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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. ;)

Photo 02-01-2013 16 01 32

Photo 02-01-2013 15 31 41   Photo 02-01-2013 16 07 06

(I have hung the little bee inside, as a reminder of an all-round treasurey day).



  1. I have absolutely no helpful knowledge but love your mini story about it. What a find!

  2. Blondie BatGirl

    I love it! I like finding treasure. My Dad was a builder, and he found all sorts of coins and clay pipes as he worked. I use the large angular glass jug he dug up to keep my collection of marbles in. Some of those are found treasures too. Despite collecting glass, I don’t know anything about the bottle you have, except that it’s superb, I see no reason not to think it did belong to that soldier on the hill…

  3. While it may not have belonged to a French soldier, it could well have belonged to a British soldier who had returned from France and was in charge of training the British troops. Just a thought. I hope you find out its origins either way :-)

  4. paula anne

    hi,im very sorry i don’t know any info about this bottle,need some myself as i found one exactly the same in allerton bywater near castleford,uk earlier today,got some nice little bottles today!

  5. David Pye

    I saw your page yesterday while I was trying to identify my (sadly broken) glass bottle, which has the bird and crest design as shown on your find. Today I am even more interested, as I have now found a complete unbroken bottle which is exactly the same as yours and Paula Anne’s. I too would love to know more about these bottles. Most of the other bottles I have found in the same area are generally from the 1940′s and 1950′s but I have also found earlier ones. Both my bottles have the letters ‘CE’ on the base rather than the ‘GS’ found on yours.
    Mine were found near Kirkby, Merseyside.

  6. David Pye

    The bottle is a Martell Cognac bottle – probably a Very Old Pale Cognac. It is likely to be from the 1940s-50s.

  7. I also found the same bottle in Cambridgeshire! Well Papworth Everard to be exact, in a small wooded area meters away from the Hospital. Great spot, in this one place I have found around 30-50 different shaped n coloured bottles, dating from the Victorian era to about 1950. Some are chemists bottles stating “not to be taken” and things like “stomach powder”. Others are very old beer and cider bottles. And even Ponds creams, perfume bottles, and a 1940s Brylcream bottle! But this bird crested bottle is defo one of my favorites, mystery solved, Thanks!

  8. Paul Moore

    It’s a Vintage Martell Cognac Green Glass Bottle

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