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19 bottles pictured.Updated March 2006

Traditionally, bottles labelled or embossed "posion" or "poisonous" have been cobalt blue but more and more exmples are being found in varing colours of glass. This new (December 2003) section will picture only glass bottles bearing the inscription poison or poisonous with as much information on each bottles as we can provide.

Cobalt Blue is still the traditional POISON colour and will take precedence over green, brown and aqua in this order.


A circular bottle with 7 fluted panels on front and POISON on rear shoulder 1oz version. POISON. .An unusual tapering bottle
POISON / NOT TO BE TAKEN embossed on front
A 2oz size bottle with ground sheared lip. POISONOUS / NOT TO BE TAKEN.
RD No 590540 on rear.
A Star poison embossed on front POSION / NOT TO BE TAKEN and Rd 716057 on rear. An unusual combination of standard six sided "not to be taken" and Castor Oil shape, embossed poisonous/not to be taken. A 6oz variety of a bottle available in at least 8 different sizes POISON / NOT TO BE TAKEN embossed of front. A scarce "KILNER Bros, Makers", embossed POISON on front and rear shoulder. KCB 9342 on base.
A 16oz size dispensing bottle containing Cresol labelled The British Drug Houses Ltd / Graham Street London N.1
A 2oz size
Although fairly plain, an extremely rare bottle.
The fact that this bottle is marked 6oz on base indicates that it is available in 11 different sizes from 1/2oz to 16oz.
A brown Star poison.
POISON / NOT TO BE TAKEN. An unusual ribed bottle with plain panel (for label) on rear. Embossed BG & Co Ltd 1825 on base. An early aqua glass burst top bottle NOT TO BE TAKEN / POISONOUS. A vertically ribbed finished top aqua bottle embossed POISON on front and Ferris & Co. Ltd. Bristol on reverse. An unusual ribbed castor oil shape aqua bottle with burst top.
This bottle manufactured by WT & Co USA is probably one of South Africa's rarest Poison bottles.

An interesting bottle ribbed on the front only and embossed

A stunningly coloured bottle made in an early unusual 3 piece mould (see mould line indicated). Embossed
with 9 lines of 6 stars each.



Possibly South Africa's most famous poison bottle... Gilbertsons green Wedge. Embossed "REGd-30th-OCTr-1861" seen here in two sizes 1oz and 6oz together with a Toothpaste Pot & Lid, a Baby Feeder top and an A. Davison / Kimberley Chemists bottle embossed underneath Gilbertson No 118583. Between the end of 1998 and mid 2001 a total of no less than 8 Gilbertson green Wedge Poisons were dug by vagrant subsistance coloured diggers at a dump adjacent to the old Fever Hospital just outside Kimberley. More information is being gathered and will form the basis of an interesting article on this most elusive of South African dug bottles.

On the right a bottle which I have only recently (June 2005) re-discovered in my shed... A stunning early (by South African standards) c 1860 ELEPIZONE / A / SAFECURE / FOR / FIT / & / EPILEPSY / H.G. ROOT / LONDON in an unusual very light-blue glass. Click on bottle for enlargment of embossing on bottom.