Bottledigging UK



Looking at Reform Flasks

Posted By The Old Ruminator 5/14/2012 7:54:10 PM
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The Old Ruminator
 Posted 5/14/2012 7:54:10 PM
Blue Hybrid

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Will pop a bit here from time to time.

Index To Thread.

I should add an index so I will. The pages may change slightly in time but the order will remain the same.


Page 1

Royalty and Introduction.
Close up images.
Sailor Flasks.
William IV flasks.

Page 2

Old Tom.
Man on barrel
Odd Folk. Elizabeth 1st etc.
Daniel O Connell.

Page 3

Hunter Collection.
Robert Peel.
Lord Brougham.
Oldfield display.

Page 4

Lord Melbourne.
Lord Grey.
Lord Russell.
Richard Cobden.
Queen Victoria.

Page 5

Albert.
Duchess of Kent.
Duke of York.
Buying and Collecting Flasks.
Toby.
Punch and Judy.

Page 6

Rockingham Flasks.
Polychrome Flasks.
Bennington and USA Flasks.
Powder Flasks.
Nelson.
Clocks and Chronometers.

Page 7

Tipstaff.
Later Doulton Flasks.
Accession Panel Flasks.
Caudle Flasks.

Page 8

Triumph of the Pen.
Scruby.
Jim Crow ( Jem Crow ).
Thames Tunnel.

Page 9

Hunter Collection.
Crimean War.
Royalty Panel Flasks.
Pistols.
Books, Wallets, Purses.

Page 10

Fox Head Flasks.
Larger Heads ( Johnny Souter et al ).
Gothic Arch.
Mini Barrels.

Page 11

Fish Flasks.
Hands.
Panel Flasks.
House Flasks.
Pre Reform Era.

Page 12

Boots and Shoes.
Potteries.
Decorative Flasks.
Slab Flasks.
Potato Flasks.

Page 13

Doulton Pottery.
Joseph Thompson.

Page 14

Merchant and Pub Flasks.

Page 15

Extra Images.

Page 17

BBR Dr Dudley Davidson Collection.
Tetotal Flask.
Rockingham ( Treacle Glazed Flask Collection ).



Reform flasks were produced in huge numbers over a very short period of time. Basically the Reform Flask era was 1836 - 1851 . A mere 15 years. The name is inspired by politicians involved in the Reform Act of 1832 and later.

The Representation of the People Act 1832 (commonly known as the Reform Act 1832 or sometimes as The Great Reform Act) was an Act of Parliament (2 & 3 Will. IV) that introduced wide-ranging changes to the electoral system of England and Wales. According to its preamble, the act was designed to "take effectual Measures for correcting divers Abuses that have long prevailed in the Choice of Members to serve in the Commons House of Parliament."

Calls for reform had been mooted long before 1832, but perennially without success. The Act which finally succeeded was proposed by the Whigs, led by the Prime Minister Lord Grey. It met with significant opposition from the Pittite factions in Parliament that had governed the country for so long (opposition was especially pronounced in the House of Lords). Nevertheless, as a result of public pressure, the bill was eventually passed. The Act granted seats in the House of Commons to large cities that had sprung up during the Industrial Revolution, and took away seats from the "rotten boroughs"—those with very small populations. The Act also increased the number of individuals entitled to vote, increasing the size of the electorate from about 400,000 to 650,000, and allowing a total of one out of six adult males to vote, in a population of some 14 million.

The full title is An Act to amend the representation of the people in England and Wales. Its formal short title and citation is the Representation of the People Act 1832 (2 & 3 Wm. IV, c. 45). The Act only applied in England and Wales; separate reform bills were passed in the same year for Scotland and Ireland.[1] Other reform measures were passed later during the 19th century; as a result, the Reform Act 1832 is sometimes called the First, or Great Reform Act.

As we have seen reproductions abound and the prospective collector is strongly advised to study his topic well.

