When purchased in 2017 a typed note with the bottle said: ‘A ship in a bottle, vintage, a schooner in full sail, the bottle stopper unusually with a fouled anchor and Turk’s head binding. The underside of the bottle with the legend Liquor Bottle, Perth, Scotland’. Ships in bottles are often referred to as ‘impossible objects’ because it is hard to understand how the ship can be got into the bottle.

This is a modern example purchased from The British Museum shop in 2017. It was said to be painted by a Chinese painter. The stopper is probably agate. Both sides of the bottle are shown in the photographs. These objects are often referred to as ‘impossible objects’ because it is hard to understand how such detailed painting can be achieved on the inside of the bottle.