Monday, June 9, 2014

Cleanliness. It's not all bad~

A while ago there was some pretty heated debate about cleaning bottles.

The discussions took place on Western Bitters News, Peachridge, the WWG (here) as well as on another website which shall remain un-named. The anonymous website had some extremely harsh (bordering on fanatical) words to say about the morality or, (according to them), lack thereof, involved in cleaning bottles.

It seemed that everyone had their own slant on bottle cleaning; self included. By far and away though, most supported the procedure, assuming that, if and when the bottle was to change hands, both parties were aware of said cleaning.

I stated the following;
"Thanks to what I've recently learned, I think that it's a travesty to leave a good (but stained) bottle stuffed away when it can be restored to as new appearance and be proudly displayed for all to enjoy."

One of the bottles pictured in the WWG article of 10/28/12 was a badly stained open pontil Dr. Hooflands German Bitters. It was an Oregon dug gold rush era bottle, but such a dog that it sat in a box here, both before and after the article. (hint, if you click your mouse on the photos, they'll open in a separate and enlarged window for a real eye opener)
Recently, a good friend of mine got into the good stuff. The mailman arrived with a gift from him a couple of days after we chatted about the dig. It was a Rosedale OK "German connection" glop top. Neat bottle, I guessed, beneath an eighth of an inch of stain and crud. Odd, the stain was pretty much a dead ringer for the Hoofland's "case of leprosy".

To clean, or not to clean... I bit the bullet and took a chance. The stain had to go and the Hooflands would be the guinea pig. I was stunned after the "Ol Bottle Doc." had worked his magic on it.



With that dilema put to bed, I made the decision to take a chance on the German Rosie. Check out the before and the after.





And so I pose the question; Is the practice of cleaning deserving of tar and feathering, drawing and quartering or jail time as another author so pointedly espoused?

You be the judge. Amoral, immoral, or the right thing to do? Which would you rather have in your collection; the before or the after?

1 comment:

chbeyer said...

I think its silly to oppose bottle tumbling. Expert bottle tumblers can do marvels at returnibg stained grimmy dirt encrusted bottles to their original appearance and beauty. Doing so is not like cleaning the delicate surfaces of a historic coin where original surfaces can be altered and damaged. I have had three back bar bottles tumbled to remove booze staining and the results are amazing. I would choose to do so again and am thrilled with the results.

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