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.

46 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
      • Shelley

        Ive just dug one up in the garden 16 oz one with cork

        Reply
        • Roman

          Just found a 2 oz a39 209 ugb

          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
    • Roelof Otto

      I found an 8 oz BOVRIL Limited Bottle.
      Marked H 5 at the bottom.

      Any comments will be appreciated

      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
    • Julian

      Hi I found greenish coloured 4oz bovril bottle seem runs through lip. Was this common colour and how could it be

      Reply
      • Tom Licence

        Green was not a common colour – Bovril bottles are usually brown glass, but during the First World War the glassworks couldn’t always get the usual mix of chemicals (or combine them properly in the new bottling machines), so we sometimes find shades of green, blue and turquoise from the 1910s.

        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
      • Keith@icb.uk.com

        My stepson brought home a Bovril Limited 2oz that was dug up in a garden on the base it has either 9X or X9 would this be a 1900’s bottle ????

        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
    • Sarah Connolly

      found a bovril limted jar with broken top 2 oz with the bottom it says. 8 H, any idea when this was from, found in newshot nature reserve view pont

      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
    • Eddie

      Hi Tom. I have a Bovril jar that is 37 centimetres high. With a long neck of 16 centimetres. It looks like a separate collar was fitted when made. The only writing on it is Bovril limited. Could you please tell me a bit about it. Thanks Eddie.

      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
    • Cowley Teuton

      UGB stands for United Glass Bottles (later just UG, and sometime earlier it was UGBM with the additional “Manufacturers”). The company was based at Peasley Cross in St Helens, Lancashire, England. It closed down in 1980s. The factory site was redeveloped in 2010 and is now the stadium of the twice world champion St Helens Rugby League Club.

      Reply
  16. Mary Butterly

    Hello – just found a bovril bottle washed up on a beach in Ireland. I’m trying to figure out approx when it dates back to. I can’t seem to find any other bottle that has the same or similar markings as this one, on the internet. It does have the continuous seem along the sides that continues onto the lip of the lid. It is not a screw top lid. The bottom reads : 1 G B 414-6 L11. Any ideas? Thanks!

    Reply
  17. Mary Butterly

    … Forgot to add… It’s a brown 2oz bottle with a short neck

    Reply
  18. Donna Wallace

    We have dug up a 1oz bottle in our garden. It has a hand finished top and the code 447F on the bottom. The top still has a metal/foil cuff round the rim about 1cm in depth.

    Reply
  19. Keith Bradley-Adams

    Hi, I have a 4oz bottle with seams which do not go through the neck and no screw top. Bovril Limited is embossed on both sides and on one side it has the number 367 below this mark. On the base it say ‘bottle made in England’ around the edge and what looks like BY FC in the centre.

    Reply
    • Mary

      Found a limited bovril bottle 4oz with h6 on the bottom what does h6 mean

      Reply
  20. Julie Smith

    My son found 3 of sixteen oz Bovril jars, 1 of 2 oz, 1 of 4 oz and 1 of 8 oz, in a garden on the Isle of Wight. I think that it was a local rubbish dump. I do not know when they were produced but I would be very interested if anyone knows?

    Reply
  21. Austin

    I picked up one during an earth excavation. No oz marking just Bovril Limited on the side. Seam stops short of the lip so probably older version bottle.

    Reply
  22. Tony Harold

    I have one with no markings on the base, under the writing on the side it has F214. The seam starts from the edge of the round section of the base and continues through the rim of the top lip

    Reply
  23. Charlotte Clark

    I have been given two 2oz bottles by my brother. The were found in a garden in Lyndhurst, Hampshire. By the description, they are the early bottles (no seam) and the house, whose garden it was found in, dates from the turn of the century.

    Reply
  24. Joanna Donnelly

    I have a green one do you have any info on this ?

    Reply
  25. Deanna Hutchison

    I have a 2 oz dk amber Bovril limited bottle with a long neck cork top.it has a seam just below the lip. It says “made in USA ” on the bottom.

    Reply
  26. Amy Waumsley

    My husband found a 16oz bottle in an old shed on our property

    Reply
  27. Carol Woodley

    Hello, we have an 8oz brown glass Bovril Jar which was dug up in my garden when work was being carried out on our house. We Live in Somerset. It’s in great condition. It has 3 digits on one side. It says made in England on the base. We’d love to know the age of this Bovril jar.

    Reply
  28. jeannette kruger

    Hi, my 4 oz bottle was found during water proofing excavation around my house in Toronto Canada. It has seams that stop at the neck and Bovril Limited embossed on both sides but no other visible markings.

    Reply
  29. Sarah

    Just found a 2oz Bovril bottle on a beach in Gairloch NW Scotland. The seam runs through the rim so I’m guessing 1914-20ish.

    Reply

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