a whole lot of flashes

I received an email from Tommy the other day, with a photo of some of his recent finds. And, the photo is just awesome! How did he manage to find this many flashes at once!??????! They are pictured below…

On the local front, I received an email from someone who claims to have many syroco corkscrews and is interested in selling. We can only hope!!!

a browne, but not the browne I expected

A while back, I had seen an interesting can opener / corkscrew, that I knew I had seen before. I snapped it up on a Buy it Now(that I believe was about 8 dollars. I can’t quite remember). So, when the item arrived, I read through the various corkscrew books, and found the same corkscrew pictured in Fred O’Leary’s book on page 98. A William Brown patent, marked PAT. AUG 16, 1898. I was quite pleased.

Well, this last week, I saw three openers (one with a corkscrew) that had a similar shape. I figured, I would snag another Browne patent (the picture wasn’t very clear, but it looked similar) and I would use it as trade bait.

The openers arrived yesterday, and I got was an interesting surprise. It is indeed a Browne patent, but instead is William Browne’s patent number 654,089 and is marked, albeit faintly with, "PAT 8-16-98", and "6-26 & 7-17-1900." Check the pictures below, and then O’Leary page 112!

This one will be staying in the collection!

another knight

Oh yes it’s ladies night

And the feeling’s right

Oh yes it’s ladies night

Oh what a Knight (oh what a Knight)!

Another Knight was listed on eBay last night, and I was wondering where this one will end up; $ 2000, $3000? the last one was lower than I had expected…but still was a healthy sum. Or, unhealthy as the case may be.

Given the collectibility and price of this hard to find corkscrew, I believe I have come up with an alternative. All you need is an odd helix with bell assist, a little crazy glue, and a 1968 Marx Sir Gordon action figure (it is really a doll, but people apparently feel better saying their son isn’t playing with dolls). The likeness is remarkable!

Black Friday and Coffee

Well, today is what is referred to as black friday. And, while retailers were opening their doors at 3 am for insane christmas shoppers to start buying gifts, I have opted for coffee…although, it isn’t black; there is some half and half in it, which makes it more of the color of my dog.

The T-Giving feast last night was fantastic, and was topped off with the lovely uncorking a Rosenblum Rockpile Zinfandel (with a henshall corkscrew).

We are heading to Maine tomorrow for a brief visit to our place up there. Perhaps a corkscrew or two will be found along the way…or along the way back.

dainty corkscrew and tomorrow’s menu

After a little negotation, I managed to convince a dealer on the west coast to part with his Dainty corkscrew. I already have one, but it never hurts to have an extra.

And, the rest of today will be spent shopping for tomorrow’s feast. Thus far, we have only planned on having the two of us for Thanksgiving, but you never know who may simply show up at Chez L’Africain (if you are showing up, could you call first) here is the proposed menu:

Assorted Cheeses with (homemade) Rosemary and Sea-Salt Crackers

Mixed Greens with Tangy Mustard Vinaigrette

Brussel Sprouts, Braised with Pancetta, Shallots, Thyme and Lemon

Scallops with Tarragon Cream

Filet Mignon

Bourbon-Walnut Sweet Potato Mash

Pumpkin Pie

and 23 bottles of Zinfandel (okay, maybe only 3)

marshall neal patent

There was only a hour to go on an eBay listing that I had missed the entire time it was listed. And, for some reason, I happened to search for openers, and saw what looked to be a Marshall Neal patent. I have always wanted one, and am always flipping bottle openers over hoping to discover a corkscrew.

I placed a fairly substantial snipe and hoped for the best.

The lovely and I went out for a walk with the dog. After our brisk jaunt, I started to make dinner. While I was cooking, I wondered what had happened with the auction, but refrained from checking. And, then this morning the confirmation email came in. WOOHOOOOO!!!!! Finally… a Marshall Neal patent corkscrew will be added to the collection!

my new favorite antique dealer

There is this little antique mall about a mile from my house, that I found shortly after our move. On that first visit, I found a couple of signed Murphy pieces. Since then…nothing. Well last week, I headed down, and one of the dealers asked me if I was looking for anything special. I answered yes, and mentioned corkscrews.

She said she had a couple at home, and did I have a card. Well, as luck would have it, I had one of my business cards on me (it has a picture of a bennit patent on it) and she promised to bring in a couple of corkscrews for me. Then she looked closely at the card, and remarked that she had the very same corkscrew sitting in her kitchen drawer… (interesting, I thought)

I happened to have some spare time after class today, and headed back down to the mall. Her space was closed, but a fellow dealer recognized me, and said she did bring in the corkscrews for me. He unlocked the door, and we entered the space. I looked at the shelf, and there was a common wooden piece sitting there. I picked it up, mildly disappointed, and then saw another helix hidden behind a picture frame. "It looks like a DICO," I thought…, and then the dealer handed it to me. It was a DICO!

I walked away with both, for a very very very fair price. And, he asked if she should bring her others. I emphatically said, "YES!"

I can hardly wait!