DSiemens

Ship on bottle history

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I've been doing some digging into old ship in bottle techniques and history.  I found a couple interesting articles.

 

First from Popular Mechanics 1943

 

https://books.google.com/books?id=FtcDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA89&lpg=PA89&dq=popular+mechanics+ship+in+bottle&source=bl&ots=4HI4IRDx-Z&sig=_awArkgpOUL2W1EqnrBdU5RONhc&hl=en&sa=X&ei=fr9CVceDCIGpsQX0iIEw&ved=0CDoQ6AEwCw#v=onepage&q=popular%20mechanics%20ship%20in%20bottle&f=false

 

Also Modern Mechanix 1930

 

http://blog.modernmechanix.com/how-to-put-a-ship-in-a-bottle/

 

If any one can find any other old articles please post them.  The history of this hobby fascinates me and I'd like to see more.  

 

Also if any one has any original accounts from ship in bottle builders in the 19th or early 20th century I'd like to see those too. I've yet to find anything like that.   

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Daniel,

 

Those are nice articles from long ago.  The ModernMechaanics article is 85 years old, but it is still relevant today!  

I'm glad you posted them.  

 

Thanks

Gwyl

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Although this is a little bit off topic as started by Daniel, I think it is appropriate.

 

These four SiBs are four of the five oldest SiBs in existence.

 

4 BIONDO3giovanni1fransesco.jpg

The first three were made by Giovanni Biondo of Venice, the fourth is by Fransesco Biondo who

is assumed to be Giovanni's son. The dates shown are those recorded from inside the bottles.

The 1784 bottle is in a museum in Germany, not on display. The 1786 bottle is in a private

collection in Italy. The 1792 bottle is in a Lisbon, Portugal museum, not on display.

The 1806 bottle is not on display in a glass art museum in Murano, Italy.

 

BIONDO3size.jpg

The 1792 bottle with a human viewer for size comparison. Clearly these bottles are very large and were made

specifically for this purpose. They must have been extraordinarily expensive in a time when an Italian cristallo

or an English lead crystal wine decanter and glasses cost the equivalent of a year's pay for a skilled craftsman.

 

rotterSiB.jpg

The fifth bottle dates to 1795 by an unknown builder, and is in a Rotterdam, Netherlands museum, not on display.

Time has obviously not been kind to this model.

 

Admin Note:  The photographs of the Biando ships in bottles are from David Luna De Carvalho's website.  To see his original post on these bottles please follow the link.  http://mardasgarrafas.blogspot.pt/search?updated-max=2015-08-09T23:34:00%2B01:00&max-results=7&start=14&by-date=false  

 

The photo of the Rotterdam bottle was also from David's website.  See the original post here. http://mardasgarrafas.blogspot.com/2010_02_01_archive.html

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The description that was with the 1795 bottle says it was a poon but I could find no description of a poon so didn't mention it. Same with straughtenjacht. The side boards (I assume there's one on the opposite side) very strongly suggests Dutch origin.

 

I suspect from the mast and gaff that it carried a sail somewhat similar to that on a cat boat. Perhaps four sided with one edge attached to the mast and the gaff spreading the other top corner. The hull looks distorted in length to get it to fit in the bottle and the rudder looks way oversize.

 

The photo is from an article on bottle art history that is on Greg Alvey's site. Link to his site: http://www.folkartinbottles.com/  While I'm at it I must mention that the photos of the Biondo bottles and the information about them is from David Luna de Carvalho's blog. He apparently has some kind of connection to the Lisbon Maritime Museum because he found the 1792 bottle stuck away in a dusty corner of the Museum's store rooms, uncatalogued.

Edited by Dave Fellingham
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Dave,  Thanks for posting these.  This is amazing history.  I am glad you included the photo with the person as it does indeed show how large the bottle and ships are.  Truly fascinating. 

 

Gwyl

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Nice find Dave!

I love the bases on the 84 and 86 bottles, very exsquiset. Interesting bottle stopper on the 1795 bottle.

Thanks for posting and I appreciate your contribution to the forum.

Jeff

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After seeing the four Biondo bottles a couple years ago I realized that building ships in bottles did not begin as folk art but began with master modelers working in bottles that were masterpieces of the glassblower's art.

