Bakelite Spice Jar
Our glass jars have Bakelite lids and have an extraordinary history, as they were recently discovered in a shut-down Belgian coal mine, the Hasard de Cheratte (see image), which closed in the late 1970s. Each Bakelite lid is moulded with the name "Sidol". The jars make perfect spice containers, and look very pleasing when grouped together. Their openings are also generous enough to allow a teaspoon to scoop, which greatly helps in the measuring out of spices when in full-swing in the kitchen.
The abandoned coal mine of Hasard de Cheratte is located in Cheratte, a section of the Belgian town of Visé in Liège province in Wallonia. The first shaft was dug in 1850 and it was in operation until 1977. In the early 21st century the mine has gained some notoriety as an urban ruin, and it is now protected. Remediation of the site and the demolition of several more modern structures started in 2017, and this wonderful collection of Bakelite lidded jars were removed from a store room in 2019 (see image).
Each jar lid is moulded with the name "Sidol", once a metal cleaning product manufactured by Henkel, Belgium. It would appear the product was used on equipment for the mine, and rather than throw good jars away, they were then put to use to house an encyclopaedic collection of miniscule engineering bits and bobs. We secured several crates of the jars, and have scrubbed, cleaned and buffed each and every jar, and now they’re as good as new.
Country of origin: Belgium
Date: c.1930 - 1960
Material: Bakelite and glass
Dimensions: Height 9cm Diameter 5.5cm
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