he who hesitates…

An interesting lot on eBay came up last night, with a buy it now or best offer.

As mentioned in the past, I am inclined to make a best offer, as opposed to snapping the piece up. And, had the buy it now been a price I wanted to pay, I may have gone for it. However, the BIN was nearly a thousand bucks for this lot. And, while one of the two corkscrews in the listing has actually brought that much in the past, it was definitely too high for me at the moment.

So, I submitted an offer–a fair, but low offer.

And, oddly enough so had 3 other people at that point.

This morning, I hopped down the stairs to make some coffee, and I checked my email shortly after that. And, the seller had countered my offer at almost half his original asking price.

I clicked the email, and the corkscrews were still available. I thought about it for a moment, did a little research into past sales on the ICCAuction. Thought about it again, clicked the email once more, and looked closely at the corkscrews.

Then, I considered the finish, looked at the worm, went back to see the description as to find out exactly how it was marked. Went back and checked how much was in my paypal account. And proceeded to have some coffee, and consider should I buy the piece at the current counter offered price.

Yes, I was hesitating.

And, then I hesitated some more.

Finally, I went back for one more look, and someone else had bought the lot of two corkscrews. I haven’t heard who decided to snap up the corkscrews yet, but it was a nice buy for whomever needed to add a Strait Patent to their collection. Congrats unknown buyer!!!

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Tennis Player arrives

As mentioned the other day, I managed to score a fantastic deal on a Hagenauer figural tennis player corkscrew. And, yesterday the corkscrew arrived.

Marked nicely on the side of the bottle opener, this might make the best 6 of the year!

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No other major corkscrew news to report as of this moment, but things could change any moment : )

Tennis Anyone???

In between teaching online (the class started this morning) watching my eBay listings end, and doing a little corkscrew research, I happened to see what new listings had recently been added to the aforementioned eBay.

And, what should appear but a fantastic corkscrew, which the seller had listed with a smokin’ buy it now price.

I didn’t even hesitate. I clicked, I paid…

The questions is, does this stay in the Hagenauer collection, or does it get offered to our dear tennis playing corkscrew collecting friend.

(I can almost guarantee the phone will be ringing as soon as RL sees this)

the Frary corkscrew hunt continues…

As mentioned a couple of weeks back, a couple of Frary corkscrews were added to the collection. And, as of this morning they have been added to the Frary Corkscrew Page .

I am still after the Frary with the can opener on the side, and will trade heavily to get it. So…if any of you out there have one, drop me a line.

And, the research continues into our man James Darious Frary, and hopefully by next year there will be a much more in depth article to share with you all.

As far as more Frary-ations, check out this threesome. Three oblong handles, two with the plus sign cork grabber underneath the henshall-type button, and one which is a good deal smaller than the other two, with two little spikes to grab the cork.

If you have any Frary corkscrews that are shown on my website, that you wish to part with, or any variations of these that you are willing to take a picture of so it can be included in a future article on Frary Corkscrews, please let me know. Also, if you have any literature on Frary or his corkscrews, I would love to see it!

back from Boston, Marathoning, and still on the hunt for corkscrews…

The lovely and I were in Boston for the last few days, and while not much time was spent looking for corkscrews, after a bit of conversation, I decided to sign up for the Maine Marathon in October. It has been a few years since my last marathon, but I recently have been getting the bug to do another one. So, over the coming months I will get back to regular training for the 26.2 miles.

However, never fear. In between training…I will still be on the hunt for corkscrews.

On another note, RL and I have been playing “words with friends” via our iPhones as of late, and after winning the first game, for some reason I have lost the last 3 in a row! Perhaps I should train for that too.

A few corkscrews on eBay

After going through several boxes of corkscrews, and the recent return from Brimfield, I have decided to sell off a couple of duplicates of corkscrew in the collection. And, one corkscrew that isn’t a duplicate–a carved alligator with frame mechanism. Feel free to check them out here

Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the following:

RL’s score 287 – JL’s score 382!!!

back from Brimfield, and a successful day 4!

I headed down to Brimfield on Friday for one more field opening. And, with several of the other corkscrew collectors having already departed, I thought I might have the field to myself–apparently I was wrong, as I did see Andre and this other cat who I know looks for corkscrews.

Still, I figured there must be something for me….

And, when the gates opened at 8 am, I sprinted from the entrance to the booths. This I knew would get me there faster than the other collectors. In booth # 2…corkscrews!

Unfortunately, bent, broken and rusty corkscrews.

This became the theme in other booths as well, but after bent, broken and rusty, you could add expensive and overpriced.

That said, the drive down was certainly worth it. It was a beautiful sunny day, I picked up some beer openers which will certainly pay for the gas, and some eBay fodder.

