Hamish McBride!!!!

There was this listing on ebay for some assorted barware, that clearly had a syroco codger/topper corkscrew in amongst the items.  The seller explained it was a bottle stopper, and one estute ebayer asked for pictures of the syroco guy…there was no corkscrew attached and it was beyond rough.  However, the seller was already asked for a Buy it Now…and he refused (according to the question/answer on his listing).
Now what is really funny, is the seller while not wanting to add a buy it now early on, eventually decided that it was a valuable item, and did add one for 200 $.  The item languished there for 7 days, finally ending for a whopping 17.50$ —
Which reminds me of the old joke where an older gentleman goes up to this hot young girl and asks
"will you sleep with me for 5 million dollars?" 
She looks offended, but eventually says "yes." 
The then asks her, "would you sleep with me for 1 million dollars?" 
She thinks it over, and says ‘yes." 
He then turns to her and says, "would you sleep with me for 5 dollars?" 
She glares at him and spews, "what do you take me for?!!!?" 
He explains, "well, madam we have already established that, now we are just negotiating a price…"
Now, while my name was used by the person egging the seller on, it wasn’t me.  Although, I do have a sneaking suspiscion that it was the notorius "Hamish McBride."
You can read the Q & A from the listing below…
Q: Greetings! Does the man have the label on the base? It should be marked L’Africain, Chicago. It makes all the difference, please let me know.


  A: There is no lable. 


  Q: Is the man original or a modern reproduction? It’s difficult to make out from the photograph. Thanks Hamish


  A: I bought this collection at an estate sale. I doubt that the man is a repro. He’s well worn. Marie


  Q: Good morning: Can I have you send more pics of the carved man with the head off? Thank you for your response.


  A: Please send your email address and I will be glad to oblige. Marie


   Q: Hi I was looking at your barware and wondered if the handle shaker is a Martini shaker and if the guy who is a stopper if he is made of wood. Thanks


  A: I am not certain of the use for this item. The guy is made of wood.


  Q: Me again- one more question – could you email me a closeup picture of the man’s head removed from the body so that i can see the condition of it? Thanks!


  A: Hi. Just mentioned in my other email to you. Please send your email address and I will be happy to send pics of the carved man.


  Q: Hi – would you consider putting a Buy It Now price on this?


  A: Hi. Yours is the second request for Buy It Now. I think I will just hang in there for bids. Please send your email addres and I will send pictures of the carved item. Marie




let the search begin

I was IM’ing with CB the other day, and he posed a question.  What corkscrews do you want to acquire this year?…or something to that effect.
And, while I am rather quick to respond to that type of question with "syroco."  I took a moment and thought about it.
After a couple of minutes, I responded with the following (if you have one of these, drop me a line).
Dickson Patent
Voigt Patent
Strait Patent
Embossed Curley Patent
lighter finish syroco indian…
Of course, there are bout 1000 others that I would love to have as well, but if I listed all of them…

Cap’n Corky the Party Porky

A piggy arrived today in the mail.  The very one mentioned the other day.  A perfect Ross Porker, although his packaging has a little wear and tear (minimal however).
From the picture in the ebay listing, I thought he was yellow, but instead he is BLUE (just kidding Don).  He is a lovely cream with red clovers tatooed across his piggy body.
Quite the charming fellow…I am sure he could use some Ross Piggy friends if anyone has a green, yellow, black, or blue pig to send my way.

shiny things

On page 144 of Don Bull’s book there is a silver corkscrew pictured that was manufactured by Alfred Borderner.  While not old, in the grand scheme of things, it has been a piece that I have thought was rather impressive and would make a nice addition to the lovely’s (da luvalie as Peter refers to her) sterling corkscrew collection. 
Well, last month on eBay, there was a piece that looked to be the same.  But the seller, made no mention of markings.  I emailed him and he explained yes, it is marked.  But, his opening bid was high.  After it received no bids, he explained he would do some more research and relist.  And, he did.
Just yesterday an auction for an "Albert Borderner" sterling silver corkscrew ended…and, a shiny valentines present is on its way.

more corkscrews enroute

On the heels of the gemelli corkscrews arriving.  I received an email yesterday asking if I wanted to buy a collection of corkscrews.  Pictures were attached, and the corkscrew-pavlovian juices began to flow.
A deal was struck and those in the pictures are on their way.  Whilst some will stay in my collection, some will be sent to Peter,  a few may end up in the hands of Chris (keep it in the family) Bristow, and some my find their way to the wineleopard and mark woodard.

