Only one stop…only one corkscrew

Yesterday, I had to be at a meeting in area of Maine where I have spent little time.  And, so I headed off at the appointed time to arrive before the appointed time, and proceeded to engage in a fairly detailed presentation on digital micro-credentials and education.

As the meeting came to an end, attendees said their good byes, and I was about to begin the drive back home, when I gave a quick search of antique stores in the area, and there was one just a mile or so from our meeting location.

And, they were open!

So, I made my way over, and after finding parking made my way inside.  An amazingly full shop, there was stuff piled everywhere–not in a hoarding type of way, just a very very full type of way.

And, as I made way through, I noticed lots of ceramics, glass, and figurals.  LOTS!

As I turned a corner, I did see a corkscrew, just sitting there amongst some jewelry.

I asked the owner if I could see the piece, and he promptly handed it to me.

At 45 dollars, it was a pretty good deal.

We set that one on the counter, and proceeded to look around the shop for others.

Nope, there was exactly one corkscrew available.


That said, apparently the owner has a second location, and has LOTS of smalls.  That shop is only open one day a week, and unfortunately, not yesterday.  Still, I will make a visit the next time I am in the area.

As it happened, by the time I got to the register to pay, the cost of the corkscrew dropped by 10 dollars.


And, I didn’t even ask for the discount, it was just written up that way.

I thanked the owner of the shop for the deal, and headed for Rockland.

Oddly enough, just the other day, I picked up a different pair of legs.  This version a tri-colored pair with half flesh.


The tri-color is available for trade, if anyone is interested.  Whatcha got?






For some reason, one of the American patent corkscrews that has been fairly illusive for me is the 1910 Chippendale patent.

While I have certainly had the opportunity to buy it at auction, it is one of those corkscrews, that at some point, I have expected to find somewhere in my travels.

As it happened this past weekend, one turned up.

Marked BESTEVER and PAT. APPLIED FOR, I was quite pleased to acquire it.

However, also as it happens, after picking it up, I was going to be traveling on an airplane over the holiday weekend, with no chance to stop off at a post office to send it off to Maine,

Ever hopeful that TSA agents would not deem this a weapon of mass destruction, I chose to leave it in my carry-on, and went through security.

I made it through, as did the Chippendale’s Patent No. 958,092 on May 17, 1910 for a Cigar-Cutter Forming Part of A Combination Tool

A nice addition to the American patent collection!

Why would you paint it?

The other day, the Haff patent corkscrew with frame and spring assist arrived, as as the photos showed, it had been spray painted black.


That said, whomever the offending spray painter was, they took the time to tape/mask off the handle so the wood would not have any overspray.

So, last night I took a little paint remover, and gave the corkscrew a little touch-up; leaving it on only a brief time.

And, it turned out pretty darn well.


The previously black and unreadable brass band on the handle is clearly marked, HAFF MF’G CO., NEW YORK, PATD APL. 14 85 MAY 5TH 85.



I have been on the hunt for this version of the Haff for nearly two decades, and this definitely will make the best 6 for the year.

Still, the question remains, why the paint job???



When I first started collecting corkscrews (21 years ago) one of my first purchases was a and 1885 Haff patent direct pull corkscrew, with PAT. APPL’D FOR incised into the metal band.

It still resides within the collection.

Of course, there have been lots of Haffs found over the years; different sizes, different handles, different worms, different markings.

But, the Haff that I have been most desirous of, is the Haff patent with spring and frame, as pictured on page 71 Fred O’Leary’s book.  That example is marked, “PATENTED APL 14TH ’85 MAY 5TH ‘85”

Nine years ago, one sold on the auction.  I missed out, of course.  And, in 21 years, I have seen exactly three… The one in O’Leary, the one sold in that auction, and one in John Morris’ collection.

Yesterday, there was one that ended on eBay, and while the eBay listing didn’t offer a description of the markings that were clearly present on the corkscrew, under what looks to be a little black paint, it is indeed marked, and once it arrives (yes, I won the auction), I will report back here with how it is marked.

I will also look into removing the black paint.

A potential best 6 candidate, it will make a nice companion to the hard to find Haff with bell assist that is already in the collection.


a few days away

I have spent the last few days avoiding my corkscrew-blogger-to-the-world duties, as I have been otherwise occupied.

The big corkscrew news, is that the latest auction began accepting listings on the 18th, with bidding starting on November 1st.

Who knows what will turn up this time around?

The other news, is that after some waiting, the Syroco Corkscrew book has arrived; in limited quantities.


This shipment was limited to 10 copies, and 8 have already been spoken for.

So, if you are looking for a copy of a fabulous coffee table style book consisting of 330 pages of the Syroco and Syroco Corkscrew story, it is available for $80.00 + shipping.

I have two copies left.

For those of you that have requested a copy, that live in outside the United States, Ion Chirescu has several copies that he also can ship, and shipping costs would be less than from the U.S.

Update:  Sold out for the time being!



Wonder Cork Lifter

While just a simple cork puller, this Wonder Cork Lifter recently made its way onto eBay, and after a week received no bids…

Well, only because I forgot to, in the hours before it ended.

I was intrigued by the label, and thought it would be a fun mystery to research.

Yesterday, it was re-listed with a buy it now, and I snapped it up.

Do any of you know the story of the Wonder Cork Lifter?

Better pictures, and hopefully more of the story soon…