And then…

(do you feel the suspense building)

And, then I decided to visit a vendor at Brimfield, who has been telling me about his corkscrew collection for years, and has promised to bring corkscrews, and pictures of corkscrews for years. To this point, however, each time I have come to see him he always had said, that he forgot, or it slipped his mind, how about the next show. Take my card, and email him as a reminder.

Having taken his card, and reminded him in the past, I meandered over not thinking much would come of an additional visit. And, I was quite pleased to be wrong.

No… he didn’t bring pictures of his collection, he brought 20+ corkscrews which lay in a large cardboard box in the front seat of his truck. He handed the box to me, and I proceeded to go through them. Three pairs of ladies legs, mermaid, Thomason, King’s Rack, Embossed closed barrel perpetual, small french T’s, and the list goes on.

Knowing I didn’t have THAT much money on me, but having waited 4 years to see the stuff, I grabbed two, and negotiated a price. We agreed, but as he explained it, he sold them to me not because the offer was what he wanted, but instead, because I am so persistent : )

As we parted ways, we made an agreement that in the coming weeks, we would arrange for me to visit his house and see the entire collection. And, perhaps I will purchase all 60 corkscrews!

It seems like coming to Brimfield on Day 4 was a pretty good idea.

What were the two that came home with me, you ask?

The Saytr legs corkscrew is something I have long been after, and they will make a nice addition to the collection. The double helix is marked S-Patent, and will also be sticking around.

The next Brimfield is in July…always hot, and generally less dealers, but there are still finds to be made…!

Brimfield Day 3

As mentioned in the previous entry, last night we were out at the Student Prince until late into the evening. And, while I thought I got some pictures of the goings-on, it seems that the lighting was not very cooperative. Still, there were some good shots of the corkscrews.

We didn’t manage to strike a deal with anybody at the restaurant for any of the nice pieces in the collection, but perhaps next time…

Until then we will keep up our efforts!

As for Day 3, the mob of buyers/hunters/gatherers got through the first gate, and started sprinting towards some desired location. I, on the other hand, simply stepped aside, and hit the first two nearest booths, while the lovely was grabbing a cup of coffee. After her prompt arrival, we started heading down the aisles.

Near the end of the first short row–to the right, if you were entering May’s field, I hit a booth, and saw a nice little corkscrew. I asked the price, and did I get an earful.

After a bit of negotiation, a deal was done. And, a fantastic carved ivory corkscrew direct pull was in my hand. I was surprised at the asking price, knowing how ivory corkscrews are generally priced at Brimfield, and even more surprised at the fact that the seller was willing to come down even further in price–it was eary.

Having bought a nice ivory “ear of corn” corkscrew, the lovely and I meandered the fields on the hunt for a bench for the entryway of the house. And, I looked for corkscrews when benches were nowhere in sight.

Nothing else really worth buying, and when I bumped into Ian and Barry they too were coming up empty handed–for the most part–although rumor has it that Barry scored a pair of legs on his way out.

Oh yes…I did get another corkscrew while waiting in line. On a previous day, a fellow buyer explained that he had a little bullet corkscrew, and we exchanged phone numbers. While waiting for the gate to open, iPhones went into action, and we met up, and struck a deal for a Pittsburg Bridge roundlet.

After saying our goodbyes to the various corkscrew collectors in attendance, the lovely and I headed off to other areas, where bench after bench were examined, measured, talked about, and considered; Steel! Stone! Windsor! Wood! Nothing was exactly what we had in mind.

As we headed to the next field, we discussed further what we might be looking for, and in the very next booth there it was. A deal was done in short order.

We left the bench there for a while, meandering a bit more, and purchasing the requisite small order of french fries and a falafel. And, given we had no place to sit, we headed back to our recently acquired bench, and used it for its intended purchase. Heck, why not…

Being sufficiently fortified, we picked up said bench, and headed off for the xterra.

Definitely a successful day 3–and, I might actually go back tomorrow morning!

Brimfield Day 2

Yes… I know, Brimfield Day 2 was yesterday, and today is actually Brimfield Day 3, but Day 2 went a little later than expected, and we didn’t get home till close to midnight. And, blogging at that time was simply not going to happen.

As the events unfolded yesterday, I got to the first field a bit early, grabbed some coffee and waited for the gate to open. Shortly thereafter Barry, Ian and Sue happened by. We chatted a bit, and they made their way to the alternate gate.

At 5:59 (and 42 seconds) the field open, and countless collectors/shoppers were herded like cattle through little gates, and then began running. I was walking, as I didn’t want to spill my coffee–but, walking fast!

Nothing in the first few booths, and nothing for me in the next 10 booths. I passed on a beautiful tusk with silver which was adorned with a fireman’s symbol as the price was prohibitive. But before I could head to the next booth, I heard “Hey, corkscrew guy!!” I turned, and a man came up to me, reached into his bag, and pulled out a zig zag. We negotiated a price, and parted ways.