Three flasks possibly by Stephen Green. Albert dates post 1840 one assumes as it was the year he married Victoria. Stylistically the wording on the flasks are the same and one is tempted to believe they all date post 1840 though many Victoria flasks were issued in 1837 ( The so called Accession Flasks ). On the right and related to the latest repro controversy is a flask for William Bishop at The India Arms Tavern. William Bishop Junior was at this address from 1851 to 1856. This seems a late time frame for the flask and currently one wonders if William Bishop Senior held the pub licence prior to his death in 1838. His widow and her new husband Edward Morris held the licence during the 1840's



Albert comes in two variations. Bent arm as above and also with a straight arm.
The Old Ruminator
 Posted 5/14/2012 7:59:52 PM
Blue Hybrid

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More Royalty showing variations of glaze. The small Victoria is indicative of Bourne Pottery in dark brown glaze. They rushed the flask out in 1837 and named it " Alexandrina Victoria " before she had legally adopted the second name for her title as queen.
The tall figure , right, is the Duchess of Kent- Victoria's mother. She is seen on the body of other moulded flasks in a broad rimmed hat.


The Old Ruminator
 Posted 5/14/2012 8:17:41 PM
Blue Hybrid

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Glazing variations for William 4th flask (3 )1836/37.



The " In Crowd ".



Close up and personal.



















Next time-
Pub named types with a view to dating flasks.



The Old Ruminator
 Posted 5/14/2012 8:33:33 PM
Blue Hybrid

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Near the end of the road ?

Two Clapham Caudle flasks. Second from left for Thomas William Anns ( b 1814 ) the Two Brewers . Anns left the pub late in 1852 after a short tenancy.


The Old Ruminator
 Posted 5/14/2012 8:42:15 PM
Blue Hybrid

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By definition Caudle flasks post date 1845 viz-



Douglas William Jerrold, 1803 - 1857, was a playwright and journalist. Most "popular of all his Punch writings, somewhat to his chagrin, was the purely domestic comedy of Mrs. Caudle's Curtain Lectures (1845). Almost all the events and perplexities of Cockney domestic economy pass before her, wrote Thackeray of Mrs Caudle, and a student in the twentieth century may get out of her lectures as accurate pictures of London life as we can get out of the pictures of Hogarth (W. M. Thackeray, Contributions to the Morning Chronicle, ed. G. N. Ray, 1955, 94). Until his death Jerrold continued to be a prolific contributor to Punch (christening the Crystal Palace in one 1851 piece), but none of his other writings approached the Caudle lectures in popularity"
The Old Ruminator
 Posted 5/15/2012 8:17:57 PM
Blue Hybrid

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In the beginning ---

Well I am not sure we can say where that actually was. Very close to 1835 I would guess and here we would need to research pottery order books and records should they exist. Currently I have found nothing on line.Certainly by 1838 production of flasks was in full swing both from the London potteries and Bourne of Denby. Many of the classic figural shapes were well established by this date. William 4th. man on barrel, Victoria and my favourite - the sailor seen here in his two forms.



Pub names for The Sailor.

E.H. Blay, Golden Eagle, 234 High Street, Shadwell.( 1838 ).

Golden Eagle, 234 High Street, Shadwell

This pub is now demolished. **


The following entries are in this format:

Year/Publican or other Resident/Relationship to Head and or Occupation/Age/Where Born/Source.

1827/Susannah Rogers / Victualler/../../Records of Sun Fire Office, Guildhall Library **

1833/Susannah Rogers / Victualler/../../Records of Sun Fire Office, Guildhall Library **

1837/William Smith / Licensed Victualler/../../London Gazette, 9 June 1837 **

1839/Edward Henry Blay/../../../Pigot’s Directory **

1841/Richard Keene/../../../Missing Ancestors Website **

1842/Jno. Grinham/../../../Robson’s Directory **





G. Willemite, 35 Drummond Street.(1838 ) George Willemite was at The Bulls Head, Shadwell in 1842


T.H. Ballance, Red Lion, Ratcliffe Highway.

Red Lion Tavern, 196 & 197 St George Street, St George In East

St George in East Index

The Red Lion is near to the corner of Pell Street, which is virtually opposite Breezers Hill - Mapco ; and opposite the Red Lion, later referred to as in Pennington Street. The very early address is at Ratcliff Highway


Year/Publican or other Resident/Relationship to Head and or Occupation/Age/Where Born/Source.

