no corkscrew news at the moment…

This morning the lovely bride and ran/rode the annual Vinalhaven EMS Challenge.  Not a terribly long race, but a 2.8 mile run followed by a 9 mile bike ride around the island.  It is always a fantastic event, and there were many supporters along the route.

And, while ordinarily I would like to report of some great (or not so great) corkscrew find here, the corkscrew news is a little lacking at the moment.  That said, I have no doubt that some rarity might be showing up at any moment.  Well, I can hope anyway : )

What has shown up is this cute little sailboat, which is moored right outside the house.  Surrounded by lobster boats (not when the picture was taken, as most were out to haul) it looks a little out of place, but is, at the same time, really charming.

sailboatThere will be corkscrew news soon enough however, as a week from Monday we leave for  Paris, and then after a few days will head to Belgium for the CCCC and ICCA AGMs.  There will be plenty of corkscrews there.  And, I mean plenty!!!

For those of you that have never been to a meeting, you really do need to attend at least once.   It is truly amazing at how many corkscrews change hands, and what is made available for sale (or trade).   And, of course the meetings are a wonderful opportunity to renew old friendships, and sometimes strike up some new ones.

Until then, if any blogworthy corkscrews turn up…I promise to post them immediately!!!

2 Guinness, 2 Burgers, and a corkscrew (and a corkscrew, and a corkscrew, and a great visit)

The lovely personal trainer and I were on a road trip the last few days.  We left the island, and headed to Keene, NH for the night, and after a morning run (and showers) headed to Glenora, NY to spend some time with John and Martha Morris.

Following a brief “show and tell” of recent acquisitions, John indicated he would like a couple that I brought, and we discussed trade options.  And, after paging through the just published (and in this case, hand delivered) Bottle Scrue Times, the four of us hopped in the car and headed off for some wine tasting in the local Fingerlakes wineries.


This was followed by a fabulous dinner, with some more great wines.  We had brought a bottle of Paloma Merlot from Sheldon’s winery, and that was definitely a hit.

The next morning started with a huge breakfast, and then a little antiquing.  Few corkscrews worth buying, although we did find an old bitters bottle with the corkscrews till in the cork.  John picked that up, and then we hit a brewery, winery, taco truck, winery, and distillery.    A few wines were purchased, also some vodka and bourbon, and then we started heading back for home.

With only a short time before we had to head out to dinner (in the same hotel where the ICCA AGM Gala will be held next year) John and I again talked corkscrews, and I once again took a look at his most recent acquisition.  I believe I had seen this before, but in leafing though the back of O’Leary nothing came close.  There are no patent marks, but I just know I have seen this somewhere…


As we were nearing the time to head off to dinner, John suggested that he will send me something from his collection when he gets back to Tennessee.  I threw out one idea, and he thought that might be appropriate.  But, it will be interesting to see what it ends up being–he gets an interesting folding corkscrew with patent information and a folding Frary leg knife, and I get a player to be named later…much much later.

Dinner was fabulous, and the conversation ran the gamut from renovations in Maine, future visits to each others’ homes, corkscrews, corkscrews, corkscrews, upcoming travel plans, etc.  The conversation just kept flowing, as did the wine.

The next morning, the lovely and I had to hit the road early to start heading for home.  We shared a nosh and some coffee with John and Martha, and were soon heading towards home–well, kind of towards home as we had to pick up some construction supplies in Massachusetts.

With lunch time upon us, and having traveled many hours, we hopped off the main road, and after a couple of miles saw a sign for a place with artisanal beers.  When we pulled up it was even more promising, as it also said ANTIQUES on the same building.

We went in, ordered a couple pints of Guinness, a couple of burgers, and while we waited for the Guinness to arrive, I headed over to a glass display case.  Within it, was a fairly large direct pull with a fairly large blade on the side of the handle.  After talking to the barkeep about it, she explained that the antiques belonged to the owner, who was apparently, at that very moment, cooking our burgers.  Given we were a little hungry, I opted NOT to interrupt him.

