1860's Tall W. Berry Manchester & London Stoneware Blacking Ink Jar Bottle

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#AD297 
Tall William Berry Blacking Co. Stoneware Ink Bottle, Manchester UK
SOLD

A beautiful old and original 1860's Victorian era 6.5 inch tall stoneware blacking, blackening or ink bottle, jars, or pot in excellent condition. This bottle was made by the W. Berry Company of Manchester & London. This 19th c. company was known as William Berry Ltd. of Manchester, Berry's Blacking Works and Berry's Diamond Oil Blacking. It was the leading shoe polish provider in England in the 19th century. 

William Berry's own recipe for a treacle/soot blacking concoction was invented by him in Salford, Manchester, North West England, where he was born in 1828. He also had a factory near the Strand in London. In those days, early shoe polish was also referred to as "Dubbin" and was generally made with lampblack and tallow. It and was sold and marketed in London as a product as early as the 1790's. Charles Dickens was known to have worked in a blacking company at age 12, in 1823. In this time period leather was the primary material made, which required waterproofing and care to make it last for years. 

As a side note, the shoe blacking trade was regulated by the Boot Black Brigades to give young boys work. It was founded in London in time for the Great Exhibition of 1851 at the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park. 

This large 6.5 inch tall stoneware bottle is impressed with the text:
W. BERRY, MANCHESTER & LONDON 

William Berry 1828-1900 and his family became the wealthiest family in Manchester at the time, and first lived in early Collyhurst, 1.5 miles northeast of Manchester city centre. They helped found the Collyhurst Guild in 1886. The family later lived in Park Lands, Dunham Town, Dunham Massey, Altrincham, Lancashire in the 1890's.

Found in Public Genealogy & Manchester History Records:
William Berry was born in 1828. We believe is parents were William Berry and Sophia Bowman Berry. His brother was Thomas Berry. His brother Thomas berry had a son named William Henry Berry, born in 1864. William lived with his brother Thomas and his wife Mary and their large extended Berry family for his later years in the census records seen below.

William Berry England Births and Christenings
Residence Place: Eccles, Lancashire, England
Christening Date: 31 Aug 1828
Christening Date (Original) 31 Aug 1828
Christening Place: Eccles, Lancashire, England
Father's Name: John Berry
Mother's Name: Sarah Berry (known to be Sarah Bowman Perry)

William Berry in the England and Wales Census, 1841
Event Place: Manchester, Lancashire, England
Residence Note: Chancery Lane
Age: 13
Birth Year (Estimated) 1828
Registration District: Chorlton
Household, Age, Birthplace:
James Berry M 38-42 Lancashire (assumed as father)
James Berry M 15-19 Lancashire 
John Berry M 25-29 Lancashire
Thomas Berry M 18-22 Lancashire
William Berry M 13 Lancashire
Robert Berry M 3 Lancashire
Mary Berry F 47-51 Lancashire (mother?)
Elizabeth Berry F 23-27 Lancashire
Eliza Berry F 5 Lancashire
Persilah Makeinson F 23-27 Lancashire

William Berry England and Wales Census, 1861
Event Place: Manchester, Lancashire, England
Ecclesiastical Parish: St Catherines
Residence Note: 2 Tin Street
Age: 33
Marital Status: Unmarried
Occupation: Blacking Manufacturer
Relationship to Head of Household: Head
Birth Year (Estimated): 1828
Birthplace: Manchester
Household, Age, Birthplace:
William Berry Head M 33 Manchester,
Thomas Berry Brother M 31 Salford,
Henry Collier Brother In Law M 33 Manchester,
Mary Ann Collier Sister F 27 Salford,
Mary Jane Collier Niece F 6 Salford,
Thomas Collier Nephew M 0 Manchester,
Elizabeth Fielding Aunt F 64 Manchester,

William Berry England and Wales Census, 1871
Event Place Manchester, Lancashire, England
Residence: Rochdale Road, Manchester
Age: 43
Marital Status: Single
Occupation: Blacking Manufacturer
Birth Year (Estimated) 1828
Birthplace: Manchester, Lancashire
Household, Age, Birthplace:
William Berry Head M 43 Manchester, Lancashire
Thomas Berry Brother M 40 Salford, Lancashire
William H Berry Nephew M 3 Manchester, Lancashire
Sarah Nicholson Servant F 24 Scarborough, Yorkshire

