Collections within our collections

In The Bottle Scrue Times, there have been several articles about the collections that we have within our collections. For example, Frary corkscrews for me, Williamson Flashes for Tommy Campnell, Adelaides for Ian Hunter, or wall mount corkscrews for John Morris. It does seem that in our respective collections, often there is a specific area of focus (some might call it an obsession) where we amass a significant number of similar corkscrews. For me this started with Syroco, moved on to Frarys, and Curley/Hicks & Reynolds. In between, there was a focus on Davis/Puddefoot corkscrews, and of course there have been others along the way.

While I have not even come close to the numbers of Adelaides in Ian’s collection (650), or the number of Flashes in Tommy’s collection (850+), I think it would be interesting to find out what particular corkscrew has been your focus/obsession.

For me, when a different example comes along; a different worm, different advertising, variation in manufacturing, I HAVE to add it to the collection.

Just the other day, there was a nice Puddefoot on the second favorite online auction site. This one is the harder to find boat handle Detroit, in pretty awesome condition and bearing no advertising.

I HAD to HAVE it!





This variation of the Detroit/Davis/Puddefoot corkscrew brings the count to 20 variations. And, while this number pales in comparison with the Adelaide or Flash count in Ian’s or Tommy’s collections, I have no doubt that when another different one turns up for sale, the count will go up to 21, 22, 23…


So, the question remains. What type of corkscrew do you find yourself obsessing over? Whether it is Clough wires with advertising, Syroco Figurals, Valezinas, Clarks, Will & Fincks, Sterling Roundlets, Williamson Flashes, celluloid figurals, a particular type, particular maker, particular patent… What small (or large) collection would one find within your collection?

Feel free to email a response, and perhaps a photo, and I will gladly share it in a future blog.

Maybe others have one (or several) that they may want to send your way.

Chasing Valezinas (and skunks)

As mentioned the other day, I managed to pick up a Norm Thompson Valezina for Ian, and on Friday night we met up with Ian and Sue on the mainland, and discussed the merits of said Valezina. Ian then explained that there are two variations, or potential variations, as there are both a wide thread and narrow thread variety in his collection of Valezinas.

(And, I thought I was into the minutiae when it came to corkscrews)

When the Norm Thompson example arrives, I will check it out. Now, we need to find him the Italian example; a variation that is on his want list.

The discussion of the Valezinas, which took place on our walk to dinner on Friday night, led to a discussion on his corkscrew find in Bar Harbor; a picnic, that apparently is a Haff, or at least appears in a catalog which illustrated Haffs. Interestingly, it was the identical piece to the one that Ian was interested in that he found in my junk box.


Perhaps the Haff picnic should make its way out of the junk box, and into the drawer full of Haff patents. Thanks Ian!

After dinner, which was fabulous, on our walk home, about 50 feet in front of us, a skunk popped out of the bushes and onto the sidewalk. And, after looking around for a moment, it started scurrying across the street. Ian, broke from the group, and scurried after it–hoping for a picture.

I will add here, that no skunks or corkscrew addicts were injured or harmed in the process.

The next morning we enjoyed breakfast together, and said our goodbyes. It was nice to catch up after their Bar Harbor (and my Brimfield) adventure. Much of the conversation, beyond corkscrews, was about our next adventure together; possibly Hawaii, and eventually a trip to Sydney. I can hardly wait!

After breakfast, the lovely personal personal trainer and I headed off to Port Clyde for a visit. Ian and Sue spent second night in Camden, before starting on the next leg of their journey.

After a lovely visit with our friends in Port Clyde, we hopped on the boat, and made it home last night. Now it is back to teaching (me) and personal training (Sue), and making preparations for Tommy who will be arriving later in the week.

Stay tuned.

Brimfield – Day Three, the drive back home, and Norm Thompson

Yesterday morning, I headed to Brimfield knowing that it would only be a brief hunt, as I had to head back home.

After the requisite couple of cups of coffee, I met up with Barry and waited for the 9 o’clock start. As mentioned in the past, the Thursday opening of May’s field, really kicks off Brimfield. And, more often than not, you get a few more buyers than what had turned up the previous two days. Also, at May’s no seller is allowed to put our any items until the gates open, so there is a lot of walking around, asking questions, and then making a return visit with high hopes.






As was the case with most of the fields this trip to Brimfield, there were few corkscrews to be found. And, those that were found, were pricey for what was being offered. With only an hour or so to make the rounds, I did my best to hit all the booths (twice). This required a bit of hustling around.

I did manage to pick up one piece however. There was a nice example of the 1885 Wier’s Reliable Lazy tongs, and it was a fair price.

Just before I needed to head off, I met up with BT, and he too had found little. Despite the lack of dealers, and lack of corkscrews, we both managed to make some good finds, and it was a nice few days traipsing around Brimfield.

After saying our goodbyes, I hopped in the xterra and headed for home. And, after a brief stop to pick up some antique furniture that a friend had bought just the other day, I made it onto the last boat.

With the lovely personal personal trainer teaching a couple of spin classes last night, I had a little time on my hands, so I unpacked my bags, and did a little teaching.


While I was waiting for a few papers to download, I hopped on eBay for a couple of minutes. I wondered what I had been missing while I was off hunting around.

