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Bottle 416 - Cross with Birds
Date Added: 15 February 2006

This is a very folksy and interesting scene of carved wooden birds perched on a cross that has an unusual and rare Double Cross* like a Cross of Lorraine** or a Patriarchal Cross*** A double cross is a term has come to mean a betrayal; to double cross someone means to suggest that you are an ally when you are not. The cross is built from blondish natural wood. The upright and cross arms have deep cut patterned grooves. The ends of the upright and cross arms are decoratively carved. The cross arms are joined to the upright with a lap joint. Where the top cross arm intersects the upright is a faint and elongated shape of a heart painted in red. On each cross arm is a carved bird, one on each side. There is also a fifth bird sitting on top of a large carved and slightly tapered pedestal with a square base and a notched cared shaft. In the middle of the base is another elongated heart painted in red. The cross is attached to a wooden base that is in 3 sections forming a loosely joined floor on the base of the bottle. There are several religious symbols around the wooden base. In addition to the pedestal with the bird on top, there is a pick axe to the right of the cross with the pick handle carved in a slightly darker wood. The axe is carved to a point on each end. On the right side is a larger pick axe made much the same way with one end coming to a point and the other end carved like a broad axe. On the back left is a hammer made much like the pick axes on the front. On the right side is a shovel with a rounded handle. In the center, to the left side is a spear on a long pole. On the right side of the cross in the center is a wooden saw. Leaning against the cross on the back is a ladder with 6 rungs. The bottle is a uniquely shaped unidentified one quart bottle. On the front side of the bottle are the words "Federal Law Forbids Sale Or Re-Use Of This Bottle." Bottles made between 1933 and 1965 contained this wording. On the backside are the words "One Quart" in raised letters. The bottle is sealed with a black plastic screw cap. This bottle was made by the same unidentified artist of Bottle ID 410. Both bottles came from upper New York and were purchased from locations 238 miles apart. * The term double cross refers most basically to a graphical character (‡), and by extension to a betrayal. The graphical character appears frequently in heraldry and vexillology. For example, a double cross appears in the coat of arms of Hungary and the flag of Slovakia. A double cross often appears in alchemical illustrations, such as being one of the symbols referring to sulphur. By extension, the term has come to mean a betrayal; to double cross someone means to suggest that you are an ally when you are not. This usage is believed to have been inspired by Jonathan Wild who placed a cross by the name of anyone who vexed him in any way and if they had two crosses, he would betray them. This use has passed into common parlance, so that, for example, in World War II, British Military Intelligence used the Double Cross System to release captured Nazis back to Germany bearing false information. In Games Magazine, an acrostic puzzle is referred to as a double cross. ** The Cross of Lorraine is a heraldic cross. It consists of a vertical line, crossed by two smaller horizontal bars. The lower bar is as close to the bottom of the vertical as the upper bar is to the top. In the ancient version, both bars were of the same length. In 20th century use, the lower bar is longer than the upper, thus resembling a patriarchal cross, the crossbars of which, however, are both near the top. *** The patriarchal cross resembles a Latin cross with a smaller crossbar placed above the main one, so that both crossbars are near the top. Sometimes the patriarchal cross has a short, slanted crosspiece near its foot. It often appears in Byzantine, Greek and Russian iconography, and in Eastern Orthodox churches.
Type: Carved Birds with Cross   Maker's Name:
Category: Religious   Made Where:
Bottle Size: 9 1/2" x 4"   Year Made: 1940's
Bottle Type: Unidentified