1811/John Boyce, victualler, 197 Ratcliff highway/../../Holdens Directory

1832/Boyce, Red Lion, 197 Ratcliff highway/../../Robsons Directory

1833-34/John Boyce, Red Lion, 197 Ratcliff highway/../../Pigot's Directory

1834/Mr Henry Hogg/Red Lion, Ratcliff Highway /../../Licensed Victuallers Association

1842/Thomas Balance/Red Lion, 197 Ratcliff Highway /../../Robsons Directory

1843/Thomas Balance/Red Lion, 197 & 198 Ratcliff Highway /../../Post Office Directory

1848/James Morris/Red Lion, 196 & 197 St Georges street/../../Post Office Directory



T. Halstead, Two Mariners, Vinegar Lane.

" late of The Two Mariners and bankrupt in 1837. Also a sail maker "
also bankrupt in 1850 ?https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/...e/208/data.pdf


R. Wain, 1838


J. Dyer, Kings Arms, Commercial Rd.

Kings Arms, 514 Commercial Road, Ratcliffe E1

Address is 5 Kings Arms Place, Commercial Road east in 1871 prior to Commercial Road east being renumbered. This pub was re-named 'Mariners' in 2002 - (2006).**

1851/James Dyer/Victualler/46/Bridgwater, Somerset/Census ****
1851/Ann Dyer/Wife/46/Honiton, Devon/Census
1851/Elizth Downton/Visitor, Milliner/21/Honiton, Devon/Census
1851/Anna Dyer/Daughter/12/Hackney, Middlesex/Census
1851/Elizth Bradbeer/General Servant/20/Somerset/Census
1851/Thomas Davis/Potman/25/London, Middlesex/Census
1851/James Cole/Errand Boy/15/London, Middlesex/Census

November 1852/James Dyer/Outgoing Licensee/../../Era Newspaper ****

November 1852/James Lemou?/Incoming Licensee/../../Era Newspaper ****


Gregory, Fountain, Sheerness. James Gregory was at Royal Fountain Naval and Military Hotel 1847 - 1852.

Fountain Hotel, 15 West Street, Sheerness



Year/Publican or other Resident/Relationship to Head and or Occupation/Age/Where Born/Source.

1824/George Clarkson/../../../Pigot’s Directory **

1826/G Clarkson/../../../Pigot’s Directory **

1840/George Clarkson / & Wine & Spirit Merchant /../../Pigot’s Directory **

1847/Jas. Gregory/../../../Bagshaw’s Directory **

1855/L Davis/../../../Post Office Directory **











These come from the golden age of reforms. The figural flasks. Within a few sort years figurals were out of production and largely replaced by panel moulded flasks like the Caudles. These too had slipped into obscurity by 1860.
The Old Ruminator
 Posted 5/16/2012 10:32:00 AM
Blue Hybrid

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This will be a work in progress for a while so may stop at odd junctures.

William IV Flasks.
Despite being one of the oldest type of flask these are not uncommon and were made by several of the major potteries.

William IV (William Henry; 21 August 1765 – 20 June 1837) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of Hanover from 26 June 1830 until his death. William, the third son of George III and younger brother and successor to George IV, was the last king and penultimate monarch of Britain's House of Hanover.

He served in the Royal Navy in his youth and was, both during his reign and afterwards, nicknamed the "Sailor King".[1][2] He served in North America and the Caribbean, but saw little actual fighting. Since his two older brothers died without leaving legitimate issue, he inherited the throne when he was 64 years old. His reign saw several reforms: the poor law was updated, child labour restricted, slavery abolished in nearly all the British Empire, and the Reform Act 1832 refashioned the British electoral system. Though William did not engage in politics as much as his brother or his father, he was the last monarch to appoint a Prime Minister contrary to the will of Parliament. Through his brother, the Viceroy of Hanover, he granted that kingdom a short-lived liberal constitution.

At his death William had no surviving legitimate children, though he was survived by eight of the ten illegitimate children he had by the actress Dorothea Jordan, with whom he cohabited for 20 years. William was succeeded in the United Kingdom by his niece, Victoria, and in Hanover by his brother, Ernest Augustus I.

Variations of the smaller flasks.



The two on the left are in " Rockingham " glaze which not favoured by the stoneware purist. However these are still historically significant and tend to be much rarer than their stoneware cousins. The unmarked handled flask is very rare.The marked Rockingham flask was made by Thompson of Derbyshire whilst the stoneware types were made by Doulton and Watts and Bourne.

Pottery back stamps.



Vendor named flask close up.






William 1V. " The Patriot King."

A similiar small square flask like the Brougham. Made perhaps exclusively by Stephen Green and one of the earliest flask types.