As we were finishing up, however, he wandered over the bar to take care of some other business, and I struck up a conversation regarding the corkscrew.  He opened the display case and handed it to me, and a deal was struck.  Two Guinness, Two Burgers, and a Corkscrew…all in one stop.


In short order, we were on our way again.  And, after picking up some supplies, we headed to Concord, NH for the night.  A great dinner there as well!

The next morning, following a run (and showers) we were on the road again.  Meanwhile, I received an email asking if I would be interested in a 7 tooled folding bow corkscrew.  After looking at the pictures closely (really closely as they were on my iPhone), we agreed on a price, and this soon will be arriving on the island.

IMG_0170[4] IMG_0169[10]

After many miles, late yesterday afternoon, we made it back to the island, and soon enough I will start utilizing the aforementioned construction supplies to finish off the new upstairs closet.

A fabulous weekend with John and Martha!!!  We can hardly wait till our next visit!!!

end caps or no end caps…

Today, I received a comment on my recent blog, and new T. Curley corkscrew page.  Ian Hunter wrote:

I enjoyed your Curleys page.You highlight 2 different tin bells,one short, one elongated. Looking at past ICCAuctions sales there seem to be a few size variations in between and also variation in the shape of the bell. The bell I bought (#6668) is an in-between size, as is one you sold (#7896). Some bells have no flaring at the base (#5198 and #11145)..I assume that all the wooden handles originally had metal end caps? My favorite is #4875 with the German markings . Ferd Peters shows 2 variants in his 2011 registrations update book (p34)

I definitely agree with Ian regarding the German example, I would love to add one of those.  And, there are indeed a whole lot of variations that aren’t shown on my Curley page, as I have chosen to only include those that are currently in the collection.

There are smaller bells, bells with no flaring, as Ian points out, and variations of the German examples.  And, so the hunt will continue.  That said, Ian questions whether all of the wooden handled Curleys originally had metal end caps.

I have also wondered about this, and as I have a couple of Curleys laying around, I figured we could compare a couple of handles.

Here is the end cap from the a Curley with a cast iron bell.


With the removal of the screw (and end cap)  it looks like this:


As you can see, the handle has an acorn end, that is reflected in the acorn end cap.  And, of course, there is a hole in the end of the handle.

That said I have two other Curleys–not yet shown on the Curley page–that do not have end caps.   They also are not acorn shaped, nor do they have a hole into which a screw would have been placed.


How would one affix an end cap?


Of course the problem in comparing the two pieces, is one has a cast iron bell, and the other a tin bell.  Perhaps different shops were making the Curleys, or perhaps it was a different period of production.  So…

Why not check a Curley with a tin bell, and see how that might have been assembled


Aha!  ! !

The end of the handle is flat, and the end cap provides the acorn shape.


Of course there is the telltale hole, which would indicate that something at one point would have been screwed in.  That said, in comparing it with the non-end cap Curley, there are no screw holes in that particular handle.



Were some Curleys made without end caps?  Did a few slip outside the factory without receiving their appropriate metal acorn ends?

What do you think?

Thanks for the feedback Ian!!!!

Curley Corkscrew Page…


I figured it was about time that I launch a T. Curley Troy N.Y Corkscrew page on the website.  And, as of this morning it was up and running.

While there are other Curley (and Hicks and Reynolds) corkscrews that I would like to add to the collection.  The page does have a few, and does show some of the variations that turn up.

You can visit the page here

And, if you have a Curley (or Hicks and Reynolds) corkscrew with which you would like to part, feel free to drop me a line!  I am always willing to make a trade!

curleycorkscrewintegrated curleycorkscrewcastbell curleysteelhandle curleycorkscrewdark curleygermanwindow

No, I didn’t go to Brimfield…

The lovely bride and I headed to the mainland yesterday to run a couple of errands, and as luck would have it, we happened upon an antique shop to which we had never been.

