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Antique wine/champagne bottle, circa 1880-1915?

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Posted 7 years ago


(2 items)

This beautiful old wine or champagne bottle was excavated from a construction site on Wilmot St. in San Francisco's Western Addition section sometime around 1993 by my boyfriend (at the time), who was digging up the area to build a new home for a client. Two bottles were dug from that spot, this one, and one with a rounded bottom that had raised lettering and was from the Dublin Soda Co. Unfortunately, that one broke, but I've carried this beauty with me ever since.

From what I've gathered about this bottle, it was probably mouth-blown but I can't determine if it was finished using a mold. I don't see any indication of a dip-mold, and I don't see evidence of a turn-mold. There are no seams that can been seen anywhere, but there are a few very faint lines that run up and down on the neck that are not evenly spaced--almost a striated appearance, but these appear in a few spots around the whole neck and they disappear before they reach the ring--you can see them if you enlarge the image of the neck and lip. These are not like the concentric rings you would see from a turn-mold. They are not cracks, and they are not uniform--they are hairline in size and not perfectly straight like you would see in a seam.

The lip is the typical "champagne" finish, and I am guessing that the ring was finished with a tool based on examples I've seen online. Also, when it is standing, you can see that it is an uneven bottle, it is most noticeable on one side right where the base starts to curve up toward the neck. It is indented more on one side than the other, making it look slightly lopsided. I see no air bubbles.

The bottle has the typical "push-up" or "kick-up" on the bottom and you can see the mamelon in the center. There is no embossing anywhere on the bottle. The bottle is dark green and has a very lovely brushed iridescent peacock patina from being buried underground for so long. It came out of the ground just like that and all I did was wash it. I have had people ask me what I did to get the glass to look like that--some have even asked if I painted it. I'm an artist and I wish I could duplicate that look. It's one of the most beautiful things I own, and I would love to know its history.

I love the fact that I know the origin. If I had bought it from a shop I might not have the clues I am happy to have. However, I feel a little bit lost because I want to know more. I know that the property was a small vacant lot, wedged in-between a couple typical Victorian homes and was someone's backyard. I had thought that the bottle might have been buried in the earth after the 1906 earthquake, but from what I read today in a report about that area of S.F., the Western Addition was unaffected by the earthquake, and those homes remained in tact. That area of land remained vacant until the home was built on it in the '90's.

When the digging started so the foundation could be laid, the bottle was pulled out from what seemed to be pretty deep down. But I don't know if that means anything in the big scheme of things where this bottle is concerned. All I know for sure is that it is old, beautiful, and it has character.

Not that I would part with it, but if anyone has any sort of ballpark appraisal, I would love to know. Thanks!

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  1. Shawnl86 Shawnl86, 6 years ago
    Great story and Wonderful Find!

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