Displaying of a Rare Spanish Olive Jar

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Forum topic by Jim Crockett (USN Retired) posted 06-11-2010 02:48 AM 3051 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 3908 days

06-11-2010 02:48 AM

More years ago than I care to consider, while diving in Puerto Rico, I discovered a Spanish Olive Jar (picture shown below). These are usually found in pieces but this one was at the bottom of a hole in the coral, mostly buried in a sandy bottom. Thus it had withstood the ravages of sea and time, protected by the surrounding coral reef. From what research I have been able to do, the jar came from a ship that sank in either the late 1500’s or early 1600’s. It has been sitting, protected, in a clothes hamper for many years and I think it is time to bring it out to display.

The problem is that I don’t have a clue how to display it. I would think that having it inclined at perhaps 30 degrees upon a light brown fabric, resembling sand, would be nice. I have searched the plans sites but have found no suitable display case for this object. It is 30” long, and at the widest, 20” in diameter. I’m thinking of a display case with the left, right, front, and top are of glass and perhaps a mirror for the back side. I have never built anything that supported glass sides/top.

Any suggestions for a display case/cabinet/whatever would be greatly appreciated because I am drawing a blank.

Spanish Olive Jar

-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

8 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117276 posts in 3752 days

#1 posted 06-11-2010 02:55 AM

How about talking to some folks at a museum an see how they would do it.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View HorizontalMike's profile


7770 posts in 3089 days

#2 posted 06-11-2010 04:44 AM

Since these things were never meant to be free standing how about a 3-legged stand with a circular horizontal board(ring) on top that has a circular hole that is sized to fit maybe a third to half way up the jar? The jar then is inserted in the opening and displayed in an upright position.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View JJohnston's profile


1622 posts in 3466 days

#3 posted 06-11-2010 05:13 AM

That’s a hell of a find. I always figured finds like this would be comandeered by some level of government or another. How did you manage to keep it?

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

View patron's profile


13635 posts in 3516 days

#4 posted 06-11-2010 07:16 AM

mikes idea ,
with a faceted semi-circle mirror upright back stage ‘
as you move around ,
the reflection does to to different views of it .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle



53 posts in 3973 days

#5 posted 06-11-2010 04:08 PM

I would try to locate an anthropologist so they can do some research on it. You can then find out just how old it is and what you should do with it. It is a find of a life time.


-- never enough time in a day so use it well

View uffitze's profile


199 posts in 3130 days

#6 posted 06-11-2010 04:37 PM

Seems to me that this sort of thing (displaying an object) is a perfect fit with a Krenov style cabinet on a stand. So, my suggestion would be a small cabinet with either glass or just air in the door frame on an open frame stand. Search to find the perfect wood … maybe something that evokes the beach, and then pay impeccable attention to construction details.

View 1boomer's profile


2 posts in 1389 days

#7 posted 01-29-2015 03:13 AM

hello jim
i as well as you found a spanish potery jar while diving in the Dominican a couple of years ago.
i have been able to approximate the age between 1485-1525.
i have mine on display as well using a 3 legged glass table with out the glass top
if i could figureout how to post my picture i would

View 1boomer's profile


2 posts in 1389 days

#8 posted 01-29-2015 03:28 AM

jim here it is, i hope it helps, i also attached felt on the inside of the legs to protect the jar



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