Bring your own bottle
This is a typical 17th-century wine bottle. It has a round body and a long neck. It is made from green glass. The bottle was found in Eltham churchyard.
Early wine bottles
Before the 17th century, people used pottery or leather vessels instead of glass bottles. The earliest glass bottles had rounded bodies like this one. Straight bodies, like those found on modern bottles, only became common after the mid-18th century. Early bottles sometimes have seals on the body which indicate the owner's name and the date.
How were the bottles used?
Nowadays wine is bought in bottles, which are discarded or recycled after use. In the past wine was transported to Britain in wooden barrels. It was stored in these barrels at the wine merchant. If you wanted to buy some wine, you brought your own jug or bottle to the wine merchant and he filled it for you. Bottles were not thrown away but were re-used over and over again.
Museum number 73.161