sterling roundlet, round 2

After winning a sterling roundlet corkscrew some days back, and rejoicing in the unusual markings, I lucked out today and won another for a fair price.  Interestingly, inbetween the one previously mentioned and today’s prize, one sold for substantially more than either of my purchases…
I have noticed that of the last 4 sterling roundlet corkscrews that have sold on ebay, the underbidder is usually Ferd Peters (dref1).  Ferd had told me recently that he was working on a text on pocket corkscrews, and perhaps he is trying to pick up a few extra for the photos, or maybe the research has spurred his interest in sterling roundlets…either way, seeing his name on an item is very much akin to seeing Don Bull’s on an item.  Both have penned numerous books on corkscrews and I am an avid reader of their works.
unfortunately, this latest purchase cleans out the paypal account, so purchases will slow down, and sales will need to heat up.  Anyone in the market for 25 zig zag type corkscrews?

Bullish Corkscrews

I was sent an inquiry from an European corkscrew collector to see if I had any information on the gold bull figural corkscrews that seem to rear their pot metal heads every so often on ebay.  I have no idea about the age or who manufactured these items, but they come and go for a wide variety of prices on the auction site. 
If anyone has an idea of their manufacturer it would be greatly appreciated.  And, it isn’t only bulls, the kitschy items also come in figures of sea lions, reindeer, and other forms.
As for me, I have only one in my collection, and that one is hidden somewhere where I never have to be haunted by the extremely large eyes that seem to follow you around the room. 
While they are not my cup of tea, I promised I would ask around…

now you see it, now you don’t.

In the never ending saga of corkscrews being removed from eBay as a result of offsite sales and buy it now (bin) requests comes another tale.
Last week, there was a small collection of corkscrews listed rather creatively as a small collection of corkscrews.   Within the small collection was a ivory/bone handled t pull with a brush.  The seller recognized that this one piece was more desirable, and chose to have a separate photo of this particular item highlighting the corkscrew’s ivory/bone handledness and desirableness.
I, too, recognized that it was a neat item, and set the auction on my watch list.  By the next morning the listing had dissappeared.
I emailed the seller as to the cause of the untimely disappearance of the ivory/bone handled item, and there was an explanation that all their auctions were cancelled on ebay, which leads one to wonder…at what price did the little corkscrew dissappear, or are there darker forces at work here.  Did ebay ‘actually’ cancel their auctions?
The photo is the aforementioned corkscrew as it was shown in the listing.  Anyone want to fess up?  Or, how bout some ideas of what it probably was gotten for?

Shipping and Handling

So… I walked over to the poop office box today, and there indeed was a package there waiting for me.  I haven’t been purchasing a ton on ebay recently, so I knew what it had to be.  Or, at least, what it should be.  And, what it should be is a lovely lifetimer corkscrew in its original box with instructions.  What it was, however, was a lifetimer corkscrew with instructions, and a large flat torn and thrashed box. 

Apparently, after charging me 7.00$ for priority shipping, the seller decided to send the package via DHL and simply threw it into a shipping pack.  No bubble wrap, no newspaper, none of that little styrofoam popcorn/peanuts that are readily available.  No, it was just the box and nothing but the box in there.  And, it is destroyed.  Of course, the ironic part of all this is that part of the 7.00 was for handling.  One would assume handling means more than shoving the item into a bag.

I have sent the seller an email saying that the box is no longer a box, as much as it is a green piece of flattened cardboard with some writing on it.  I will update the blog if they respond with an explanation, refund, or some other offering of condolences of the unfortunate loss of original packaging.

For all those sellers out there… I say, "say it with love, say it with bubble wrap."



Prototype Corkscrew

Well, I have finally done it.  After years of hunting, searching, ebaying, and generally begging for antique corkscrews, I have finally found a RARE piece that is worth talking about.  Actually, I have many rare pieces, but this is something which I am sure is unique, if not one of a kind–and no, it isn’t one of those insane vine handled corkscrews.

I have poured over every book and looked at every corkscrew website, and cannot find another like it.  So, I am pretty sure this is the real deal.  However, I would not mind if someone could fill me in otherwise.  I also do not doubt that there will be a substantial offer from Chris Bristow once he reads this.

So, what did I find?  A Lead Handled Williamson Corkscrew; not the normal shape, but instead the exact shape of the wooden ones we often find.  I believe that this is a prototype or served as the quality control the manufacturer would use to check their lathes.  So, with a hearty "EUREKA," grab your micrometers and calipers and see if this measures up.

On the other hand, it could simply be someones "shop project" gone horribly awry…

a misguided binner

So…here is how it happened.  A new collector decided that syroco corkscrews and openers were his thing.  He tried to buy few and started to get beaten out by those who were also interested in the same type of item.  Normal on ebay, but the collector decided to fight back.  And, he started to email the sellers and ask for buy it nows.

