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Kenleyboy
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Before I go stark raving bonkers , I thought I would have another tidy up and shift some bottles and have a general bang down and bring in some stricter controls of what stays and what goes . It is one of those jobs you know that is there , the ones which are pretty pointless taking up room space but now we have the time then its best to get motivated .
My first port of call was the unecessary harbouring of bottles waiting to be cleaned and these are bulk bottles and by this term it is the generic ones which go up for sale in boxes to a contact I have who manages to sell them on to whoever . It is not big bucks by any means and the dealer has to make a profit and I have neither the time or inclination to be bothered to try and source and sell individual bottles , I leave that to him and I am happy to recieve a small payment by return . Its funds put aside that over a time builds into quite a little jar full of coffers which is always handy for those sudden surprise purchases that we face from time to time .

If you are in it for the money then you are in the wrong game and like metal detecting , it is only now and again we find something pretty decent but never of any great value but it does happen occaisionally and the finder is rewarded with a tidy sum but it doesnt happen everyday . I have on occaisions been very lucky and found me some nice bottles , none of great value but the odd time I have been lucky to find a few rare items and made a pretty penny but again , this is rare and to be honest it isnt about that for me and I am just happy plodding along finding what appeals to me and that is reward enough .
There are pitfalls and like everything bad luck plays a part and I have had my fair share of it along the way and it especially hurts when its a bottle you have yearned for only to find it cruelly knocks you back when it reveals the unrepairable damage .
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I remember this blue poison bottle quite well , a first for me and I love the heavy embossed pattern and ridges . Quite a substantial sized bottle with a lovely deep blue glass makes this a handsome keeper , if only ! The base was sticking out of the side wall and I could see heavy pattern work and thought I was sorted on such a decent find . I gingerly brushed away the edges of dirt with a small emulsion brush letting the bristles flick away the dirt and as I proceeded it was looking very promising . The glass is quite thin and fragile on these poison bottles and I didnt want to risk any fracturing by putting any unecessary pressure and once I had removed excess soil I could finally extract the bottle by hand . There is always that feeling of trepidation involved with this lark and a few times all was looking promising only to be shattered at the final furlong to find the neck missing , it happens often . This one however was looking really good and such was the angle of extraction I could see no problem , the neck fully intact and while on the verge of whooping with joy , I turned it over and the earth shattering reality that the hobby of bottle digging cruelly bestows upon you took hold and then the heartbreaking moment you see the shoulder completely gone . Such a shame but that is the way it goes .

This next little bottle believe it or not was the exact same day but later on in the dig and again , a first for me , a little rare herring bone poison full of decoration and character in excellent condition . I watched it , almost in slow motion drop from its entombed clutch of damp ash and soil . Glee turned to bitter disappointment and the air was blue when I watched it drop onto a small shard of glass in amongst the spoil at my feet . There was that unmistakable click of glass as bottle and shard met and as I feared the lip was sliced off upon impact .
That was a cruel day .
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Dave The Slave
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Good title, Paul.
Can imagine the disappointment, so near to complete examples.
Can`t recall seeing a Herringbone bottle before.
Can share the disappointment, having found the remains of a 1941 RAF egg cup, following week found the base of another sticking out of the ground, certain it was complete, carefully extracted, back was missing. Only good thing was all the Id info was on both bases.
Starting to think the rest of the detecting season has gone, although i may get to poke around for bottles again, while the crops are growing.
Cheers, :thumbsup:
Dave.
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Kenleyboy
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Dave The Slave wrote: Sat Jan 23, 2021 5:04 pm Good title, Paul.
Can imagine the disappointment, so near to complete examples.
Can`t recall seeing a Herringbone bottle before.
Can share the disappointment, having found the remains of a 1941 RAF egg cup, following week found the base of another sticking out of the ground, certain it was complete, carefully extracted, back was missing. Only good thing was all the Id info was on both bases.
Starting to think the rest of the detecting season has gone, although i may get to poke around for bottles again, while the crops are growing.
Cheers, :thumbsup:
Dave.
That is the one and only herring bone poison I have ever dug , they are quite rare and come in a very nice blue which makes them extra special to collectors .
The egg cups are another item that you rarely dig whole although they do a great job of fooling you into thinking they are complete .
I feel your pain , I would be gutted to find a WW11 item only to see it broken , its such a shame and another exciting part of our history .
Detecting season is just about over for me too but hopefully a bit of bottle digging may come my way if its local .
Stay safe :thumbsup:
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Oxgirl
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Loved the stories Paul, as always. We all have those sad experiences in detecting but I guess bottle digging is much crueller in the frequency of disappointments. On the other hand though I guess that is what keeps it interesting too. If everything came out perfect it’d be darn boring. With glass and ceramics being so easy to damage it’s the hunt for the elusive, perfect ones that keeps our enthusiasm going.

