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I recently went down to an antique shop and I happened to find some 'Swan' Ink bottles, made by Mabie Todd & Co in Sydney Australia. One bottle was labeled "PERMANENT BLUE BLACK" while the other was "VIVID RED". They appear to have what is most likely dried ink in them, though there is a chance that the permanent blue-black one contains iron oxide sediment at the bottom considering it is most likely an iron gall ink.

Is it possible that I could receive some information on them (there doesn't appear to be much about it online), as well as whether it is safe to reconstitute the ink inside of them?

Also. since there appears to be rust on the caps, how would I open the bottles without having to smash the glass or any other method that involve s the destruction of the bottle? (Or should they stay closed?)







Edited by Lunoxmos
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nothing ventured, nothing gained might be the answer. Invert the bottles and squirt a tads worth of very light release oil (WD 40 or similar)between the caps and the glass and leave for a while whilst the magic works. Alternatively, using the hair dryer, heat the caps but don't cook them and this might help to get things moving. Try one of those manual grips sold specifically for removing stubborn jar lids.

I wouldn't try resuscitating the contents - way too late by now - but as already mentioned, these are vintage curios and definitely worth keeping - but don't clean them out as the vestige of ink staining is their real history.

On reflection - just leave them as they are. :)

Edited by PaulS
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Heat will loosen the caps but I'm with the rest: the contents of the bottle have gone well beyond recovery.



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Thanks guys; on those notes I think I’ll leave the bottles as a display piece somewhere on my desk!

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