I found this bottle for sale on Marketplace late on 27th October 2020. The bottle was dirty but the dirt allowed the embossed wording to be fairly readable and I could see it was from Nottingham and I could see the word Cider also embossed. I decided to make an offer based on it being unchipped and uncracked. The following day I was able to pick it up from the seller. The seller works for a company who works on buildings and told me that 4 years ago he was working on The Nags Head, a public house on Mansfield Road, Nottingham. Whilst working in the attic he discovered sealed into the wall this bottle. When he found it the original cork was intact but he grabbed it by the cork which broke off as he did so. He kept the bottle in its 'as found' condition complete with the dirt that had settled on it during its incarceration in the wall.
The bottle is a Victorian,probably around 1880, example of a 'cucumber' bottle. The rounded bottom meant that it could not stand on its own so would need to lay on its side.The bottle is two-piece moulded and has an applied blob top which is made to take a cork.Corks dry out with age and so by laying the bottle on its side the liquid contents kept the cork moist and stopped it shrinking and allowing air in to spoil the contents.
The wording on 4 of the sides of the 10 sided bottle reads;
G. W. SHIPLEY'S
LEMONADE GINGER BEER
SHERBET & CHAMPAGNE CIDER
There are no other markings to be found. The glass is full of bubbles trapped inside the thick glass body.There are two dings visible, one where the blob top joins the neck and another one on the main body and on the other side to the embossed wording. The small ding in the body is on the inside of the bottle and on the outside there is a small dent which was obviously done during the manufacturing process as it is smooth to the touch. Within the inside where the ding is there appears to be a small piece of stone or similar in the centre of the small crack and this must have got in when the glass was made. The process was crude as the glass didn't need to be super clear quality, it just had to be watertight, 140 years later it still is. The ding in the neck is almost identical to the one in the body.
A wash in warm soapy water and some scrubbing at the aged dirt has revealed a very clean bottle inside and out, and great for its age. A great find, I just wish I'd have pulled it out of the wall myself...