Hope you get to go digging soon. I’m sure you are missing it and we miss your tales of adventure too :thumbsup:
Yes I really don’t like Roman coins, I’m not joking
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Saki
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Great read. :thumbsup:
Blackadder43
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Ouch.....but i am surprised the blue bottle actually survived at all
It looks like maybe a pressure break where something was against it in the ground and over time just pierced it and the surrounding pressure kept the bottle from breaking?

Dumb question alert:
Ok so blue bottles are the ones that poisons were kept in :thumbsup:
I'm assuming rat poisons etc, but they also kept medicines in them too
So you explained a few topics back that poison bottles often had raised bumps, ridges etc due to poor lighting back in the day and it was a way to distinguish it was a poison bottle you were holding and not your tonic bottle
But
How, or even, did they distinguish between a real nasty poison like rat poison and a medicine that if abused would be poisonous?
Just a label?
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Kenleyboy
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Blackadder43 wrote: Sat Jan 23, 2021 8:55 pm Ouch.....but i am surprised the blue bottle actually survived at all
It looks like maybe a pressure break where something was against it in the ground and over time just pierced it and the surrounding pressure kept the bottle from breaking?

Dumb question alert:
Ok so blue bottles are the ones that poisons were kept in :thumbsup:
I'm assuming rat poisons etc, but they also kept medicines in them too
So you explained a few topics back that poison bottles often had raised bumps, ridges etc due to poor lighting back in the day and it was a way to distinguish it was a poison bottle you were holding and not your tonic bottle
But
How, or even, did they distinguish between a real nasty poison like rat poison and a medicine that if abused would be poisonous?
Just a label?
I think you are right , it must have been a pressure point that just burst the glass and the shoulder glass is also quite thin compared to the lower part of the bottle .

Poison bottles come in Clear , Amber , Green , Blue and Aqua and the embossed text "Not To Be Taken " which is found on the majority of poison bottles so it covered a wide spectrum of liquids from cleaning fluids , rat poison , chemist cures and medicines . They would have had additional labels but prior to this poisons in many forms were legal and it was only after the earlier Victorian poisoning murders etc , stricter control came through by Law to prevent these deeds being carried out quite easily .
I have a small rat poison bottle which is in light blue and very crude glass with a neat Rat embossed on the base and I imagine this would certainly have had a label originally .
Some poison bottles do have "Poison" embossed on them but a standard blue ribbed not to be taken poison bottle would not necessarily mean it was pure poison .
Blackadder43
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Ahh, more to it than just a blue bottle with ridges then....cheers....another 'school day', something i never thought i would hear myself say happily...ever :lol:

Would love to see the embossed rat when you get 5 mins :thumbsup:
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Kenleyboy
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Blackadder43 wrote: Sat Jan 23, 2021 9:25 pm Ahh, more to it than just a blue bottle with ridges then....cheers....another 'school day', something i never thought i would hear myself say happily...ever :lol:

Would love to see the embossed rat when you get 5 mins :thumbsup:
Here you go Blackadder , the base of the little rat poison bottle . It reads "Farmers Rat Paste ".
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Dave The Slave
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Farmers Rat Paste. :shock: :sick:
Don`t think they sell that in Sainsbury`s for your sandwich filling.
Think i`ll stick to the Salmon & Cucumber version. :lol:
Cheers, :thumbsup:
Dave.
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Emily
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Thank you for that. It was a great read and who doesn’t love a good poison bottle?? 🥰

I adore the Rat Paste Base. A beautiful addition to the bottom of a bottle.
Live long and prospect
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