This is actually a rather odd occurrence, as we have been antiquing up and down the Maine coast for well over a decade.  So, we turned a corner, and saw both an ‘ANTIQUES’ sign and an “OPEN” sign.  We flipped the car around, and turned into the driveway.

After checking out the barn, where there were a couple of rusty (common) corkscrews, we headed into the main building.  And, as soon as we entered you could see a small Havell’s bow with a price tag of 6 dollars.  Next to that were to advertising Cloughs with price tags of… 6 dollars.

And, next to those was a lovely little bow with a price tag of…

6 dollars



As I picked up the bow, the lovely and I made our way around the rest of the shop.  No more corkscrews, just those on the table the moment you walked in.  As if the person knew we were coming!

When we made our way up to pay for the bow, I saw a flat band Listerine corkscrew sitting in a small box on the dealer’s desk.  However, as we were walking through the shop, I also realized I literally had no cash on me.  And, I didn’t want the dealer to have to make a credit card transaction for a 6 dollar corkscrew.  So, I asked him if he would hold it for me until we returned from lunch, and he said, “of course.”

He followed this up with, “oh, this is what you collect…Do you collect other types?”

“Yes, I collect all things corkscrews.”

“Okay, I will bring out the others that I have when you get back.  Have a good lunch!”

Others?  I wondered what others he might have.

The lovely and I went to lunch (and the ATM) and eventually headed back to the little  antique shop.  On his desk when we walked through the door were an additional 10 corkscrews; Walker, Williamson, Cloughs, a Hercules frame, and…a Mumford.



I picked up the Mumford, and noticed that it wasn’t marked around the housing.  I turned it over, and checked if it was marked like the one that was in my best 6 for 2012.  It was, but…not exactly.

The Mumford that I had in last year’s best 6 was marked with PAT. MAR. 4-79 -PAT’S PENDING.



The one in my hand had the two patent dates instead.


PAT’D MAR. 4, 79. MAY 10, 92

I looked again at the other corkscrews, and we discussed prong pullers and modern versus old examples.   And, I was about to ask how much, when he began to explain that this was his mom’s shop, and she passed several years ago.  And, he is in the process of re-opening it and selling of the stock she had; both from the shop’s and her personal collection.  And, what he had brought out, is just what he was able to find so far.

So far?  

There might me more : )

With the other corkscrews priced anywhere from 6 dollars to 45 dollars  (for a Williamson without advertising) I had no idea where we end up when we struck a deal, and when he suggest that the Mumford should be 15 dollars…I certainly didn’t hesitate.

21 for the pair.


He then suggest that the price for the pair would be 20 even

Even better!

I handed over the 20, we thanked him for bringing the corkscrews out, and he promised when he unearths the other corkscrews, he will give a call.


skipping Brimfield…

Well, it is official.

The other day I received an email from BT asking about my plans for the upcoming Brimfield Antiques Show (which starts tomorrow).  And, I sent a response, that for the first time in forever, I am skipping Brimfield.

With renovations on the house almost complete, and with other travels and vacations soon to be upon us, it seems that Barry will have Brimfield to himself.

That is, unless, any of you decide to make the trek out there.

Good Hunting Barry!!!

Paris, Fireworks, and Bacardi

Yesterday the lovely bride and I booked our flights for the upcoming ICCA and CCCC meetings in Belgium.  But, flying in and out of Brussels from Boston was proving to be a little difficult, so we considered our options, and instead will be flying into Paris for a few days before hopping on the train to Leuven.

And, as it happens, we will be spending out 20th wedding anniversary (August 7th) in the city of lights, where we also spent part of our honeymoon 20 years ago.

As we were looking at where to stay, we decided to opt for an apartment rather than a hotel, and spent the better part of a couple of hours looking at VRBO and AirBnB for accommodations.  We have a few places that are good candidates, and sent off queries to be sure they are available.

After the Paris apartment hunt, we headed down to a friend’s dock to see the fireworks.  I know, it was the 6th of July, but that was when the fireworks were to be launched, and it was great to see the harbor lit up.


