pre-Brimfield…

I hopped on the early boat this morning, and shortly thereafter hopped in the Mini and began the drive down towards Brimfield. After getting a few miles behind me, I headed to some antiquing haunts and hoped that something turn up.

At my first stop, where they have an outdoor flea market daily, I mentioned antique corkscrews, to which the seller responded “I left that box at the house.”

Really?

Yes, he was serious.

He also explained that he will bring them the next time he is at the market–which, as it happens will be Thursday. The day I will be driving back towards home.

Hopefully he remembers the box, and hopefully there are actually corkscrews in there, and…hopefully they are worth buying, and…

Anyway, I continued my drive, and hit a few shops that I hadn’t been to in a while, and one in particular was a definite “must stop” as I have always found something there. And, I mean, that without fail, there is some corkscrew or opener tucked within the various cases and shelves, and why would it not be the case today.

And, so I parked, and meandered the 50 or so booths and cases, but there wasn’t anything grabbing my attention. However, as I was nearing the register and the exit, I turned and looked in the last case.

Which, bytheway, would have been the first case had I turned left when I walked in as opposed to heading right.

On the tag, it said Wooden Handled Corkscrew (signed).

Signed?

Hmmmmm….

I asked the owner if he could open the case, and he gladly obliged and handed me the corkscrew. It was indeed signed. And, it is a nice signature at that.

In 2008, at the Chattanooga CCCC Meeting, Gary Island and I were discussing corkscrews, and he had mentioned a Clark corkscrew. And, after explaining the handle and helix and the marking, I went about hunting for one–or two.

And for two years–nothing. No Clarks.

As it happened in 2010 Don Bull listed a bunch of corkscrews from the late Homer Babbidge’s collection. Two that were available were Clarks. I bought them in short order.

That said, in the 13 years that I have been on the hunt for corkscrews, I have never seen a signed Clark in the wild. And, I pick up any corkscrew that even resembles one and examine it closely.

The corkscrew that I found today, bears the Clark signature. It was a smokin deal, and in the 25% off case at that. And, it is actually a half size corkscrew.

Now, I should add, that not everyone is going to recognize this as unusual or rare, but it is indeed a difficult corkscrew to find.

Given that I as was going to be having dinner with BT tonight, I brought the corkscrew along. And, he was quite excited about it, he too having never seen a half sized Clark.

While simple, this is one that is definitely staying in the collection.

Not a bad way to start the Brimfield trip. Of course, now that I have three Clarks… : )

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