41 days till Brimfield, 7 days till Baseball Season, and a few small purchases

41 days till Brimfield, who is coming with us???!!!

And, 7 days till baseball season, GO GIANTS! ! !

There have been some small purchases made as of late–mostly on eBay–a neat little German folding corkscrew

And, a couple of German spring corkscrews

The lovely and I have started to chart our course for the JFO. Yes, we are driving…I wonder how many openers and corkscrews we can pick up between Newton Highlands, MA and Troy, MI?

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43 days till Brimfield and corkscrewing in Maine

The lovely and I headed up to Maine this morning to look around for corkscrews. And, we did find several.

And, many of those we found we left behind…I mean, we want to ensure there will be corkscrews available to buy when RL visits. : )

We hit one of my favorite antique shops in Wells, Maine. And, while there have only been a couple of corkscrews in the past, I have never stopped by and walked away without some purchase. Today didn’t disappoint, as a Lucky Joy Germ corkscrew was the find of the day (or so I thought–suspenseful music plays in the background)

Not only was it a great find, it also was in a seller’s case who was offering a discount!

After a nice brunch, the lovely and I were heading towards home when she announced we were going to stop at "Tangibles," an antique store neither of us had ever visited, and which takes a little maneuvering to get to. We walked through the shop, and found several more corkscrews inside a locked case. There was a simple, but faceted, bow with a tag of 95 dollars. I noticed a Walker bell, and another bow nearby. All were going to be too much money and then I noticed an interesting metal handled corkscrew. (cue suspenseful music)

With its odd handle, and the price tag obscured, I was intrigued. The shop owner unlocked the case, I reached in for the corkscrew, and after seeing the price was definitely interested–it was much less than the bow!

I walked around with it in my hand for a couple of minutes as we headed upstairs to see the rest of the shop. By the time we got back down, it was decided. And, the lovely decided to offer cash for the piece, resulting in a phone call to the corkscrew’s owner–resulting in an even lower price! (go lovely go!!!)

We did make another stop on the way home, but the dice handled corkscrew was definitely the prize of the day!

I have gone through Bidault’s les tire-bouchons francais, to see if I could find the piece. It just feels French to me. Of course, I could be way of base. No markings, but a great looking corkscrew to add to the collection.

If any of you corkscrew folk out there have an idea of where this comes from, who made it, or anything else you can share about it, feel free to drop us a line.

43 days till Brimfield!

44 days till Brimfield!

the official countdown has begun, and there are 44 days until Brimfield!

There was a corkscrew arrival today, a double helix woodmet patent arrived (no Tommy, you can’t have it).

A quiet Saturday at home, quickly livening up with a couple of gin and tonics… And, tomorrow we are going for a drive up to Maine to scout out potential antique stores in preparation for Robert and Marie France’s visit. We want to make sure that there are corkscrews worth buying.

More tomorrow, upon our return…

haff again

I had been watching an american patented silver roundlet corkscrew on eBay, that somehow had ended up in the UK.

Recognizing the shape and locking mechanism, I placed a snipe and hoped for the best.

As luck would have it, the snipe took the corkscrew, and an 1887 LeRoy Haff patent will be arriving at 16 Kingston soon. This is a second version of this for me, so if anyone wants to make a trade, feel free to offer.

a few pictures.

with the taxes almost completed–I will give it another once over, which technically will be a thrice over, tomorrow, I have have found the camera and snapped a couple of pictures.

The finish on the Perille Bague is a little rough, but given I haven’t had one before, this will be staying it the collection

The diamant is missing its handle. And, while I knew this was the case, what is amazing is it is in perfect shape except for that. Any one have an extra wooden diamant handle laying around?

And, there were a few others. The coolest being the turkey foot corkscrew–as it is called in DB’s book. Again a first for me, until moments ago. I ended up winning a second one on eBay.

tax time

well… it has been a few hours, and I am nearing the completion of doing our 2008 taxes. It really has been pretty painless!

On a corkscrew note, I met with an antiques dealer at a gas station today to make an exchange of corkscrews for money. It was sort of like a clandestine drug deal–not that I would know about that mind you–but, I drove to the agreed upon location, and waited for a couple of minutes. She arrived shortly thereafter, and told me she has a box for me. I grabbed the box, looked at the stuff, and handed her some money.

She promised to contact me when she finds others, and we both hopped in our respective cars and drove away. The whole transaction took about 4 minutes. And, I headed back home, and then to school with a Bone handled direct pull, interesting bow corkscrew, and a turkey-foot folding corkscrew, along with some other patented tool that I can’t yet identify–except that it is a patented tool.

Pictures of the latest acquisitions tomorrow–as my camera is buried somewhere under the the 2008 bank statements.

