mole logo

Dunville's Whisky Collectables: ‘Dunvilliana’

On the base of many of the items are the name or monogram of the manufacturer, the name of the Dunville's Whisky sales agent who distributed the items, and a batch number. Sometimes there is a Registered Number on an item, from which it is possible to determine the year in which the design was registered. The item would have been manufactured in or after this year. There is information on another page on some of the manufacturers and sales agents.

Dunville's Whisky ceramic water jug

Ceramic water jug, 135 mm (5¼ in) high, 105 cm (4¼ in) diameter, the handle is flush with the shape of the jug, on one side: 'DUNVILLE'S SPECIAL LIQUEUR WHISKY' and three crowns, on the other side: 'DUNVILLE'S VR WHISKY' and one crown, under the spout: 'ASK FOR IT AND SEE YOU GET IT', on the base: 'J.A.CAMPBELL 64.ROYAL AVENUE BELFAST' and '18' underlined and impressed.

Some of these jugs have a lid with a hinged flap over the spout and a knob on top.

Dunville's Whisky ceramic water jug The other side of the jug shown above.
Dunville's Whisky small ceramic water jug Small ceramic water jug, 81 mm (3¼ in) high, 95 mm (3¾ in) diameter, 'DUNVILLE'S VR WHISKY' on two sides, on the base: 'J.A.CAMPBELL 64 ROYAL AVENUE BELFAST' and '18' underlined and impressed.
Dunville's Whisky small ceramic water jug

Small ceramic water jug, 93 mm (3¾ in) high, 83 mm (3¼ in) diameter, 'DUNVILLE'S V.R. WHISKY' on two sides, on the base: the Carlton Ware Script Mark, and '1201' impressed.

The Carlton Ware Script Mark, which consists of the words 'Carlton Ware' as a signature, and 'MADE IN ENGLAND' and 'TRADE MARK' in capitals on the base, was used in the 1920s and helps to date this jug.

The letters 'V.R.' are in the Art Deco style of the 1920s, compared to the Art Nouveau style of lettering on earlier items. Art Nouveau, from the late Victorian era (1880 to the First World War), was characterized by intricate, ornamental design. Art Deco, which first appeared in the 1920s and 1930s, is characterized by simple, geometric design.

base of Dunville's Whisky small ceramic water jug

The Carlton Ware Script Mark on the base of of the jug shown above.

In the early 1920s Enoch Boulton became Carlton Ware's designer, responsible for one of their most creative periods. Soon after Boulton's appointment, a new backstamp known as the Script Mark was introduced. The words 'Carlton Ware' are shown as a signature, with 'MADE IN ENGLAND' and 'TRADE MARK' in capitals.

Dunville's Whisky small ceramic water jug

Small ceramic water jug, 95 mm (3¾ in) high, 132 mm (5¼ in) long including the spout and the handle, 80 mm (3¼ in) wide, 'DUNVILLE'S VR' on two sides, on the base: 'W.J.IRVINE BELFAST'.

Dunville's Whisky small ceramic water jug

Small ceramic water jug, 94 mm (3¾ in) high, 135 mm (5¼ in) long including the spout and the handle, 86 mm (3½ in) wide, 'DUNVILLE'S VR' on two sides, on the base: 'JAMES GREEN & NEPHEW LTD. · DESIGNERS · & · MANUFACTURERS · LONDON & HAMLEY · MADE IN ENGLAND RD. NO. 777648'.

The registered number, which is also impressed separately on the base, indicates that the design was registered in 1932 and that the jug was made in or after that year.

This example appears to be stained by cigarette smoke and may have been on display on a shelf in a pub.

Dunville's Whisky glass water jugs

Glass water jug, 123 mm (4¾ in) tall, 73 mm (2¾ in) diameter, 'Dunville's Whisky' in white enamelled lettering.

Large glass water jug, 164 mm (6½ in) tall, 99 mm (4 in) diameter, 'Dunville's Whisky' in white enamelled lettering.

Dunville's V.R. Old Irish Whisky glass and Dunville's Three Crowns Special Liqueur glass

Old Irish Whisky glass, 99 mm (4 in) tall, 59 mm (2¼ in) diameter, 'DUNVILLE'S VR OLD IRISH WHISKY', the Dunville & Co. Ltd. trademark, which is the 'D & Co' monogram, with 'TRADE' above and 'MARK' below, 'BELFAST.', 'DUNVILLE & Co LIMITED' in acid-etched lettering.

