Thursday, September 1, 2016

Artifact of the Month: September 2016

Photo Credit: Rich Veit
This is a wine bottle seal from Somerset, New Jersey. Would love to know the manufacturer. If you have any information, please forward comments to the ASNJ webmaster at with subject heading "ASNJ."

UPDATE 11/29/2016:

An ASNJ supporter Alicia Batko discovered a similar bottle seal online in a collector's forum. This seal was excavated in eastern North Carolina along with other 18th Century artifacts. Scott Ford, the owner of the bottle, reached out to the Webmaster of His inquiry received the following response:

"Scott, The crowns on your seal certainly suggest a European connection.  The seal appears to be made of four quadrants. I found only one early seal that consisted of a similar organization. From what I can gather, your seal is probably a coat of arms.  I am going to guess that it might not be as old as you suggest. I checked in Antique Wine Bottles by Roger Dumbrell.  He lists hundreds of seals, although none like yours.  In fact, all of the seals of the 17th and 18th centuries were much rounder and not one of them was a squared shaped like yours.   I cannot tell from the picture what the remaining glass attached to the seal is like.  I am looking for some hint of where on the bottle the seal might have been attached (neck, shoulder or body).  Its location might provide a clue to the age.  Going out on a limb, I am going to suggest your seal might be late 19th century rather than 18th.  Numerous wines and olive oils were made with applied seals in the 1880s.  Maybe a reader will help out.  Digger" (Bottle Books 2007)