One of the interesting things about finding pottery on the beach, especially
if it has a pattern or letters on it, is doing a bit of research to find out what it
was and where it came from. I've found two pieces (on different days) with
NASSAU stamped on them and this is what I've found out.
These pieces are parts of clay bottles once filled with mineral water, from
the Duchy of Nassau. This Duchy was part of the Confederation of the Rhine,
later to become the German Confederation and existed for about
60 years (1806-1866).
The mineral water originates for a well in Niederselters/Taunus Mountains -
*The following information is translated from Wikipedia*
* The Well was discovered in 1536 and soon the water was said to have
curative effects. In the 18th century, the water was verifiably exported to
England, Scandinavia, Russia, North America and Africa. Between 1806-1866,
the export of seltzer bacame the Duke of Nassau's most important source
of income. *
The bottles carrying the mineral water were made of saltglazed stoneware.
Straight-sided, and circular with quite a short neck. Each jug had a single
applied handle which loops from just below the base of the neck to the base
of the shoulder photo to follow).
Nassau Selter bottles carried an impressed seal with SELTERS/NASSAU
around a German eagle that contains the initials, F.R., on a shiled on his
chest. These bottles were a cottage industry in the Westerwald Mountains
area, known as the 'jug baking land/district'. Under the handle of each bottle
is stamped the first initial of the jugmaker's location and the person's individual
Because of the competition from glass container, the jug trade declined by the
end of the 19th century and was reduced to 49 jugmakers by 1926.