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Subject: [Collectibles] Antique Bottles


Antique bottles from the 17th and 18th century have been found in Suriname and are collected by more and more collectors.

The most popular bottle is the (black, dark green or light green) onion flask or 'buik fles'. Some of the Maroons wear it around their neck with some special medicine such as 'feti obia'. Most of the antique bottles found in Suriname were made on the continent of Europe. They were found along the banks of rivers, former military forts and posts, plantations and near 'kankantries' (a land mark tree) where the Maroons left bottles to offer to spirits. Only one bottle was found which had a 'wine' content but unfortunately that particular bottle disappeared.

English antique bottles made in 1760 were found near the Matapica and Mott creek where British and Scotish plantations were located. Their quantity is rare as most British and Scotish owners left Suriname after Crynsen conquered Suriname.

One may also assume that some of the antique bottles were made in the US as there were 'Wistarburg' glass factories in the US and there was some trade between North America and Suriname. The next popular bottle is the gin bottle (jenever fles) from the 17th century. The drink was cheap and popular in Suriname. The square shape bottle made it better suitable for packing in crates. The gin bottle is known as the 'kantji'. Some larger size bottles were made in the 18th century.

The booklet 'Antique Bottles in Surinam' contains many pictures and drawings of the various bottles: English thick wall bottles, English upright bottles, continental bottles with and without a glass seal, continental squat bottles, upright continental bottles, wine bottles, cognac bottles, case bottles, soda water bottles, medicine bottles, parfume bottles, beer bottles, ink wells, earthen ware jars (baardman) etc etc.

Source: Antique Bottles in Surinam, W.H.A. Klein, preface and additions by F.C. Bubberman, translation A. Huyzen and Ms A. Reeder, 1974. Stichting Surinaams Museum {Note: antique bottles can not be taken out of Suriname unless you have the permission of the Surinaams Museum to take the antique bottles out of the country. Antique English bottles are also found in Guyana (Georgetown) and sold in Suriname. I have not heard of any similar bottles found in French Guiana.}

Met dank aan Albert Buys

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