I Search For Treasure That Washes Up On The Beach, And Here Are 48 Of The Most Antique Things

I live in Ankaran, Slovenia, and spend most of my days searching for beach treasures to make beach-themed jewelry.

While searching for seashells on the beach, I was finding a lot of glass, ceramics, old coins, silverware, and other amazing 100-year-old finds. With some research, I found out that I find so many vintage and antique items because in the past (around 100 years ago), Italian ships would come here and dump trash in the sea. Over the years, with the waves and many storms, historic finds that are hidden under the mud in the sea wash up on the beach. Not all finds wash up on the beach. Some are still buried in the sea bed with only a part of it sticking out.

One of my proudest finds is a 200-year-old undamaged Maraschino bottle from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. After finding it, I returned it back home to the Cosmacendi Palace, where the maker of the bottle once lived, and which is now the Museum of Ancient Glass! It was not only an incredible find but also a bottle without any proof that it even existed.

1. The Porcelain Pipe

The porcelain tobacco pipe generally associated with Germany 🇩🇪 consisted of a porcelain bowl connected to a stem and to a hollow slightly V- or U-shaped chamber of porcelain, horn or wood, the bowl fitting into one opening of the chamber and the stem into the other opening. The purpose of the chamber was to improve the fragrance and taste of the tobacco. 

Hundreds of thousands of porcelain pipes were manufactured from the mid-1700s through the early 1920s in Germany. Pipe smokers in Great Britain and in America rejected the porcelain because it was, to them, a highly unpleasant pipe to smoke. 

2. Purple!

At first, when I spotted this piece, I thought it was just dark brown sea glass. Nevertheless, I picked it up and that's when I saw its true color - PURPLE! 

Sea glass that started out as deep purple glass most likely originates from glassware manufactured between the 1840s and 1880s, according to the Society for Historical Archaeology. 

Toward the latter end of that period, hair tonics were commonly sold in dark amethyst bottles. Flasks, ink bottles, and bitters bottles might also have been tinted with a deep, purplish-burgundy hue. 

3. Part Of A Plate And Cup From A Shipwreck

OSTERREICHISCHER LLOYD was the biggest shipping company of Austria-Hungary and in the Mediterranean. It was founded in 1833.

From 1836 it was used for cargo and passenger travel and was one of the largest shipping companies in the world.

In 1849, the company launched its flagship Vorwarts (Forward), whose name became its motto. With the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, the company introduced lines to Mumbai, Colombo, Singapore and Hong Kong.

The passenger ship named Baron Gautsch was one of the most beautiful and modern passenger ships of the Austrian Lloyd.

It sailed from the Bay of Kotor on August 12, 1914 on his last, tragic voyage to Trieste, and therefore, given the number of victims, they call it the Adriatic Titanic. It was less than two weeks after the outbreak of World War I.

On the very next day, the ship sailed too close to shore into the area of minefields. As soon as the minesweepers noticed that the ship was entering a minefield, they started sending different danger signals, however, there was no reaction from the ship.

At 14.45 a high pillar of the sea rose on the port side of the ship and then a terrible explosion was heard. In the blink of an eye, the sea turned into a terrifying sight of scattered parts of the ship and passengers floating helplessly, calling for help.

Since around 1992, souvenirs from the ship, have repeatedly appeared on the flea market and in antique shops.

Croatian fishermen repeatedly offered divers the opportunity to dive the "Baron Gautsch" - for good payment, but with no guarantee of finding the wreck.

4. Black Eagle

This piece was probably once a part of a plate from a hotel named Hotel Volpich all' »Aquila nera« (black eagle). 

It was an inn (a small hotel, providing accommodation, food, and drink, especially for travelers) located in Trieste, Italy. 🇮🇹

It became Hotel Volpich in 1896 when it was led by Francesco Volpich. These were the golden years (until 1918).

After the allied invasion of Italy in 1943, the hotel became Hotel Milano and shortly after Hotel Corso.

The current owner of the building is Lloyd Adriatico (since 1964) who in 1980 decided on another use of the property.

5. Virgin Mary statue

A beautiful find holding a piece of history. It was once a part of a Virgin Mary statue from Lourdes, France. 

