a busy couple of days…

After several airline delays on Sunday, I finally made it to St. Louis (after midnight). And, after a fairly long cab ride, I made it to the hotel where I would be staying for the next couple of days.

Why St. Louis you ask? Well, after much discussion, and recognizing that it is often the case that I am being asked for appraisals for a myriad of items (not only corkscrews), and also recognizing that there are very few individuals in the U.S. that are certified appraisers specializing in corkscrews (for estate, insurance, and other purposes), I decided to go through the Certified Appraisers Guild of America program/courses and become a certified appraiser.

As of yesterday afternoon, I am indeed part of their association and a certified personal property appraiser (and yes, specializing in corkscrews).


That said, since I was in Saint Louis, and since Tommy is only a few hours away in Chicago, and since the largest collection of bottle openers (and corkscrews) in the world is located in St. Louis, why not get TC down here and go visit the collection after the conference, and today we did.

Now, I will preface this by explaining, that we were told after a little show and tell, that nothing was for sale.

Still, it was great to see Art’s collection, and on every shelf, and in every corner, something amazing or unique would present itself.



After a little looking around, and making inquiries, which were met with No, No, No, No, Nope, and no, we headed down to the basement, where we managed to find a box of “extra” corkscrews. Within that, I found an interesting wall mount that happened to be a double for Art. I told him I would take that one. An odd looking piece, it has a manufacturer’s mark and a PAT PEND mark. I have never seen this one before, but we hadn’t yet discussed price.

Then, as TC was rummaging through boxed, I found a box marked “Ice Picks with Corkscrews and Spoons.” Hoping that there might be another Paradise patent inside, I opened up the box. And, there wasn’t a single one. Nope, there were three! Three!!!

I pulled them out, and asked if I could take pictures. He said, “of course,” and I proceeded with my photo shoot.


Shortly after, I put them back in their box, and put the box back on the shelf. As we continued the basement tour, I we looked at all kinds of wonderful things, but then I saw a fourth, YES, a FOURTH Paradise patent hanging on a display.

Knowing that Art, was keen on keeping pieces that he only had one of, and was more willing to sell doubles, I decided to hit him up with an offer. Since he has four, how about parting with one?

A deal was done.


Of course, since he was willing to part with one, Tommy also had to get in on the action. And, he got in on the negotiations!

After a long and fun visit, we headed back upstairs, and struck a couple of small deals (including a green Ross piggy) and headed off (the three of us) to Blueberry Hill for lunch.




A good time was had by all, and it was a fun to visit with Art (who deserves his own star on the St. Louis sidewalk) and see his multiple collections!

One response

  1. Congratulations !! Certified Appraiser Josef.
    Thanks for the heads up on Art’s collection. I’ll check with Tommy as to whether he scrounged any spare celluloids.

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