A Fine 19thC Folk Art Three Masted Ship in Bottle on Stand; 'Lizzie'


Origin: English
Period: Late Nineteenth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1870-90
The Stand:
Length: 13 inches
Depth: 5.5 inches
Height: 8 inches
The Bottle: 11 inches long

The hand crafted and painted three-masted ship, named Lizzie, housed on a shaped stained pine folk art stand flying the British red ensign with the signal flags of V (Victor), W (Whiskey) and H (Hotel).

Condition is generally good, the bottle is without chips or cracks, with good clarity, the ship in good solid structural order with all rigging and masts complete, and the stand is complete but is slightly rickety. The bottle is still corked with a silver foil outer.

The ship in a bottle, or impossible bottle as it’s sometimes known, is essentially a type of mechanical puzzle. Though the first mention of objects in bottles goes back to 1719, the oldest known example of a ship in a bottle is Italian and dated to 1784.

Examples dating from around 1840, like this one, are quite rare today, with many more hailing from the middle of the twentieth century.

A high quality example, one that surely appeals to lovers of nautical antiques or the charms of folk art.