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!