Wishing Wells in Bottles


Small Picture
Description (click on small picture to see larger pictures and closeups)
8 3/4"
2 1/2" square
square with truncated corners; no markings The wishing well is built from wood with bits of embossed foil and cutouts and beads. Two buckets hang from string over a bar under the roof. Two carved wooden birds sit on the roof. The stopper, which is covered in patterned foil, is kept in place by two wooden pieces that were threaded and pulled up through a hole down the shaft of the stopper. (Full length picture and closeup)
7 1/2" square; no markings The wishing well in this bottle is not especially notable; it is made of wood and card stock and decorated with Victorian cutouts.The special feature of this bottle is its carved stopper, a hand holding an open book. The hand is nicely carved with details like fingernails and cuff buttons This is one of four bottles I've seen almost exactly like this one, clearly by the same artist. And it is probably by the same artist as the other one I have with a carved hand with a painted cuff.(Full length picture and closeup of stopper)
8 1/2" square; no markings The wishing well in this bottle has a lotblackyarn.html such a small bottle, although the roof is made of paper decorated with foil. The best part about the inside of the bottle is the whittled wooden chain that loops around the well, through urns at each corner. But the arresting feature of this bottle is the stopper, a carved hand holding an open book . The shaft of the stopper that goes into the neck of the bottle is decorated with Victorian cutouts which also decorate the well itself. (Full length picture and closeups)
1 3/4" square probably 19th century bottle, no markings Yet another bottle by the same maker as these other wishing well bottles and several others with tools, and complex structures, and at least one cross bottle. This one has finely shaved trees, delicate link chains, and a well topped with a paper roof. It is decorated throughout with fancy foil paper. The stopper has a decorative cuff and part of a hand, but it can't be said whether it ever also had a book. (Full image)
5 5/8" tall, 1 7/8" square no markings This little wishing well bottle, by the same maker as the others, was found without a stopper, and with the insides in a jumble. The well is made of wood and has shaved urns at the corners and other shaved decorative bits of wood. The urns are connected to each other by tiny chains of wooden links, and the well has a nice bucket decorated with two silver bands. (Full image with "before" picture)
c 7" square; no markings This is another example of a wishing well bottle made by the same artist as the second bottle above, and probably the same artist who made the bottle immediately above this one. This has a stopper with a hand holding an open book, and the wishing well inside is similar to the others. (Full length picture)
I believe all six of these bottles were made by the same maker, and I know this same maker made several other bottles containing tools and four-posted structures. At least four other book-in-hand bottles have been identified that are not included in this website's inventory, and one is in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. See the second page of Bottles with Tools for the others.