This stoneware bottle was found at the Maine, a settlement on Governor’s Land outside of Jamestown. In 1618 the Virginia Company instructed Governor George Yeardley to set aside 3,000 acres of land near the capital at Jamestown “to be the seat and land of the Governor of Virginia.” This land was to be farmed by tenants and provide income and support to the Governor and the Virginia Company. The tenant was generally entitled to half the fruits of their labor with the Governor and the Virginia Company splitting the remainder. The artefactual and historical record suggests that the site excavated at the Maine was inhabited for a single tenancy, from about 1618 to 1625. The 1624/5 Muster counted thirty-five inhabitants at the Maine: 29 men and 6 women.
Salt-glazed stoneware bottles like this one were made in huge numbers in the Cologne region of Germany beginning in the 16th century. They were used primarily to store and serve liquids. This particular example was embossed by the potter with the arms of Amsterdam, probably suggesting that it was made for a merchant in that city.