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Subject: Leather wine container

Leather wine container

From: Injs Maria Marques da Silva <mop10703>
Date: Thursday, May 27, 1999
Vanessa Roth <vanessaroth [at] hotmail__com> writes

>I have been asked to pass on this enquiry on the behalf of the
>conservators at the Cyprus Museum.
>The conservators would like to reshape a creased and flattened
>leather wine container.  I was not able to get a close look at the
>leather but it appears to be sueded, probably semi or vegetable
>tanned.  The inside of the container is thought to be coated with
>bitumen or tar.  The conservators had tried to humidify the
>container using a household humidifier.  This treatment caused the
>inner coating to solubilise and begin to stain the leather, and was
>discontinued.  The outside was then partially coated with Vaseline
>Intensive Care lotion (containing glycerine etc.) in an attempt to
>soften the leather. Any advice on treating this artefact or details
>on the construction of leather wine containers would be appreciated.

You probably have already all the information you wanted to get
about the coating substance, but if it's any interest for you: I
knew from asking my grandfather (ethnical research), that the
substance they use as a coating for wine vessels is called pitch, it
is used to insulate the containers and make them impermeable.

"pez" (portuguese term) 1. is a word for bitumen 2. a byproduct from
the distillation of vegetable essences extracted from "Angiospermae"
or resinous species.

The definition that interests us is one type of the latter (2),
between the heaviest and darkest byproducts of resins (in Portugal
we use "pinus" resin).

                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:91
                  Distributed: Wednesday, May 26, 1999
                       Message Id: cdl-12-91-002
Received on Thursday, 27 May, 1999

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