Every once in a while, an item that is thought to be rare or unusual and looks like it could be corkscrew, is advertised as a rare corkscrew. And, having not seen it before, it garners some attention.
Yesterday, one of these rare corkscrew imposters was listed on eBay as “DATED-1880-Corkscrew-Cork-Pull-Screw-Wooden-Handle-Vtg-Old-Antique-RARE-COLLECT.”
And, the piece does indeed have a patent date. However, if one was to simply do a google patent search, you would find out that this is NOT a corkscrew, cork puller, or a “Corkscrew-Cork-Pull-Screw-Wooden-Handle-Vtg-Old-Antique-RARE-COLLECT.”
What it is, is Spencer C Cary’s July 27, 1880 patent for a “Clothes Hook.” In fact, if one was to use google patents, and search July 27, 1880 it is the very first patent that comes up.
Given this bit of information, as I too wondered what it really was, I messaged the seller that what he was selling wasn’t a corkscrew at all, and provided him with a link to google patents.
He responded by explaining that he would revise the listing. Of course, his revision only says it is an unknown piece. I followed up with telling him, that given that we have established that the item is NOT a corkscrew, that he should end the listing and re-list with an appropriate title and description.
The “Corkscrew-Cork-Pull-Screw-Wooden-Handle-Vtg-Old-Antique-RARE-COLLECT” remains, and it has 13 bids at this moment.
Perhaps the bidders recognize that it is a Clothes Hook, and are bidding for that reason. Still, would it not be better to provide the appropriate information?
In the past I have blogged about not having a buyer beware attitude, but instead making an informed buying approach.
So, if you are in the market for a 1880’s clothes hook, by all means bid away.
If you are hoping to acquire a 1880’s patented corkscrew look elsewhere.