Checking out Brimfield “North”

Several months ago, with COVID-19 restrictions being what they were, and still are in many placed, the organizers of the Brimfield antique show, working with the MA CDC, came to the conclusion that the May show wasn’t going to happen.

And, while one field did indeed open in May, it wasn’t the 3000-5000 dealers that you would normally see there.

Not that I went.

Around that time, however, there was a plan to take Brimfield on the road, and head to Deerfield NH, where the show could occupy the fairgrounds, and provide for a great level of distancing.

The show opened on Saturday, and the lovely and I headed town to Portsmouth on Friday, and would make the drive to Deerfield on Saturday morning–I had pre-bought tickets as soon as it was announced.

Of course, you can’t have a Brimfield show in May without Rain. And, while it was technically Brimfield-North, the rain followed everyone to the new locations, and it drizzled, and poured, and stopped, and drizzled, and stopped, and yet… It was fun to be outside antiquing again!

The show was small in comparison, about 300 plus or minus dealers. And, those of us that paid the extra to get in early, pretty much had the place to ourselves–according to the powers that be, there were at least 3000 buyers that pre-bought tickets at the later arrival time.

I wandered the fields, noting the lack of corkscrews, but did manage to find one; a stag handle direct pull of the ripe price of 5 dollars, and then went about hearing the same (or similar) story from several dealers.

“Corkscrews, oh, I left those at my shop. I thought this was going to be a country show…”

I have no idea what that meant.

“Corkscrews. oh… I just picked one of those up, but I didn’t bring it…”

Only to pull out his phone, and show me a picture of a green and white ladies legs.

In a booth filled with old kitchen utensils, I asked about corkscrews.

“Oh, we have a bunch at our shop.” She promptly have me her business card.

So… no true finds that day, but a good day to be out wandering the non-Brimfield-fields–even in the rain.

E.M. was walking the fields as well, and he collects those pourers with marbles, so I sent him a photo and coordinates of where these were located.

Interestingly, he thought that I was joking about finding three of the very thing that he collects, but after he followed my directions, he found the dealer, and came away with one.

Maybe, this makes sense about the “country show.”

That all said, given that I had to make it down to Portsmouth on Friday, I hit a few antique shops on the drive down

No super corkscrew finds, but I did run across an Ivory knife that looked to be Will and Finck.

I passed on it, as the tip of the blade was short. Still, a neat find and a very fair price.

After telling the lovely bride about it, she suggested that after the show we had back up the coast and pick it up.

We did, and it isn’t Will & Finck, it is instead marked “M. Price.”

And, it will make a nice addition to the S.F. Cutlers corkscrews (and other tools) collection.

Not a bad couple of days antiquing, and today we had back to the island.

Combined Nippers and Cork Extractor

I will admit, that I look at the patent drawings that are present in the back of O’Leary’s book on American patented corkscrews a lot.

And, I mean…



I haven’t memorized them all, but every once in a while, some corkscrew, cork extractor, or tool intended to pull a cork will appear online, or in the ongoing hunt in the wild, which will trigger a mental response that sounds something like…

Okay, it’s inside my head, so I don’t know what it actually sounds like…

But, it goes something like:

“You have seen this before somewhere… You probably should buy this!”

And, the number of exclamation points after “You should probably buy this!” may increase based on the piece itself.

As it happened yesterday, I was doing a little search on eBay when a pair of champagne nippers turned up. And, while it carried advertising for Champagne, it also had a patent date. I looked closely at the piece, and took my internal advice…

“You have seen this before somewhere… you should probably buy this!”

And, so I did.

After securing the purchase, I headed over to my copy of O’Leary and thumbed through the patent drawings. There it was.

The 1880 Combined Nippers and Cork Extractor…

In short order, I pulled up the patent on google patents…

Now… I don’t think this is an earth shattering find, mind you.

I would think that the French advertisement would throw someone off, and it isn’t a corkscrew, although it is designed to remove a cork from Champagne or Mineral Water.

And, it carries the American patent date of DEC. 14, 1880.

A nice addition to the collection from the back of O’Leary, and a combined nippers and cork extractor which, according to the patent description, “…serves thus to facilitate and expedite the drawing of champagne and other corks, and obviates thereby the twisting off the heads of corks, the smudging of the fingers, and other annoyances.”

Akadama Port Wine Corkscrew

Not that I managed to pick this pair up the other day, but for those on the hunt for antique Japanese corkscrews, here are a couple of Clough-like corkscrews, that would make nice–albeit simple–additions to the collection.

If you look closely at the cards upon which the corkscrews would be attached, you will notice that the corkscrews were intended to be used on a bottle of Akadama Port Wine; a beverage launched in 1907 by Shinjiro Torii (the founder of Suntory)

Notice on the Akadama bottle below, the Registered Trade Mark is the same as on the carded corkscrew above…

If you have an antique Japanese corkscrew–Akadama or otherwise–drop me a line…

digging up treasure…

Yesterday afternoon, I set about planting an azalea adjacent to the sunporch steps in Rockland, and unearthed a treasure.

