Mr. Micawber…

In a recent visit to a New Hampshire collector, there had been some recent additions since my previous visit.  One, in particular, caught my eye.  It was a somewhat crude casting of a guy with a top hat–with a corkscrew that extends from his back.  Don Bull, in his figural book, has this particular character in his section on Kirby (page 189 if you have it handy).

In explaining how he had come by this corkscrew, the NH collector explained that his son had found it at Brimfield this year.  And, how did Tommy, Barry, Ken, Andre, John, and the rest of the corkscrew collectors miss this???

He further explained that when it was found, the corkscrew was missing (A HA!).   And. with a little visit to the shop (in the garage) he was soon outfitted with an appropriate, albeit a replacement, corkscrew.

While crudely cast, it is still an interesting corkscrew, and one that I had never been able to find out hunting around.  Given it was a recent acquisition, I knew that a trade wasn’t going to happen.

As of this evening however, a similar corkscrew will soon be heading into our collection.  Just moments ago, a corkscrew that was billed as, “nice collectable chrome corkscrew mr micawber dickens breweriana” was made available on with a buy it now.

Now the BIN was a bit more than I wanted to spend, but given that I haven’t been able to find one previously, I decided to go for it.  Something that Mr. Micawber might have advised against.

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“My other piece of advice, Copperfield,” said Mr. Micawber, “you know. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery. The blossom is blighted, the leaf is withered, the god of day goes down upon the dreary scene, and—and, in short, you are for ever floored. As I am!”

Now, I am not sure if this particular corkscrew is intended to be Mr. Micawber, but he will make a nice addition to the collection.

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Coolest Corkscrew Stands on the Planet

For those of you that don’t know, Tommy has this cork business.  He gets them, packages them up, and then sells them off to those who are in need of used and unused wine corks.  Somehow along the way, he managed to acquire some oversized wine corks–those that would have been used in large format wine bottles.

When he visited, he brought a few with him, attached to plexiglass discs.  And, they make for–quite possibly–the coolest looking corkscrew stands on the planet.




Thanks for the samples TC, I think you should go into full scale production!   I don’t know what they are costing you to make, but I am thinking there would definitely be some interest.







even more corkscrews heading Tommy’s way…

Just before we all headed to Portland on Friday, Tommy made his way back to the corkscrew case and pulled out several corkscrews.

He asked how much, and after a little back and forth, a cash deal was done.

He picked up his additional corkscrews, put them in his box, and then put the box in his suitcase.

After boarding the boat, and making our way to Portland, we went on a walk hitting a few antique stores.  No corkscrews along the way, although we were practically accosted when Tommy tried to open a drawer in one woman’s shop.  Apparently, you can look, but not touch.  No corkscrews there either.

Tommy, the lovely, and I enjoyed happy hour, and before long made our way to Local 188.  One of our favorite restaurants in Portland, ME.  Along the way, conversations returned to corkscrews and specific pieces Tommy was still after.  By the time we were 5 blocks from the restaurant, Tommy was talking trade and monies for the Sterling Converse.  A hand was extended, and we shook.  Within short order, Tommy was unfurling cash from his money clip.

At dinner, in between drinks and the appetizers, Tommy once again mentioned another corkscrew he was after.  He asked what it would take, and suggested a price.  He reached into his pocket, and pulled out a stack of 20’s (and a couple of 10’s) and tossed them into the middle of the table.  The wad of cash was a bit less than I had suggested, but I figured, what is a few dollars between friends.  And, so Tommy added an unusual Willet’s variant to his collection.

btw: Dinner at Local 188 was fab!

The next morning, we headed to the airport, and Tommy headed back to Chicago–we all agreed that the next visit needs to be a bit longer, and probably during Summer, so we can hit Montsweag Flea Market, and explore the island by boat.  Perhaps July, and we can include Brimfield as well.

So, a few corkscrews left our collection, and found their way into Tommy’s, and a few (very few) of Tommy’s found their way into our own.  A fantastic few days!

Speaking of corkscrews, this morning a couple more were acquired from our second favorite auction site!

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the hilarity continues…

I have a few extra corkscrews laying around.  Not that they are REALLY extra corkscrews, but sometimes they are duplicates, sometimes they are corkscrews that just don’t quite fit in the collection, and sometimes, I just pick up this and that knowing that they are destined to be tradebait.

And, since Tommy knew that I had recently picked up the Topping patent wall-mount corkscrew (a corkscrew he is very much after) and a few others, I had no doubt we would be making some sort of trade.

For those that haven’t been reading this blog for the last 8 years, trades between Tommy and I can take quite a while.  With others it might go something like:

I have a Frary do you want it?

Sure, would you like in exchange?

