- Sep 11, 2019
Thank you @nymeria for the input about the scratches and the "smile mark" being part of the bag at this point. I'd assumed conditioning and patina could make them blend in over time for a more even look (that smile specifically, scratches I care less about) - others have thoughts here?Giant caveat- I am NO expert, nor do I purport to be one. But..
This bag makes me think VN, rather than Barenia. Barenia should be way past its "ugly duckling" stage at 17 years, and the coloring and leather just appear too light and "flatter" looking. Marks on the handle should be well blended by now. But photos can be deceiving, so in person, or better photos may give the leather answer.
Regardless ( and even if I'm wrong about the leather and it IS Barenia), stains on the handle and the scratch ( smile mark) are part of the bag, as is the corner wear- they can be blended a bit, but are not going to come out, no matter what leather it is. A great spa-ing or your own conditioning can do wonders, but I think these are part of the bags life at this point.
Good luck and keep us posted.
I'm interested to see what others who know more than me may think.
That said, the leather is a much bigger issue for me. I did think it was a bit light in color but I figured it was both how it was photographed plus if it had basically never been used (i.e. someone used it a few times, damaged it and then got too "scared" to use it more), then perhaps barenia would still look like this? Now that I look at more photos and read older threads I realize I may have fooled myself, I knew it looked light but I was sorta ignoring that in the excitement of finding my HGB. Hoping others can chime in here re VN / barenia. I won't have it in hand until Wednesday so I can't check in person until then.
Can you (or anyone else?) point me to a definitive-ish - or as much as can be determined - way to know if it's VN or barenia? Other than color and hand, is there some more tried-and-true way to tell? I am 1000% returning if it's VN, it being barenia is the only reason I paid a premium for the bag because of the way it ages/patinas over time, how it absorbs marks etc.