Three Crowns Special Liqueur glass, 100 mm (4 in) tall, 59 mm (2¼ in) diameter, 'DUNVILLE'S SPECIAL LIQUEUR', 'Dunville & Co Ltd Belfast' in acid-etched lettering.

The designs on the two glasses are based on the designs of the bottle labels for Dunville's V.R. Old Irish Whisky and Dunville's Special Liqueur Whisky. These bottle labels are shown further down this page.

Dunville's Whisky change tray

Change tray, 124 mm (5 in) by 97 mm (3¾ in), on the table are a bottle of Dunville's Three Crowns Special Liqueur Whisky and a bottle of Dunville's V.R. Whisky, on the base: '49' raised.

Other change trays of the same design have on the base: 'Late Foley SHELLEY England' and 'RICHARD PATTERSON & Co. BELFAST.' Shelley included the words 'Late Foley' in their mark between 1910 and 1916, which helps to date these change trays.

base of Dunville's Whisky change tray

Base of change tray of the same design as the one shown above. This one has the words 'RICHARD PATTERSON & Co. BELFAST.' and 'Late Foley SHELLEY England' on the base. Shelley included the words 'Late Foley' in their mark between 1910 and 1916, which helps to date this change tray.

Dunville's Whisky match striker

Match striker, 111 mm (4¼ in) diameter, on the base: 'J.A.CAMPBELL 64.ROYAL AVENUE BELFAST.', 'FIELDING' impressed in small block capitals, '11' impressed.

Some match strikers of the same design have on the base 'RICHARD PATTERSON & Co. BELFAST' and the 'Late Foley SHELLEY England' pottery mark. Shelley included the words 'Late Foley' in their mark between 1910 and 1916, which helps to date these match strikers.

Other match strikers have in place of the 'V', the crown and the 'R', three crowns, advertising Dunville's Three Crowns Special Liqueur Whisky, and on the base: 'J.A.CAMPBELL ROYAL AVENUE BELFAST'.

Match strikers were used before match boxes had sand paper on the side. Matches were placed in the central recess and when they were required, they were struck on the rough surface around the outside.

Dunville's Whisky ash tray

Ash tray, 132 mm (5¼ in) diameter, on the base: 'RICHARD PATTERSON & Co. BELFAST.' There is a block in the centre to hold a match box.

Dunville's Whisky ash tray

Ash tray, 120 mm (4¾ in) by 102 mm (4 in), on the base: 'J.A.CAMPBELL 64 ROYAL AVENUE BELFAST.' and '157' impressed.

Dunville's Whisky bakelite ash tray

Bakelite ash tray, 51 mm (2 in) high, 90 mm (3½ in) diameter. The lettering and the crown on the top is impressed. On the base: 'THORNE GLASGOW REGD No. 778567' in raised letters. The upper half unscrews from the lower half to allow the ash to be emptied. The registered number indicates that the design was registered in 1932 and that the ash tray was made in or after that year.

The Belgian-born scientist Dr. Leo Hendrik Baekeland (1863-1944) invented Bakelite, the first completely synthetic man-made substance, in the U.S.A. in 1907. The resin is made by combining carbolic acid and formaldehyde under precise levels of heat and pressure. It rapidly hardens and takes the shape of its container or mould. It is extremely durable. For the first ten years after the Bakelite Corporation was founded in 1910, bakelite was mainly used for electrical insulators and heavy industrial goods. It was used for consumer goods in the 1920s and 1930s, and for military equipment during the Second World War.

Dunville's Whisky whisky dispenser

Whisky dispenser, 'DUNVILLE'S WHISKY 24 PRIZE MEDALS' with shamrock decorations on the front, 69 cm (27 in) tall, 28 cm (11 in) diameter, and weighs 15 lbs.

Another whisky dispenser of a slightly different design, which has been made into a lamp, is shown on the page Dunville's Whisky: Memorabilia.

Dunville's Whisky whisky pourer

Whisky pourer, 105 mm (4¼ in) tall, 'Dunville's WHISKY' on both sides of the ceramic disc, a hinged circular flap at the end of the spout, a short rod under the spout to stop the edge of the glass. The words 'MADE IN ENGLAND' are impressed in small type on the metal disc at the top of the cork. The number '736573' is impressed in small type near the end of the spout. The registered number indicates that the design was registered in 1928 and that the pourer was made in or after that year.

Another whisky pourer was found in New Zealand, of the same design and with the same registered number on it. However on the ceramic disc, between the words 'Dunville's' in black at the top and 'WHISKY' in black at the bottom are the large red letters 'V.R.'.