About 4 years ago, I blogged about finding a Norm Thompson signed Valezina. And, while Ian Hunter was here, he had asked about it several times, as he collects Valezinas and wants this particular corkscrew to add to his collection. And, here one was with a decent buy it now price. Guessing that Ian did not have his laptop with him, as he is hiking around Bar Harbor. I clicked, and paid.

All yours Ian!



As it happens Ian, myself, and the two Sues will be meeting up for dinner in Camden, Maine tonight. It will be fun to hear about their Bar Harbor adventure, and to see if any corkscrews were found along the way.

Brimfield – Day Two

Yesterday was the second day of Brimfield, and with a 6 a.m. start, BT and I were in the car at around 5. Making our way to the fields, we arrived at about 5:30–which allowed for another cup of coffee.

At the appointed time, the gates opened and hopeful buyers scurried about. As per normal, Barry started from one direction and I the other. After seeing a tipped H & B, an over priced Syroco waiter, and a few other common pieces, I ran into a dealer with a fabulous pair of folding black shoes corkscrew.

Unfortunately, his celluloid corkscrews were more of a Jimmy Choo price rather than a Converse All-Stars price. After a bit of back and forth with him, he did come down in price a little, but not enough to make the purchase worth it.

A few minutes later, I ran into Barry, and he too had seen the shoes, but he agreed that the price–even being reduced–was pretty steep.

After wandering around a bit longer, I managed to pick up a couple of things, and then recognizing the field was empty of affordable AND desirable corkscrews, I sauntered off in the direction of breakfast and more coffee.

At 9 am, the next field was set to open, and again, at the appointed time we found ourselves in line. And, when the gates opened, the hunt began. The fields were definitely less populated with dealers this show, still, you never know what might turn up.







Yes, treasures abound, but not a lot of corkscrews on day two.






Still, there were corkscrews that were picked up; an Italian wing nut, tusk with sterling end caps, a Clarke and Crume, and a few others. Not a bad day at all.

And, with the corkscrews from yesterday, so far a nice Brimfield adventure.


This morning is a 9 am start. Definitely more civilized.

And, while I will only scouring the fields for an hour or so, as I have to get back to Rockland in time to catch the boat, perhaps one or two more corkscrews will be added to the collection.

Stay tuned.

Brimfield — Day One

On Monday, after a lengthy drive down from Rockland–the drive was actually the same length, but the time was lengthier due to holiday traffic–I finally arrived at the hotel in West Springfield. And, in short order, had arrived with Barry to meet at a nearby restaurant for dinner.

At dinner we discussed much about the recent meeting, a bit about recent finds, and I showed him a picture of a corkscrew that been offered in trade/sale, but the final trade/sale/deal hadn’t quite been sealed. After pouring over the pictures, he definitely thought the corkscrew was a good one. And, while I had previously already agreed to a deal in principle–on the the trade, it was nice to get a vote of confidence.

The corkscrew, is a very interesting–and early–folding bow corkscrew, but this example has two helixes. No, not a double helix, but two single helixes. This will make a fabulous addition to the collection, and very well could make the best 6 of the year.


In another recent email exchange, BG informed me that he has an (almost) identical piece, and encouraged me to spring for this one. My side of the trade will be completed in the coming months in Chicago–no, the corkscrew didn’t come from Tommy–and any additional sweetening of the pot, was paid via paypal last night.

On the Brimfield front. Yesterday was the first day, and it was hot. Sweaty hot. And, for some reason, the dealers were in an odd mood. The crowds were a little smaller. The air was heavy with humidity. But, as you would walk along, looking for corkscrews, it was not uncommon to hear the dealers feeling that the crowds were smaller, or had less sense of urgency to buy…

I on the other hand was buying. No rarities per se, but a few bits here and there.

The morning started with 5:00 departure towards Brimfield. And, with BT and I talking, the miles seemed to fly by, and we were pulling up at around 5:30. We walked together towards the first field, then parted ways. We bumped into each other a few minutes later, where BT was buying a 3 dollar direct pull.

In the next booth, I made my own low dollar purchase for 2 dollars. This ultimately would be sold to John Rowley, as it wasn’t a corkscrew, and he could use it in his booth of kitchen collectibles.

With a tidy profit in hand, I set out to find something for my own collection, and eventually made a few purchases. Nothing super rare, but still a good day at Brimfield.


In a few minutes, BT and I will be heading out for day two at Brimfield.

What big find will turn up? You will have to stay tuned…


fun filled days!

And, last night Ian had to do battle with a lobster over an Adelaide!




It was an epic battle, but the lobster lost!!!

And, was quite yummy!.

(I should add here, that if Ian had lost, he would not have become dinner).

It is has been some fun filled days spending time with Ian and Sue. This morning, however, they are headed off the island, and will make their way to Bar Harbor. I have no doubt they will be making stops for a little corkscrew hunting along the way.

Speaking of corkscrews, Ian and I did make a couple of deals yesterday, and he even convinced me to unearth the “junk box.”


Oddly enough, none of the corkscrews that Ian is taking home with him were in found the junk box. That said, knowing that Tommy will be coming to visit in a week or so, I placed said box under the bed in “Tommy’s Room.”

As for me, I am heading off the island as well, as Brimfield starts tomorrow. News of any finds to follow!

Stay Tuned!