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Interesting historical artefacts dug up in CRL excavations

Published: 2 June 2017

Interesting historical artefacts have been found during CRL excavation works, giving us a glimpse into life in Victorian New Zealand.

Five vessels have been found behind the Chief Post Office building. These include: 

  • the top of a two-toned salt-glazed stoneware beer bottle from the 19th century
  • a topless aerated stoneware water bottle with a dark brown glaze, embossed with ‘Victorian Selters Water Ballan’ surrounding the monogram ‘JM’
  • a green ‘Bordeaux’ shape wine bottle, commonly found on 19th to early 20th century historic sites in New Zealand
  • an aqua Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce bottle with glass stopper and cork surround intact. The lip is applied (not machine made) and the base embossed with the maker’s mark ‘A.C.B & Co’, dating from c1850s-1877
  • a topless aqua ‘Hamilton Torpedo’ style aerated water bottle.

Two stoneware preserve bottles and a shard of earthenware ceramic from a serving platter with the decorative Willow Pattern design have been recovered from a services trench being dug in Galway Street.

These types of items commonly date back to the mid to late 1800s and are estimated to be at least 150 years old.

A large rear horse shoe and a grey hand-thrown stoneware ginger beer bottle have also turned up. The bottle, stamped with the name ‘Fowler’, is thought to be made in the 1840s by Irish immigrant and well-known potter Enoch Fowler, who arrived in Auckland in 1836.

The artefacts were located within the area of the first major reclamation to be undertaken in Auckland.

Other historical artefacts are expected to be found as excavations continue.