How about a __________________ ?(insert corkscrew patent here)


WIth Tommy and I it works like this (at least when we are at the same location).  Tommy puts a corkscrew on the table, and I grab a corkscrew and put it on the table.  And, then Tommy grabs a couple more from my pile, and stares at me.  I look down, chuckle a bit, and grab something else from his pile.  And, this continues, and continues, and continues, until finally a deal is done.

And, yesterday, a similar trade took place.  It started with the Topping and a really nice Theiry and Crosselmire that he recently picked up.  The lovely was rather fond of the T & C, and I have one very similar.  But, it has a unique handle, and is marked.  So, the Topping was put on the table, and the T & C.  I reached over and grabbed this Patent Pending can opener with corkscrew, and placed a few more corkscrews next to the Topping.  He looked, shook his head, and reached over and grabbed more corkscrews.

This went back and forth, with Tommy occasionally walking over to the corkscrew case, opening a drawer and pulling out a few others, and placing them  on the table.

After multiple offers (which again consisted of moving corkscrews in and out of each others’ piles).

I pushed all of the accumulated corkscrews away, and said, “let’s start over.”

Instead of trying to do this mega-deal where we had 20 corkscrews changing hands, I grabbed the T & C, slid the Topping over to him, and grabbed a few flashes (and a couple more flashes).  The deal was done.

With the Can Opener with Corkscrew–a truly hard to find piece, we were trying to figure out a bunch of little stuff or one major piece.  And, since I had just picked up the Barnes Bow…  Well, that became part of the deal.   However, the double folder that Tommy just got on eBay also came into play–even though the corkscrew has yet to arrive.

So, ultimately the trade was sealed with a handshake.  This rest of the day was spent exploring mainstreet, driving around the island, delivering lunch to Sue’s office, and just having a good laugh.

This was followed by a fantastic evening with the lovely bride, sitting by the woodstove, and just enjoying dinner, wine, and each others’ company.








This morning the three of us (and Philos Blake the corkscrew hunting Briard) are hopping the boat for some mainland antiquing.

Stay Tuned!

laughter ensued…

Yesterday, I hopped on the first boat and headed down to the Portland airport, and after a few minutes received a text from TC.  His plane had just landed and after picking up his checked bag (full of corkscrews) we were soon heading to Duckfat for lunch.



Definitely a must go lunch place when you are in Portland.

After lunch we started heading up the coast, and hitting a few antique stores along the way–where we did make a special find (more on that later).

At the appointed time, we parked the mini. hopped on the boat to the island, and headed for our house; where we were greeted by the lovely bride with appetizers, wine, and cap’t and diet (for Tommy).

It was fun for all of us to be together again, and there were plenty of stories shared.  And, the laughter, at times bordering on tears, was constant.

Dinner, wine, more cap’t and diet, more wine, and more wine…  It was quite the evening.

No corkscrews changed hands last night, although there were plenty of trades discussed, and I have no doubt a few will be swapped over the coming days.

Stay Tuned…

Back home!

After another early morning yesterday, I started heading back towards Rockland, ME where I would hop the boat, and get back home to the island.

While there weren’t a lot of stops made, I did hit a couple of local haunts and picked up one of those Green River/Noyes patent corkscrews. This particular mall has a person that often has corkscrews, and I keep buying them, as they are usually cheap.  And, I keep hoping that if I keep buying, they will keep hunting them down.

I will say, that while the Syracuse show didn’t net out any great finds, the trip itself was definitely a success!

The Barnes bow and Sterling Converse were definitely the best finds of the weekend, but there were a few others as well.



A couple of Flashes, a French Clough with advertising, an interesting frame with ornate handle, the pig butt, and three direct pull marked Murphys.

And, as luck would have it, I received a phone call yesterday from an auctioneer  who explained that I had placed the winning bid on a painted Syroco Clown.

The clown looks to need a good cleaning, but it was a very fair deal, and should arrive on the island in time for Tommy’s upcoming visit.  I am pretty sure the clown will end up in Tommy’s suitcase when he heads back home to Chicago.



Of course the other big news, is that the Buy Now corkscrew website is up and running, with nearly 200 corkscrews available at last check.  More corkscrews will surely be listed soon, and there are some nice pieces available.  You can check it out here!

Pig Butt and Codger

On day two of the roadtripping adventure, it was an early morning.  I had a couple hundred miles to drive before arriving at the fairground in Syracuse.  And, knowing the show opened at 9, it made for an early start.

I will mention here, that hotel room coffee is not really coffee.

After downing a cup of not-really-coffee, I was on my way.  And, after a brief stop that claimed to be Starbucks, but apparently served me decaf–a fact that I was only aware of, when I was back on the road again–I continued my journey.

It was early, and dark, and there was little antiquing to be done along the way, and at about 8 in the morning, I arrived in Syracuse.

