Hunting for Sea Glass and Treasures on Seaham Beach and what to look for

Seaham Beach and the surrounding beaches on the Durham Heritage coastline is a very special place to visit. I have collected sea glass for a number of years and as well as sea glass I have found some very interesting treasures. I would often collect objects that I perceived to be really interesting but with no clue as to what they really were or, the history behind them. I hope this series of blogs helps you identify your treasures. Happy Hunting !

Victorian Ceramic Bottle Stoppers

This style of stopper  the ‘flip-top’ or ‘swing-top’ also known as a Quillfeldt stopper was named after it’s inventor Charles de Quillfeldt. It was invented in 1874 and was used as a closure for bottles containing carbonated beverages such as beer or carbonated water. The mouth of the bottle was sealed by a stopper usually made of porcelain and held in place by a set of wires. The bottle could then be opened and resealed repeatedly. It is interesting that some stoppers are far more sea worn than others. I love the fact that I am picking up a stopper that was maybe last handled by a thirsty Victorian pub goer.

Milk Glass

Milk glass is an opaque translucent milk white or coloured glass that can be blown or pressed into a wide variety of shapes. Victorians loved milk glass for tableware, vases and also used milk glass for tiling. Milk glass was first produced in Venice in the 16th century and then latterly in Europe. Milk glass was produced in a wide variety of colours. You will find fragments of Milk Glass on Seaham beach notably, green and yellow however, if you are lucky you may find the rarer colours of peach, blue or red.

Kiln Props

Kiln Props are small supports which were used to support kiln shelves in the process of glass and pottery making. Kiln Props were composed of a clay body that could withstand high temperatures.

Seaham ‘Bubbles’

A ‘Bubble’ is a term used for a perfectly round and spherical piece of sea glass and can be found in a variety of colours.

Hunting for Sea Glass and Treasures on Seaham Beach and what to look for.

Slag Glass

This is actually glass and looks can be deceiving ! When back lit with a torch slag glass takes on an amber, fiery hue. Slag glass is created by using pulverised silicate slag, an ingredient that forms on the top of molten iron as it cools down. Slag glass was originally created in the United Kingdom in the 1890’s by adding the ‘slag’ substance during the glass making process.

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