Saturday, 25 May 2013

German Stoneware Mineral Bottle

I put down the first piece of stoneware I found, thinking the little bit of writing wasn't worth it. A few minutes later found a similar larger shard with a lot more, I went back ten feet to retrieve the discarded piece and as I suspected they slotted together. A fortnight later I found the missing middle fragment in the same place. 
Mudlarking Find  Georg Kreuzber Stoneware Bottle
Not an old find, Victorian and mildly interesting. It's German and probably held mineral water. Produced for Georg Kreuzber, a wine merchant from Ahrweiler who in 1850s began bottling mineral water from the Apollinaris spring .By 1860 40,000 bottles had been dispatched across the globe. The refinery shut in 1878. 

The rather crude and imperfect incised stamp has a circular inscription 'Apollinaris-Brunnen  M-W'. Inside appears a boaty logo and below 'Georg Kreuzberg, Ahrweiler, Rheinpreussen'. 

A clearer picture of the logo on another bottle 
Georg Kreuzberg Mineral Bottle (Etsy) 
There seem to be quite a few German mineral water bottles scattered along the Thames and a number of different companies. Others have suggested these bottles contained gin and this type continued to be produced until the 1890s. I tracked down a picture of one with the label intact. Exported to the States seemingly from London with their offices at 19 Regent Street, this rather salty mineral water must have been a hit. 

Georg Kreuzberg looks like a man about town. He developed the springs in the area, building the first bath house with hotel attached at Bad Neuenahr hot spring. He had a penchant for sequoia and started a bit of civic planting, some of the redwoods still stand today. 

old postcard with Georg Kreuzberg and dedication of Neuenahrer Hot Spring in 1858

23 comments:

  1. Thats that's amazing. Fridays I keep checking until your blog is posted to see what you have to show and tell.

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  2. Great piece of research , I have a similar small piece found in the mud in Margate Harbour found after the sea defence works.

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  3. Chris Sinclair7 July 2013 at 20:52

    My step-son found a fragment of a similar bottle showing just the logo and german wording on Saltburn beach this afternoon

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  4. I found one in Bangkok, over 9000 Kilometers way from Ahrweiler, Germany were it was produced. It layed in the mud of the Menam River in Bangkok for about 150 years, the glaze is nearly gone but only minor chips at bottom, otherwise complete and nice.
    Must have came with an early ship from Germany then thrown overboard.

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  5. I have one as shown in excellent condition found 60 yrs ago in Wi

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  6. I found a large portion of one of these bottles the other day in Conwy, North Wales. Like you, I almost discarded it because it was almost unrecognisable. Just cleaned it up today and ended up finding your post. Very interesting to see your photograph which shows a paper label on the bottle, too. Finally - I found a similar bottle on another website which stated that it was a gin bottle...

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  7. I just found one while metal detecting on Lookout Mtn Tn. It has the bottom out of it and the glaze wore off but still looks great. It was stuck in the side of a creek bank.

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  8. I just purchased an intact jug with label at a yard sale. Does it have any value?

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  9. i just found a identical bottle in the trash. The No. 22 stamped under handle.

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  10. Found a fragment in a field in Suffolk close to Metfield. Fragment contains the name stamp.

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  11. Got one from my father when he passed. I am 70 yrs old and he got it from my grandfather before I was born, who got it from his father. I believe my great grandfather's family was from Whales or United Kingdom. My bottle is very taken care of and has the mark M 78 scratched on it under the handle. I have also wonder if it has any value.

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  12. My son has this exact bottle. It is in excellent condition. It came from an estate sale. This one is marked NO# 65 under the handle. What is the value of this piece if any? Thank you.

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    1. Sorry I have no idea of the financial value of any the finds on this blog, without wanting to sound too precious, it's not what I'm interested in. I suggest you search on ebay Julia

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  13. I found a similar piece today along the farmington river in windsor ct. I almost threw it out until I saw the lettering and decided to look it up. I figured it was just some pottery thrown into the river until I found this post. Cool find!

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  14. I bought one at an antique store. Disappointed I don't have the adventure s of finding it... I had to buy it the moment I saw it... I was grateful for the info. And enjoyed the stories

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  15. I bought one of these stoneware bottles in tact without the label and someone had painted a bunch of flowers on it....on the bottom of the bottle just as a sticker from someone trying to do research that reads "Rum Jug 100 years old (then something I cannot read)" I paid 10.00 dollars for this jug and a few other items at a estate auction. Thanks for the information about it... some of the other pages I had found I had to have translated and you know sometimes they don't always translate right.

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  16. I have No 2 bottle, was found in north wales, I do not know much about the bottle only what I have read on this page, would love to know the history on it, I would much appreciate if someone could contact me. Many Thanks Carol

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  17. I have No 98 bottle, found in Nauvoo Illinois (no adventure, just an antique store) I bought it for $10.

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  18. Found a bottle intact, without label, on construction site at Hampton University in Hampton Virginia. Is there any monetary value on bottle?

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    1. Sorry no idea, they are pretty common as you can see from all the comments, plus this blog post is the most popular by far, suggesting that a lot of people find these or fragments from them. I'm sure a bit of googling will reveal what it's worth Julia

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    2. From Janet

      Hello Julia,
      We have been finding Apollinaris sherds for the last 40 years in our pond and garden in Berkshire, UK. These include 7 whole ones which held 1 litre and one 'baby poly' for 500 mls. After 40 years we have 639 sherds weighing 34.584 kg. The letters, which I believe represent the 'potting villages' west of the Rhine in the Westerwald; ours are J, K, M. N (the most common), O and P. Numbers are always between 1 to 99. We have found four sherds from walking ploughed and harrowed fields archaeologically. This assemblage will soon be deposited in the Museum of Reading (accession number REDMG 2006.962 and an article published in the Berkshire Archaeology Research Group newsletter 'In the Field'. After a period it will be published on line. I am just finishing a more comprehensive analysis which will be published somewhere, I haven't decided where as yet. I wonder if I could use the photo of the American importer's label you published on your blog, please? I would like to give a proper acknowledgement. How could we make contact personally so that I could do that?
      All the best,
      Janet

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    3. Hi Janet, I'm embarrassed to say that this isn't my photo and when I use photos from the net, I'm usually very careful to put in a credit, but I see in this instance I haven't! Therefore not really my call whether or not you use. Good luck with publications. Julia

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  19. Whilst clearing out my late father's garage yesterday, I found one of these bottles intact except for a slight chip out of the handle. It is clearly marked 4 with the anchor and the other markings impressed beneath. Under the base of the handle it is marked 'No 11' and beneath that is a large 'O'. I believe the No 11 indicates the potter who made it, and the O beneath it the area or town where it was made (but I may be wrong). The glazing is still good. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was old. I can only imagine my Father had unearthed it during excavations. He was an excavator/crane driver and worked all over south London. Five minutes later, I found a large stoneware pot (intact) about 12" high x 7" in diameter, with it's cork still in place, marked on the top brown glazed section with 'S.R.D.' in large letters, which I believe may be from WWI. I was delighted to stumble upon these and will treasure them.

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