Our Lady of Lourdes is a Roman Catholic title of the Blessed Virgin Mary venerated in honour of the Marian apparitions that are claimed to have occurred in 1858 in the vicinity of Lourdes in France.

The first of these is the apparition of 11 February 1858, when 14-year old Bernadette Soubirous told her mother that a "lady" spoke to her in the cave of Massabielle while she was gathering firewood.

Similar apparitions of the "Lady" were reported on eighteen occasions that year.

Swipe to see a similar statue from late 19th/early 20th century, that this piece was once a part of.

6. I think this was once a part of a jar from BATTY & COs located in London

Batty & Co of London was a pickle and sauce manufacturer.

The business was acquired by Heinz in 1905 as part of their entry into the British market.

George Batty was born in Broxbourne (in 1800). He moved to London and founded Batty & Co in 1824.

Batty had acquired the recipes of the late Dr William Kitchiner, an eccentric but popular celebrity chef of the era, by 1834. 

Batty & Co produced Dr Kitchiner branded sauces, such as Salad Cream. 

Batty & Feast first introduced Nabob sauce at the Great Exhibition of 1851. The firm won the only prize medal for pickles at the exhibition. 

It was reported in the press that Queen Victoria showed a great interest in the Batty & Feast stand.

7. A porcelain bottle stopper

The Italian word "spumante" means sparkling wine. So this bottle stopper was once a part of a wine bottle from the maker named Ester located in Trieste, Italy. 

8. 100 Year Old (Part Of A) Button From The Austro-Hungarian Empire Times

I loveee finding buttons especially antique ones.

9. Monte Santo Pendant

Not long ago I found this pendant on the beach. At first, I thought it was another coin from the Austro-Hungarian Empire but it's actually an antique medallion. 

On it it's written in Italian: EFFIGIE D. B. V. D. MONTE SANTO • GORIZIA • with the picture of crowned Mary in between Saint Joseph and Saint John the Baptist. 

Monte Santo (in Slovenian Sveta Gora) or simply Holy Mountain is a Slovenian mountain located to the northeast of Gorizia (Italian town). 

The mountain got its name after the apparition of Mary to a shepherdess Orsola Ferligoi in 1539 (picture of the apparition is on the backside of the medallion).

During the apparition, Mary said to her: “Tell the people to build me a church here and ask for graces!”.

After the shepherdess told what had happened, the authorities didn't believe her. She was thus locked up multiple times, however, Mary freed her each time.

After that, the church was built on the top of the mountain, which was then destroyed and rebuilt multiple times. The current church was built between 1924 and 1928.

The basilica of the Assumption of the Virgin of Monte Santo, the seat of the Franciscan Convent, has been a pilgrimage destination for the Slovenian and Italian people of Gorizia for centuries.

10. Thats a Stunning Pottery Piece

My amazing mom is one of the main reasons for my success. She not only believed in me but helped me on my way to make Maristella possible. I am very grateful to have her by my side. 

11. Toothbrush With Markings: G. B. Kent & Sons London

Kent Brushes was founded in 1777. They've supplied Royal households with their hairbrushes.

They've been involved in both World Wars, equipping millions of brushes to troops in the Army, Navy and RAF, even creating special brushes in which maps and compasses were concealed to help the war effort.

12. Famous Mineral Spring Water from Budapest, Hungary

The Hunyadi Janos Bitterquelle was a famous mineral spring water from Budapest, Hungary. 

The Hunyadi Janos brand was a popular European export (to the USA 🇺🇸) in the late 19th century, and spurred many knock-off brands. 

This bottle (bottom) was a competitor counterfeit named HUNYADY LAJOS.

13. 120+ Year Old Coins

Pirate's treasure! Antique military/marine buttons and 120+ years old coins. 

These are "Hellers" from the Austro - Hungarian Empire. On one side there’s a double headed eagle, on the other side the number 2 and the year it was made. 

On one piece you can see the year 1897! 

In Austria-Hungary, Heller was the term used in the Austrian half of the empire for 1/100 of the Austro-Hungarian krone (the other being fillér in the Hungarian half), the currency from 1892 until after the demise (1918) of the Empire. 

