These old Dundee marmalade pots were found in a trash pit on property in Wiscassett, Maine that was recently purchased by my brother. This summer while he was excavating in preparation for erecting power poles he dug out these jars plus a couple dozen old Coca Cola bottles and some assorted other odds and ends.
My brother piled the finds in 5 gallon buckets and brought them to me. They were all covered and filled with thick clay. After a considerable amount of cleaning, and soaking in bleach, these pots look fairly presentable. They have some staining from rust, a few small chips and a couple are crazed. These and the rest of the goodies from the pit date to around 1949-1955.
For some reason, old pottery marmalade pots are sought after. Perhaps people like them for decorating. They measure about 4.25″ tall and would be useful to hold things like pens or coins. These five recently sold at auction in my eBay shop for $70. A pretty good return on a few hours of elbow grease. Thanks brother for the generous gift!
I still have to clean the Coke bottles before they can be listed. They are all from Maine or New England. Those bottles are not likely to be as valuable as the marmalade pots, but they will sell well. I also have listed some interesting old toiletry bottles and jars from the pit. They were quite dirty. Some still contained remnants of the original product including the hair pomade and hormonal cream. The contents were black and sticky, a real joy to clean out. These all are from the same era, the early 1950s.
The pieces are, clock-wise from the top left, a Lentheric aftershave or cologne bottle, a Tame by Toni creme hair rinse bottle, milk glass jar for Paglo Pompom hair pomade, with real lanolin (I’d love to smear that stuff in my hair!) and, Helena Rubenstein Estrogenic Hormone cream, purported to reduce wrinkles. The Tame bottle says “the new invisible hair dressing that rinses on.” Tame was a new product in 1953.
My brother also dug out some old locally bottled soda bottles that have already sold. I have listed some household bottles for Clorox bleach, Vermont Maid syrup and perhaps an old Milk of Magnesia bottle that is dark blue glass, a couple old milk bottles from Maine and an amber bottle that once held Felton’s rum. He also found the lid for a French pate pot and the enameled cast iron top for a Volcanic color Le Creuset roasting pan. The roasting lid is too corroded to rescue, unfortunately.
Altogether, the trash pit was a good find with some well preserved treasures from mid-century America. It is interesting to see what sorts of products a particular family in Wiscasset used during the early 1950s. Perhaps not as exciting as excavating a medieval, Roman or pre-historic trash midden, but entertaining enough for me!