The Murph Arrives

Yesterday, the ivory handled R. Murphy Boston corkscrew arrived, and it is in much better shape than described. I have been long after an ivory handled Murphy, and this will surely make the best 6 for this year.

It has also been added to the Murphy Corkscrews page…

Speaking of corkscrews, another Bennit Patent was recently spotted on Main Street in Vinalhaven.

I do tend to get a bit obsessed…

Over the years of collecting corkscrews, every so often I get temporarily obsessed with one type or another, or one manufacturer or another, and set about trying to acquire more types, examples, variations, etc.

And, this seemed to have started with Syroco corkscrews.

Then it moved on to Murphy

And, of course it was the corkscrews of James D. Frary that followed.

Sometimes this is really based on my desire to build a collection, and sometimes one of these temporary obsessions finds its origins in the mere fact that I was lucky enough to find one or two.

And well…if I have one or two, I might as well have a dozen (or 40 in the case of Syroco).

This is really what happened with the latest Davis/Puddefoot/Detroit obsession. I had a couple, but then was lucky enough to find a rare variation of the Puddefoot with a blade. And, then the Detroit Improved Mermaid fell into my lap for a steal of a price. And, since I had a 3 or 4…well…

I am definitely on the hunt for more Detroit/Davis/Puddefoot corkscrews. And, knowing this a friend from Rochester made this unusual corkscrew available to me, and I couldn’t say no (I am obsessed after all).

This is a Davis, but the neckstand instead of being two pieces put together is instead a solid piece of metal like the Improved Davis or Puddefoot. Now, it is entirely possible that this is a put together piece, or…could The Davis Cork Screw Co. have been experimenting with a different style of neckstand?

Whether it is a made up piece or not, I am anxious for it to arrive and be added to the growing Detroit collection–I am thinking a Detroit Corkscrew Co. webpage might be in the works…


As many of you know, one of the corkscrews with which I am rather fond is the Robert Murphy corkscrews. For those that don’t know the Murphy story, you can link to Bob Nugent’s 1990 article on my website here

I have been fortunate to add many Murphy corkscrews to the collection over the years, some picked up at antique shows, a few in trade, and one or two on eBay. However, one in particular has eluded me; the ivory handled one.

In fact, I have never even seen one. The only reason I knew about it is that within Nugent’s text he writes, “The earliest examples I have seen of Murphy corkscrews are very attractive with turned shafts and very nice turned acorn end handles…or tapered shafts with assorted handles. The top part of the shaft are squared and tapered to fit in matching holes though the handles. Most are secured by peening the end over a copper or brass washer but an ivory handled one I have has an imbedded round nut on a threaded shaft.”

I have conversations with other collectors, and they too have found the ivory handled Murphy elusive. That said, as Nugent’s text explains, he had one in his collection. And, of course someone ended up with the ivory Murphy that Nugent references. Still there has to be another, and so the hunt continues

Until today.

As it happened, a dealer that I have done business with in the past managed to unearth one recently. And, today a deal was struck that will have an ivory handled signed Murphy corkscrew heading into the collection.

Better photos after it arrives, but this will make a fantastic addition to the Murphy Corkscrew Collection.

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Cork ‘n’ Crow

After a bit of re-configuring, painting, dolling-up, figuring out a menu/wine list, and licensing with the appropriate authorities, a wine bar is opening up on the island tonight.

The Cork ‘n’ Crow will be opening tonight at 4:00. See you there!

(Feel free to bring in a rare antique corkscrew in lieu of payment for delectable noshes and wonderful libations)

Adding to the Detroit / Davis / Puddefoot collection

A while back, a fellow collector sent me an email which included a picture of his collection of Detroit / Davis / Puddefoot corkscrews.

Within his collection one in particular was of genuine interest–not that they all weren’t interesting, it just so happens that I didn’t have this example.

And, so while we had since made a trade, and trades in the past, I dropped him a line explaining that I was interested his Puddefoot.

