signed, sealed, delivered.

So, I headed to the mainland yesterday to do a little grocery shopping, and hit a couple of antique stores. And, as luck would have it, two of the dealers suggested I talk to a third dealer who happened to have a corkscrew.

I headed over.

Unfortunately, the corkscrew had been spoken for. However, the buyer had yet to pick it up.

Reluctantly, the dealer pulled it out of a drawer and showed it to me.

It was awesome!!!

An early carved scrimshaw corkscrew of a harbor seal. This had to be going home with me.

As the conversation continued, we discussed whether the person who asked to put it on hold was a corkscrew collector. He thought that they may not ultimately want it, and took my name and number. And, next week we shall know for sure. The price that he was asking wasn’t bad.

I wanted it though. Hmmmmm….

I hit a couple more antique stores, and then thought. Well, if one customer "says" they are interested and asks for them to "hold" the corkscrew, and if another customer walks in with cold hard cash…

I went back to the store.

I walked in, wad of cash in hand, and suggested that he may want to sell it to me.

Much to my chagrin, he explained that the other person was a good customer, and I would have to wait. So, the seal, which is unsigned, was also undelivered. It remains in the drawer at the shop.

And, hopefully, it will be heading to the island next week. I mean, it shouldn’t remain landlocked in someone else’s collection!!!


Okay. So, I was poised to snap up this corkscrew at an online auction (not ebay). And, for some reason whilst waiting for the lot to come up, my attention was drawn elsewhere.

Now, this is not uncommon…

That said, when I went back to the auction, lo and behold I had missed the lot, and it sold for waaaay less than I would have paid.

This of course is not common, as I am always bidding way to low on corkscrews.

Oh well…another corkscrew lost to another bidder : (

William Johnson

As often I am want to do, I recently was perusing the pages of Fred O’Leary’s book. And, every once in a while, there will be a corkscrew upon which I become fixated.

Quite frankly, it never ceases to amaze me that some of these little things simply don’t turn up. Surely there has to be one of those, or that one, or this one hidden amongst some common openers at the local antique shop. But, of course, there isn’t. The hidden one of those, one of these, or that one inevitably ends up being as common as the rest.

Well, one of those ones that I have never been able to find is now heading for the collection. It is William Johnson’s 1930 patent #1,779,170. Marked PAT. JAN 19, 1926 (from an earlier patent), this might make the best 6!

On the other hand, you never know what will turn up next? : )

For now, I will anxiously await its arrival. And, go back to reading more pages of O’Leary hoping for the next rarity to show up.

not so bad…

The first round of the ICCA auction ended today, and 4 of the 5 corkscrews I had on there sold.

But, just before my auctions were set to end, a deal was made for part of a collection. And, I did manage to pick up a couple of items. Nothing outrageous, but it is not so bad…

The most unusual–although it wouldn’t be on everyone’s wish list–is the lead handled Clough. What is really unusual, is this one has advertising on it. Definitely one for the collection!

The building is progressing! The SF Giants are back to the winning ways, and it is only 16 days till Brimfield!

“the green one…”

At the JFO, Tommy and I were going from room to room negotiating deals to buy corkscrews and openers, sell corkscrews and openers, and trade corkscrews and openers. During this bopping around, it was pretty clear that Tommy has an affinity for L1 openers. These are miniature cans made in West Germany that generally carry an advertisement for beer, and after pushing a button on the top of the can, a little bottle opener pops out the opposite end.

Here is an example:

And, Tommy has quite a collection of them. As we went hunting for more, I kept hearing the same question from the various collectors present at the meeting.

Do you have, "the green one," referring to a Miller Beer opener which usually comes in gold, but has apparently been found in a different color. The green Miller apparently is rather illusive.

So, given that Tommy is on the hunt for these little things. And, knowing he is always up for a trade, I started my quest. Could I unearth, "the green one."

