A couple of days ago a corkscrew was listed on ebay with a very dark picture and very odd description. Something about a orange painted handle, dating from the 1940’s…
Well, it was pretty plain to see that the item could be an 1883 bennit patent. I emailed the seller to ask if it was marked, and he said yes, but couldn’t make out what it said. I set a snipe and laid in wait.
After a trip to the local coffee house, I returned home and checked to see what was going on on ebay. There it was the orange painted handled bennit with a buy it now. Apparently asked for by the notorius wineleopard, but snapped up by a european buyer. I finished my latte, wishing I would have seen it first, but no sense crying over spilt helixes.
Then something odd happened, about an hour later the same corkscrew was relisted, again with the same buy it now price of 30$. I didn’t even hesistate. I figured if there was a mix up, we could work it out. I hit the button, and promptly paid the seller.
After a couple emails all was explained. In his listing he would only ship to US buyers, and since the other cat was overseas, he decided to relist.
The corkscrew arrived today, and indeed the handle had been painted orange, but it is indeed a bennit and faintly marked PAT. MAY 15TH 1883. I took the item to my local antique/furniture guy asking for some advice, and he recommended lemon oil beeswax and some fine steel wool. And, it actually worked!
You can see the before and after pictures below…