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Identification Help Please

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On 5/2/2020 at 11:41 AM, PimentoUK said:

So could this seal have been used to mark the bottles of wine themselves

Yes it could be and most likely it was used for that purpose. The glass and brass types were only used for 2 things, wax and for pottery. When used for pottery they would use such a item before they fired it in a kiln.

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C'mon 2Valen, spill the beans on the details on what you know, OM!

That's what crowdsourcing is all about

There seem to be Victorian era glass seals intended for sealing letters. My feeling is that the emergence of glass seals had to do with technological improvement and manufacturing economics rather than any particular practical advantage in glass, aside from colorful looks.

I have seen impressed pottery and pipes, and even wine bottles (glob of glass with seal impressed on body), but never saw any original seals for this purpose. One reference I found speaks of brass or molded clay bottle seals. Glass would seem to be a sketchy material to use to stamp molten glass.

I am not sure of the historical antiquity of wax seals on bottles, which is common even today (although the modern seals are probably all plastic.) This seems to be a poor mans version of the all glass sealed bottle, which stems back to at least the 17th c. and show up profusely in the archaeological record of the Colonies. Tanqueray gin has a red wax (plastic) seal on the front of the bottle, for example. A touch of class, eh?


Here are some pics of glass seals from Colonial Virginia: https://mesda.org/exhibit/wine-bottle-seals/

Those are very prominent names in Early Virginia.

Bottle seal database: https://www.cova-inc.org/wineseals/visual.php

Another overview of the bottle seal: https://apps.jefpat.maryland.gov/diagnostic/SmallFinds/BottleSeals/index-bottleseals.html

Some interesting artifact background stuff on that site, BTW.


As for the "Joy of One" motto, I found two literary references using that term, one a stanza of Wordsworth, commenting on the post revolutionary esprit of Calais of the one year anniversary of the siege of the Bastille (1790)

"How bright a face is worn when the joy of one / is joy for tens of millions"

And an ancient folksong, collected in Connecticut but seemingly of old British origin, "The Joys of Mary"--usually framed as a Christmas Carol

"The first joy that Mary had, it was the joy of one,
To see her son Jesus in the world to come"


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16 hours ago, J-ROB said:

Here are some pics of glass seals from Colonial Virginia

That type of seal was to make an imprint on the actual glass, where as the glass and brass seals were only used for wax.

The wine maker would cork the bottle then dip the top into the melted wax and then use the seal on top of the wax that was on the cork.

16 hours ago, J-ROB said:

And an ancient folksong, collected in Connecticut but seemingly of old British origin, "The Joys of Mary"--usually framed as a Christmas Carol

The phrase of the Joy of one has been around for several centuries and even wineries in England that were under the control of the church used the same seal for some of their wines. They sometimes sold bottles of wine in times of money shortages to help out the church.

The seal in question has a fox hunt picture on it and that should help locate the winery that it came from.

I would add more but I have a neck problem that is giving me trouble. Sorry

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Thanks for further comments @2valen!

i searched numerous full text databases: 18th c British periodicals, 19th c  US newspapers, three or four academic journal full text libraries,  and nada on "Joy of One" or "Joy of 1," aside from various citations of the two instances I noted above. Don't have full library digital access anymore, only limited alumni access, but I can usually dredge up a few references on almost anything that way.

Wine industry in NY started mid-1830s in a small way but got serious and grew tremendously beginning in the mid-1860s, even though NY State was a grape growing region before that.

This is one of those artifacts that caught my eye. Strikes me as a very poetic phrase and intriguing item that speaks to me...now I'm just trying to figure out what it is trying to say!



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4 hours ago, J-ROB said:

Wine industry in NY started mid-1830s in a small way but got serious and grew tremendously beginning in the mid-1860s, even though NY State was a grape growing region before that.

Wineries actually started before then in  N.Y. around Henderson there was a couple that went by the name of The Fox Hunt Inn. It also was a small Inn that made wine and sent it back to England in bottles and kegs.

I have not found out how the seal you found which could be from one of those Inn's got to where you found it. If you have one of those seals from there it is worth a lot of money. The Inn's further north under that name was in several towns and that is what I have been looking for. The records are in short supply on what happened to them and I am trying to get a friend who knows a friend to get more info for me.

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