Dunville's Whisky circular enamelled tray

Circular enamelled tray, 299 mm (11¾ in) diameter, blue lettering on a white background, black rim, on the base: 'J. A. CAMPBELL, 64, ROYAL AVENUE, BELFAST,' and 'TRADE MARK' curved round a 'GBB' monogram.

Other trays of the same design and colours have on the base: 'OJE Co' monogram, 'RICHARD PATTERSON & Co BELFAST', '12'.

Some of these trays have in place of the 'V', the crown and the 'R', three crowns, with the word 'SPECIAL' underneath, and in place of 'WHISKY' the word 'LIQUEUR', thus advertising Dunville's Three Crowns Special Liqueur Whisky. Some examples of this tray have on the base 'RICHARD PATTERSON BELFAST'.

Dunville's Whisky circular enamelled tray Circular enamelled tray, 307 mm (12 in) diameter, green lettering on a light blue background, green rim, on the base: 'J. A. CAMPBELL, 64, ROYAL AVENUE, BELFAST,' and 'TRADE MARK' curved round a 'GBB' monogram.
Dunville's Whisky circular enamelled tray

Circular enamelled tray, 295 mm (11½ in) diameter, white lettering on a brown background, on the base: 'RICHARD PATTERSON & Co BELFAST', '14', 'OJE Co' monogram, 'MADE IN ENGLAND' in circle around another 'OJE Co' monogram.

Other trays of the same design have white lettering on a dark green background and the same marks on the base. The numbers of these include '13' and '14'.

Chanon Pongpanich sent us a photograph of a tray in Thailand, with the words 'Dunville's Scotch Whisky' in white lettering on a brown background on the front and the number '15' on the back. Perhaps the use of the word 'Scotch' was intended to help advertise the whisky.

Dunville's Whisky mirror

This mirror was hanging in the Bush Box Inn in Ashperton, Herefordshire. This grade II listed building, no longer a public house, was featured in the October 2000 edition of 'Period Living' magazine.

Under the words 'Dunville's Whisky,' are the words 'AWARDED 24 PRIZE MEDALS.' At the lower centre of the mirror are the words 'Royal Irish Distilleries Belfast' and the name of the manufacturer 'W.W. Cleland, Ltd. Belfast.' In each of the lower corners is the Dunville & Co. Ltd. trademark, which is the 'D & Co Ltd.' monogram. The mirror is 91 cm (35¾ in) wide by 70 cm (27½ in) high, and weighs 14 kg (31 lb).

Although the frame of the mirror below is slightly larger, the inside edges of the frames are the same size, 80.5 cm (31¾ in) wide by 60 cm (23½ in) high.

Dunville's Whisky mirror

This mirror was hanging in the Majestic Hotel in Durban, South Africa until the late 1970s, when the hotel was demolished and the mirror was presented to one of the hotel's customers.

Under the words 'Dunville's VR Whisky' are the words 'BOTTLED IN BOND.' and 'AWARDED 25 PRIZE MEDALS.' At the lower centre of the mirror are the words 'Royal Irish Distilleries Belfast' and at the lower right is the name of the manufacturer 'W.W. Cleland, Ltd. Belfast.' It is 93.5 cm (36¾ in) wide by 73 cm (28¾ in) high, and weighs 14 kg (31 lb).

There are other mirrors advertising Dunville's Whisky. One has the words 'Awarded 22 Prize Medals'. Another, with 'Dunville's Whisky' in similar type and colours to the words on the mirror illustrated, has the three crowns advertising Dunville's Three Crowns Special Liqueur Whisky.

imitation £5 note, advertising Dunville's Old Irish Whisky

Imitation of a £5 note, advertising Dunville's Old Irish Whisky.

'Dunville & Co. Limited. Royal Irish Distilleries, Belfast. When you ask for Dunville's Old Irish Whisky, see that you get it, as there are a great many spurious imitations. Dunville & Co. Limited' The design on the left depicts a crown, the letters 'VR', a shamrock, a rose and a thistle, and the 'D & Co' monogram.

This example is overprinted 'May be had from B. O'Connor 44 Hatton Garden and 198 Vauxhall Road Liverpool'. Bernard O'Connor came to Liverpool from Ireland in the 1800s and with his wife Margaret opened two public houses. The pub at 44 Hatton Garden, Liverpool was The Greyhound; the pub at 198 Vauxhall Road, Liverpool is The Glass House. Bernard O'Connor died in 1900 and so this advertisement was probably printed before then. The photograph and the information were provided by Bernard O'Connor's great-grandson Tom O'Connor.

