DUPRS_0028 Rue de la Cloche Cologne

Dublin Core


DUPRS_0028 Rue de la Cloche Cologne


Rue de la Cloche No 4711 a Cologne bottle


The artifact is a clear, non-coloured blown glass bottle with the bottom missing. The bottle is hexagonal with one side shaped in a convex curve, opposite the writing. It has a lipped and pinched top and has writing embossed on one of the flat sides, stating "Rue de la Cloche No 4711 Cologne"


4711 brand cologne


Selective Surface collection, east Stanley Park, Historic Chatham Township (modern Summit, New Jersey)


Drew University, Department of Anthropology


Late 1800s


Juliet LaVigne




This specific brand of cologne is known as a very famous and prestigious cologne in the late 1800s through to today. The writing on the bottle refers to the original house where the cologne was first invented, No. 4711 Glockengasse = meaning Clock Tower Square hence "Rue de la Cloche".

4711 is "the oldest Eau de Cologne born in October of 1792, when Wilhelm Muelhens received a secret recipe as a wedding gift. This recipe was for an “acqua mirabilis,” or a miracle water intended for internal as well as external use. Soon after, Wilhelm opened a manufactory in the Glockengasse (meaning “Clock Tower Square”) area of Cologne, Germany. He marketed his miracle water as a health drink served undiluted or mixed with wine."

"The name came about in part thanks to the French military occupation that began in 1794. Frustrated by the disorganized layout of the city, a French general had all the houses sequentially numbered. Muelhen’s house was given the number 4711, which has stuck with the brand ever since."

"In 1810, Napoleon decreed that all recipes for medications intended for internal use publicly list their ingredients. Muelhens didn’t want to disclose his secret recipe, so he began to market his miracle water as solely a fragrance."

"Peter Heinrich Molanus designed the hexagonal, upright bottle (still in use today) back in 1820. Its flat surfaces make it easier to packages for transportation, and left plenty of room for label design. At the time, it was sealed with a crown cork and included a bottle opener in the package."

"In 1875, Ferdinand Muelhens (Wilhelm’s grandson) registered 4711 as a brand and created the first iteration of the modern logo. In 1900 the Muelhens family finalized the design, and it hasn’t changed since."




4711 brand cologne, “DUPRS_0028 Rue de la Cloche Cologne,” Drew University Library Special Collections, accessed March 3, 2024, http://omeka.drew.edu/items/show/678.