Antiques column: Lotta bottles follow production changes

William Wilson
William Wilson

The 19th century saw the production of bottles on a vast scale.

Notable makers included Joseph Bourne and Doulton and Co. Towards the late 19th century most bottles were decorated with underglaze or transfer printing.

Limited bottles in the mass production sense were made before the 19th century. Wealthy merchants often commissioned personalised wine bottles with seals on the bottle shoulder.

Glass bottles were used little until the mid-19th century. Stoneware dominated the market until this date. Glass bottles became popular, as unlike stoneware, their contents can be readily seen.

The first bottle making machine appeared in 1823.

The machine, designed by British manufacturer Henry Ricketts, produced more bottles but also made them to a uniform size.

No skilled glass maker could compete.

Clear glass bottle production increased after 1845. It can be remembered until this date the duty on a clear glass object was considerably more than on coloured glass.

Many companies after this date started to add manganese to their glass as a decolourant.

Glass bottle production was also affected by the introduction of carbonated drinks in the mid to late 19th century. A completely new range of clear glass bottles were produced specifically for these brightly-coloured, fizzy beverages.

Glass bottle production changed again in the 1930’s due to public health concerns. A move to simpler design was instigated. Before this move bottles had been difficult to clean and re-use.

Bottles can easily be found in the saleroom. Bottles, however, can also be found in the ground. Local examples relating to the Pocklington and Market Weighton area can still be found at very modest sums.

Chris Clubley and Co are holding a catalogued sale of antiques and fine art on 16 May. The sale will contain a substantial, single collector, collection of postcards.

A catalogue will be available online a week before the sale.