Found Treasure – A Bee and a Bottle
Yesterday we climbed a hill to hunt out a hidden geocache, which we found, leaving our names in the logbook with glee and swapping the little toy we had taken with us to leave me with the tiny, silver bee bead I found rattling around the bottom of the container along with a few other left-behind swapables.(NB. If you don’t know about geocaching or haven’t tried it, GO LOOK. It’s brilliant and I guarantee you’ll live close to dozens of caches you can go hunt for).
And on our meandering way back down, J spotted this, half-buried in the soil under some bracken, knowing my love of old, found rubbish which I always deem ‘treasure’, no matter how worthless, and the like of which I’m starting to fill my house with.
But, after getting it home and giving it a good clean and look over, followed by a bit of curiosity-led research, it turns out it might really be worth my label of treasure after all.
The bottle appears to be an old hip flask. Marked on the bottom is the word ‘Depose’ which is the word French glass manufactures put to mark glass as ‘registered’, along with the letters ‘GS’ and a logo of some sort, featuring a bird and a crest design. The glass is stained yellow in patches – showing it to Kai’s Dad today, he wondered whether this could be from a leather holder decomposing around it, and I think he might be right. The glass is heavy and thick, and the top is shaped to fit a cork or stopper, rather than any kind of screw lid, so my guess is it’s quite old.
We found it well off the path (we were looking for jaguars), half buried in the middle of undergrowth, less than a mile from, it turns out, the site of a First World War training camp. It’s a bit of stretch to imagine it could be linked, and as far as I know, French troops weren’t stationed there, but as the bottle, at a guess, likely dates from around that era, it’s impossible not to imagine…
… the image of a soldier, lying flat on the hill at night as part of a training exercise, cold and bored, with a nip of something for company…
Maybe? Maybe not. In either case, my mysterious bottle has delighted me. If anyone happens to have any knowledge of antique or vintage glassware, I’d love to know what you think J found!*
A good start to a year of treasure hunting, huh? I’m determined to collect all sorts of weird and wonderful things this year with their own hinted-at stories attached. I wonder what other found treasures will end up in my house by the end of the year?
*P.S. If it turns out this is a 1970′s mass-manufactured gin bottle with absolutely no story whatsoever, perhaps you can just smile smugly and keep schtum.
(I have hung the little bee inside, as a reminder of an all-round treasurey day).