one from the Patent Wannabe section

In Fred O’Leary’s book on American patented corkscrews, he included towards the back of the book, a section on patent wannabes. These are corkscrews where, at that point, no patent had been found, but the corkscrews had markings with either patent pending or patent applied for–or some variation thereof.

One of the patent wannabes that I have never found–or seen other than in the book–is pictured on page 294.

(Actually, the page isn’t numbered, but it is in Appendix A, and would be page 294 had it been numbered–but I digress).

And, pictured in the upper left of of the page, is a pocket knife with a corkscrew blade. Made by Boker, in O’Leary, it explains that it is marked BOKER and PATENT APPLIED FOR.

Now, there are plenty of pocket knives that have fold out corkscrews, but this one is a bit more interesting. One, as it is in the patent wannabe section of O’Leary. Two, it has a bottle opener blade that then ends in a corkscrew. And, three, in 17 years of collecting corkscrews, I have never seen another; not in another collection–perhaps I wasn’t looking closely–nor an overpriced one out in the wild.

That said, last week, in an arbitrary search on eBay, an example of the patent wannabe Boker knife was listed. With an opening bid that was a fairly decent price, I put it on my watch list.

Over the course of the week, it received no bids.


Now, it does have some issues. There is some material missing from the stag handle, and the knife blades are not quite as sharp as one would like, but it is indeed a hard to come by corkscrew. And, with that in mind, I watched to see where it would go, and knew that towards the end of the auction, I would throw out a bid (or several).

With just over an hour to go, and knowing that I had to be somewhere when it would end, I placed a bid–being the sole bidder at that point–and headed off to my appointment.

Now this particular item was not listed within the corkscrew section of eBay. And, within the title of the listing and the description itself, corkscrew or cork screw is not mentioned. I am guessing, that lacking this is why it was not on everyone’s radar.

On my way back the house, I noticed that I could still catch the end of the auction, and up my bid if necessary.

It wasn’t necessary.

And, the patent wannabe Boker is heading to the island.




Best 6 material? Not to sure as of yet, but it will make an excellent addition to the collection.


As soon as this was published, I received an email from Don Bull with an image of his Boker Patent Applied For knife with corkscrew, and it is in fabulous shape.


And, in doing a little research, one did sell on the collector corkscrews auction in 2014. And, that one too, was in fabulous shape. I don’t know how I missed it, as I would have definitely gone after it.

Looks like this one will be a place holder until a pristine one comes along!


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