On a corkscrew note, P-Dibby managed to win every corkscrew he wanted at an auction in Kentucky, including a Royal Club for a song (although, I don’t think they made him sing).

Meanwhile, my big purchase of yesterday was a little less impressive, but still cool.

For about a year now, I have been talking with Barry Taylor about writing an article on flat band Clough and wire advertising Clough corkscrews.  He has many of these in his collection, and recently sent a list of those that he already has.

His flat band Clough’s are as follows:

(Plain – no writing) Yellow Flat Metal Band Yellow
Adamson’s Cough Balsam Flat Metal Band Red
B. Heller & Co. Chicago USA Flat Metal Band Yellow
Bailey’s Pure Rye Flat Metal Band Gold – large size
Bailey’s Pure Rye Flat Metal Band Yellow
Boschee’s German Syrup Flat Metal Band Gold
Bovinine Flat Metal Band White
Brown’s Iron Bitters Flat Metal Band Lt. Green
Bull’s Cough Syrup Flat Metal Band Yellow
C.K. Magee’s Emulsion Flat Metal Band Yellow
Carter’s Inks Flat Metal Band Red
Compliments the Rawleigh Man Flat Metal Band White
Guysotts Sarsaparilla Flat Metal Band Red
James M. Maconnell New York Clough’s Patent July 22 84 Flat Metal Band Yellow
Kempler Malt Extract Flat Metal Band Red
Lactart Acid of Milk Flat Metal Band Yellow
Lacopeptine for Dyspepsia Flat Metal Band Red
Listerine Flat Metal Band Yellow
Mary T. Goldman’s Gray Hair Restorer St. Paul Minn Flat Metal Band Light Blue
Mount Vernon Pure Rye Bottled at the Distillery Flat Metal Band Yellow
Panopepton Flat Metal Band Yellow
Prickley Ash Bitters Flat Metal Band Yellow
Say Aster Vanilla Flat Metal Band Yellow
Scotts Emulsion Flat Metal Band Green
Setly’s Flavorings Flat Metal Band Red
St Jacob’s Oil Flat Metal Band Red
Synvlta Products Are Best Flat Metal Band Yellow
Wakelee’s Camelline Flat Metal Band White
Warner’s Log Cabin Remedies Flat Metal Band Yellow
Warner’s Safe Cure Flat Metal Band Red
Youth – O – Lede Hair Coloring Flat Metal Band Green
Z. M. O. For Pain Flat Metal Band Blue

And, several years ago, Don Bull published on his website a list of known Clough wire and flat band corkscrews, and here are the flat bands from that list:

Adamsons Cough Balsam Yellow Flat Metal
Baileys Pure Rye Flat Metal Bright Yellow
Big G Flat Metal
Boschees German Syrup Flat Metal
Bovinine Gray Flat Metal
Brown’s Iron Bitters / The Best Bitters Green Flat Metal
Bull’s Cough Syrup Yellow Flat Metal
Carter’s Inks Red Flat Metal (2 sizes)
Clough’s Patent, July 22, 1884 Oversize Flat Metal
Cummings Sarsaparilla Yellow Flat Metal
Duratol Developer Yellow Flat Metal
Emulson de Scott Green Flat Metal
Ferroleum Flat Metal
Goldman’s Gray Hair Restorer, Mary T. Blue Flat Metal
Green’s August Flower Yellow Flat Metal
Gunst & Co., Richmond, Va Brown Flat Metal
Heller & Co., B., Chicago, U.S.A. Yellow Flat Metal
Herskovits Yellow Flat Metal
Judson’s Gold Paint Flat Metal
Kepler Solution Cod Liver in Malt and Kepler Malt Extract. Inside Band: Voice Tabloids of Cocaine, Potash and Borax Flat Metal
Koch’s Pepton Bouillon, Dr. Orange Flat Metal
Lactopeptine for Dyspepsia / For Indigestion Red Flat Metal
Listerine Yellow Flat Metal (red letters)
Listerine, Lambert Pharmacal Company Yellow Flat Metal (2 sizes)
Lung Tonic Cures Coughs Green Flat Metal
Maconnell, James M., New York Yellow Flat Metal
Magee’s Emulsion, C. K. Flat Metal
Merrel, Jacob L. Yellow Flat Metal
Mount Vernon Pure Rye Yellow Flat Metal
Panopepton Yellow Flat Metal
Pat. July 22, 88 Flat Metal
Rawleigh Man, Compiments of Flat Metal
Red Star * Cough Cure Gold Flat Metal
Sanmetto for Kidneys and Bladder Green Flat Metal
Say Aster Vanilla Flat Metal
Scotts Emulsion Green Flat Metal (2 sizes)
St. Jacobs Oil Red Flat Metal
St. Jacobs Oil Made in U.S.A. Clough’s Corkscrew Pat. July 22-84 Yellow Flat Metal
Straus, Gunst & Co. Inc. Baltimore, Md. Gold Flat Metal
Vogeler’s Curative Compound Yellow Flat Metal
Wakelee’s Camelline Tan Flat Metal
Wakelee’s Camelline White Flat Metal
Warner’s Log Cabin Remedies Yellow Flat Metal
Warner’s Safe Cure Red Flat Metal
Warner’s Safe Cure, Warner’s Safe Remedies Co., Rochester, N.Y. / Tippecanoe Red Yellow Flat Metal
Youth-O-Lede Hair Coloring Flat Metal
Z.M.O. for Pain Green Flat Metal

