Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Hooper Struve


Not long after I started my LOOP walk on Sunday, I saw the telltale signs of an interesting bottle sticking out of the mud.

Most of it was completely buried, but I could tell that it had embossed lettering -- which is often a sign of something old or unusual. I grabbed a stick and gradually dug it out of the muddy path. (Don't worry -- this wasn't in the asbestos area!)

Here's the result -- a vaguely bowling-pin shaped vessel, about 6 1/2 inches tall, that says "Hooper Struve" on one side and bears the royal warrant on the other. "To H. I. M. the King, by appointment," it says.

The fact that it specifies "king," and not "queen," suggests that it dates from between 1901 and 1952. It turns out that Hooper Struve was a mineral water and lemonade manufacturer based in Brighton. It operated there until 1963; I'm vague on what happened to the company after that.

There are lots of photos of old Hooper Struve bottles online, but the only one I can find resembling mine is in this photo, lower left. And there's no information about it.

So, anyway, after I dug it up, I put the bottle in a plastic bag (an unused dog poo bag, to be honest, because being a dog owner I have them on me at all times) and I stashed it in my camera bag. I could tell that the neck was broken but I saw no other glass pieces at the site, so it must have been broken long ago. If you look closely at the top photo, you'll see that the bottle was so full of dirt that tiny plants were growing inside it! Nature had turned it into a terrarium!


As much as I liked the terrarium effect, when I got home I cleaned it up -- easier than expected -- and this is the end result. Another interesting find for the kitchen windowsill!

17 comments:

e said...

It is actually pretty and goes well with the others.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

As you know, I love old bottles with that green/blue tint. It was a great find and sitting there on your window sill it will often catch the light quite beautifully.

Ms. Moon said...

Love it! Great find!

ellen abbott said...

Ms Moon always leaves my comment.

Red said...

Good eye! There are many who collect bottles and I'm sure they'd like this one for their collection.

Linda d said...

I like it. Well done for finding buried treasure.

Sharon said...

What a great find. It looks good all cleaned up and sitting in the window. You do a good job of observing everything around you! It's impressive.

robin andrea said...

That is such a great find!

Catalyst said...

From what I found in an internet search you probably have a real find. An article states that bottles made by Hooper Struve are now collectible. Congratulations!

jenny_o said...

The bottle cleaned up well - what a nice colour it is. Interesting history behind it!

37paddington said...

You know, I think you are an archeologist at heart. Maybe in a previous lifetime, and impulses remain. That is indeed a very cool bottle.

Sarah said...

Great find. It is always great to find something you can research. Which part of the river were you on? We used to go to the shore a lot in Greenwich years ago when we lived in Deptford. Access is very limited now, and you can't get to the parts we used to go to due to hundreds of flats built over the last ten years. Now some of my cat feeding jobs are in flats built where we used to go bike riding and exploring. Kind of sad really.

Iris said...

Wouldn't you just love to go mudlarking at the Thames? So much fun!

Unknown said...

Hooper Struve started in 1825 I think so maybe the reference to king was earlier than you may thin .

Unknown said...

I have one in perfect condition, found on a landfill site in East Ham many years ago.

Unknown said...

I have one also in excellent condition. I bought it in the 70's. There's a sticker on the bottom that says it's over 100 years old. Do t know ir that is accurate.

Unknown said...

I think it's king William 1v.