Historical information

This bottle was made in Scotland and recovered decades later from a shipwreck along the coast of Victoria. It may have been amongst the ship's cargo, its provisions or amongst a passenger's personal luggage. It is now part of the John Chance collection.

Stoneware bottles similar to this one were in common use during the mid-to-late 19th century. They were used to store and transport. The bottles were handmade using either a potter's wheel or in moulds such as a plaster mould, which gave the bottles uniformity in size and shape. The bottle would then be fired and glazed in a hot kiln. Makers often identified their bottles with the impression of a small symbol or adding a colour to the mouth. The manufacturer usually stamped their bottles with their name and logo, and sometimes a message that the bottle remained their property and should be returned to them. The bottles could then be cleaned and refilled.

The Dundas Pottery works were established in 1828 by William Johnstone in partnership with John Forsyth and John Mc Coll. Located where the Forth and Clyde Canal joined the Monkland Canal, North of Glasgow. Johnstone sold the pottery in 1835 to Robert Cochran and James Couper. Mc Coll was retained as manager until 1837when in 1839 Cochran & Couper sold the pottery and purchased the St Rollex Glass Works. George Duncan took over briefly but died in 1841, with the pottery possibly being run by his widow Helen and a potter named Alexander Paul. James Miller was the manager at the time and he bought the pottery in 1856, in partnership with John Moody.

Miller's long and careful stewardship of the pottery saw success from the export market which allowed him to purchase the North British pottery in 1867 until 1874 when it was sold. In 1875, Miller, in partnership with John Young, leased part of Caledonian Pottery, naming it Crown Pottery, however, it burned down in 1879. In the early 1880s, Young extended the pottery and named it Milton Pottery. Miller’s son, James W., became a partner in Milton pottery in 1905.
James Miller Snr died in 1905 and the company continued as a limited liability company, being sold to the Borax Consolidation Ltd in 1929, but it was unsuccessful and Possil pottery purchased some of the company's equipment before it finally closed in 1932. From 1828 until the James Miller period of circa 1856, the pottery produced salt-glazed stoneware for the local industrial trade; mainly bottles and drain pipes.

James Miller produced various bottles, whisky and acid jars, casks, butter crocks, jam jars and domestic wares in Bristol glaze. He streamlined the water filter manufacturing, which had become a speciality of the pottery, and a dedicated section of the pottery was created solely for their production, which was exported worldwide.


This stoneware bottle is historically significant for its manufacture and use in the late 19th to the early 20th century.
This bottle is historically significant for its connection with the well-known stoneware manufacturers, Dundas Pottery of Glasgow, Scotland.
The bottle is also significant as it was recovered by John Chance, a diver, from a wreck on the coast of Victoria in the 1960s-70s. Items that come from several wrecks along Victoria's coast have since been donated to the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village’s museum collection by his family, illustrating this item’s level of historical value.

Physical description

Bottle, salt glazed stoneware, beige, sealed with wax, some discolouration above base. Inscription stamped near base..

Inscriptions & markings

Stamp: [symbol of concentric ovals], text within the symbol "PORT DUNDAS POTTERY COY." and "GLASGOW".
Stamp:[Symbol - square with short vertical line in centre of base line]