Now, I would have no problem with that, except the buy it nows he was requesting were outrageous.  And, he would ask for buy it nows on items that no one but him had seen, and would have slipped through undetected.  One such example was a syroco figural opener that was listed in an odd category, with an even more obscure description, and with an asking price of 2.99.  The over zealous ebayer, emailed the seller asking for a buy it now of 100$.  Previous syroco openers would top out around 15 bucks…

So, the item was given a 100 buy it now, the binner snapped it up, and he was thrilled.  Problem is, he probably could have won the auction for 2.99.  And, had someone else seen it, the price may have hit 25…

The collector is still holding on to his opener, convinced that it is worth $400 as it is "RARE."  A term that is used  too often in collecting circles, and usually inappropriately.

The question remains, why would someone ask for a buy it now on an ebay item, when the item could have been won for the asking price?  And, if it is a lack of patience on the binner’s part, why would you ask for such a high dollar amount?  I think as collectors we have a tendency to wreck the market.  We get over zealous over an item, or try to buy one of everything as quickly as we can.  We throw money at sellers to try and get that next piece.  Haven’t you people ever experienced the joy of walking stall to stall at a flea market and finding that one piece that set you back 5 bucks.  There is so much more satisfaction in the rewarded hunt, than in the empty wallet.

But, I digress….  How much should one BIN, if one chooses to BIN.  And, if one does BIN, and one BINS way over the 2.99 asking price, was the BIN actually worth it?


Oh Deer

A couple of weeks ago, I was offered a antler carved corkscrew that looked like a dragon.  It was lovely, had glass eyes, and a nice helix.  I turned down the item with its 600$ price tag, as I am a poor underpaid professor that would never be able to afford such a piece.  The item was ebayed, and sold in the neighborhood of 450$.

It looked as if, such a lovely piece would never come my way.  And then, we went on a road trip to Minneapolis.  Well, actually, we went on a road trip with a destination of Minneapolis, but made a short detour to Stillwater, MN.

We meandered from antique store to antique store with Sonoma the Wonderdog by our sides, and then the corkscrew gods deemed me worthy.  In amongst some old fishing lures was a corkscrew.  I couldn’t make out the price, so I called the gentleman over.   After a bit of bargaining, we knocked a fair amount of the price tag.  I paid the agreed upon price, and skipped out of the store with a carved antler handled corkscrew with sterling embellishment in hand.

Quite the lovely piece, it is marked on the sterling section, and will be staying in the collection!


It has Finally Happened.

I out sniped Don Bull again on a corkscrew.  Nothing truly spectacular, but it is a Lifetimer corkscrew in the original box.  The price ended up only being $ 7.16, and I am thrilled to win it.  However, the significance of this purchase cannot be underestimated.

My first Bid, was for 1.04, and the item stayed at that level for some time.  Nearing the end Don Bull’s bid came in at $6.66.   Yes, 666, the sign of the devil himself.   Suddenly, it all makes sense.

Rev. 13:8…. Here is wisdom.  Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast:  for it is the number of a man (with a corkscrew in his hand); and his number Six hundred threescore six.

Still, I won the item… take that corkscrew devil!!!!!!!!!



Duck Bill Corkscrews

there is a corkscrew that is referred to as a duck bill; largely because it looks like a duck bill.  And, one ended moments ago on eBay at 310$.  It was listed as a duck bill, and it got much notice.  However, there is another duck bill listed on ebay getting significantly less attention.  5 hours to go, and it only is priced at 26 dollars.  Now, this particular corkscrew is the shorter duckbilled version of the one that just sold, but it is still remarkably desirable.  Where it will end up is a mystery, but I will update this blog as soon as it ends.  Or, in a reasonable amount of time anyway.   What is interesting here, is that corkscrew collectors are a diligent sort.  They look at descriptions, pictures, or the right clue as to some item’s rarity, significance, or desirablity.  How then, can one sell for 310, and another languish at 26?

Now, I would hazard to guess that the shorter billed duck would go for more than the longer one given the markings that were on it.  And, so it did only seconds ago….316 dollars won by Chris Bristow…

Somehow I knew, that it wouldn’t slip through…although I really hoped it had…


Redlich and Company Sterling Roundlet

I visited the poop office box today, and much to my delight there was a package waiting for me.  A very large package filled with bubble wrap, which was wrapped around a little white box, which was filled with white tissue, which was used to protect a plastic zip lock bag, which encased a sterling silver roundlet corkscrew.  I love the way people pack stuff…

The item once unpacked was much better than I could have imagined.  Marked with Sterling 93, a monogram of BGA, and 1893 on the opposite end.  Then, on the side… it looks to have a small dragon/lion.  I looked at several sterling mark sites, and it has to be Redlich and Company…  There are some other possibilities, but for the moment, this is the best guess…

Now, what could BGA stand for… Bullwinkle Gregory Arbuckle?  Bouregard Gilligan Armstrong? Billy Goat Army?  Big Green Alligator? Bernard George Anderson?

Who could have owned the piece….