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Updated June 2006

Although more than 75% of all bottles you may find / dig will be glass, only a very small percentage of them will be worth cleaning, researching and exhibiting in your collection.

The following are some of the more "classical" glass bottles which (unless specified) have been dug in South Africa.

A brown glass poison, more frequently seen in light and cobalt blue.

A very unusual brown glass gin, embossed Blankenheym & Nolet.

A Victorian bulb vase with early pontil. Picked up (without the bulb) at an antique fair.

The / Old Bushmills / Distillery Co / Limited / Trade / (Logo) / Mark /
Estd 1784

A superb whiskey bottle picturing a pure malt still.

A pair of extremely scarce chemist jars.
Right... a beautiful example of a glass labeled jar still in perfect condition with matching top.
Left .. a pontilled gold foil labeled jar with matching top
Daffy's Elixir. Surely one of the most sought after of all old bottles. In circulation between 1786 - 1890, no South African dug samples are known. This one is valued at approximately £ 800 and and two earlier specimens were recently sold in the U.K. for more than
£ 3000 for the pair.
Daffy's. Another (later) version slightly larger than the one pictured on the left. Both bear the wording: "True Daffy's Elixir / Dicey & Co No 10 Bow Church Yard London / Unlefs the Name of DICEY & Co is in the Stamp / Over the Cork the Medicine is Counterfeit".
Dalby's Carminative, a very early flatulence remedy. These bottles are ultra-rare. On the left a pontilled version. The right hand bottle dug in South Africa is embossed (Prepared by James Dalby) on rear.
A glass Dutch Gin bottle, unusual in that Erven Lucas Bols is much more common in Salt Glazed Earthenware versions.

Fishers Seaweed Extract. / Manx (Logo) Shrub / Registered / Company / Ulverton / Quarrie's Patent.
(Consistently in the top ten rated British dug bottles. No South African dug bottle known.)

A beautiful German Schnapps bottle

J.A. Gilka, Schützen Str No.9 Berlin.

Hannis Distilling Co. "Full Five" Mount Vernon Pure Rye Whiskey.

Embossed on base "Patented Mar. 25 1890"

A very sick example of a classical bottle dug by Cliffy Le Riche in Kimberley.

Case Gin with P.Hoppe Schiedam seal.

Most unusual to see a Case Gin in dark aqua glass.

Napier Johnstones extra old Highland Whiskey. Unusual in that it features a bottle (another shape) on the face. Rd 218837 on reverse.

Hartwig Kantorowicz Aromatic Bitters..

A classical bottle immortalised by Ethleen and Albert Lastovica in their book.Note the reversal of the last letter of Kantorowicz.

.LEM pure lemon squash, 2 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town.
Beautifully embossed front & Rear

A spectacular bottle! O.T. Limited Australia & London

Note the distinctive neck on this beverage concocted from chili's.

L. Rose & Co, still manufacturing lime juice to this day. These dark glass varieties are highly prized and very scarce.
A classical shape Seltzer bottle from Schweppes.
John Somerville & Co Ltd / Leith / 1/2 Gallon / Rd No 328888 (On bottom)
One of the all time classical old whiskey bottles.
SPA Aerated Water Works / Cape Town
L. Lumley & Co LTD
One of the scarcest South African black glass Seltzer Bottles known
(courtesy Ken Gibbon)
"Vinzoe" the wine of life.
UDOLPHO WOLFE's aromatic schnapps, Schiedam. Found in 3 sizes
E & J BURKE'S / SCHIEDAM SCHNAPPS. Identical in colour and size to the bottle above right but much earlier (c1894).

Handysides Blood Food, Blood Purifier & Consumption Cure. Prepared by G Handyside, these black glass bottles (which are in fact extremely dark and thick green glass) are much sought after by British collectors and are only found in a very small area of Britain. Each bottle is crude, full of seed and oozing character.
They occour in a variety of shapes and sizes and can fetch as much as £200 depending on size and rarity.

Far right .. The only genuine / Day, Son & Hewitts / Chemical Extracts / London. A Handyside "Look Alike".

One of my favourite Aqua glass bottles and an all time South African (and Australian) favourite product BROOKE'S "LEMOS" lemon cordial. South Africans could be forgiven for believing that OROS is an older product than LEMOS, in fact, according to a bottle recently acquired the design was registered in the Union of South Africa :38/1926. BROOKE'S 171-2/1933, Trademark (Lemos man carrying bottle 575 -6/1924 and LEMOS 748-9/1926)
The richly embossed 2 piece mould aplied lip bottle pictured here has REGd No13 on base and India REGd No 8449 REGd No 2596 AUST. on the side and must be one of the earliest examples known.

One will rarely if ever come across Salt Jars in South Africa. These two (the only two I have ever seen) were dug together in the "Goldburg cache". Left: Finest German Table Salt / Trade (Logo) Mark / Germania with a stunning logo of a lady with sword and shield. Right: Finest Table Salt / from / C & E. Morton / London. Both bottles would have been corked.


Zara Maraschino Liqueur bottles bearing the seal of F. Drioli, Zara, Dalmatia (now Yugoslavia) with a double headed eagle crest. These scarce liqueur bottles are surely amongst the prettiest and most sought-after. From left to right a miniature true to detail in every aspect, a straight extremely dark aqua with extra large seal, an unusual lipped specimen, a very large straight sided specimen with crisp seal and a medium and large sized conical shape with applied lip (Post 1860).

The three bottles pictured on the right were dug in South Africa.