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Bartmann Bottle

Origin: Europe, Germany, Frechen
Overall: 18 x 10 3/4 x 10 3/4in. (45.7 x 27.3 x 27.3cm)
Stoneware, salt-glazed, brown
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1954-825
Bartmann bottle of ovoid form with tapering short neck and molded lip; small, ridged loop handle. Molded on the front of the neck is a bearded mask and below is a roulette-inscribed number 4. Mottled dark brown on gray, the brown flecked with various-sized spots of cream color.
Label:Although Frechen bottles continued to be made in the eighteenth century with and without Bartmann masks, their presence in America was vastly overshadowed by newly available English brown stoneware. German vessels in archaeological contexts appear at a ratio of about one for every twenty British examples.

Among the latest specimens found in use in a colonial-American context is a Frechen bottle recovered from the British ships sunk during the siege of Yorktown in 1781. Like the 1954-825 example in our collection, the recovered bottle was marked with a roulette-incised number “4” to indicate capacity, and its ovoid shape is indicative of the eighteenth-century date of manufacture.
Provenance:Purchased from R. W. Paul, Suffolk, England
Mark(s):Capacity mark of 4