10 dollar clown, 785 dollar Gundlach, and Saturday’s Event

It has been an interesting week! A couple of days ago, I found a syroco clown listed online (not ebay) for a unbelievable price of 10 dollars. I emailed, and asked, but was a few minutes too late as someone else had snapped the piece up. One hell of a deal!

Then, there is the Gundlach & co corkscrew that ended last night. I had one a couple of years ago, and traded it away for another desirable corkscrew. And, even though the trade was equitable, I regretted giving the piece up. So, I bid high on the one last night, only to come up short. Apparently a dealer in California has deeper pockets, and customers who will pay even more than he did; $ 785.00 !!!!!

And, I know it has been mentioned earlier but Saturday there is an event at the Spellman Museum. And, corkscrews will be part of the event. If you want to read about it, check out

Boston Globe – boston.com

Wall Street Journal – WSJ.com

Or, the museum website at – spellman.org

first 9 holes of the year…

The snow has finally melted, and the temperatures are finally warm enough to play golf! And, the local (public) course just opened. It is an 18 hole course, but only 9 holes were available. So, I threw the clubs in the mini–taught a couple of classes–then headed to the golf course.

I ended up playing solo–for a while–and I teed it up on number 1, and hit a little left. This is not normal for me, as usually there is a slice involved. Still, a short wedge later, shorter chip, and 4 foot putt later, it was in the hole. A par!!! Not a bad way to start.

I did end up catching a group who invited me to play, and ended the day 7 over. Again, not a bad first half-round (and based on this score, Tommy owes me a corkscrew).

Speaking of corkscrews, some interesting ones arrived yesterday in the mail. A four pillar king’s rack, a small wooden handle with a button, and a rather impressive decorative metal handle.

This is not a roundlet, but instead a decorative metal handle that has rosettes on the end that unscrew to allow for the handle come apart. Underneath? A wood handled Williamson. I am currently researching the piece to see where it comes from. Clearly the corkscrew is Williamson, but who made the handle? I know Barry Taylor has one like this, but does anyone else?

the Piers Show!

It was a great weekend! The lovely and I stayed with some friends in Connecticut, and some other friends came up and met us there. A fantastic couple of dinners with great wine and great conversation!

Saturday we took the train into the city, and decided to brave the temperatures and walk from Grand Central to 55th and 12th. After getting our tickets and a short wait in line, we were IN!!!

500 dealers, and YES, there were corkscrews! In the first two aisles, there was nothing (there was other stuff, just nothing for me). On aisle three, I turned the corner and saw IT! An embossed closed barrel perpetual–a near dead ringer for the Demmler patent that graces the cover of Ferd Peters Mechanical Corkscrews book. I looked at it closely, and balked at the asking price. The worm was tipped–only slightly however–and, I didn’t think that they would come down to a price that I was interested in paying. I grabbed their business card, and walked away. I figured, if it was still there by the time we were going to leave, I might make an offer.

And, then there was the 1884 british sterling roundlet with whistle… I passed on that one too, and all the 650 dollar walker stag/tusks with sterling accents. I was hoping for something unusual, but it does seem if there is sterling attached to a corkscrew the price is bound to be high.

I did pick up a napier "bar-baby" martini shaker for a few bucks, and that was the first purchase of the day. I meandered around a bit more as the lovely and our pals were hitting the cafe. A syroco waiter for 95 in one booth (too much for me). Three booths later, a syroco waiter for 325 (definitely too much for me). After rolling my eyes after seeing the 525 $ price tag on a Georg Jensen direct pull (in sterling), I started to wonder if there would be anything else worth buying.

I started heading through the "vintage fashion" booths, figuring I would run into the lovely and our friends. And, then I saw a corkscrew worth buying. Well, not A corkscrew, but 25 corkscrews. I knew the dealer so we struck a deal, and the group was mine!

Right after making the purchase, I did find the lovely who was carrying a sandwich and a bottle of water. We took a brief break, and headed back out for the hunt. We bumped into an antiques dealer who has many corkscrews, but none with him. We exchanged cards, and hopefully a meeting will be made before Brimfield in May.

I did return to the booth with the embossed closed barrel perpetual, but it had been sold. Apparently someone snagged it right after I walked away. While the dealer wouldn’t share with me what they sold it for, I have a feeling they probably didn’t come down much off their original price. Do I regret not offering? Not at all. What I would have offered would probably have resulted in a dumbfounded look, or a sneer, or possibly a heavy antique being hurled at me. So, congrats to the buyer!

So, there were only three purchases (two were mine) but on the train ride back to Connecticut we all agreed that it was a fantastic show, and a great day.

Spring Break is over, and I teach in an hour or so. And, shortly thereafter am dropping 100 corkscrews off a the museum for their upcoming installation. It should be mentioned in this coming Friday’s Wall Street Journal. Keep an eye out for it!