Seeing that I had a bit of time, I sought out a diner, ordered some breakfast and coffee (hope springs eternal you know) and savored that first hot and fairly strong sip.  Not bad, certainly not great, but it did seem to do the job.

Looking at my iPhone and having not heard from Tommy–who was also driving out for the show, I texted him to see where he was.

Having consumed breakfast, and a few cups of java, when his response came in, I double checked my watch.  The exchange went something like this:

J: Where are you?

TC: 55

J: is that 55 or 5

TC: 55 miles

J (at 8:23) The show opens at 9; Drive Faster!

TC: (then sends this picture)



Okay… he should make it in time for the opening.

After b-fast, I headed back to the show and lined up.  And, was one of the first people through the door–but held back until the appointed time.  Meanwhile, I was providing TC with a countdown, and with 4 minutes to go, a text came through explaining that he was walking to the entrance.

We agreed that he would hunt left, and I would hunt right.

We did.

In the middle of the show, we met up, and shared what we had found.  Nothing!

He headed off to cover the ground I had traveled, and I went back over his area.  When we reconvened, we discussed what we had seen.  A Clough, two NIfties, a Tusk with Sterling (overpriced), and Welch Grape Juice Walker, and a couple of simple T pulls.

There were, however, lots and lots of Hummels; if you are into that sort of thing…



Really?  Hummels?

Anyway, I proceeded to search diligently, and managed to find a Colonial Crafts Pig Corkscrew with a price of 32.50…. Why the extra 50 cents?

I picked it up, and brought it over to the dealer, who looked at me, looked at the price tag, and the same time we both said 25.  I reached into my pocket, and pulled out 20 and 4 ones.  Not having another 1 dollar bill, I said 24!  He reluctantly agreed.

Not the corkscrew that I was hoping for, but that was the best thing at the show…unless TC had picked up something on the other side.

When we saw each other again, he had picked up a Clough with sheath.  And, that was about it.

250 dealers and 40 minutes later we were already walking out the door.

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Having exhausted the “hummel” show, we decided to hit up the Syracuse Antiques Exchange, as surely there would be corkscrews there.  And, there was.  Two actually, a Gemelli Bar Maid, that remains at the store, and an Old Codger, which Tommy picked up.



With many miles to go–as each of us were planning to head back towards home, we headed over to a local brewery for lunch, exchanged the latest news, and said our goodbyes.  Which are really temporary, as Tommy is flying to Maine on Tuesday for a few days.

Tommy, I promise there are indeed corkscrews in Maine : )

After lunch, I did try to get a few miles under my belt, and this morning hit the road again, ultimately ending up back on the island.

Funny that the show didn’t really pan out, but it has been a fun driving adventure.  And, other corkscrews have been found.

For those anxiously awaiting pictures, this little baby was picked up along the way as well…



Will any corkscrews be found today?  We can only hope!  Stay tuned!



Yesterday, I hopped on the boat, and was setting about editing The Bottle Scrue Times, when I suddenly heard my voice being called.  I turned, and here was the lovely bride, bringing me a cup of coffee.

This might not sound surprising, except the truth of the matter is, she wasn’t going on the trip!  She saw that I had left my coffee at the house, and with 3 minutes before the boat was supposed to leave, made it down to the boat, ran down the dock, made it into the cabin, handed me my coffee, and made it back of the boat just before it was to pull out!

And, it was raining!

She is simply amazing!

After making it to the mainland, and driving a fair amount of miles, I did make a few stops which netted out some nice corkscrews.  More on these tonight, as I have many miles to drive this morning as well.

For those that cannot wait, here is one of the finds from yesterday; a Barnes patent bow!

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Antiquing Road Trip!

Bag packed.  Computer being closed down.  Camera charged (and I will remember the camera cord).

Antiquing Road Trip begins in an hour when I hop on the boat and head to America.

I will report back with tales of the road (and ocean) in the coming days!

What corkscrews will be discovered?  What deals might be made?  How much coffee will I consume?

Stay tuned!!!

an interesting perfume corkscrew…

A couple of days ago, there was a non-eBay auction with two lots containing corkscrews.

One of the lots RL won–the best piece within it (unless you are Tommy salivating over the possibility of adding an 855th Flash to his collection)  being a Walker patent Peg and Worm.



The second lot, really didn’t have much, but did have an interesting perfume corkscrew with a brass handle.

RL put in a valiant effort to get this lot as well, but someone apparently outbid him.





No, it wasn’t me…

It was someone from Tacoma, Washington who since winning the lot of corkscrews, has put them up for bid/BIN on eBay.

As luck would have it, the brass perfume, which has a nice faceted shank, was listed for a whopping (buy it now) price of 15 dollars.





Well…I simply couldn’t help myself…

Listed as a Crucifix Corkscrew, this will be a nice addition to the perfume corkscrew collection : )