ROANOKE VOYAGES HISTORICAL FLASK
COMMEMORATIVE FLASK WITH PONTIL MARK

 

 

                               

 

 

 

These bottles were  handmade, one at a time over 23 years ago to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the attempt to establish a permanent colony in the New World  on Roanoke Island.  A limited edition of 1000 were made with four different lip styles.  Those that were not sold during the celebration on Roanoke Island, North Carolina between 1984 and 1987 have been stored in a warehouse until now. 

The following is a brief description of the steps taken in the making of these bottles.  An amount of molten glass was gathered on the blow pipe; a small amount of air was puffed into the glass; the glass was placed inside the two-piece mold;  and more air was blown in to expand the glass against the inside of the mold.  The mold was opened and the newly formed bottle, still attached to the blow pipe, was lifted out of the mold.  A small amount of molten glass was gathered on a metal rod (called the punty rod ) which was then dipped into some fine sand, and then pressed against the newly molded bottle, securing the bottle to the punty rod.  The blow pipe was then pulled away from the bottle, resulting in very thin glass fragments attached to the neck of the bottle.  Using the punty rod for a handle, the thin feathery glass fragments were knocked off the bottle neck by brushing the neck of the bottle against the concrete floor.  Using the punty rod as a handle, the neck of the bottle was then reheated and the lip of the bottle was  shaped using various iron tools.  The punty rod was then broken away from the bottom of the bottle, leaving some scarring on the bottom of the bottle.  This scar is called the pontil mark.  The bottle was then placed in an oven to allow a slow cooling or annealing of  the glass.

 

                                               On the obverse, in raised letters:

                                                      ROANOKE VOYAGES

                                                          (image of a ship)

                                                             1584 - 1587

                                                On the reverse, in raised letters:

                                                           VIRGINIA DARE   

                                                            (image of a girl)

                                                          Born Aug. 18, 1587

                                                              Fort Raleigh

                                                           Roanoke Island