Charles Goodall & Son Ltd. Dunville's Whisky playing cards

Pack of playing cards by 'Chas. Goodall & Son. Limited. Camden Works, London, N.W.' It consists of the fifty-two cards, a blank card and a joker. On the back of each card are two bottles of 'Dunville's Special Liqueur Whisky'. On the top of each bottle are the words 'Dunville & Co Ltd Special' and at the bottom of each label are the words 'Dunville & Co Ltd Belfast'.

Charles Goodall (1785-1851) founded his business in Soho in 1820. He was joined by his sons Josiah and Montague. The Camden Works were built in 1868 and the business was incorporated into a limited company in 1898. At this time the firm was the leading manufacturer of playing cards, with one thousand employees and an annual production of over two million packs. It was absorbed by another manufacturer of playing cards, De La Rue, in 1922. The Camden Works were kept open until 1929 and the company name and brand names continued to be used.

Dunville's V.R. Old Irish Whisky label

… and a bottle of the whisky itself! The label on a bottle of Dunville's V.R. Old Irish Whisky, long since emptied.

'DUNVILLE'S OLD IRISH WHISKY BELFAST' in gold lettering on red backgrounds. 'DUNVILLE & Co LIMITED' in smaller gold lettering on red backgrounds at the foot of the label. The 'V', the crown and the 'R' in gold on a blue background. The Dunville & Co. Ltd. trademark, which is the 'D & Co' monogram, with 'TRADE' above and 'MARK' below, in black on a gold background.

A label on the neck of some of the bottles has the words 'Paris Exhibition 1900 Gold Medal Highest Award for Irish Whisky'.

A diamond-shaped label on the back of some of the bottles has the words 'Bottled labelled & capsuled by Dunville & Co., Ltd., in their own warehouses. Analyses by "The Lancet" (18 Feb 1908 and 14 March 1914) "Genuine whisky, thoroughly matured, particularly smooth to the palate." "Standard quality maintained."

Some of the bottles with the diamond-shaped label on the back have on the front label, in place of the words 'OLD IRISH WHISKY', the words 'FINE OLD WHISKY'. Could 'IRISH' have been removed from the label after the Irish Free State was established in 1922, or after some of the events leading up to this? If so, bottles with the 'OLD IRISH WHISKY' label could have been produced between 1869, when the Royal Irish Distilleries were built, and the 1910s, and bottles with the 'FINE OLD WHISKY' label could have been produced between the 1910s and 1936, when Dunville & Co. Ltd. closed.

Dunville's Three Crowns Special Liqueur Whisky

A bottle of Dunville's Special Liqueur Whisky.

'DUNVILLE'S SPECIAL LIQUEUR WHISKY 70° PROOF Dunville & Co. Ltd. Belfast PRODUCE OF IRELAND'.

Because the bottle says it is 'Produce of Ireland', it could have been produced before the Irish Free State was established in 1922, while Belfast was still part of Ireland, politically.

Dunville's Whisky crate

Dunville's Whisky Crate. On each of the two longer sides: 'Dunville & Co. Ld V (crown) R Whisky. Royal Irish Distilleries Belfast Ireland.' On each of the two shorter sides: 'Dunville & Co.'s. Limited V (crown) R Trade DC Mark Belfast.' Length 438 mm (17¼ in), width 367 mm (14½ in), height 270 mm (10½ in).

Early advertisements stated 'May be obtained from all Wines and Spirits Merchants in bottles and half bottles, in 3, 6 & 12 bottle cases…' This crate could probably hold fifteen bottles, in three rows of five.


TO BE AVOIDED

Several advertising items bearing the name of Dunville's Whisky were made long after the liquidation of Dunville & Co. and are not sought after. These include items which have a copy of the Dunville's Whisky Waitress poster on them, such as ceramic water jugs, miniature ceramic 'barrels', and metal plaques, 20 cm (8 in) wide by 30 cm (12 in) high. For a picture of the Dunville's Whisky Waitress poster, see the page of Dunville's Whisky Memorabilia. Modern prints of the Dunville's Whisky Waitress poster and the Royal Irish Distilleries poster, measuring 45 cm (18 in) by 60 cm (24 in), are however pleasing decorations.