Ham for Dinner

A decision had to be made as to ‘what is for dinner.’  So, whilst thinking about it, I hopped onto the laptop and perused the latest eBay offerings…and lo and behold my dinner conundrum was solved.  Ham it is… check the photo below.
No, your eyes do not deceive ,that is Howard Ross’ 1949 pig corkscrew patent in its original packaging…  What kind of marinade does one use for a clover emblazoned porker?

flea market Sunday…only one corkscrew

I decided to go to one of the monthly flea markets in Chicagoland this morning.  I hadn’t been in several months, so I had hoped there would be something of interest.
Given the 20 degree temperatures, there were not many dealers, and not many buyers for that matter.  And, for the first time in 5+ years did i not hear the bellowing call "it’s all junk, and it’s all cheap."  Last I heard, the rather loud dealer had packed it in, and was no longer hitting the flea markets…
That said, I made the rounds and found a couple of cloughs, three of those horrible grape vine corkscrews, and a couple of nifty’s.  Nothing worth buying, or paying the outrageous prices asked for a "RARE ANCIENT DRIFTWOOD CORKSCREW."
Then as I neared the final booths, I saw a Challenge corkscrew in decent shape sitting on someone’s table.  After talking him down to a much fairer amount, I reached for the money clip, dolled out some dollars and headed off.
Hopefully when the area thaws out in spring, some more corkscrews will come to light.  Until then, it is back to eBay….

my post office lady yelled at me today

it was a normal afternoon today.  I went about my business, ran some errands, walked the pooch, had some coffee, read some educational texts, and then….went to the post office place.
Upon entering, the little lady that worked there yelled at me.  "why you get so many boxes???!!!," she exclaimed.  "Boxes?," I asked.  Then she started to bring them out.  A small box from the UK, two from Canada, a shipment of wine from Provenance winery in the Napa Valley, a large box from some cat in California, and two other small packages.  I apologized for monopolizing the joint, when she asked if i got the big box…
I said, "no," and headed towards the back room and there sat a rather large, rather beaten up, white box wrapped with enough duct tape that even McGyver would be impressed.
I gathered up that one too, and headed toward the Mini…weighted down, I headed back home and started opening box after box.  It was like christmas without the wrapping, annoying carolers, or fruit cake that inevitably gets passed on to someone else–or is used as a door stop.
And, while pictures will follow shortly.  There were 7 gemelli patent corkscrews, a hollweg, a drp spring, a wolverson, a double lever that looks to be a prototype, a schiltz globe bell, a couple of syroco pieces, and a nifty bottle topper with an 1883 patent date–oh, and about 50 others that will inevitably end up on ebay.
A good day, despite being chastised by the poop office box lady…

yet another arrival

I picked this up on eBay on a chance that it would be as described given that the picture was dark and dingy.  It arrived, and I looked and the helix was perfect, the badge magnificent, and the handle in lovely shape–only missing the brush.
But, the piece was heavily tarnished with black spots all over it…so, I used a little polish to remove the gunk, while trying not to give it too much of a shine.  And, there it was… a working Thomason corkscrew with "Ne Plus Ultra" badge!!!!!!

latest arrivals…

The corkscrews have started to arrive…and the corkscrew dance of joy has commenced.
a goodyear patent (unmarked), what I believe to be a fairchild patent sterling corkscrew, a badged thomason with a sharp helix, a coney, and this unusual british jigger with corkscrew. 
I wonder if Bristow will be trying to trade for the thomason (hint hint)