 

Current conjecture is that the first three may have been commissioned by Angelo Emo, the last Grand Admiral of the Republic of Venice. In 1784 he led the Venetian fleet of 24 vessels on board his newly completed flagship La Fama against the Barbary pirates operating out of Tunis. (The 1784 ship is identified as La Fama.) The Bey of Tunis agreed to Venetian demands in 1785. The third bottle is dated the year of Emo's death. Angelo Emo was a member of one of the most powerful and richest families in Venice. It is also possible that one or more of these could have been commissioned by the Doge of Venice in Emo's honor. It's also possible that these were the Venetian version of British "Admiralty Models".

 

post-30-0-62045500-1430617356_thumb.jpg

Portrait of Angelo Emo to commemorate his command of the Venetian Grand Fleet in 1785-86.

A ship in the background close to his leg looks like La Fama.

 

Mass production techniques and advances in glass technology itself, which together allowed for inexpensive, transparent, colorless glass containers that could be considered single use, did not make their appearance until about 1880. It was these bottles that gives us the beginning of what could be called the "Golden Age of Ship Bottling." I am not aware of any other SiBs in existence from the years between the Biondo bottles and the beginning of this Golden Age. I think it's fair to say that folk artists revived (accidentally?) an art form that may have been too expensive to continue to produce after it was first developed and was temporarily lost.

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  Given the rarity of Biondo type models, and the strong tradition of "mining bottles" in Northern Europe, it seems more likely that sailors from Baltic ports simply created  nautical versions of the mining bottle, as suitable containers became available to them. Mining bottles actually predate Biondo's efforts. SDJones has some interesting information on the subject.

TJ

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The one charachteristic that caught my eye, was that all of these are full hull models. With the limited tools and materials that were available centuries ago, the craftsman were able to create such beautiful, and intricate ships in bottles.  All of mine up until now have been in some sort of putty/sea.  My next one will be a full hull.

 

Gwyl

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Gwyl,

You are correct when you use the term craftsman. Sometimes we fail to realize that there were many Artisans back in those ancient of days who practiced trades to the tenth degree. I marvel at the artwork and craftsmanship back then. Sure new materials now a days make life easy however back then they didn't have computers so everything was hand made and to perfection. No one was in such a rush which is a credit and ... machines that were devised where very intricate for the technology however primitive they possessed.

TJ .... Thanks for the link to SD Jones, I'll see what the Internet brings up.

Jeff

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  Given the rarity of Biondo type models, and the strong tradition of "mining bottles" in Northern Europe, it seems more likely that sailors from Baltic ports simply created  nautical versions of the mining bottle, as suitable containers became available to them. Mining bottles actually predate Biondo's efforts. SDJones has some interesting information on the subject.

TJ

 

Unfortunately, there are no SiBs in existence that predate the Biondo bottles and until one is found a conjectural leap from mining bottles to ships in bottles is nothing but speculation with no evidence to support it. At least my hypothesis is based on facts like the documented history of the development of colorless, transparent bottles, photos of signed and dated ships in bottles and a well researched understanding of the historical context in which those bottled ships were created.

 

I see no logical reason to make a leap from mining bottles to bottled ships because each type uses very different techniques. Mining bottles are essentially simple collections of numerous small objects placed in a bottle, while a ship in a bottle is an order of magnitude more complicated and requires techniques that are much more complex than merely placing numerous small objects in a bottle.

 

post-30-0-63202000-1430714352_thumb.jpg     post-30-0-68263900-1430714353_thumb.jpg     post-30-0-94094600-1430714354_thumb.jpg

From left: Matthias Buchinger mining bottle of 1719; Mining bottle from Kremnitz, Slovakia, first half of the 19th century; mining bottle from Gottesberg, Vogtland, 1869. As you can see these bottles are cluttered with small objects that will fit through the neck, with a few exceptions like the wheel in the Buchinger bottle. I see nothing in these to suggest they are an evolutionary step to ship bottling, other than a bottle.

 

I have done considerable research on the origins of SiBs and am familiar with the only example of bottle art by Matthias Buchinger. I know two web sites state that Buchinger made ships in bottles but both fail to cite their sources. One of those goes so far as to state that Buchinger's ships in bottles are highly sought after as if it was known there were any to seek. However, none are known to exist and I have seen no evidence that any ever existed.

 

I have also researched mining bottles but not very thoroughly. I'm familiar with the research by Peter Huber and the monograph he write in 1995 with Otto Fritz but haven't found it on the web. I have also studied the information posted by S. D. Jones. (I don't consider Jones reliable because he makes numerous assertions without substantiation, such as that only one woman has ever created bottled folk art, which we all know is ridiculous.) I learned from that study that the six oldest mining bottles are dated 1719, 1725 (or 1775 as stated by Jones contrary to Huber even though Jones's info on mining bottles mirrors Huber and this date is probably a typo, but it's further evidence of Jones's unreliability), 1737, 1744, 1745 and 1751. I can find no other reference to 18th century mining bottles on the web that contributes anything of value. The only photo on the web of any of those six bottles is the Buckinger bottle.

