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.

22 Comments

  1. Tracey Smale

    How would these bottles have been sealed?

    Reply
    • Tom Licence

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

      Reply
      • Kris

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

        Reply
  2. Razaana

    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.

    Reply
  3. Carmel Doran

    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.

    Reply
    • Tom Licence

      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.

      Reply
  4. Kirsten Milner

    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.

    Reply
    • Kirsten Milner

      Bovril, of course !!!!!

      Reply
      • Tom Licence

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

        Reply
  5. domenic

    i have one of these

    Reply
  6. Drea Floan

    I found one of these in my garden today

    Reply
    • Barbara

      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.

      Reply
  7. Tony Anscombe

    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

    Reply
    • Tom Licence

      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

      Reply
  8. Suzanne

    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

    Reply
  9. Cheryl van Hauen

    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.

    Reply
  10. Jemma larder

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

    Reply
  11. Jemma larder

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

    Reply
  12. wyndham sheppard

    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
  13. Paddy

    I just today located one of these bottles, a two oz, on a beach here in sydney Australia. Strangley it is in pristine condition stating “made in England” around the bottom of it. Anybody know what do do next?

    Reply
  14. Margaret

    I have just found one in my garden. Bovril limited 2oz with A11 on the base .

    Reply
  15. Chris McAlpine

    I found a 2oz Bovril bottle in Castlebar , Ireland in 2018 with number 221 on side and UGB on the bottom could anybody give me the approx year it was produced and where it was made , many thanks

    Reply

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