Thursday, April 18, 2013

Civil War Medicine Bottles

Excerpted from "Collectors Weekly"
Most bottles made in the United States before the 1850s, when the snap case tool virtually replaced the pontil rod (also called the punte or punty), have a pontil mark on their bases. The mark is formed when a bottle is transferred from the blowpipe to the pontil rod, which, unlike the blowpipe, is solid. Known as empontilling, this transfer allows the glassblower to form and finish the bottle’s mouth or bore. Though no longer used in glass manufacturing, this technique is still used in art glass today.
Antique medicinal bottles from between 1810 and the Civil War tend to have pontiled  bases; applied, rolled, flared, or sheared finishes; usually true two-piece key-and-hinge molds; predominantly rectangular, round, and square shapes; and crude glassmaking imperfections like whittle marks, bubbles, uneven tone, or an orange-peel surface. The first American-made bottle on record featuring proprietary embossing is a Dr. Robertson’s Family Medicine container from 1809.


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