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Museum Collection

A Bottle for Wine Storage

The collection of the Museum-Reserve of M.A.Sholokhov is added with a bottle for wine storage. It is an item of Cossack household utensils. Such bottles were widely used by Cossacks in the Don area late in the XIX – early in the XX centuries. Big glass bottles for wine storage were cone-shaped containers with a narrow neck. Their capacity ranged widely, from 0.5 litre to several litres. Such containers were found both in poor and in wealthy Cossack families.

For a long time bottles were produced manually by “blowing” technique, which was labour intensive. The master could not always succeed in making a beautiful shape: as a rule, the lower part of the container was more massive than the upper one, as the bottle was blown from the glowing glass bubble pulling it up to the neck. The final form of the bottle, cone or round, was made manually “rolling” it on special figured surfaces made of bog oak. Besides, early bottles were heavy, for the weight of the glass included metal salts.

Glasswork manufacture in Rus was rapidly developed during the reign of Peter I, when Russian masters were apprenticed to overseas masters. There were made bottles various in purpose, shape, colour and capacity. This was especially true of vessels for wines: bordeaux (having a cone shape sharply narrowing to the neck), rhine, burgundy, champagne and bottles for dessert and strong wines. The glass of bottles could be clear or coloured (most often bottles were brown and green – from bright to dark hues).

This item helps us to imagine the life of Cossacks and to broaden our understanding of the everyday life and culture of Russian people.

 

Yelena Kleimyonova