On Apr. 29, 1890, Abram C. Monfort of Pawtucket, RI was awarded patent # 426,510 for his “Champagne or Mineral Tap.”

As the story goes, well over a decade ago, I was at Brimfield, and was traversing the fields, and I saw an unusual shaped champagne tap. The price wasn’t super high, but high enough that I balked, and left it behind. Just prior to the next field opening, I ran into Barry to ask him about this unusual champagne tap.

He responded with, you should have snapped that up, it is a rare American patent. Apparently BT, didn’t balk at the price, and I believe it made his best 6 that year. And, I kicked myself a little bit, for not trusting my instincts of seeing something that was unusual and pulling the trigger.

Several years later, II managed to acquire a Monfort, without balking at the price, and it resides in the collection.

That said, the other day, a pair of champagne taps were listed on eBay, and one of the shapes looked very familiar.

And, now a second Monfort is heading to the island.

Now, I don’t really need two, so if any of you need to add a Monfort to your collection, just let me know….

Another Curley Corkscrew…

The other day, I struck a deal for an unusual Curley patent corkscrew.

While it is not dissimilar to other Curley’s in the collection, this one has a unique marking.

In comparing it with others in the collection, the one that comes closest is the Curley that has the date embossed in the center of the handle with the CURLEY TROY NY on the opposite.

Of course, with most of the embossed Curleys they actually are marked with the wrong date, of MARCH 22, 84, even though the patent was awarded a month later on April. 22, 1884.

This version, isn’t marked across the handle, and instead is incised with the correct patent date around the bell.

A neat addition to the Curley collection!

You’re bidding on a(n) Antique 1800s Multi Tool Combination Screwdriver Can Opener Corkscrew

“You’re bidding on  a(n) Antique 1800s Multi Tool Combination Screwdriver Can Opener Corkscrew…”

So read the eBay listing…

And, I was…

For 10 days…

I was the first bidder at 9.99, and when it received a second bid, put myself in the lead again.

And, when there was a third and fourth bid, I upped the ante once more, and was in the lead, for the rest of the 10 days.

Until, yesterday…when said auction was set to end.

As often the case, when something unusual comes up for auction, there is a flurry of bids, and sometimes snipe-bids, that come through in the closing moments.

And, truth be told, my high bid was taken out, for a brief time, but I too had set up a snipe bid for those same closing moments; not wanting to show my cards to early, I knew the flurry was coming, and hoped that MY price would top THEIR bid.

As it happened, it did. The flurry came, and the “Antique 1800s Multi Tool Combination Screwdriver Can Opener Corkscrew” will soon be added to the collection.

A fascinating piece, it features a corkscrew that folds out and locks into place, and is a can opener, hammer, and screwdriver as well.

And, it is marked PAT. PEND.

Certainly a best 6 candidate, and I will try and figure out if this is indeed a patent.

When it arrives, I will take better photos, and post them here.

Stay tuned!

Schlitz Brew’g Co.

A few years ago (seven actually) at the Just for Openers meeting, I acquired from TWJ an oversized Henshall-Murphy-like button corkscrew that had advertising for SCHLITZ BREW’G CO. ST. PAUL.

A neat addition to the collection, I was quite pleased to acquire it.

At some point along the way, however, the Schlitz ended up in another collector’s collection. And, I have been on the hunt for one ever since.

Just the other day, a deal was struck for another Schlitz to be the replacement …

There is a second version of this type of corkscrew with an advertisement for BERGNER & ENGEL, PHILA . If anyone would like to make a trade, I would love to add that one to the collection as well.