French name for a balloon bottle made of glass or earthenware of various sizes (2 to 50 litres and more) for the storage or transport of wine, usually braided with willow or straw. There are at least two interpretations for the name. According to one version it is derived from the Persian city of Damaghan, famous for its glass works. The second version, which is mostly mentioned in various sources, refers to an anecdote with Queen Joanna I of Naples and Countess of Provence (1326-1382). She was expelled from Italy with her husband in 1347 and fled to Provence. There she found shelter in the workshop of a glassblower near the municipality of Grasse during a storm. She became interested in the production of bottles and had special types with a volume of about 10 litres made.
Such containers/bottles are used in many countries. The verbally horned names include Demijohn, Demijon, Demi John, Demingnon or Lady Jane (England, Portugal and Spain in connection with sherry and port wine), Damajuana (Argentina) and Damigiana (Italy). In Lower Saxony, Demijon in the Low German dialect is still used today for large wicker bottles, which are mostly used for storing and transporting brandy and rum. However, Dame-Jeanne is also a name for an oversized bottle with a volume of four litres (more than five normal bottles). See also under Bottles and wine containers.