It pays to ask for a “condition report.”

Now, I should preface this by saying, I didn’t win this auction, and I don’t know who did. However, this is a lesson in asking an auction house for a “condition report.”

A week or so back, a UK auction house, had a lot in their auction which read

“A Twiggs patent corkscrew, with turned hardwood handle and brush, the steel barrel stamped on the pillars `Twiggs Patent Corkscrew – America Jan 21st 1868`, length 14.5cm, together with two other 19th Century corkscrews (3).”

However there was no picture available. What should I bid? So, I emailed the auctioneer, and after a day or so received pictures. It seems that the Twigg had some damage to it.


Now, the story could end there, with my deciding not to bid, as I would probably be overpaying for a broken corkscrew, albeit a nice corkscrew.

However, there were two other corkscrews mentioned in the lot description. Given that there was no indication of patents or markings, I assumed that they would be run of the mill everyday-common corkscrews.

Now, not asking for the condition report, would have me bidding on a broken Twigg. But… I did bid. And, I bid a nice amount, as one of the unmentioned corkscrew in the listing was quite noteworthy. The other was pretty darn good too!

Yes, whoever outbid me, and won this lot, got a Twigg in need of some repair, a Wilson patent double helix, and….

an signed Obstando!

Congrats unknown auction bidder!

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