Bovril Bottles from 1908

Bovril Bottles from 1908

Thirteen Bovril bottles, discarded after the death of Mary Everett in 1908. Each is embossed either ‘2oz’ or ‘4oz’ and ‘Bovril, Limited’. Early Bovril bottles from the 1890s bear the Registration number and Farringdon Street address (unlike these later examples), and they do not have the standardized contents embossed. From 1913, Bovril bottles were made in automatic bottle machines. The ones illustrated here are all hand-finished: i.e. they have tooled lips. They were made at various glassworks and are mostly of slightly different design, shape and colour. On the bases are the following marks: (2oz): RP/54, 308/?, BV/587, 324/VR, ?; (4oz): 399/B, C.26/ RP/74, RP/74, DB/42, RP/74 (as before), BV/44.

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April 4, 2015

19 Comments

  1. How would these bottles have been sealed?

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    • They had corks with paper labels over the top, but later Bovrils (from the 1920s) had twist-on metal caps.

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      • We have just found a bovril limited 1oz bottle with (lools like) ucb or s and A37.

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  2. We have dug up a 1oz sealed bottle of Bovril, marked on the side with “Bovril Limited, F116”. Seems like there is still remnants of Bovril inside.

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  3. Hi, I have a bottle like these little ones but the makes on the bottom reads 14 H or 14 l H . Can you give any information of the year because I’m getting know where in trying to find any. Thanks.

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    • Hi Carmel, thanks for getting in touch. The marks on the base concern the batch number or glassworks’ details, not the year. We were able to date the ones in the photo because the deposit they were found in was securely dated to 1908. Until about 1913-14, Bovril bottles were hand-finished and will have a seam that ends before the lip. After that, they were machine-made, and the seam will run through the lip at the top of the bottle. In the later 1920s/1930s, shorter necks come in.

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  4. My late husband’s grandmother claimed, that her brother designed the original Boris bottle. Is this probable ????

    He was an Irishman named O’Brian or O’Brine.

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    • Bovril, of course !!!!!

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      • It may be. I haven’t research the company history in any detail. Perhaps someone else will know. Thanks for telling us!

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  5. i have one of these

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  6. I found one of these in my garden today

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    • I have found a 2oz Bovril Limited bottle on a beach on the Helford River, Cornwall, 2 weeks ago. I think this has been washed out from the bank at the back of the beach after the recent storms, otherwise it would have been smashed by the waves on the pebbles. No number on the base.

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  7. Hi all, i have a 2oz bottle with a cork top with the numbers
    529 vr on the base can anyone shed some light as to it age thanks

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    • Hi Tony, thanks for contacting us. Screw-top bottles were coming in by the 1930s, so yours will be earlier than that. If there’s a mould seam running all the way to the top (through the lip of the bottle), it will be after about 1913. Without being able to see it, I can’t be more precise. Tom

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  8. Hello Tom,

    I have just dug up a selection of old bottles from my garden, including a couple of brown bovril jars
    Having read through your comments, I have a 2oz & 4oz. They both have the long necks and have a seam running through the lip.
    Would they be dated anywhere between 1914 and late 1920’s do you think?

    Many thanks
    Suzanne

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  9. I found one about 2’ deep today! I am so glad I checked before throwing it away. The seam runs through the lip so it looks like mine dates roughly between 1914 to 1920-30. How cool.
    It’s a 4oz bottle with the number F310.

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  10. I have the 4 sizes including the tiny miniature one I love collecting bottles and seeing this post has answered some questions thankyou

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  11. I have also the wooden pallet box the 4oz bottles would of been packaged in to

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  12. Hi, I have just found one, it has what I think is the price is molded in the glass, 6 D also made in England and by F C C on the bottom, number 107 is also on the jar.

    Reply

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