When we nipped to Holmforth for a day of mooching I came across a vintage shop at the bottom of a long, steep set of steps.
I went inside for a poke around and came across a shelf filled with dusty, dirty vintage bottles priced at £2 each. I've built up my own small collection of bottles over the years, so I took this chance to have a look through them. Many of the bottles were ornate or very decorative but the one which stood out to me the most was this brown bottle, mainly because it has a lid. I find it is very, very rare to find an old bottle complete with lid or stopper unless you're shopping somewhere very specialist. Which meant I did the grabby-grabby-but-oh-oh-so-careful-it's-glass dance with my arm, stuffing it to the back of the shelf.
The bottle with the lid is a brown bottle standing around 6 inches tall and don't forget to add a further inch for the stopper (also add cliched joke here about extra inches being oh so important). Rather than a manufacturers name, which is common in vintage bottles, this one simply has the word 'POISON' - a startling find but definitely something I wanted in my collection seeing as it was only £2.
Once I got it to the till, the chap who owned the shop started to tell me the reason why the bottle has definite ridges added to the shape. Anything which could potentially be poisonous was put in a bottle with an unusual shape or with ridges or bumps in order to warn the user during a time when electricity wasn't common or invented.
Imagine rummaging through a collection of bottles in the dead of night (or 3.15pm in December) trying to find something to soothe a headache with only the aid of candlelight. Maybe I'm insane (note to self: remember to check) but this kind of stuff fascinates me. The little details and thought put into designing something as simple as a bottle make me happy.
Apparently these bottles had been dug up local to the Holmfirth area and he had quite the collection - however this little poison bottle was the one for me and into my basket it went and across the Pennines it came.
If you pick up vintage or antique bottles on your travels you might find this website quite interesting, along with The British Antique Bottle Forum and this one.
P.S. I should add my bottle collection is in no way a serious bottle collection - I know some people get a bit sniffy when people declare themselves collectors without much knowledge. I just have a collection of some objects I like and take a very loose interest in. Please don't hurt me bottle collectors, don't use glass as a verb!
P.P.S. I forget not everyone lives in my brain - the glass as a verb thing is a comedic reference, shout if you get which stand up show it is from.
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