Itty Bitty Tools

So, the lovely calls me shortly after leaving this morning to let me know that there is an estate sale up the street starting at 9. I grabbed a cup of coffee and wandered around the corner and there it was… After waiting a couple of minutes, we were allowed inside. I headed for the kitchen–no corkscrews… Searched the entire first floor–no corkscrews. Went to the second floor and attic–No corkscrews… Then, I headed to the basement. I have always had good luck in basements, as oftentimes one’s tool box would include an opener or corkscrew. I mean, if you are using power tools, a decent bottle of cabernet is a must. And, today the basement paid off. Not in a huge way, but as I meandered around the work bench, and found the pieces pictured below. Two openers, one corkscrew, for a whopping price of 75 cents!

what was BERGER’s of San Francisco

I had seen this corkscrew on eBay when it first was listed, and figured it would be selling high shortly, as many of this type do. And, then with a day to go, the piece was just languishing there. Not high, but with a couple of bids. I went to auctionsniper and placed a high bid, well…high for me. I went about my business, ran to the post office, sanded some old doors, walked the dog, washed the lovely’s car, and read a couple of pages of Joanne Harris’ latest offering, and then the auction ended. And, my snipe won out! Now, what is this treasured little opener? It is a pair of ladies legs, but instead of clad in celluloid, they are steel–much rarer than the celluloid variety, these ones are an advertisement piece for "BERGER’S, SAN FRANCISCO." My question is who or what was BERGER’S?; a wine shop? a restaurant? a wine importer? (I anticipate a little research in my future). ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
After a little research, I hit which has links to some great databases, specifically phone book records dating back into the 1890s and forward. I started with the late 1890’s and found some Berger’s and some business with Berger’s in the name, but nothing that seems to make sense, as I got to 1905-1907 the same thing happened. Then, I tried a little later in time, and found a phone book data base for 1915, a picture of the page is below. It has a listing for BERGER’S clothing and haberdashery… A later phone book refers to the business as "men’s clothing and haberdashery." Could they have been the BERGER’s on the legs?

Coney Roundlet

As I mentioned previously, I picked up a lot of two corkscrews with a fuzzy picture which looked to have a nice roundlet corkscrew attributed to Coney and Co. I heard shortly thereafter that one of my two regular readers have yet to pick up the new Ferd Peters / Bert Guilian book on Pocket Corkscrews, so the photos below are taken from the new book to give an example of the much anticipated roundlet!

tomorrow knight, an unfortunate brimfield find, and a corkscrew for me

Well, the golden night ends tomorrow and it is only at 1625$–I know there are snipes set, but I wonder if it will actually hit the 3000 mark? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Yesterday at Brimfield there were plenty of corkscrews that I left behind. Largely because they were overpriced. And, what was remarkably funny, was that there were at least 8 of the blackington sterling boot corkscrew–all marked in the 300-400+ range. Needless to say, I can almost guarantee that those same 8 will be there for the September show. The first photo below is of the sad little corkscrew that got left behind. There is was just sitting on the table, and I spotted if from across another booth. I skipped over to it, and saw the lund lever…well, part of a lund lever…the picture pretty much tells it all.
And, I won a corkscrew on without having to pay an arm and a leg. The picture was somewhat fuzzy, and the little prize was paired with a key corkscrew…but, if you look closely you will see the telling embossed casing of an 1870 coney and co. roundlet corkscrew. When it arrives, I will look closely for markings, but if you have Ferd and Bert’s new book, you will see a similar one on page 118, figure 722.

brimfield finds II

I hopped back in the xterra, and made it to Brimfield with plenty of time to catch up with the other corkscrew collectors in the vicinity. I waved, and nodded, and then promptly scooted around them as the doors opened. And, by the second booth there was a lovely little tusk/horn corkscrew with silver. A neat little direct pull, it is pictured below next to another recent find to give an idea of size. I hit the rest of the booths in the area, and managed a brass wine barrel tap, a little ogre corkscrew from Norway, and finally a sheathless 1800’s picnic…I know I will never find a sheath to fit it, but it is quite nice with a sharp helix ( and it was cheap!). ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Barry Taylor and I met up to talk corkscrews, eBay, and work some corkscrew trades… And, then I headed back. It was a quick trip, but was well worth the drive. I will definitely be going back in September!

brimfield finds

I got a later start at Brimfield today, and given the 98 degree heat, moving quickly thru the stalls took some doing. I did manage to dodge and weave however, and get around the sweaty masses. And, there were corkscrews–infact, I would have to say there were alot of corkscrews. Many of them overpriced, but there were a lot out there. I also bumped into Andre Burgos who managed to score an Infanta, and Barry Taylor who had some neat finds as well. As for me, I only picked up a few (pictured below) but will return tomorrow to visit other fields yet to be opened. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Note: I have nothing to do with the dissappearing mermaid corkscrew…I know who did however.


well, the knight has leveled off for the moment–at 1575$! And, I have been able to add a name to the crosby pup count…so we stand at 37 at the moment. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Brimfield begins tomorrow, and hopefully the thunderstorms will wait till the evening! I wonder what will be waiting…a crosby pup? a curley? perhaps a syroco indian?
The picture of Hunter was taken in the back yard…WOOF!