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Monday, May 1, 2017

Discarded Demijohns

We were driving down the street in the Gastown section of Vancouver, Canada when I spotted it sitting on the sidewalk in front of an antiques store. A huge bottle in a wicker basket. "STOP! Go around the block, I have to go look at that bottle!" We were vacationing with our three kids and our daughter-in-law, celebrating one high school and two college graduations. With all 6 of us in the minivan we had driven from Salt Lake City to Vancouver where we would take a cruise to see the sights of Alaska. Needless to say the car was packed. 

Scott drove around the block and I hopped out. Inside the shop I asked about the large bottle in the basket. "Oh yes, the demijohn?" the owner said. " The demi what?" I thought. I was still pretty new at the antique business and while I had a good eye for vintage European pieces I still had a lot to learn.

We managed to squeeze this huge demi john into the back of the minivan which meant that suitcases had to be rearranged  with one under our daughter's feet for the rest of the trip home. I don't think the kids will ever let me forget that one.

Since then I have bought and sold dozens of  demijohns sometimes called a carboy. They can be found at many flea markets and have become a very popular decor item. These large blown glass bottles were encased in wicker or sometimes a wooden crate to enable them to be transported without breaking. Demijohns typically held potable liquids such as wine, ale, or other spirits. Carboys were used for chemicals. These old discarded bottles are usually quite dirty (just hose them off) but have wonderful earthy texture and can lend an air of European farmhouse style to your home!

I like to join these parties