This morning, I received an email explaining that he was interested in parting with some of this corkscrews, and the Puddefoot was available.

After a couple more emails, a deal was agreed upon, and there will soon be an addition to the Detroit / Davis / Puddefoot corkscrew collection!!!

This one carries an advertisement for “THE WELCH GRAPE JUICE CO. WESTFIELD, N.Y.” and the neckstand is marked “THE DETROIT PAT’D JULY 10 94.” What this makes this one even more interesting, is the shape of the body of the corkscrew.

Definitely one that will stay in the collection, and possibly a candidate for the best 6 of 2012.

On the hunt for a folding Hicks and Reynolds…

Recently I was cataloging the corkscrew collection, and I realized I have a whole lot of bell assist corkscrews. Bennit, Curley, Griswold, Hicks & Reynolds, Frary, Williamson, Walker, Murphy, Schlitz Globe, Gottfried-Krueger, Syrocos, and the list goes on.

There are a couple of bell assist corkscrews that continue to elude me however. And, one of these is the folding Hicks & Reynolds corkscrew. Mark has one, and I know that Dean Walters had one in the past–that being long since sold–and I keep hoping that one will be made available.

There is one currently on eBay with about 4 hours till the listing ends. However, I have no doubt that this Hicks & Reynolds will shortly be heading to Romania. While I am not absolutely sure of this, I am guessing Ion doesn’t have this in his collection yet, and so his bid will be high–much higher than I can afford.

That said, I would love to add one to the collection. So if you have a folding Hicks & Reynolds corkscrew, drop me a line. I will gladly make a trade for it.

Tipped Worm Johnny comes through again…

After a brief email exchange, a couple of corkscrews will be heading to the island.

Yes, Tipped Worm Johnny has come through again with some nice corkscrews! And, these ones don’t even have tipped worms!

There are three that are heading my way:

A nice 1876 Clough Power Cone. This one is marked Williamson across the wires that wrap the handle.

A German version of the Diamant is also part of the package

And, a LEB CO Tool Kit with cork puller.

Speaking of LEB Co, I recently found an advertisement for this tool kit in a 1912 magazine. So, now we have an idea of age…100 years!

a Flauder…finally

I have had the opportunity to buy a Flauder Patent corkscrew/spoon on several occasions. I ran across one at an antique shop in Massachusetts several years ago, but with its price being upwards of $200.00, I left it there (and it is probably still there).

And, there have been several on eBay over the years, but the sellers either want too much, or I simply have been outbid.

But yesterday, whilst ignoring eBay and celebrating the lovely’s birthday, Auctionsniper managed to procure a Flauder for me…finally!

As it happened, it was listed last week, with a title of “VINTAGE UNIQUE JIGGER OPENER CORKSCRE SPOON TOP HAT MAN PAT 8-16-33 USA NEAT” And, instead of in the corkscrew category, it was listed under Barware-Other.

Still, for those of us that have figured out how to search every aspect of eBay (and other sites) with hopes of unearthing something with a helix attached, I thought surely this would garner some action.

It didn’t.

And, while it isn’t truly a rare corkscrew, it still is a nice addition to the collection.

How much time would you spend digging?

The other day, I was at a flea market on the mainland, and as I walked around, I ran into a booth that warranted some attention.

Not that there were any corkscrews visible, but surely underneath the thousands of kitchen tool there must be a corkscrew, or two, lurking.

And, this is only a small section of the booth. The entire ten by ten foot booth was stacked the same way, and the entire thing was vintage and antique kitchen tools.

But, how much time should one spend digging through such a booth. 10 minutes, an hour, several hours, or would you skip the booth entirely as there probably wasn’t anything worth hunting for anyway?

As it happened, I had to get back to the boat. And, couldn’t spend much time digging. However, I surely will revisit the booth. Who knows what might be in there behind the spoons, can openers, spatulas, etc…