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Sauce/Utilitarian Bottle

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Artifact Description

Two sauce or utilitarian bottles, light aquamarine in color, were recovered from the Jacksonville "Blue China" wreck site in two slightly different sizes. This bottle type is also often referred to as a utilitarian bottle as it was frequently used for any number of products, particularly patent medicines. Such containers were often heavy duty bottles intended to be recycled and reused by the producer or distributor of the product.   

Without embossment on the bottle or a paper label, identifying the contents is virtually impossible. However, long-necked, narrow-mouthed bottles such as these two examples are commonly associated with liquid food products including oils and sauces and other non-solid condiments produced by a host of different companies active in the mid-19th century. The bottle’s shape facilitated the efficient pouring of fluid contents, and inhibited unnecessary spillage. The long neck and narrow mouth bore were also useful in capturing the seasoning and flavor stored within the bottle. 

The two “Blue China” bottles appear to be free-blown (or dip molded) and have what is referred to as a blowpipe pontil scar, whereby the blowpipe itself was used as the pontil. The application of the pontil rod, followed by a little push would have then formed the distinctive kick-up/push-up visible in the center of the bottle. Found on bottles dating from as early as the 17th century, the steep rise or pushed-up portion of the base was likely done for a number of reasons, including enhancing bottle strength and stability, and perhaps even to reduce the interior volume of the bottle.



Other Details

H. 21.4cm