"Admiralty Arrow Antique Glass Bottles"

Military and Related Items 

used by the British Military

Although the main purpose of this site is to share information on the glass and pottery bottles used by the British Military (and Commonwealth countries) , we felt there was some room to feature a limited number of other artifacts. All of the artifacts considered are possible candidates, or have been found within an archaeological context. These represent items lost or otherwise discarded from daily life.



US Navy Mustard

US Navy Mustard

U.S. Navy  Mustard   

This bottle was recovered from the bottom of Esquimalt harbour several years ago.  Embossed U. S. NAVY on one side, MUSTARD on the other.  The bottle is  13.7 cm height, eight-sided and 4.1 cm side to side. It is a hinge mould with no pontil likely dating to the 1860ís. 



R.N.H. button

Royal Navy Hospital (R.N.H.) tunic button. Recovered by Wess Thompson in Kingston Ontario during an addition to Queens University.  The button dates to the early 19th century and may well be contemporary with the war of 1812. It is the only button from the Royal Navy that has the broad arrow and is a close match the glass seal found at the British Naval Hospital, English Harbour, on the island of Antigua . The glass seal also dates to the early 19th century. In this case the broad arrow seems to denote more than just government property and is being worn by medical staff themselves.

 Bermuda archaeologist Chriss Addams, who has found a wide variety of British Military bottles in an archaeological context, has asked me to feature some of the buttons found in his excavations.  These include a number of American Revolutionary Era war buttons that he is currently trying to identify. If you have any knowledge of these buttons, he would be happy to hear from you. Email Chriss at cgaddams@hotmail.com

military button military button
military button military button


MARINE Crown and Anchor pottery

MARINE Crown and Anchor pottery:

These pieces of china originally came from a British diver who brought them with him to Canada.  They were apparently found somewhere off the west coast of England, near a 1912 wreck.

I have been unable to find any additional information on these pieces.  The Minton Mark dates them between 1891 and 1901.

Click on the pictures to see detailed photo's.

closeup of  MARINE Crown and Anchor pottery

MARINE Crown and Anchor pottery: cup and saucer


makers mark

base of feeder with arrow

Invalid Feeder found in Esquimalt estate sale. 

hospital feeder with arrow on base



Itís always interesting the things people save to show you when they know you have an interest in broad arrow marked bottles. A Victoria coin dealer that I have know for many years pulled out a spoon that that was part of a number of items he had bought from a Victoria family in the 1990ís. The undocumented story from the family was that it had once belonged to Edmund Porcher captain or the HMS Sparrowhawk that served in British Columbia from 1865- 1868. . The hallmarks which include a broad arrow and an ďNĒ indicate London manufacture in 1862 making the date quite plausible to fit the story.  

The front of the spoon has the Royal Navy crest with the initials MS engraved.  Edmund Porcherís journal is published as ďA Tour of Duty in the Pacific Northwest E.A. Porcher and the H.M.S. Sparrowhawk, 1865-1868Ē edited and annotated by Dwight L. Smith, University of Alaska Press .  

It will always remain a mystery how or why this spoon with its clear naval markings ended in a Victoria cupboard. Was it a gift from Porcher to a local dignitary or was it stolen by two deserters along with the clothing thatís mentioned in Porcherís journal and who do the initials MS refer to?  One suggestion has been MS may refer to Master of the Sparrowhawk but it may always remain a mystery.

close-up of anchor and crown

close-up of silver marks

close-up of silver marks


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