Historical information

This small handmade bottle possibly dates from the mid-1840s. It may have been used as a traveller's ink bottle, due to its wide mouth. It was recovered from the wreck of the Inverlochy and is part of the John Chance collection.

Small glass ink bottles similar to this one were handmade, blown into a cup shaped mould, and sharply broken off from the blow-pipe at the neck and sealed with a cork or wax. The mouth of this bottle appears to have been added after it was blown.

INVERLOCHY 1895-1902 -
The Inverlochy was a steel sailing barque built in Scotland in 1895 for international trade. In 1902 the Inverlochy left Liverpool under the command of Captain E.R. Kendrick. There were 21 officers and crew and the captain’s wife Mrs Kendrick, on board, bound for Australia with cargo that included tools, chemicals, liquor (beer, whisky, stout, rum, and brandy), steel, iron, wire netting, hoop iron, tinplate and pig iron), and steel wire for the Melbourne Tramway Company, tiles, soap, soft goods and earthenware. On December 18 almost at their destination, the Inverlochy ran aground on Ingoldsby Reef at Point Addis, near Anglesea. The crew and passengers left the ship via lifeboat and landed at Thompson’s Creek, then walked about 20 kilometres to Barwon Heads.

Salvagers were interested in the 10 miles of cable in the hold. Mrs Kendrick’s ‘high grade’ bicycle was amongst the items salvaged but she lost her jewellery and two pianos. By February 1903 the ship had broken up and objects such as bottles and casks of liquor were washed ashore. Bad weather shook the wreck in June 1903, causing the ship’s spars and figurehead to be washed ashore.


This handmade bottle is historically significant for its association with being made and used during the mid-to-late 19th century.

This handmade glass bottle is significant for its connection with the John Chance Collection, which is historically significant as an example of artefacts from wrecks that had been lost in the coastal waters of Victoria from thirty to over one hundred years before John Chance and others discovered them. These artefacts are a sample of goods carried as cargo or personal possessions, and of ship hardware of that era.

The bottle is significant through its connection with the barque, Inverlochy, The Inverlochy is significant for its cargo, which is a snapshot of the array of goods imported into Australia at the turn of the 19th century, including cable for the Melbourne Tramway Company.

The Inverlochy is historically significant and is registered on the Victorian Heritage Database, VHR S338.

The wreck of the Inverlochy is important as an accessible dive site that shows the remains of a large international trading vessel and its contents. It is valuable for an insight into Victorian era of shipping and maritime history.

Physical description

Bottle, clear glass, handmade, mould-blown. Small bottle has round mouth and neck, straight sides, rectangular base, no seams, shiny surface. Thickness of glass varies. Mouth is lop-sided and lip varies in width. Inscription of logo on both wide sides.

Inscriptions & markings

Inscription embossed on sides [tear drop] logo.