Freemasonry and The Impossible Bottle.

Ship in a Bottle.

Ship in a Bottle.

An impossible bottle is the term used to describe a rather unique form of mechanical puzzle. The term refers to any bottle containing an object that does not appear to fit through the neck of the bottle, that it has been inserted into. Probably the best known examples are the many nautical examples, of a ship placed within a bottle.

There are a couple of different techniques used to put a model ship within a bottle. The simplest way is to rig the masts of the ship and pull them gently up into position with thread, once the ship hull has been eased into its final position, through the neck of the bottle. Alternatively, using specialised long handled tools, it is possible to build the ship within the bottle.

Dartmouth Model Ship Museum.

Dartmouth Model Ship Museum.

For those interested in Ships and Bottles, the best known British Collection is known as The Dawe Collection and can be found, on display in an old Sea=Merchants House,in The Butterwalk, in the town of Dartmouth, in Devon. Uniquely the entrance up into the museum is via an old spiral staircase, built counter clockwise around a section of a ships mast.

The Masonic Impossible Bottle.

The Masonic Impossible Bottle.

Detail of the Internal Construction.

Detail of the Internal Construction.

I was very fortunate, as a boy, as I grew up with one ofthese Impossible Bottles, in my fathers house. And as you would expect, as a Freemason, my fathers bottle had a number of Masonic Symbols within. The main feature in his bottle was The Christian Cross, on which was fixed a set of Compasses and a Square in the 3rd degree position. Other symbols within the bottle are representations of The Crescent Moon, The Winding Staircase,A five runged Ladder, Setting Maul, and Trowel for spreading the cement of Masonic Brotherhood.

Another view of the Masonic Bottle.

Another view of the Masonic Bottle.

Over the years, I have seen other similar Masonic themed Impossible Bottles, right across the island of Ireland. As you travel around, visiting LOdges, then please keep an eye for these fascinating examples of a dying folk art.

About irishfreemason

Rt Wor Bro Bashford lives in Ireland where he joined the Masonic Order in 1977. He became a Master Mason in 1978 and served as Master of his Mother Lodge, Moyarget No. 280 Irish Constitution in 1990. He was appointed Richard Robinson Memorial Lecturer in the Irish Masonic Province of Antrim in 1992 and 2004. In 1996 he was appointed Grand Master's personal Standard Bearer by Most Wor. Bro Darwin Templeton, G.M. In 2000 he became the Millennium Master of the `irish Lodge of Research No. 200, and in 2001 went on to become Excellent King of the irish Chapter of Research No. 222.He is the current Editor of the Irish Lodge of Research, and has been since 1992, and of the Irish Chapter of Research since 1996. He was appointed Representative of the Grand Lodge of Portugal at the Grand Lodge of Ireland in 2006 ( a ten year appointment), giving him the courtesy title of Right Worshipful Brother. He is currently Provincial Grand Librarian for the Province of Antrim, and Curator of the museum at their headquarters in Belfast.
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