adding to the collection

As mentioned over the last few days, there have been some deals made for several syroco corkscrews / samples. And, they arrived the day before Christmas. However, given that I couldn’t find my camera cord (and this seems to happen more often than you would think) pictures had to wait until today.

The samples are awesome. What these samples were intended for remains a mystery for the moment. But, hopefully soon, we will find out if these were samples for those painting the items, samples for those working in the factory, or simply salesman samples. I would figure it isn’t the latter, as these were taken from the factory by a former employee. And, I have had several of these before, and one had a tag that featured the same catalog number that appeared in a 1955 catalog.

I did sell that collection off, and am thrilled for the latest arrivals, as not only are they a great addition to the collection, it has gained me a few contacts in the Syracuse area. This may open a lot of doors into the history of Syroco and the process of manufacturing these items.

The first sample doesn’t have a tag, but is the small police dog.

Next is the Syroco Indian. This does have a tag, and I will search around to see if I can find a corresponding catalog.

And, then there is the bartender. No, not the waiter corkscrew which has the martini shaker in hand, but this one is simply marked BARTENDER on the tag. I have included a close up as well. In the original collection I had, there was a similar piece simply marked DRUNK. And, neither of these are painted only showing the original "woodite" finish. It would seem to me, given that none have turned up with a corkscrew or opener attached, that these were items that never made it into production. In essence, this would be a prototype! ! ! !

Beyond the samples, the painted clown turned up as well. And, this is a double. So, if you have anything you wish to trade for it, drop me a line. I am sure we can make a deal.

And, if that wasn’t enough… I was emailed on xmas morning with an offer of a large brown bulldog corkscrew. I emailed back asking for a picture, to which I got the response. I will send pictures soon, and I dusted him off only to find out that he isn’t brown, he is black.

How fortuitous! I don’t have black one, but apparently I will have one shortly.

okay…well, maybe a delay in the news and pics

Today has been a very low key and quiet christmas, although there has been some good food and wine already consumed. Right now, the prime rib is just about to medium rare, the potatoes gratin are also in the oven, and I will be making some side dishes shortly.

More wine will be opened in a moment, and corkscrew news and pictures will be posted tomorrow. Happy Christmas!


the lovely, the lovely sisters in law, and the lovely nieces are all hanging around the fireplace and the snow is still falling. I will be starting dinner in a couple, and copious amounts of wine will be consumed.

A phone conversation with the clown seller has resulted in a done deal. Another syroco corkscrew soon to be added to the three ring circus which is my life.

Speaking of… big News. BIG. REALLY BIG!!! The lovely is retiring from Trader Joe’s. After 31 years, she has decided to simply enjoy the fruits of her labor. We are both thrilled, and looking forward to our next adventures! She is rumored to be studying O’Leary’s book on American corkscrews…this is only a rumor however.

It pays to advertise

I have a few areas online where I have put it out there that I am on the hunt for Syroco corkscrews. And, judging from the recent string of emails, the advertising is paying off. The most recent, was an email that explained that the seller had a painted syroco clown with a King sticker affixed.

I requested pictures, as condition on the clowns seem to vary greatly.

And, within short order the pictures arrived.

It looks to be in pretty good shape, and while it is really similar to the one that is already in the syroco collection, he is rather lonely and is looking forward to a friend to clown around with.

btw: It is still snowing here!

third syroco sample, and 55 thousand feet of snow

I just shoveled the walkway and driveway to get the lovely sister in law’s car out. It did only snow 10 or so inches, but the plow did pile up about 55 thousand feet of snow in front of the drive way. Thanks snow plow guy (read sarcasm here).

It is beautiful out. Brisk, but I love the morning after a big snow. It is sooooo quiet, except for the cursing of the snow plow guy.

On to corkscrews… The seller of the syroco sample, sent a picture of the third. A police dog (without a tag) it will make a nice addition to the collection.

another Indian (yes, ANOTHER one)

A couple of years ago, I met up with an antiques dealer from Syracuse, and he told me about these "paint samples," that he had from the Syroco factory. We worked out a deal, and I took them all.

What they were was the heads from syroco corkscrews and openers without the hardware attached. Instead, they all had little tags tied on, and each had a sku / catalog number. These came from a former worker’s estate, and one–which happened to be the codger–had a number that matched a catalog that was already in my possession.

I knew of another collector who would find these interesting, and passed them along. I kind of regretted it, as I only took a couple of pictures.

Well, as luck would have it the daughter of one of the carvers of syroco contacted me the other day, and offered me a couple more of these. And, she is getting me all kinds of information about the company as well.

These are definitely syroco, and what they were intended for is still a mystery. But, i do believe them to be a sample of some sort that the factory would have kept–until some employee took them home : )

This pair (there is a third one she is still looking for in her house) will definitely be staying in the collection. The indian is cool, but the other, simply marked "bartender" on the tag is even cooler! It would seem this would have been a piece that never got out into the public, as it doesn’t appear in their catalogs, and I have never seen another. Have any of you?