14. Vintage Fork

This fork is made from the Alpacca material and is from the 19th/20th century. It has a tiny symbol and the marking C&D on it. 

Before aluminum came on the scene alpaca was the popular material of the cutlery industry in the years of the 18-19th century. It counted as a rather great achievement, the factories stamped every piece with their own mark. 

The nice silver color of the alpaca is due to the nickel, extensibility comes from copper and zinc gives its melting ability.

15. Luxardo Glass Stamp

This 100 year old piece with the words "I. R. Priv. Prem. Fab. G. Luxardo ZARA" around the double-headed eagle (representing the Austro-Hungarian Empire) is a seal from a bottle that carried the famous Maraschino cherry liqueur - made from wild cherries named Marasca. 

Girolamo Luxardo is an Italian liqueur factory founded in 1821 in a city previously named Zara (today Zadar, Croatia) but later moved to Torreglia near Padua in Italy. 

In 1829, the great quality of the Maraschino Luxardo was certified with a ‘privilege’ awarded by the Emperor of Austria. They still sell the liquor today.

16. L’acqua Di Melissa

This bottle, with the words "Melissa dei c scalzi" on one side and "Venezia" on the other, is the famous "l’Acqua di Melissa" – healing water made from the Melissa herb. I have contacted the so-called barefoot Carmelite Fathers of the Venetian Province and they have told me that this bottle was made in the early 1800s.

According to the archives, during lunch in the Carmelite convent in Venice a friar wasn't feeling good, so the father helped him not to faint by giving him the water of Melissa to smell. It is claimed to be the first proof of the use of the magical water, made from Melissa Moldavica, distilled from Carmelite religious since 1710. The recipe for the magical water was written in 1841.

17. Sea glass seal

I found this green sea glass piece of a seal with the words: MILANO • (BRA)NCA • FR(ATELLI) and a flower design in the middle. 

This seal was once part of a hand-blown bottle from the 19th century produced by Fratelli Branca Milano distilleries in Milan, Italy. The firm was founded there in 1845 by the three brothers Giuseppe, Luigi and Stefano Branca (the Italian word “fratelli” means “brothers”). 

In 1941, Fratelli Branca opened its first and only production plant outside Italy in Argentina 🇦🇷, the country that consumes the most Fernet-Branca due to the popularity of the fernet con coca cocktail.

Fernet-Branca is a brand of fernet, which is made from a number of herbs and spices. 

18. Lead Bale/Cloth Seals

Lead seals were affixed to goods to communicate information such as place of origin, manufacture, quality, size, circulation, and taxation. 

Lead seals are the colonial equivalent to today’s merchandise tag. Most commonly associated with textiles, lead seals marked everything from tobacco and salt to bundles of various trade goods. 

Easily molded, a lead seal was affixed to a bale of goods at its place of origin (typically somewhere in Europe) and remained unmolested until the goods reached their final destination. They were used from the 17th to the 19th century.

19. Look at the beautiful scenery on this plate piece

You can even see the line where the design starts/stops and where it was filled in. 

Many decades later of it being in the sea, the design is still perfect. 

20. Button From An Austro-Hungarian Marine Uniform

A button from the Austro-Hungarian Navy (1867–1918). It was a part of the uniform that sailors working on warships wore.

21. The teapot

The tiniest and the cutest little teapot find. Was this used as a decoration, or for little girls to play with? 

22. Roncegno Bottle

The natural mineral water Roncegno, enriched with compounds of iron and arsenic from the eponymous source in northern Italy, near Trento, has been in circulation since the second half of the 19th century.

From 1867, the right to use the spring was bought by the brothers Girolamo and Francesco Waiz, whose company (Dita Fratelli Waiz), in addition to the production of spring medicinal water - Acqua Roncegno - in the 70s of the 19th century took over the building of the thermal spa in Roncegno. 

Since then, the whole place has experienced a short-lived but notable economic boom. The spa was known throughout the Austro-Hungarian lands, and was advertised in newspapers at the very beginning of the 20th century, most often with the simultaneous advertising of the healing water Roncegno.

