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VocalEyes - Shakespeare's Birthplace

Feeding Bottle, 1401-1600.



This tiny ceramic feeding bottle stands only about six and a half centimetres tall and looks like a miniature version of a larger jug, with a short spout and looped handle. The body bulges at the bottom, straightening half way up and ending in a shallow lip at the top. The slender spout protrudes from halfway up the jug. To make it more robust the tip of the spout is joined to the top of the jug with a thick bridge. The bottle is painted in copper lustre, pinkish brown in places, almost yellow in others, it's decorated with pale triangular shaped leaves.

Bottles like this would have been used to feed a baby or small child. Although most women during this time would have breast fed their children themselves or if they were wealthy enough, hired a ‘wet nurse’ to feed their child for them, there is evidence that women fed their children with bottles from as early as 2000BC. It could also have been used when it was time to introduce the child to solid or other foods, so the bottle might have held goat or cow’s milk that had been mixed with flour or honeyed wine.

This feeding bottle was made in Spain between 1400 and 1600.