Having these two lists at one’s fingertips, it is pretty cool when you can find one that isn’t on either list.  And, yesterday, I managed to find a small grouping of flat bands, with one that is an advertisement for Bacardi.

bacardicorkscrewI promise not to try and collect every variation of the Clough flat band advertising corkscrew : )

Still, perhaps we should revisit the list of advertising flat band Clough’s out there.  What different ones do you have in your collections.  What variations of these exist that aren’t on either list?

keeper of the corkscrews…


The lovely sister-in-law and her boyfriend “sparkles” (his real name is Alex, but sparkles seems so appropriate) have been visiting for the last couple of days, and upon their arrival at our house they presented us with four corkscrews they found at an antique shop in Canada.


Of the four, I am particularly fond of the little wooden monkey.

That said,  I am refraining from giving the exact location in Canada, as when they described the place, and the giant box of corkscrews that this particular shop had amongst its many wares, there is definitely a road tip in order.  We have already mapped it out, and are working on the logistics

The monkey has now become the official keeper of the corkscrews, and has found an appropriate place within the corkscrew case



Also, the Singleton bow arrived the other day, and while unmarked, it is still pretty darn nice.






2 dollars… really?

Several days ago, I had found an online auction (not ebay) that had a lot for sale that contained a corkscrew.  And, over the course of the week, would check in on the lot.

A couple of days ago, another bidder apparently saw the lot, and placed a bid; the lot showed 1 bidder, 1 dollar.

The corkscrew would be a double, so I needed to consider how much I should be bidding, what the competition might be bidding, and how badly I wanted another example.

Taking this all into account, I placed a bid.  And, on the auction site, it registered that the lot was now 2 dollars.


The auction was set to end yesterday, and at 16 hours to go, the lot was still reading as 2 dollars; were they not registering bids yet?  What was the first bidder willing to pay?  Who else would be jumping in the fray?

This morning I received a confirmation email that I had won the auction lot.  Knowing what I had bid, I knew it wouldn’t be more than 75 dollars.  In reading the email, it was considerably less.


2 dollars?  Really?

So…the first bidder really only bid a dollar?  And, no one else wanted the silverplate lot?


Who would only bid a dollar???  It is mystifying…

Not that I am complaining mind you.

If anyone is interested in two silveplate spoons and a little ashtray-thingy, drop me a line, I will gladly split the lot with you : )




The DICO corkscrew looks to be in nice shape, and at 2 dollars (shipping was 5 times the cost of the corkscrew btw) a smokin deal!  Thanks one-dollar-bidder-person!