A FAMILY picnic at Myola led to an interesting find for Woollamia youngster Joshua Caruana.
The 11-year-old Huskisson student was near the spit at Myola when he noticed the bottom of a brown bottle sticking out of a sand dune.
Thinking it was probably a broken bottle he dug it out and found a beautifully preserved, brown glazed ceramic ginger beer bottle, emblazoned with the words “J. Kelly Brewed Ginger Beer Nowra”.
Encouraged by his father to continue his dig, Joshua also found a thin old-style glass bottle and two damaged thick shot glasses.
A keen viewer of the television show Bargain Hunt, Josh was wondering if any of these objects had any historical value or even meaning to the local area or if they were just old knick-knacks, and his family contacted the Register.
The back of the ginger beer bottle read “This bottle is the property of J. Kelly Nowra”.
There is also a K stamped on the neck of the bottle.
The bottle has since been identified by local collector Adam Manly as being from local Nowra Cordial factory owner Jim Kelly and his family, most probably from between 1923 and 1934.
The bottom of the thin bottle is hard to read but it appears to have been stamped on the bottom with “AGM” and “c 40” (the “AGM” could also be “AG IN” or “ACM”).
Looking at pictures of the youngster’s find, Mr Manly said the glass bottle was interesting.
“Possibly it may have held a spirit of some kind that may have been taken from a pub along with the two glasses and used with the ginger beer,” he said.
“It has AGM on the bottom of it which stands for Australian Glass Manufacture which would also date it around the same as the ginger beer bottle, 1923-1934.
“It could also be an oil bottle of some sort, maybe used to hold vinegar or a salad dressing.”
And even better for young Josh, Mr Manly said the ginger beer bottle has a market value of a couple of hundred dollars for collectors.
“Not bad considering mum thought they were only a piece of old junk,” Josh joked.
“They are not uncommon but are sought after,” Mr Manly said.
“It is a Kelly Crown Seal, made out of stoneware pottery.
“It’s in pretty good condition considering it has been buried in the sand.”