On Jun. 03, 1884, Joseph A. Smith was granted patent # 299,864 for his “Corkscrew.”
In 2016, I managed to pick an example up and it made my best 6 for that year.
Not marked, and I have yet to hear of one that is, it does mirror Smith’s patent drawing.
And, there are some similarities with the pewter Scandinavian figural corkscrews, with the telling difference of the twisted wire worm.
At some point, in the not so distant past, a fellow collector shared with me their Smith patents, and they had a variation with a different handle, but the same twisted wire worm–in some ways, this would be the Smith signature–no markings, but a telling twist.
As of this morning, a deal was struck for an example of that variation.
In Smith’s patent description, he explains:
“Referring by letter to the accompanying drawing, designates the twisted shaft, and be the screw, of cast-steel hardened and tempered. The shank and the screw are of one piece, the shank being bent and twisted upon itself down the screw. I cast the handle upon the shank, as shown in the drawing.”
What other variations are out there?