Unfortunately nothing is known about the first maker of a ship in a bottle. The oldest ship in a bottle (SIB), as far as we know, was made in 1784 in Italy by Gioni Biondo and this SIB was donated by' Captain Kruger of Lubeck to the 'Museum fiir Kunst und Kulturgeschichte der Hansestadt Lubeck' in Germany. It is said that this SIB is a so-called ship-owner's model, which was made by a professional model builder. The SIB is numbered 7357 in the museum list. It is probably a Turkish or a Portuguese three-masted warship. It is put in an egg-shaped bottle, which is placed upside down over a wooden stand.There are several ways to put a ship inside a bottle. The simplest way is to rig the masts of the ship and raise it up when the ship is inside the bottle. Masts, spars, and sails are built separately and then attached to the hull of the ship with strings and hinges so the masts can lie flat against the deck. The ship is then placed inside the bottle and the masts are pulled up using the strings attached to the masts. The hull of the ship must still be able to fit through the opening. Bottles with minor distortions and soft tints are often chosen to hide the small details of the ship such as hinges on the masts.
Alternatively, with specialized long-handled tools, it is possible to build the ship inside the bottle. This interesting card was sent to me by Marian.