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Caster Bottle

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Artifact Description

Three mold-blown caster bottles with a two-spouted lip were recovered from the SS Republic and were likely part of a set; other examples in the same pattern, yet slightly different in shape, were also retrieved from the wreck site. The two caster bottle varieties were probably produced from the same mold.

A similar caster bottle was manufactured by the Boston & Sandwich Glass Company of Massachusetts. However, many glass houses of the era produced these items, making attribution especially difficult. The patterns were typically made at the commercial mold maker's establishment. The mold maker then sent one to each glass factory that ordered the matching mold. The patterns were stored at the glass factory and later returned to the mold maker when a replacement mold was needed. To make the caster bottle, it was removed from the mold and hand tooled to form a lip with two spouts from which to pour liquid condiments such as oil or vinegar, or perhaps even lemon or garlic juice.

The three examples recovered from the wreck site are all missing their glass or cork stoppers. Caster bottles with their lower portion stepped in, were usually not designed to rest on their bottoms, but rather were supported by metal rings on revolving stands. In addition to the glassware, the excavation in fact, yielded the remains of a metal stand with rings, in which the caster bottles would have been set on a dining table for display and use.


Other Details

Dimensions:
H: 17.1cm

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