There are also small white ceramic jugs, with red and green decorations on the sides, which were made recently. Some contain Gold King Whisky from the Czech Republic and others, with the 'Whisky' of 'Dunville's Whisky' spelt with an 'e', are from the Cooley Distillery, Ireland and are dated 1996. Some other recently made items misspell 'Dunville's Whisky' with an 'e' in 'Whiskey'. In its day 'Dunville's Whisky' was always spelt without an 'e' in 'Whisky'.

mirror

Some recently made mirrors have the shamrock decorations printed in a gold colour and not engraved on the rear of the glass, silvering in perfect condition, and hardboard backs. The design and colouring is gaudy. The wording on them is 'DUNVILLE'S' in red, 'V' and 'R' on each side of the crown, 'Old Irish' in excessively ornate gold-coloured script, 'WHISKY' in green or blue, and 'AWARDED 25 PRIZE MEDALS' near the lower edge of the mirror. There is a black margin along all the edges. At 65 cm (25½ in) wide by 50.5 cm (20¼ in) high they are smaller than the original mirrors and with their modern hardboard backs, they are much lighter: about 3 kg (7 lb).

The following article was written by Martin Waller
and published in the City Diary of The Times on 22 May 2004.

Macallan, the whisky distiller, four years ago started to assemble an impressive collection of about one hundred antique bottles of whisky, acquired from a variety of sources and auctions, a number from Italy.

Some dated as far back as 1841. Macallan brought in an expert in ceramics and a forensic historian to authenticate the bottles and labels.

Then they started to test the contents, using carbon dating. They have now tested eleven bottles and every one proved to have been refilled with a rather more recent blend.

The question now is what to do with them. The bottles are authentic but the contents aren't and the whole affair casts a question over the booming trade in "vintage" drink.

David Cox, director of fine and rare whisky at Macallan, says, "We've uncovered a scam here. There's certainly a lot of this in the wine trade. I'm not sure it gets quite the publicity it should."

The following article was written by Simon de Bruxelles
and published in The Times on 10 December 2016.

Beware of fakes, whisky fans told after single malt fraud

Whisky connoisseurs are being warned to watch out for fakes after investigators found that a bottle of 113-year-old Laphroaig purportedly worth thousands of pounds was a fraud.

The sealed bottle, which was of the correct age and design, contained cheap blended whisky made between 2007 and 2009 instead of a single malt produced more than a century ago on the Scottish isle of Islay. The value of rare vintage whisky has soared in recent years as Chinese collectors and other investors have poured into the market.

The same investigators also claim to have identified two part-fake sets of bottles of Macallan Fine and Rare, on sale for £500,000 and £250,000.

Andy Simpson, of Rare Whisky 101, said that he and his partner David Robertson bought the 1903 Laphroaig from an auction house "75 per cent certain" it was a fake. The bottle had come from Spain. He said: "As soon as the bottle was opened it was apparent it was a nasty cheap blend." The six-month testing process included analysis of the glass used to make the bottle and detailed chemical analysis of its contents.

He said fake whiskies could be divided into three categories – "refills, replicas and relics". "Refills" may be relatively recent but still valuable whiskies such as Macallan selling for about £1,500 a bottle. "Replicas" are copies mainly originating in Italy, and "relics" are genuine vintage bottles traded by collectors which can be more than 100 years old but which have been refilled and resealed.

The difficulty for collectors is that it can be impossible to spot a fake without opening it, and once the bottle has been opened much of its value is destroyed even if it is genuine.

According to Mr Simpson, about 55,000 bottles of vintage whisky worth at least £12 million will be sold at auction in the UK alone this year.

He said: "This experiment was a chance to try and prove the provenance of a bottle of single malt Scotch which purported to be among the oldest surviving bottles in the world.

"Despite a very convincing aesthetic, our bottle was most certainly a fake. This result goes to show that were really dealing with some top-class imitations."

Mr Robertson added: "The risk for the market is that were seeing an increasing number of old, rare archive or antique bottles coming to market, and its very difficult for the untrained eye to verify authenticity.

"Our Laphroaig 1903 would seem to suggest that there are now some very good-quality fakes which have been created to fool unsuspecting collectors and investors into parting with serious money. Our message to whisky fans is buyers beware! Dont take the chance to acquire rare, old, antique-looking whisky unless you can be 100 per cent sure of its provenance."


See also:

The Dunvilles of Northern Ireland and Dunville's Whisky

Manufacturers of Advertising Items, and Sales Agents

Dunville's Whisky Memorabilia

WEBSITE BY JILL HOLROYD AND MILES
LAST MODIFIED: 18 JANUARY 2017