Edited by Dave Fellingham
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That Biondo's models are wonderful and almost unique examples of the ship bottler's art is quite true. They are also among the first examples, if not actually the first. But they are despite this, still generically puzzle bottles, and puzzle bottles already existed in Europe when Biondo set to work to create his version. Matthew Buchinger, among others, was there long before him. In truth, Buchinger is better known than Biondo, and actually surpassed him in skill when his manifold talents and devastating handicaps are considered. Buchinger was a renaissance man, Biondo seemingly was not.

  Existing as he does in an historical vacuum, there is no logical connection between Biondo and any other puzzle bottle tradition except perhaps to mining bottles. Nor did Biondo or his son found a tradition within either ship bottling or puzzle bottles. The credit for that almost certainly belongs to Ralph Preston, and there seems to be nothing in print by Mister Preston claiming that Biondo's models inspired him to construct his first complex "modern" model inside a carboy.

In terms of bottling history, there are more interesting things to think about than whether Biondo was the spiritual father of all true ship bottlers and whether following in his footsteps will lead the loyal few to the magical land of wealthy patrons and generous compensation. I'd be content for the moment with the name of the guy who, thinking about how to put a ship inside an empty whiskey bottle, came up with the notion that yanking a line at point A would create a desired result at point B.

TJ
 

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 I'd be content for the moment with the name of the guy who, thinking about how to put a ship inside an empty whiskey bottle, came up with the notion that yanking a line at point A would create a desired result at point B.

TJ

 

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 I'd be content for the moment with the name of the guy who, thinking about how to put a ship inside an empty whiskey bottle, came up with the notion that yanking a line at point A would create a desired result at point B.

TJ

 

 

We know who it was - Giovanni Biondo in Venice in 1784.

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I was able to find what a "poon" was.  The name was shortened making it a little harder.  Paviljoen Poon is the type of ship also known as a hooker.  It was a small cargo vessel.  Having seen the actual ship I don't think it's in as bad a shape as it appeared.  Some one aught to get it over to Michel Bardet.   ;)   

 

large.jpg

Any way interesting discussion I'll throw in my two cents.  I don't agree that mining bottle required far less skill then ships in bottles.  A lot of what is in those bottles had to be constructed piece by piece inside the bottle.  A skill not taken on by most ship in bottle builders.  The wheel on the Mathias Buchinger bottle appears to be bigger than the bottle neck.  While I have some ideas I don't completely know how that was done.  Piecing it together would have proved difficult.    

 

I also don't think going from mining bottles and other folk art in bottles is a large leap.  It's a farther leap to consider the Biondo bottles may have been admiralty ships.  I think it is possible some one, maybe Biondo, saw some art in a bottle and thought it was a creative idea but had more interest in ships than mines or religious art.  So he found a way to put ships into a bottle.  The idea that it was a commission makes me wonder if Giovanni made several ships that he sold or if some one saw something similar and hired a capable artist to make specific ships.  It's hard to say because it appears the Biondo bottles were made by or for wealthy people who were able to care of them over the years.  (With the exception of one clumsy housekeeper).  If there were any ships built by lower class people they would not have had the chances of surviving as the Biondo bottles did so we'll never know.        

 

Giovanni Biondo himself is a mystery.  All we seem to know about him is in the bottles he built.  One of them he claims that he was a captain but his name does not appear in the actual records.  Which begs the question who was Giovanni Biondo?  Was that even his real name or was it a pen name.  After all Giovanni Biondo was also the name of a renaissance artist in the 14th century.  I'm not familiar enough with names in that area to determine if it is just a common name.  It appears from another bottle that he had a son Francesco Biando.  The same name is also a Venetian author from the 15th century.  I'm curious if there are any census records that can tell us who they were.  I'll have to do some digging on that.  

 

We simply don't know enough about the artist or the ships.  So suffice it to say they are the earliest known.           

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Found a book written in 1869 that mentions the Fransesco bottle.  It's written in Italian and appears to be a log of different rooms some where.  I can't copy and paste from it to google translate with the format.  Is there any Italian speakers that can help figure out what it's saying.  

