On display

This item is on display at Melbourne Museum

Melbourne Museum

Blacking Bottle - Ceramic, circa 1870 Archaeology Reg. No: LL 072838

This salt-glazed ceramic blacking bottle was excavated at the Commonwealth Block site between 1988 and 2003. Blacking was used for cleaning stoves or other household items. It was possibly manufactured by Lithgow or Bendigo Potteries during the 1870's.

Food and eating.
Kitchen facilities in the homes of Little Lon were rudimentary. Few people had ovens or ice chests, so perishable foods were bought fresh daily. Most meals were fried or boiled over an open fire. Families with limited facilities would take their Sunday roasts to a nearby bakery for cooking. Even the poorest residents of Little Lon seem to have eaten a considerable amount of meat. Mutton, beef, rabbit and pork came from the Eastern Market in Bourke Street. Oysters and fish were sold from barrows in Flinders Street. Fresh fruit and vegetables were hawked on the streets by Chinese and Italian vendors.
Salt-glazed stoneware jar - complete. Graduated glaze colour, unglazed inside. 15.5 cm. Wheel - thrown, base, body. shoulder, neck and lid. The jar is unmarked. Possibly Lithgow or Bendigo. (Bendigo Pottery was unmarked until the 1880s.) Known as a 'blacking bottle' - contained blacking for stove or other household cleansing liquids; probably not for food.
possibly made in the 1870s. Reference: Scoles, 1979.
Acquisition Information:
Transfer from Heritage Victoria, 2005
Discipline: Archaeology - Historical
Dimensions: 155 mm (Height), 70 mm (Width)
Dimension Comment: Width = Diameter

More information

Tagged with: making history - little lonsdale street
Themes this item is part of: Little Lon, Little Lon Collection
On Display at: Melbourne Museum
Primary Classification: HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY
Activity: jar
Trench Unit Number: 04/29/91

Add your comment

  • Museum Victoria does not provide valuations, for more information please visit the valuation infosheet
  • Please note that Museum Victoria staff will not normally respond to comments posted on our website.


This item is part of the following themes:

Similar items

Yes No