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This piece of glass was found 14 years ago in the inside of the front wall of a house in Cross Street, Caerleon. The house was undergoing extensive renovation and the plaque was found just below ground level. The owners of the house took it to Caerleon Museum. They were told that sometimes such plaques were built into house walls to date the buildings. The date seems right - a map of Caerleon in 1752 shows no house on the spot, whereas a map dated 1801 has a building there.

The diameter of the disc is 4 cm and it would seem that at some time in the past it was attached to the outside of a glass bottle. (There is a different kind of glass on the back which curves in one direction.)
What do the letters I.B.C. stand for? Well, they could have already been on the glass - the disc being used solely because the date fitted. In this case the bottle could have been sold by "I. B. of Caerleon" On the other hand, if the letters and date were added after the disc was removed from the bottle, the letters could be the initials of the first owners of the house.
If you have a similar item or can tell us anything about this object please email us.

We've had some interesting feedback from Steve Wilmot. He wrote:
"I am fairly certain that this is a Wine Bottle Seal and that the initials are those of the owner rather than those of a retailer.
Gentlemen had their bottles marked in this way to ensure that they received the right ones back from the wine merchant after filling.
The bottles (and their contents) would not have been cheap and so this tells us that 'I.B. of Caerleon' was a person of some standing within the community.
As the letter ' I ' was sometimes used, in the 18th. Century, where today we might use the letter ' J ', the bottle could well have been the property of, 'J.B. of Caerleon'.
This would then lead us to John Butler, Esquire, 1733-1808 and the owner of the Caerleon Tin Works."

John Butler owned Caerleon House, in High Street, not far from where the glass disc was found.

If our object is a wine bottle seal, then another possible 'owner' is John Charles who was innkeeper of the Hanbury Arms - see our 1791 Caerleon Directory

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