 

https://books.google.com/books?id=KgCp0YUhK5sC&pg=PA116&lpg=PA116&dq=Capitan+Francesco+Biondo&source=bl&ots=Weqt_WsCNn&sig=kJbpARggoGFor9O2hgMsYzJWD6Q&hl=en&sa=X&ei=KWRIVb27IcKcgwTQ_oCADA&ved=0CGgQ6AEwDg#v=onepage&q=Capitan%20Francesco%20Biondo&f=false 

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Never mind found a way to translate it.  Appears to be a museum guide.  For what it's worth sounds like the Fransesco Bottle was located in Milan Italy in 1869.  

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  Daniel,
  I agree with you about mining bottles, they are not as simple as they appear. I had it in mind about ten years ago to build something of the sort based on Edgar Allen Poe's story The Tell Tale Heart; employing a wine vinegar bottle. I managed the corpse and a couple of floor joists before giving up. I use drop and glue routinely to add deck buildings, but laying floor boards, building chairs and constructing modular figures by accretion wasn't as simple as i hoped.

  It's not clear to me exactly how Biondo and his son built their models, i've never seen the things except in pictures. Since they were built primarily to amaze and mystify the viewer, i'd expect the method to be concealed. My guess would be that they were done primarily as drop and glue sub-assemblies though.

   In historical terms, neither the method nor the degree of difficulty matter. Both mining bottles and Biondo's ships in bottles are first and foremost puzzle bottles, ships in bottles are a subset of puzzle bottles, their history is part of the history of puzzle bottles, which probably explains why they became extinct almost immediately. There weren't enough rich people in Venice in the late 18th century willing to pay double or triple the price of a ship model simply because the maker had seen fit to assemble it inside a demijon.

TJ
 

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I agree with T.J.

 

The bottles tell a story of what was happening during the ages when these intricate pieces of art were put together.

I see hints of the steam age and a Napoleonic flavor.

 

The "Hooker" is a very interesting vessel. The massive block on the foresail/stay looks like modern block and tackle on a crane.

Very Cool!  B)

 

Jeff

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Jeff:

That massive block on the fore stay is very like a deadeye but with 6 or more holes and is rigged essentially the same way. It later evolved into the heart.

 

post-30-0-40160900-1430953791_thumb.jpg

A pair of hearts rigged with a lanyard. At bottom is a fore stay and fore stay preventer, both with a pair

of hearts, rigged to a bowsprit. The hearts don't show well because they are edge-on to the viewer.

You will find the same arrangement on the main and mizzen stays and preventers.

 

It's not surprising that you see hints of the steam age and Napoleonic Europe because two of the three bottles I posted were made in the 19th century - specifically sometime in the first half and in 1869. Those three were the only images of mining bottles I found on the web.

 

Daniel:

The 13th century artist was named Giovanni del Biondo and the 15th century author was named Flavio Biondo. The latter was an historian and is widely regarded as one of the first archaeologists for his three encyclopedic books documenting the ruins and topology of ancient Rome based on his explorations of the overgrown and partially buried ruins.

 

Good find on the poon and the image -  pretty much what I envisioned from the model. I eventually figured out that the "straughtenjacht" you referred to was a statenjacht which evolved from the poon into a state yacht, frequently with a square topsail and a more conventionally shaped schooner main sail.

 

post-30-0-83884500-1430957348_thumb.jpg

Statenjacht Utrecht.

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Your right they are not the same as the ship in bottle builders.  I've scrapped the idea that they might be pen names.  Upon further research it seems Giovanni is the Italian version of John.  I'm not sure what the Francesco equivalent is but they are both pretty common names.  I was hopeful in finding a Francesco Giovanni who was an artist in Milan around the same time period but found he died one year before the Francesco bottle was dated.  I've gotten as far as Google will take me.  I'd have to go through a service to find much more.  It's also difficult because I'm not sure we know the true origin of the Giovanni bottles.  They could be from Venice but they could be from Milan.  At the very least they made it to Milan in 1869.  If a city could be pinpointed it would narrow the search.    

 

Dave you have done some research on glass history and that has me curious.  I think I'll start researching that next.  I know there's a connection between glass history and ship in bottle history and it's been briefly hinted to in previous posts.  What it looks like is glass was very expensive in the 18th century and became more available in the 19th.  While that's easy to say it's far more interesting when backed up by facts.  Facts that I remember you had put together.  Let me know what you think and I'll do some digging as well.  

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Francesco = Francis in English.

