Rees’s Pieces

In 2015, I blogged about a Rees patent corkscrew, having found an 1908 article that pictured the piece.

The 1908 Pittsburgh Daily Post article explained:

Everyone will undoubtedly welcome the successful effort of a Philadelphia inventor to improve the old-fashioned corkscrew which has been in use for ages and still retains its regular form. Attempts to pull a cork with the ordinary cork-


screw in many cases ends disastrously to the person making the attempt, especially when the cork fits tightly in the neck of the bottle and refuses to be removed until the bottle has been placed between the knee and the corkscrew tugged at for several minutes. Then it invariably comes out with a sudden jerk, throwing contents in all directions. Notice how simply and easily even the most tightly wedged cork can be withdrawn with the corkpuller shown in the accompanying illustration. After the corkscrew proper has been inserted in the cork, the upright arm forming a wedge is placed on the neck of the bottle. Using the handle as a lever, the most obstinate cork can be readily extracted without endangering the clothes of the operator. When not in use the corkscrew and wedge can be folded within the outer end of the handle, which is hollowed out to form a housing.

Clearly this is the Rees patent.  And, despite its ability to remove, “the most obstinate cork…,” the Rees, and there are two versions of it, simply doesn’t turn up.

Tommy lucked out in a road trip several years ago, and found a Rees for the smoking price of 8 dollars–this one making his best 6 for that year.


And, of course, there was one that turned up on the auction.

Again, given the scarcity, it brought a substantial number–quite a bit more than Tommy’s steal.


Okay, so where are you going with this Josef?

Well, a couple of days ago, several auction lots appeared on a non-eBay auction site.  And, there were multiple lots that contained corkscrews.  There were nice things in each, but largely common stuff.

In one lot, there was a power cone.  And, I kept an eye on that one.


After seeing that lot, I continued to peruse the other listings in the auction.

And, then something caught my eye.


At the base of the box… Is that?


It is a Rees patent


I did place a couple of bids on the Power Cone lot.  Given I was outbid immediately, I figured someone wanted it more than I, and I should just let it go.

Still, I decided to hold off bidding on the Rees lot until the closing minutes, hoping that it would slip through.

On the online bidding, it did.

I was the high bidder, but all of the auction lots were next to be taken to a live auction; one that was not being broadcast online.  No jumping into the fray, I just had to hope for the best, and also hope that Barry wasn’t nearby, as  the auction house was only a couple hours away from him in Florida.

The auction ended Saturday, but no email came through to confirm that I was the winner.   So, I sent the auctioneer an email, and received a response later that afternoon.

Confirmations of winning bids will be sent on Monday…


Ever hopeful, as of 11:45 I still hadn’t received a confirmation.  And, I was pretty sure this one got away.

Until, I got a message from the lovely saying that there ware a voicemail from an auctioneer.  I checked voicemail.


Yes! I did win the lot with the Rees!!!

This surely will make the best 6 of the year.  Better pictures of the Rees after it arrives and is cleaned up a bit.

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