B. Nathan

Not too long ago, a fellow collector came across a handsome corkscrew with faceted shank that was marked B. NATHAN.

Looking fairly similar to the corkscrews of Will & Finck, M. Price, and J. Schintz, the corkscrew was shared on social media, and it wasn’t long before those in the know weighed in; offering up that B. NATHAN was a San Francisco retailer of china, crockery, and other household items.

When I first got wind of the B. Nathan corkscrews, I too began doing my research into the corkscrew, and had also inquired if the piece might be available for sale or trade

After a bit of a back and forth, and several weeks later, I received an email suggesting that a trade could be made, and a deal was agreed upon in fairly short order.

That said, as I was away at a conference, and then on vacation in California, no corkscrews had officially changed hands, but as of today, the tradebait has been sent in exchange for the B. Nathan, and the B. Nathan is on its way to the island.

I will upload better pictures when it arrives, but this is a terrific piece from a San Francisco cutler, that made the piece for B. Nathan to offer as one of their wares, and a really neat addition to the collection.

But, there is more than one B. Nathan corkscrew.

The plot thickens…

According the Wine History Project of San Luis Obispo County they have in their posession a Yankee Number 7 bar screw that carries advertising for Nathan, but instead of B. Nathan, it is instead marked, “NATHAN DOHRMANN CO., THE LARGEST BAR SUPPLY COMPANY ON THE PACIFIC COAST, 851 BUSH ST. SAN FRANCISCO.”

Dohrmann joined B, Nathan’s company in 1868, and the name was changed to Nathan Dohrmann Co, in 1875, so the timeframe is right for this to be made by one of the known S.F. cutlers.

Clearly there is more to the story. And, as the story unfolds, I will provide updates.

Stay tuned!

Quite the adventure

During our last days in Los Olivos we hit a few more wineries, with one of the highlights being Holus Bolus.

From what I understand, they don’t have distribution in Maine as of yet, so I have reached out to the owner of our favorite distributor, to see what she can do. If at all possible, we will have Holus Bolus on the shelves of Island Spirits in the near future.

On Thursday, the adventure back to Maine commenced. And, after departing our temporary digs in Los Olivos, we hit Starbucks for the requisite cup of coffee for the drive to LAX. And, at the lovely’s suggestion, we gave ourselves a bit of time, as traffic heading through Santa Barbara, and then into LA, was fierce.

We did make it, with plenty of time to grab a quick bite (lunch), and then boarded our flight. Landing in DC with just an hour before our next departure, we soon were aboard, and taking off for Portland, where we landed just before midnight.

Somewhat on west coast time, but knowing how late we would be flying in, we had booked a hotel adjacent to the airport, and headed back to Vinalhaven the following morning–arriving back on the island just after 1:00 yesterday.

After settling in, I headed off to the post office to receive a pile of mail; including two corkscrew packages–the Walker peg and worm from TWJ and an unmarked Chinnock.

And, this morning it is back to early morning coffee (cup number two), and starting a new article for The Bottle Scrue Times (for those of you considering submitting for the upcoming issue, the end of February would be the proposed deadline. So, you have a month–give or take)

Stay tuned, you never know what might turn up next.

I found corkscrews!

While there has been a bit of antiquing over the course of our Los Olivos visit, there was one store that defintitely had corkscrews. None that I purchased, but they had some!

Largely, our last few days has consisted of visiting new restaurants, checking out some wineries, venturing out to the coast, and just enjoying the sunshine, knowing that we are in for some snow when we get back to Vinalhaven.

There may be some antiquing today, so you never know what might turn up.

If you are in the area, be sure to hop on over to Buellton, and check out Industrial Eats! Their caesar salad was awesome! As wasa their white pizza on a GF crust.

Not ignoring you…

I know it has been a while since I have updated the blog, but I have been off traveling around.

Last week, I was in Indian Wells for an education / work force development conference, and then a day in Long Beach with the fam. And, now the lovely bride and I are in Los Olivos for the week for some tasting and some rest and relaxation.

There will be some antiquing over the next few days, and you never know what will turn up.

So, I will be updating with any finds as the week progresses.

Window Display of Cutlery

From an 1894 issue of Hardware Dealer’s Magazine

Window Display of Cutlery

Where a hardware dealer wishes to make an attractive display of cutlery and small tools in his window without using much of the tock, the device illustrated herewith is easily arranged :

All that is necessary to make this window fixture is a round or square piece of timber of from one and a half to two feet in length and about six inches in diameter.

The wood is concealed by a veneer of cork, which can be obtained in slabs at any wholesale drug store, and if soaked in water will confirm to the shape of the wood interior.

Method of Construction

The cork may be either glued to the wood or fastened with round-head nickle screws.

Two pieces of neatly-turned wood of oak or cherry are needed to cover each end of the block, as shown in the illustration.  When completed the articles to be displayed are slightly imbedded in the cork covering, which holds them at any angle desired and permits of a good view in all directions.  Pocket knives of various styles, fancy scissors, handsome corkscrews and od pieces of butlery, carelessly arranged, produce a very pretty effect.  When suspended from the ceiling of the window by a fine wire or cork, which a bird-cage spring at the upper end of the wire, the block will be in constant motion, and glistening blades of the knives in the sunlight will attract favorable attention.

The device may also be used for small tools, and if it is desired to make a special drive on a line of scissors or pocket knives, a variety of styles at a uniform price may be displayed with a neat car offering the public their choice at a stated price.

Walker Returns

At the JFO a couple of years ago, a deal was struck between TWJ and I (that’s Tipped Worm Johnny, for those wondering) for a Walker peg and worm corkscrew with advertising for Silver Spring Brewery.

And, at last year’s JFO, I traded the Silver Spring Brewery Walker peg and worm back to him.

Yesterday, we made yet another deal, and the Silver Spring Brewery is heading back to Vinalhaven.

I wonder how many more times this corkscrew will be traded between the two of us!

wavy legs

It’s the 4th day of the year, and there have indeed been a couple of corkscrews acquired since we last spoke.

Not that we really speak, but since the last time I wrote down random thoughts, and you, my loyal readers, opted to check them out.

The most notable arrival, is a pair of ladies legs, but the stripes are all wavy.

I don’t know how the mottled-waviness happens, and I am guessing it was a flaw in the process of making them, but what results is a pretty cool look.

I also picked up a all-steel 1904 Kummer patent. And, that will be heading shortly to Poland.

Of course, the best sixes from collectors around the world keep coming in, and I love seeing what everyone has collected over the previous year–knowing that these are simply six of many many acquisitions.

On a side note, I just got my fifth COVID shot on Monday, and would really really like to be at a place where there isn’t a sixth required.

Finally, I wish you all a healthy and happy new year, and I do look forward to seeing you each in person.

But, until then, if you want to hop on a ZOOM call to talk corkscrews, and possible make a trade or two, just drop me a line.