Shipwreck 1800's Ross's Belfast Ireland Ballast Bottle

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  • Item Category: Fine Art
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Dec 05, 2008
  • Channel: Auction House
This is a nice historic ballast bottle embossed Rossâe(tm)s onone side and Belfast ( Ireland ) on the other side. Crude with some tiny pings and one golf tee shaped open bubble bu no chips or cracks. Legally recovered from coastal shoals along the New England coast of Maine. Shipwreck item. It has an unusual or non-typical mold-blown bottle form with a seam up both sides and applied lip. The round bottom is unmarked dating it to the late 19 th century. Bottle measures 9 ½ inches long and has some mud staining. It has an applied finish lip that is a cross between a blob (large and one-part) and the oil style (flattened and tapered outside surface), applied ribbon lip for wiring the cork, was blown in a true two-piece mold, and exhibits no apparent mold air venting evidence. Rounded bases were designed to do the opposite of most flat bottle bases and ensured that the bottle was not left standing upright. The rounded bottom was to ensure that the bottle was left on its side so that the wired down cork would not dry out and shrink allowing the contents to loose carbonation and/or evaporate as stated in Riley 1958. Rounded base bottle were made of thick heavy glass and used for carbonated soda, mineral water, and in particular, ginger ale as referenced in Munsey 1971. Some rounded bottom soda bottles actually have a small flattened area in the middle of the base that allows for the bottle to stand upright though somewhat precariously. These are referred to as "club" or "tenpin" in shape, "semi-round", or "egg-shaped" as referenced in McKearin & Wilson 1978, Elliot & Gould 1988, and Jones & Sullivan 1989. These type bottles are commonly referred to as "round bottom sodas" or "ballast bottles" since many of them were imported from England as "ballast" (keel weight) in ships returning to the United States . A common variation is the "torpedo" bottle which is distinctly more pointed on the end with a bulging "amphora-like" body. The torpedo style was first used in England at least as early as 1809 when a patent was granted to William F. Hamilton. These type bottles are often referred to as " Hamilton 's" by English collectors as referenced in McKearin & Wilson 1978. Torpedo bottles are also known by some as "bombs" as referenced in Elliott & Gould 1988. Round bottom and torpedo bottles were usually produced in a true two-piece mold w the neck, shoulder, body, and entire base (and sometimes all or a part of the finish) were produced by the two halves of the mold. As such these type of bottles are simply a rounded base version of the "hinge" mold and exhibit one continuous mold seam that runs from one side of the body, around the base, and then up the other side. The lip is then applied in a fat ribbon style to allow for wiring of the cork. The majority of round bottom or torpedo bottles date from the 1870âe(tm)s to the 1910âe(tm)s, though t are some American made torpedo bottles (Eastern Seaboard) that date back as early as the 1840's as referenced in McKearin & Wilson 1978, Baltimore Bottle Club 2002. Most have a blob style finish, occasionally an oil or mineral finish, though some were made with a Codd finish/closure and later ones (early 20th century) were produced with a crown finish as referenced by Elliott & Gould 1988.