William Berry England and Wales Census, 1881
Event Place: Harpurhey, Lancashire, England
Residence: Harputhery Cottage, Rochdale Road, Salford, Lancashire UK
Registration District: Prestwich
Age: 53
Marital Status (Original): Single
Occupation: Blacking Manufacturer, Employs 150 Hands
Relationship to Head of Household: Head
Birth Year (Estimated): 1828
Birthplace: Manchester, Lancashire, England
Household, Age, Birthplace:
William Berry Head M 53 Manchester, Lancashire, England
Thomas Berry Brother M 50 Salford, Lancashire, England
William H. Berry Nephew M 13 Manchester, Lancashire, England
Henry T Collier Brother In Law M 55 Salford, Lancashire, England
Mary A Collier Sister F 47 Salford, Lancashire, England
Thomas Collier Nephew M 20 Manchester, Lancashire, England
Mary J Dobson Niece F 25 Salford, Lancashire, England
William B C Dobson Great Nephew M 2 Harpurhey, Lancashire, England
Thomas B C Dobson Great Nephew M 2 Harpurhey, Lancashire, England

William Berry England and Wales Census, 1891
County Cheshire
Parish Dunham Massey, Dunham Town
Ecclesiastical Parish: ST MARY BOWDON
Registration District: Altrincham
Age 63
Occupation Blacking Manufacturer
Relationship to Head of Household Head
Birth Year (Estimated) 1828
Birthplace Lancashire, England
Household, Age, Birthplace:
William Berry Head M 63 Lancashire, England
Thomas Berry Brother M 60 Lancashire, England
William H Berry Nephew M 23 Lancashire, England
Thomas Collier Nephew M 30 Lancashire, England
Mary J Dobson Niece F 36 Lancashire, England
William B Dobson Grandnephew M 12 Lancashire, England
Thomas B Dobson Grandnephew M 12 Lancashire, England
Mary E Jones Servant F 27 Denbighshire, England
Mary A James Servant F 24 Herefordshire, England
Mary E Stephens Servant F 22 Denbighshire, England

William Berry England and Wales Death Registration Index 1837-2007
Event Type Death
Registration Quarter: Jan-Feb-Mar
Registration Year: 1900
Registration District: Salford
County: Lancashire
Event Place: Salford, Lancashire, England
Age: 72
Birth Year: 1828

The businesses of William Berry and the Master Boot Polish Co were bought by Reckitt & Sons in 1912 and then moved to Hull, East Riding, Yorkshire. The family is buried in the berry Plot at the Bowden and Hale Cemetery, also known as Hale Cemetery in Altrincham,, Trafford, Greater Manchester, England. Any help or correction appreciated, email Debra here.

Victorian mourning and the black clothing and elements of the rituals of death are part of blacking history. See another piece on our site, 1860'S Winn's Anticardium Stoneware Ink Bottle, for Victorian Mourning here.

This old piece was found in Otley, on the River Wharfe in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. Click images to see condition in close up views and click again to open full images on screen for scrolling to right. There are no chips, cracks or repairs. Any imperfections are under the thick clear glaze and were done before firing.

Th is chunky old bottle is a creamy yellow / white stoneware with a gloss glaze. We have pictured it with a thimble to show the relative size. We have seen and sold this in smaller sizes, but never this 6.5 inch size. It has great old character and is an original Engish antique collectible vintage English advertising bottle. 

*Please note we have included a scan of an early Berry label we found online, it is not included with bottle, just shown for research purposes. 

debra clifford antiques devon sold archive
Size: 6.5 inches tall x 3 inches wide
debra clifford antiques     Welcome! We have a 100% approval policy. Also visit Debra's other 2 sites: Ancestorville, with thousands of early signed vintage lost family photos of the 19th century for genealogy, and Vintage Poster Works, a vintage antique advertising site. email Debra with any questions here. We proudly use recycled packaging when we can.


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