no joy in mudville…

Last week, an interesting corkscrew was listed on eBay, and while it is definitely a patented corkscrew, it is a rather obscure one (from the back of O’Leary) but it was included in John Morris’ presentation on new American discoveries at the Chicago AGM a couple of years ago, as well as in the 2009 O’Leary update that you can find on Don Bull’s website.

A simple folding corkscrew, it is made of Sterling, and marked for Gorham. And, being marked for Gorham, you might get some Gorham collectors going after it, but I had hopes that most wouldn’t recognize the piece, and perhaps, just perhaps, it might slip through.


Of course it wasn’t going to, as Tommy definitely has been focusing on obscure American patented stuff, and not only was he at the same presentation at the Chicago meetings, we both examined John’s Wilkinson patent when we visited John and Martha in Tennessee.

I will add here, that one of the cool features of this particular corkscrew is that the interior of the handles are notched to match up with the turns of the corkscrew; a pretty neat design.


And, wouldn’t you know it, in short order there was a bid from the Syrocokid.

Okay, it definitely isn’t going to sneak through.

Over the course of the ensuing days, I would check on the listing, and see where the bidding was heading. And, with one particular bidder who apparently likes to keep bidding it up in five dollar increments, it seemed that Tommy was still in the lead.

And, then he wasn’t.

Now resting comfortably at $255, was Tommy done?

Having not discussed it with each other, I held back, and waited until the final day. Another bid, and another bid, and now it was at $277.

And, the other bidders weren’t TC.

Looking closely at the pictures, I weighed my options. Should I enter the fray?

It definitely is a really good, and rare, American patent. The worm is a little misshapen, and I couldn’t really make out the tip of the worm. It looked to be there, but…

And, of course it was well-marked. Wilkinson was actually a designer for Gorham, and his patent was assigned to that company.

After considering the piece, and with about 31 minutes to go, I placed a snipe bid; a fairly high one at that, and then headed off to take Philos for a walk.

When I had returned, there was about 3 minutes to go, and the Wilkinson had gone up a bit. And, as the seconds wound down to about 20, the snipes would soon be coming in.

Would Fotodeal be the winner. Had he seen it. Would Tommy go big? Possibly. Still, at 20 seconds, and my snipe set to go off with 5 seconds to go, I might…

Could I actually win?

Not even close!

With 10 seconds to go, my price was taken out, with the high bid ending at $732.00. And, who was the underbidder, our own Syrocokid. Truly a valiant effort TC, and I wish one of us would have gotten it.


Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville – the Syrocokid and Iwascorkscrewed have struck out.

The hunt will continue!!!