The Old Ruminator
 Posted 5/16/2012 3:35:25 PM
Blue Hybrid

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A range of William IV flasks.





An imperious William IV from Oldfield and Co.

Janes, Wine and spirit Merchant, Kings Head, Limehouse.



Auction Catalogue with hammer prices June 2008. Courtesy Special Auction Services.
Prices may reflect repairs or damage.





A hideous fake or reproduction. Similiar in form to another such item man on a barrel. Note the differences from an original.



Oldfield and Co made an enormous quantity of flasks judging by the number that have survived. Their shiny grey glaze is quite distinctive. Among those flasks are the giant size editions we sometimes see at bottle fair.

William IV vendors names.

Bleaden and Co.Royal Wine Vaults, Deal.( Also a mini barrel )

Henry Rigmaiden, Liverpool . ( For rum ).

D. Greeley, Coswell St, corner of Fair St. ( Cream of the Valley ).
Hard one to read may be D.G.Keenley , Fan St.

Cook, Waterside, Lincoln.

Jones, 152 Bishopsgate Without.

B. Taylor, Bull Inn , Cranbrook.

Preece 72 High Holbern.

Furney, 10 Princes Place, Commercial Road.

R.Williams, 8 West St. Soho.

King, 276 Oxford St. (Charles King was at The White Hart, 276 Oxford St from c 1833 - 1851 . The pub was demolished before 1882. )

R Carter, Wine and Brandy Merchant, Romford.

W. Sharp, 7, High St. Gravesend.

Porter, Red Lion St. Holbern.

T. Nicholas, William IVth, Ship Yard, Temple
(1839 - James Hanley, 12 Ships Yard, Temple Bar )

"Stoneware Bottles" ( Askey ) also lists W. Sharp, Bleaden, I. Pearce and R. Carter. Unfortunately no addresses are given.
The Old Ruminator
 Posted 5/16/2012 3:38:16 PM
Blue Hybrid

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Oldfield Pottery.


Oldfield Pottery, Brampton. Thomas Oldfield and three others were in partnership in 1810 although there are records of a pottery on or near the site in 1784. The firm was Oldfield & Company from 1826.
It was taken over by James Pearson in 1884. He died in 1905 and the firm, run by Dr Goodfellow, on behalf of the widow & children, became James Pearson Ltd in 1907. The firm was absorbed into the Pearson business at Whittington and closed in 1939.
The Old Ruminator
 Posted 5/16/2012 3:47:26 PM
Blue Hybrid

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Henry Rigmaiden effectively ceased trading in 1835 and was declared bankrupt on 26th Feb. 1836. He had previously been declared bankrupt in 1831 and died about 1850. One assumes the flask that bears his name dates to the period of solvency 1831 - 1835.

Richard Preece was the Landlord of The Red Lion, 72 High Holbern in 1833

J. Jones was at the Duke of Wellington 152 Bishopsgate in 1841.

" Cream of the Valley " was a type of gin selling for one shilling and four pence a pint in 1831. Most reforms are believed to have contained gin. " Old Tom " gin came slightly more expensive at one shilling seven pence a pint.




Old Tom Gin (or Tom Gin or Old Tom) is a lightly sweetened Gin popular in 18th-century England that now is rarely available. It is slightly sweeter than London Dry, but slightly drier than Dutch/Holland Gin/Jenever, and is thus sometimes called The Missing Link.

The name Old Tom Gin purportedly came from wooden plaques shaped like a black cat (an "Old Tom") mounted on the outside wall of some pubs above a public walkway in the 18th century England. Owing to a scandalous news report of a tragedy involving a murdered family, gin was outlawed and went underground, changing from a cloudy liquid to its modern clear form so as to appear like water. After a pedestrian deposited a penny in the cat's mouth, they would place their lips around a small tube between the cat's paws. From the tube would come a shot of Gin, poured by the bartender inside the pub.

Old Tom Gin was formerly made under license by a variety of distillers around the world; however one was recently relaunched by Hayman's distillery based on an original recipe. Since then a number of other companies have followed suit such as, Both's, Secret Treasures, Jensens, Ransom and even The Dorchester Hotel. [4]The first written record of Old Tom Gin being used in the Tom Collins cocktail was the 1891 book, The Flowing Bowl: When and What to Drink.

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