Sunday, June 12, 2016

Seaglass Bottle Stopper

One of my favourite pieces of beach treasure is this intact, sea-tumbled bottle stopper that I found on a shore near Dublin. Originally a club sauce stopper, it is quite a rare find. Isn't it simply gorgeous?
seafoam seaglass bottle stopper
fully frosted seaglass pendant
Natural seaglass is glass that has spent decades tumbling in the salty waves of the ocean. The silt, rocks and elements polish and smooth any ragged edges. More importantly, the water eventually leaches minerals, namely sodium and potassium, from the glass, causing that frosted or etched look that cannot be faked. Only time and tide achieve it. A highly frosted piece must have been in the sea for well over 100 years. 

Glass bottle stoppers were particularly popular in these parts in the 1800s before solid cork stoppers became more commonplace. Flat-top stoppers with cork sheaths around the shank were much used for sauce bottles from the mid 19th century. Not surprisingly this style is known as 'Club Sauce Stopper.' The cork would have eroded away in the sea decades ago. Today glass stoppers are still found in retro-styled perfume and apothecary bottles, for example. 
partial sea glass bottle stopper
 This partial piece was found on a North Dublin shore. The round rim has been eroded right away but you can still tell it is an antique bottle stopper. It is a beautiful teal colour. 

This intact one was found on a South Dublin shore and is a lovely seafoam colour. This greeny aqua tint often seen in old seaglass is caused by the iron content in the sand used to make the original glass.

 I don't intend wrapping it into a piece of seaglass jewellery. This beauty is more of a collector's item to hold onto for the joy of having found it.


Want to see some rare red seaglass I found? Please click here
Click here to see some interesting shapes in white seaglass