 

About the title of Captain associated with Giovanni Biondo, I'm reminded of the Royal Navy practice of giving the title of "Colonel of Marines" to Navy captains who had distinguished themselves in battle or through other outstanding service to the Crown as a sinecure (a paycheck with no responsibilities or duties attached). These Colonels of Marines were never listed on the roster of active Royal Marine officers. It seems possible that Giovanni Biondo may have had something similar happen to him as compensation for making these bottle ships for Venice. I also notice that the reference you linked to for translation help is for Capitan of Venice Francesco Biondo. I also noted that the reference is a book titled Piccola Guida di Murano (Small Guide to Murano). Notice Murano, not Milan. Angelo Emo very strongly supported reforms in the Venetian Navy in imitation of the British Royal Navy and it seems possible that he brought in Giovanni to produce models for the Venetian version of the British Admiralty. All four of the Biondo bottles are of new warships - the 1786 and 1792 ships have the same number of guns but appear to be different vessels because of differences in the fancy work at the beakheads and bows. There were no warships in Emo's 1784-85 Tunisian campaign as heavily armed (except La Fama) so possibly did not exist then. They also carry fewer guns than the 1784 La Fama, perhaps smaller and lighter armed versions. It has also occurred to me that the dates on the bottles aren't the date the model was made but are the dates the ships were commissioned in the Venetian Navy. Given that rich civilians would be less likely to commission an expensive model of a new warship than its first captain - or the government - I must put the Venetian "ministry of marine" at the head of the list of possible buyers or patrons. I find it unlikely that Giovanni could have produced a model of La Fama in the same year it was built unless he had access to La Fama as it was being built. Even in the late 1700's techniques for accurately drawing all the structure and details of a ship were still in their infancy. Models were still very useful into that period to show what a proposed vessel looked like to those not familiar with the drafting techniques. As an example, the first three big US frigates, Constitution, President, and United States were all different even though they were built to the same plan and specifications, partly because the shipbuilders and the US Navy captains overseeing their construction did not all interpret the drawings in the same way. Today, reading a three view line drawing of a ship's hull can be bewildering to someone who hasn't studied hull drafting conventions.

 

In general, the history of glass pretty much begins with the invention of heat sources (such as charcoal with forced air from bellows) hot enough to smelt iron or copper from ore - and melt glass. Until the 14th century, impurities prevented the making of colorless, transparent glass (btw, those words have specific meanings in glass-making). Glass-makers in Murano (a community on an island near Venice, essentially a suburb in today's terminology) developed refining processes to produce such glass, called cristallo. The glass-makers of Murano were very highly paid for their skills but were not allowed to leave Murano, ever, in order to protect Venice's monopoly and keep the technology of this highly sought after product secret. In the mid 17th century George Ravescroft managed to hire and smuggle from Venice a Murano glass-maker and took him to England. This quickly led to his development of lead crystal. England was so protective of its emerging glass industry that the importation of glass containers was strictly prohibited.

 

From the standpoint of making glass display cases for ship models, colorless transparent sheet glass of sufficient uniformity to allow viewing of a ship model in a glass display case with minimal distortion was not available until no earlier than the late 19th century as anyone who has seen or toured old buildings from the mid 19th century or before that still have original glass can attest.. If you have ever built a conventional static ship model and didn't put it in a display case you known that man has never invented a worse dust collector than a model of a sailing ship. Giovanni's choice of a bottle seems entirely logical and practical, and the "wonder bottle" aspect may have been given little, if any, consideration. Given his choices, it was the best way available to protect and display his models especially when the foremost glass makers and blowers in the world worked just down the street - er, canal.

 

It seems obvious to me that all forms of wonder bottles are closely linked to the technological advances in the production of colorless transparent bottles. The earliest documentation of a wonder bottle - specifically a mining bottle - is in a list of items in an English noble's personal collection of extraordinary objects dated 1669. The mining bottle was dated about 20 years earlier but no longer exists.

 

