Types of Bottles


A bottle is a vessel containing liquids such as wine, water, or beer. It may be cylindrical, ovoid, or rectangular in shape and is generally made of glass.

In addition to the bottle itself, a variety of other objects are sometimes associated with it. Examples of these objects include bottles’ handles, closures, and tassels.

Blob seal – A typically round or oval pad or disk of glass usually found on the body or shoulder (rarely the neck or base) which was impressed with a stamp while hot to form lettering or designs pertinent to the bottled product or, in earlier times (prior to the mid-19th century), the ownership of the bottle itself.

Ground finish – A surface that is dull and slightly rough and is often chipped; see the picture to the right which shows a ground bottle jar (not a bottle but one that is shaped like a bottle). It was most common on early American utility bottles and also on early American wine bottles, though used on a wide variety of other types of bottle.

Laid-on ring – A glass ring or bead that trailed around and/or was fused to the opening of a bottle, sometimes with the bead slightly below the opening or bore (White 1978). It was added to strengthen the neck or bore and was frequently seen on mid-17th through mid-19th century wine bottles as well as many other types of bottle.

Applied color label – A method of labeling, lettering, or decorating a bottle by applying a mixture of borosilicate glass and mineral or organ pigments (and other substances) with a low melting point to a bottle through a metal screen and then baking it in a furnace to form what can appear to be a “painted label.” In later years (mid-1950s), a thermoplastic wax medium was used and resulted in more versatility and durability.

Flared finish – A finish or lip that spreads outward so as to create an opening whose opening is wider at the top than any other point on the neck (White 1978). An alternate type of flared finish is a sheared finish which protrudes horizontally more than its vertical depth or thickness.

Filamented ring/scar – A ring on the base of early machine-made bottles formed when the gob of glass was severed after being drawn into the mold (White 1978). It is called a “filamented ring” because this ring typically has a ‘filament’ or’suction’ look to it.

Graphite pontil mark/scar – Collector jargon for a type of pontil mark that should more accurately be termed an iron, bare iron, or improved pontil mark or scar. It should be noted that both of these terms have been misapplied to some pontil marks in the past and should not be confused with a ‘graphite’ or ‘carbon’ pontil mark/scar.

Ejection mark – A circular mark left on the base of certain press-and-blow, automatic and semi-automatic bottle machines by a more or less centered metal rod which pushed (“ejected”) a pre-bottle out of the first parison mold so that it could be moved via the grasping ring mold to the second and final blow mold.