTERDAM’ also appear on the bottles.

A singular unmarked individual jug of this type was also recovered from the 1865 wreck of the Republic, which carried a large cargo of stamped British salt-glazed stoneware master ink bottles as well as a few unmarked examples.

Other Details

H. 26.9