Well, the unearthing was short lived, as by the time Tommy and I left the hotel and arrived in Shiner, Texas for a breweriana show, a deal was done. And, the green Miller beer L1 was enroute to Vinalhaven.

Not as rare as a Blue Ross Pig, but certainly trade worthy. Perhaps Tommy will bring some rarity with a corkscrew attached when he comes out for Brimfield in a couple of weeks, and we can make a trade.

Here is a picture of "the green one," next to the more common gold Miller.


I arrived home the other day from San Antonio, and have been catching up on other stuff that was put on hold for a few days.

The building is moving right along, with the floors installed (not yet finished) and the sheet-rocking has begun on the back half of the building, which is intended to be a little studio apartment for those corkscrewteers who choose to come to the island for a few days.

And, there have been some corkscrew arrivals. A British two-pillar, and a nice wood handle with blade and brush.

And, while working on the building will continue, we have officially begun the count down to Brimfield. Yes, it is almost that time of year again; 22 days!

Updates from the JFO meeting, and a nice offer

The meeting has been quite entertaining thus far, but this morning Tommy and I decided to do a little freestylin’ and headed to the Antique Alley. This is an event a significant distance way from San Antonio, but we figured, there HAS to be some corkscrews there. So, early this morning we started driving, and eventually made it to Grandview Texas—where 25 Miles of Antiques were supposedly going to make up the "Antique Alley."

Alley? yes, Antiques? not so much.

Yes, there were lots of old clothes, relatively-vintage kitchenware, children’s items, and farm implements. Not so many corkscrews. In fact, there was only one worth buying—the French version of the Woodmet Double Helix.

After surviving 25 miles of "Garage Sale," we headed back to San Antonio and hit a few antique malls along the way. I picked up an unusual beer opener, which ultimately was traded for a really interesting clough sheath corkscrew: interesting insofar as, the clough sheath has graphics of the clough decapitator in use. Definitely cool!

It was a terrific adventure, although both Tommy and I are thinking that corkscrews in Texas is an oxymoron.

On another note, I was made a nice offer the other day through email. And, after responding in the affirmative that I was interested, pictures of 9 corkscrews were sent to my attention. Of the 9, only 2 really suit my fancy, and these are already enroute to the humble abode on Vinalhaven.

Tomorrow we head to Shiner TX for a breweriana show. Perhaps there will be one or two items to pick up there.

Here are the additions thus far (the latest include a pewter wine barrel tap, double helix clough’s patent Anheuser Busch double helix, Haff patent with button and those acquired earlier). More tomorrow!!!

Updates from the JFO

The JFO is off and running, and over the first day there was much room to room trading, a few purchases, and a few sales. There aren’t as many corkscrews about as in the past, but there ARE some. And, within a few minutes of meeting up with John Stanley, we had made a trade.

An absolutely mint-out-of-the-box-perfect Clough Power Cone. It is unmarked, but the finish is unbelievable. Definitely the corkscrew of the meeting thus far.

We got a tip from one of the beer guys, that there were several corkscrews that he had seen at an antique shop 45 minutes away. Tommy and hopped in the car, and headed out. We got there, and there were corkscrews. However, the prices were crazy high. Tommy was not pleased!

With a few more stores to hit, we proceeded onward. No corkscrews in any of the stores worth buying, but fellow JFOer’s would soon be arriving… We headed back to the hotel. Tommy picked up 3 of those slide corkscrews that have the folding corkscrew (M-73’s in JFO language), and I picked up one.

This one is a souvenir of Miami Beach, and the finish is fantastic.

After a little more room to room, we went out to pick up some provisions. Walking seemed like the thing to do, until it started pouring.

Tommy was NOT happy!

We made it back to the room, and after drying off, headed back to the group room where a few more trades were made. Then off to dinner, and a few more trades and sales after that.

What will today bring, we don’t know yet. However, I am sure we can find a corkscrew that will make Tommy happy!