Cuban "Nao Capitana Armada Regalo del Paladar" Marigold Soda Bottle

Cuban "Nao Capitana Armada Regalo del Paladar" Marigold Soda Bottle


As Tony Montana, a Cuban refugee in the movie Scarface would say, "Say hello to my little friend: ...from Cuba!". Al Pachino nailed that role didn't he?
Yes, come meet this little jewel from Cuba. I asked my friend and fellow collector Claudio Deveikis, from Brazil, to help me research this little bottle because all I could find in reference to its name was that it was the title of the 1947 move produced by Florian Rey. The movie was about the Capitana ship that departed from Seville to the West Indies and all about the adventures of a man, his wife and his daughters on that journey on the high seas as they dealt with a stowaway who was in love with the man's wife. Steamy!!

Claudio expressed that this was the first piece of Carnival Glass he had seen from Cuba! He did some research and sent me two very interesting and helpful links.
Through one of those links that Claudio sent me of a blog. written by a man who wrote about the sodas of Cuba, I read (after I translated it to English) that this drink was actually chocolate and milk made in Cuba. He said, " I do not exaggerate. Cubans consume like no other country in the world, the largest number of brands and varieties of soft drinks known. Living in a tropical country, sunny and abundant heat makes us sweat with a jet. So, the best way to quench our thirst is to go for a soft drink aperitif......  These sodas only cost five cents, the most expensive for their exceptional flavor were La Nao Capitana (a milk chocolate) produced in the area of Marianao cost 10 cents."  The whole article can be read here at the Miscelaneas de Cuba.

On both sides of this marigold, 8-inch bottle is written in script, "Nao Capitana Armada Regalo del Paladar" inside of diamond-shaped belt-buckle. The Capitana was the name a vessel or Nao of the Spanish Armada. Reglalo means gift, del means of, and Paladar means palate or roof of ones mouth. So this beverage was a gift of deliciousness.

There are 20 vertical panels all around the slim body, much like the bones of a girdle women used to wear in Victorian days to give themselves that hourglass look. These panels are finely stippled and topped with scalloped edges. The girth of the bottle is 6 1/2" which is enough to allow most people to completely wrap their hand around it. This bottle is very fun to hold! It only holds 8 ounces. The bottom of it has raised lettering which reads "BOTELLA REGISTRADA NO. 058772" with a very faint impression of a triangle in the middle. 

In reading the second link Claudio sent me, I found this information in an article titled "Memories of a Cuban". It was a very interesting read and it explained who made this bottle.

 In 1929, the Owens Bottle Co. merged with Illinois Glass Co. to become Owens-Illinois. Little by little, it was positioned as a world leader in manufacturing, first of packaging and after that any type of glass, including flat glass and screens for televisions or glass for automotive transport and even armored or security glass.  (Today, approximately one of every two glass containers made worldwide is made by Owens-Illinois.) In 1958 Owens ventured into his first plant outside the United States and it was precisely in San José de las Lajas that the first and then only factory for the production of glass containers in Cuba was built. 
Owens-Illinois supplied virtually the entire country in glass containers for food, beverages, beer and soft drinks and to a large extent packaging for the pharmaceutical industry, I remember having seen in detail the inventory of historical products produced in that plant and there were all the drinks, soft drinks, milk and well-known beers.
The raw material arrived every two days in railroad cars through the Cayo Hueso-Habana ferry, within which the different mixtures to process the different types of glass, came in bags, so the raw material was processed completely free of contamination, and a very fast flow, which also gave a glass of high quality, with a percentage of defective items very low."

The article reveals much more about this factory and is written by Carlos Rodriguez, a man who actually worked there in 1971. There are many color photos in the article of the glass factory. It is a good education for anyone who loves glass.

I purchased this bottle from Matthew Wroda Auctions in January of 2018 over the internet. bidding live. They did not have any information about it then but I loved the shape and thought it would make a good companion to my other bottles from South America.

The Christina Katsikas Collection