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!!!!