Interestingly, I have only found one or two things in this particular field over the years, and this morning the same thing ran true. However, in July I will be waiting at the gate in high hopes of a nice find.

Speaking of, Barry taking the alternate route, managed to pick up a nice sterling roundlet. For 50 bucks it was quite a deal, and is marked in various places.

We had time to kill before the next field, and I picked up a figural cat for 5 bucks, and headed to the gate. Inside, there were tons of items to pick through, and I passed on a badly damaged thomason. Replaced handle, broken worm, missing badge, dented handle, rust and tarnish…but other than that…. : )

At another booth, I asked for corkscrews (as I am prone to do) and looking up the dealer said, “Oh… I have something for you in the car.”

Really… something for me???

He pulled out a beautiful Sterling roundlet for a very fair price. This too found its way into the backpack.

After an hour or so, I ran into Barry… Nothing for him in the field, just a couple of bottle openers. At this point, we walked the booths together rifling through–hoping for something.

With the second field exhausted, we retraced our steps of another field–and at the same booth we both bought corkscrews. BT got a Williamson roundlet for 4 bucks, and I tried to bargain the dealer down, to no avail, on a flash (he wanted a dollar for it). In the end, I handed him the dollar and got the flash.

One more field for the day, and no corkscrews worth buying, unless you wanted to overpay by a good couple of hundred bucks.

Still, a great day at Brimfield, and we will be heading their in moments.

As for the reason for the late night. 10 of us headed to the Student Prince last night for dinner and corkscrew conversation. It was a great time…and pictures of our corkscrewy evening–and news of today’s finds–will be posted later.

Until then, here is the booty from day 2

Brimfield Day 1

2:45 in the morning came pretty early, but after figuring out the hotel room coffee maker, the excitement of Brimfield took over, and by 3:30 I was showered, caffeinated, heading out the door.

I arrived at Brimfield, and there were a few cars lined up waiting for parking. Within a couple of minutes, the lot opened up, I got parked quickly, and with flashlight in hand was heading to the first field.

At my very first stop a purchase was made! A 1933 Thomson Patent wall mount corkscrew. (#1,988,057) It is marked “WHAT CHEER, D.S RIPLY & CO., CLEVLAND, O., USA, NO.2, PAT. PEND. While this isn’t a rare corkscrew, it was one that I didn’t have, so I stuck it in my pocket and headed off to find another booth that might be open in the wee hours of the morning.

As I went from booth to booth, it was getting increasingly light out, and the flashlight was no longer necessary. It was about this time, that I happened upon two roundlets in one woman’s booth who was unwilling to budge on price. I left one roundlet behind, and forked over a whopping 9 dollars for a Goodyear patent!

I was feeling somewhat pleased as how the morning was going thus far, when I turned a corner and looking under some chairs, found two syroco codgers, a syroco waiter, and a syroco laughing man opener sitting together. Knowing that the waiter is often priced in the 100 buck range in some dealer’s booths, and the codger often higher, I simply asked “how much for the openers…” The dealer’s response, “a hundred.”

I hesitated and asked, “for all of them?” Following an answer of “Yes,” I handed him the cash, and grabbed the syrocos!

This was definitely going to be a good day! And, it was only 6 am!!!

That said, there were a couple of nice corkscrews left behind, largely due to their price tag. Still, it was nice to see them sitting in people’s booths.

As the morning progressed, and being fortified with more coffee, I picked up an interesting figural rooster corkscrew, a german roundlet, and a fancy nifty with advertising from Bogota. My next purchase definitely got a few people taking notice–not the corkscrew collectors in attendance–but from dealers and shoppers alike. This has to be the largest tastevin that I have ever seen. It is beautiful, and is definitely the appropriate size for tasting wine, as far as I am concerned (note, the Codger is inside the tastevin to give an idea of size)

I was carrying the tastevin around as I hit booth after booth, and the dealers were quite fascinated and wondering how much wine it would actually hold. I assured them that I would try it out, and report back.

In the last two fields of the day several other corkscrews were picked up, and in between fields, treasures were compared amongst the corkscrewy folk in attendance. KC picked up a Hurley bar screw at the first table he found, Ian got an interesting American piece, and Barry–well, Barry picked up a Wood patent multi tool, a nice metal handled haff, and a really interesting looking multi-tool that none of us had every seen before (I have since found the piece on Screwbase, and will let BT know in the morning).

So… as the day drew to a close, and day one of hunting being over, here is what the Brimfield Booty entails:

Two Syroco Codgers
Syroco Waiter
Syroco Laughing Man opener
Thomson patent wall mount corkscrew
Goodyear Patent
German Roundlet
Zig-zag
Haff patent with button (which might be heading to RL’s collection)
figural Rooster corkscrew
stag handle direct pull with sterling end
interesting clough corkscrew
bogota nifty
carved tusk/bell assist/sterling end
And, one big ass tastevin.

Tomorrow…day two!!!!!