23. Heart shaped clear sea glass

Heart shaped clear sea glass is my favorite find from last week. 🤩 It even looks like it has veins. 🏖 Did you ever find a heart shaped sea glass?

24. Atkinson's Rose Cold Cream

This is a part of a stoneware pot lid for Atkinson's Rose Cold Cream. Dates late 1800’s to early 1900’s. It was a cream for men to use after shaving and on their lips. It was also a fine rose perfume. 

His store was at 24 Old Bond Street in London. A street known for prestigious or expensive shops.

25. Victorian Cherry Toothpaste

Victorian Cherry Toothpaste pot lid, made by John Cosnell & Co. London. 

This find is from 1850-1900. Toothpaste for “beautifying and preserving the teeth and gums.”

26. Bottle Of Creme Jris

Creme Jris was made by pharmacist Weiss & Co. from Giessen, Germany. It was filled with a creme used for facecare. Research time was long because I could not find any information until my aunt who knows German helped me research. 

I found an advertising stamp and a piece that was probably a part of a newsletter to help me find out what this bottle was filled with and how old it was (100+ years).

27. Beautiful turquoise sea glass with a crown design

28. Plate

Sometimes the pieces found at different times match together perfectly, like this plate of which I found 3 pieces. 

I love the design, after some research I think that it's a display plate from Minton & Co featuring the Eton pattern with hand painted birds and butterflies amongst spring blossom. Made in England in the 19th century. 

29. Glass Stamp

Recently I found another amazing glass stamp that was once a part of a glass bottle. 

I found out that it was made around the end of the 19th century in Šibenik, Croatia (Austro-Hungarian Empire at the time). There isn’t a lot of information available because the family Matavulj was primarily making clothes for the majesties in the Austro-Hungarian empire and only made a few bottles of liquor Rosolio made out of rose petals. 

30. German Company Oberselters Mineral Water Bottle From 1860s

Clay bottle that contained mineral water. It's from a German company named OberSelters that even today sells mineral water. The stamp on this bottle was used only on bottles made from 1836 to 1866.

31. Victorian Art Glass Vase

The Victorian art glass vase is from the second half of the 19th century. It has an applied trail of blue rigaree citrine glass trailing around the vase and a lovely silver design of a branch with flowers, leaves, and acorns.

32. Antique Beer Bottle

This bottle with the words "Proprieta' L. Dejak Pola" was from a gentleman named Luigi Dejak. He was mostly known for his beer and wine in Pola at the end of the 19th century. His wine received many prizes around Europe for its amazing flavor and quality. This specific bottle was filled with beer.

33. 200-Year-Old Cosmacendi Maraschino Bottle

One of my proudest is a 200-year-old undamaged Maraschino bottle from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. After finding it, I returned it back »home« to the Cosmacendi Palace (located in Zadar, Croatia), where the maker of the bottle once lived, and which is now the Museum of Ancient Glass! 

It was not only an incredible find, but also a bottle without any proof that it even existed. The museum was thrilled to have gotten this amazing piece of history and I was over the moon to have contributed to their collection.

34. Kerosene Lamp Burner

A part of a 1850s R. DITMAR Wien kerosene lamp burner. Brothers Rudolf and Fredrich Ditmar relocated from Germany to Austria (Vienna) in 1839 where they traded in oil lamps. 

In 1841 they started their own lamp factory. A decade later they succeeded in developing the “moderator lamp” that could be used reliably thanks to having an option to adjust the intensity of the flame. 

The international success enabled the further expansion of the company, which continued after Friedrich Ditmar's death as "Lamps and Metalware Factory R. Ditmar".

35. Most amazing finds

36. Beautiful Frosted Sea Glass Bottle Stopper

37. Do you recognize this design?

38. The beauty of sea glass and of a beach sunset in one picture

39. Every sea potery piece has a story behind it

40. What kind of a bird do you think this is? 

41. Stunning pottery find

42. The Perfect Plate Piece

43. The Perfect Plate Piece

44. The Perfect Plate Piece

45. The Perfect Plate Piece

46. The Perfect Plate Piece

47. Beautifully frosted multicolored sea glass

48. Glass Piece

Perfectly frosted Coca Cola sea glass piece. How old do you think it is?