I very carefully sifted through it, and collected all the pieces I could and took them home.
Was I allowed to keep them, though ? For some sites, like the old Roman fort in my village, you are supposed to leave anything you find and get experts to dig it up. But I could tell that these were old, but not that old. The glass bottles were thick and uneven glass, with no thread at the neck, but without a visible seam. That made me think they were quite old, maybe a hundred years.
But does the person who owns the land own them ? Probably, but they were in such a smashed condition that I doubt the landowner (Scotland's richest man !) would want them. But if he asks, I'll give them back.
The sandy coloured ceramic container
This was the big bits of the first project. I thought it was some kind of bottle or container, about a foot tall. There was one large part, which was the bit I found, and everything else was much smaller.
But it had this weird feature, so I did not know what it was:
This is what it looked like when it was glued back together (apart from the weird bit which went in the front).
The puzzle was, what would you keep in it ? First I thought maybe seed or grain, because the opening was like that on a bird feeder. But the puzzle was, why was it half way down, not at the top or bottom ? Then it struck me: I was looking at it wrong !
One side was flatter than the others, and it was the opposite side to the opening, so I realised it lay on its side, then I realised it must have been an old hot water bottle ! The cork or stopper must have been lost.
So when did it date from ?
It was embossed with a mark saying "Murrays and Grosvenor, Glasgow".
I emailed a ceramics expert at a museum in Glasgow, but then I found that mentioned in an old Post Office directory of 1865 and 1868 saying they were based at a place called Caledonian Pottery.
This website says they produced pottery there between 1800 and 1897. So it was at least 117 years old, but could have been 200 years old ! But the company is only mentioned in the Post Office directories of 1865 and 1868 despite the directories being updated every few years. So I think it was about 150 years old.
That was a cool find !
The big blue bowl
The green bowl and tea set
When I looked at them closely I realised there were two types. The thicker ones were printed on both sides with images of a rigging pattern and pictures of butterflies.
There was a base as well, as if it was for a large bowl or vase:
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