As for how the Biondo bottles were dispersed, we need to look at European and Venetian history around the year 1800 for clues. By 1796 the Venetian Republic, which was comprised of much of northern Italy from a bit east of Milan and eastward as far as the coast and islands of what is now Croatia to Dubrovnik, was unable to defend its neutrality in the War of the First Coalition between the French Republic and primarily Austria. Most of the western portion was quickly occupied by both belligerents. In 1797, Napoleon (the general of the French Army) forced Venice's surrender. Venice and its territory to the east was given to the Austrians in a peace treaty ending the war while the western territories came under French control. I can't confirm my suspicion that the 1784 Biondo bottle was sent back to Austria and eventually Germany at that time. Peace broke down in 1799 into the War of the Second Coalition in which Austria lost the rest of the former Venetian territories which came under French control along with more territory in northern Italy (and elsewhere). The Italian territories held by France became the Republic of Italy and, after the War of the Third Coalition and the conquest of more of the independent states on the Italian peninsula, became the Kingdom of Italy with Napoleon as the head of state in both versions. After Napoleon's abdication as Emperor of France and King of Italy in 1814, northern Italy underwent a further series of political upheavals until Austria moved in and took control. This is another period in which the 1784 bottle might have been seen and sent back to Austria. All this war and political upheaval could account for the lack or loss of records from this time. I don't even have a wild guess as to how the 1792 bottle got to Lisbon. The 1786 bottle is somewhere in Italy, but the 1806 bottle is nearly certain to have never left Venice.

 

Daniel, I encourage you to do your own research on the history of colorless transparent bottles to see if you come to similar or much different conclusions. I'm very interested either way.

 

I saw the photo of Japanese beverage bottles with the ball in the neck that you posted. You will find that the first bottled beer was in bottles with a near identical ball valve system.

 

Dave

Edited by Dave Fellingham

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Here's something from Wikipedia on clear glass:

 

"Bohemia, a part of the Czech Republic (formerly part of Czechoslovakia, formerly part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire), became famous for its beautiful and colourful glass during the Renaissance. The history of Bohemian glass started with the abundant natural resources found in the countryside.

Bohemian glass-workers discovered potash combined with chalk created a clear colourless glass that was more stable than glass from Italy. In the 16th century the term Bohemian crystal emerged for the first time in history to distinguish its qualities from the glass coming from other places. This glass contained no lead as is commonly suspected. This Czech glass could be cut with a wheel. In addition, resources such as wood for firing the kilns and for burning down to ashes were used to create potash. There were also copious amounts of limestone and silica. In the 17th century, Caspar Lehmann, gem cutter to Emperor Rudolf II in Prague, adapted to glass the technique of gem engraving with copper and bronze wheels. During the era, the Czech lands became the dominant producer of decorative glassware and the local manufacture of glass earned international reputation in high Baroque style from 1685 to 1750.

Czech glassware became as prestigious as jewellery and was sought-after by the wealthy and the aristocracy of the time. Czech crystal chandeliers could be found in the palaces of the French king Louis XV, Maria Theresa, Empress of Austria, and Elizabeth of Russia.

Bohemia turned out expert craftsmen who artfully worked with crystal. Bohemian crystal became famous for its excellent cut and engraving. They became skilled teachers of glass-making in neighbouring and distant countries. By the middle of the 19th century, a technical glass-making school system was created that encouraged traditional and innovative techniques as well as thorough technical preparation."

 

  The logical conclusion about mining bottles is that they originated and  prospered in concert with the Bohemian glass industry. If there was any flow of technology with regard to 18th century glass making, it would have been out of Bohemia and into Venice, with a greater liklihood that Biondo encountered a patience bottle in the hands of a Bohemian glass worker working in Venice, and that ship bottling evolved from patience bottles which were common in northern Europe when modern bottles began to appear. There's no evidence indicating that S.D. Jones (she's a woman by the way, not a man) and Peter Huber, among others, have somehow missed the significance of Biondo's models within the larger context of bottled art.

 

TJ

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I haven't concluded my research but it does appear clear glass originated from Murano.  Here's a small bit of what I've found.  By the time of Crusades, glass manufacturing was developed in Venice and it became glassmaking center of the western world. In 1291 glassmaking equipment was transferred to the island of Murano. During 15th century Venetian glass blower, Angelo Barovier, crated cristallo, nearly colorless, transparent glass. By the late 1500’s, many Venetians went to northern Europe seeking better life where they established factories and brought the art of Venetian glassblowing.

By 1575, English glassmakers made glass in Venetian fashion. In 1674, an English glassmaker George Ravenscroft invented lead glass.

http://www.historyofglass.com/

 

TJ I wonder if the glass makers in the Czech republic were Venetian immigrants.  Who probably improved on their method after several hundred years.  This isn't to say those that stayed didn't improve as well which led to George Ravescroft  smuggling a glass maker out of Murano.  Like I said I haven't concluded my research.  What I find interesting though is a theory that  where ever clear glass was made bottle art seemed to follow.  For instance the Venetians left and went to Northern Europe and set up shop near some mining towns possibly for the materials to use in glass making.  They then sell bottles to the miners who create mining bottles with them.  I have a lot to follow up on to find if that theory is true.  

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