taking a chance on a lot

The other day, a lot of openers with a few corkscrews was put up with a buy it now on eBay.  The price, wasn’t cheap, but it wasn’t crazy money either.

Within the lot was several advertising corkscrews, a peg and worm, an interesting looking roundlet, and a piece that looked like a Jenner patent missing a few of its appendages.

I thought about it briefly, and figured, I might as well go for it.


The lot arrived yesterday in the mail, and there were some interesting pieces within the lot.  The Jenner, is indeed a Jenner with the 1871 patent date, but missing a few bits.  And, the peg and worm is interesting as it has its leather case.  My favorite piece, however is the roundlet.   It is the smallest roundlet I have ever seen, and it signed F & B Sterling.

Had the Jenner been complete, it would have been the star.  But for now, it will be a place holder until a complete one turns up.

Was the lot worth the price of admission?  Definitely worth it.  That said, if anyone out there has a complete 1871 Jenner patent, I am on the hunt for one.  Feel free to drop me a line.  Heck, if you have a complete one that is has a broken worm, I would be interested : )

It’s National Wine Day


May 25th, is National Wine Day!

Of course, at our house, every day is Wine Day…

What wine will you be uncorking?  And, what corkscrew will you be using?

Feel free to send in pictures of the wine you open today/tonight, and the corkscrew / cork puller used to remove the cork.  I will publish them here (email me at Josef@vintagecorkscrews.com )

Speaking of, we did manage to pick up an interesting corkscrew over the last couple of days.  While it’s a double, it is a pretty cool piece.  The Silver Knight Cork Puller, made by the O’Brien Mfg. Co., of Chicago


Since it is a double for us, if you are looking for a hard to find Silver Knight corkscrew, drop me a line, perhaps we can make a trade.

13 years, and an alligator…

Time sure flies.  13 years ago, I started the blog.  Initially, it was hosted on MSN, but at some point, MSN migrated their blogs to wordpress.

Unfortunately, when they made that migration, photos prior to the new host site were deleted.  So, if one was to go to an old post from 2005 and 2006, there is verbiage, but no photos.  Still, there have been quite a few blog entries over 13 years, and I promise to keep it going.

As it happened, recently I won an non-eBay auction lot,  with a carved alligator handle corkscrew.  After confirmation that I had won, and promptly sending payment, I was informed that the auctioneer’s preferred shipper would arrange for shipping and provide an invoice for shipping.

I received the invoice for 40 dollars.

40 dollars for shipping???

For a corkscrew that weighs about 8 oz.

I called the aforementioned preferred shipper, and questioned their rationale behind charging 40 dollars (it was actually 39, but still).

A couple of days later, I received a revised invoice.

The package arrived yesterday, and the corkscrew was well packaged; box, paper, bubble wrap, etc., and it was a good thing, as box itself, had been crushed a bit.


The alligator remained unscathed.  And, it is a handsome little corkscrew, and a nice addition to the corkscrew swamp.



“…this new cork screw is likely to become an instrument of dishonesty…”

From the October 1878 issue of New Remedies


Among the minor novelties which the Paris Exhibition offers, is a new cork drawer that appears to deserve mention.  It consists of a hollow handle and two metallic strips; one of the latter is pushed down between the cork and the neck of the bottle on one side, the other on the opposite side.  The handle is then applied, as shown in the cut, and, owing to the smoothness with which the metallic strips slide on the glass, even the tightest cork may be extracted, without damage, from the bottle.

The chief use of this cork-drawer is to save the loss of a large quantity of corks in case a large number of bottles of wine, as it sometimes happens, is found to have deposited a sediment, and requires refilling.  The corks may be withdrawn uninjured and may be re-inserted afterwards.

On the other hand, this new cork-screw is likely to become an instrument of dishonesty with others, since it will enable them to refill wine-bottles repeatedly, and to re-insert the original branded corks, thus palming off inferior wines for better brands, after the original bottles have been emptied.

Tales from Brimfield

For the first time in forever, rain was not in the forecast at Brimfield.

This, was a pretty good start…

On Monday the lovely personal personal trainer flew into Boston, having just been at a TRX conference in Austin, and I drove down from Rockland to a house we rented about 15 minutes from Brimfield.Upon her arrival, wine was opened and we toasted, amongst other things, to our next Brimfield adventure.

On Tuesday, at about 5:00 I headed off to the show, and she would be joining me later. A few corkscrews were about, but many of them pricey; a Mumford, sterling roundlets, requisite stag handle with Sterling… I left those behind, but did pick up a couple along the way.  The best piece, and a best 6 candidate, that ended up in my hands was a Monfort Champagne tap.

A rare American piece that has haunted me for years. Several years ago, I was at Brimfield and found a Monfort. But unaware what I had found, and with the price being fairly high, passed on it.

I figured I would ask BT about it at the next field.  At the next field, I saw Barry and mentioned it to him.  He smiled, and said, “you should have snapped that up,” and pulled the very piece from his satchel.

This time, it ended up in my bag…

A few photos from day 1

Day two started with another early start, and it was in short order the the first purchase of the day was made. Not a corkscrew but a cool beer tap for a song.

Knowing that some of the breweriana guys would be at the show, I put it in my bag. Then, I turned a corner, and saw three Meissen cork stoppers in a case. I asked to see them, and after unscrewing their corks, two turned out to be corkscrews. A deal was struck!

With the Meissens and the Monfort, this was becoming a really good show! And, as it happened, I did show the beer tap to a beer guy, who in short order gave up a chunk of change for it!

Here are a few other photos from day two:

I will add here, that the power cone was off the charts pricey.  And, it was still available when I last checked.

On day three, the lovely took off early for Maine and to pick up Philos from doggy daycare.  I headed back for May’s, and would see what might turn up before my own drive back to Maine.

A zig zag, two German perpetuals, and not much else… until…

Until I was offered a few ladies legs for a very fair price. Very fair!

Three legs, two Meissens, one Monfort…. a good show indeed!

Here are a few other photos from day three:

I made it back to Rockland early this evening, and will take the boat to Vinalhaven in the morning.

A great Brimfield adventure!

The Tight Cork

For years, I have been on the hunt for this photograph case, that features a man giving it his best effort to remove a cork from a wine bottle, that is signed “THE TIGHT CORK.”

Having seen one example, and then two (one black and one reddish-brown) in the World Class Corkscrews book; with one example gracing the cover of the book, when one presented itself recently at auction, I knew I would be in the running.

The problem, of course, is that not only would corkscrew collectors be going after this, those that collect Daguerreotypes, Ambrotypes, and the cases that were designed to house these early photos would also be bidding.

The auction ended last night, and with half a minute to go, I decided to place a bid.

31 seconds later…


The Tight Cork is heading to the island…