Okay, it wasn’t treasure really, but I did find it amusing.

On Vinalhaven, we have found lots of treasures in landscaping the yard. Lots of granite that was quarried on Vinalhaven, including a large rectangle piece that was hollowed out, which now serves as a bird bath for the random dirty bird in need of a cleanse.

Deserter? Missing in Action? The story surely needs to be researched…

After getting the aforementioned azalea was planted and watered, the Tim-Mee USA green army man was cleaned up, and now we have an official protector of the azalea armed at the ready.

Ward update…

Shortly after the blog was posted this morning, I received an inquiry regarding the Ward patent…

Yes… It is marked, and yes it is intended to open Codd bottles…

It is marked PAT. NO. 128450 21/6/19–although Ward’s patent (British) is actually from 1918

The handle has two cutaways to serve a openers for various types of stoppers from the time, V-slot for glass stoppers, and additional wooden pieces that extend from the handle that were intended as the Codd marble pushers.

Thanks for the question!

a few corkscrews…

The other day, I picked up a small collection of corkscrews (and a cigar box opener) And, while the majority will end up in the junk box, there were a couple of interesting ones.

Nothing really rare, within the collection, but a few things of note:

The Ward patent (1918) is definitely the star…

but given it is British, this will be going up for sale/trade if any of you are interested

The two-tool fold-out corkscrew piece, definitely is interesting.

No markings, but very cool:

As an aside, it is officially antique season in Maine (not that there is an official antique season in Maine).

On Saturday, Montsweag opened up, and the lovely and I headed down yesterday to check things out.

No corkscrews at Montsweag, but the lunch with wine that followed was fabulous.

The Clipper Cork Puller

From an 1903 issue of Iron Age:

The Clipper Cork Puller

The Arcade Mfg. Company, Freeport, Ill, New York office, 08 Park place, are putting on the market the cork puller shown in the accompanying cuts.  It is what is known as the skeleton type of puller, showing the working parts exposed to view.  

The Clipper Cork Puller

No. 90. No. 95.

It is made in two types: No. 90, to fasten to a table or bar with a screw clamp, and No. 95, designed to fasten to a partition, ice box, or wall with ordinary wall screws.  The puller is designed to meet the demand for a puller that can be sold at a low price, and is referred to as being well constructed and substantial.  The goods are finished in plain black Japan and packed for shipment one each in a box, half a dozen in a case

Wilkinson arrives…

A small box of corkscrews arrived today, and within it, there was the Wilkinson patent of 1891.

Now, the Wilkinson doesn’t carry the patent date, but it is clear that it matches Wilkinson’s description, and that the arms of the corkscrew are grooved to allow for the turns of the worm to fit nicely between them.

Of course, as mentioned the other day, Wilkinson’s patent was assigned to Gorham, and besides the mark of STERLING in the arms of the corkscrew, if you look closely–and when I say closely, I am suggesting using a magnifying app on your iPhone–present are the silversmith makers marks; Gorham G, an Anchor, and a Lion.

Also, on the other arm, there is a different mark, which looks to be a year mark that Gorham used to denote the year produced.

Now, to me this looks like a bell, and if you look at the Gorham mark charts, that would denote 1900.

Of course, if you flip the corkscrew around, the mark could denote a different year, but either way…it’s Gorham AND a Wilkinson.

And, it also carries a monogram.

Which looks to read R. E. P.

But, who is R.E.P.?

Reginald Ernesto Pulsifer?

Richard Edward Pepperidge?

Rolando Edgar Peterson?

Roberta Edwina Peters?

Rachel Elizabeth Palmer?

Who do you think R.E.P. is?

a little Browne Line

Several years ago, I picked up a small can opener with fold out corkscrew marked ‘THE BROWNE LINE FROM KINGSTON.”

It was placed into the collection, and there is sat for some time…

Well, a relatively short time as Tommy came visiting.

One of his many sojourns to Maine (this visit was 8 years ago) we were in the midst of making a trade and the little Browne can opener with corkscrew ended up in his pile.

Now the thing is, since Tommy made away with the little Browne, I have yet to see another–with the exception of the one pictured in O’Leary on page 125.

Until a couple of days ago.

As it happened, it was located in Maine, and it was available for a song–not that I sang.

It is the 1908 Clark W. Reynolds patent–which was assigned to The Browne and Dowd Mfg. Co–albeit a small version and is marked “THE BROWNE LINE FROM KINGSTON”

And, It was delivered to the island yesterday, and this one will be staying in the collection.

Or, perhaps this will be the lure that brings TC back to the island…