Corkscrewing around at the ICCA AGM

There are many stories to tell from the AGM thus far, and I will recap in a few days, but here are some photos for those that couldn’t make the meeting.  And, we aren’t done yet!

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Stories to follow!!!  Stay tuned!

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ICCA AGM!

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The International Correspondence of Corkscrew Addicts’

Annual General Meeting starts tomorrow!

 

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See you all very soon,

and I will report back here with corkscrew news from the meetings!!!

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A few days at Brimfield…

As it usually happens, the day before Brimfield starts, we drive down, get settled in some Airbnb that we have rented, it is often an early evening, as the how begins at daybreak the following day.

With the meetings soon to be upon us, construction projects, and a few other circumstances that needed to be addressed, in the weeks proceeding Brimfield, we opted to cancel our reservations, and we were going to skip Brimfield.

Still, as we got closer to the date, and our plans began to open up a little, I came up with a new plan.  Since we would be on the mainland on the Monday before, I would get up in the wee hours of the morning on Tuesday, and drive down to Brimfield and get there for the opening.

We both that this was a fairly silly idea, but it is Brimfield after all.

So, with the alarm going off at 1:00 in the morning, it was coffee, shower, coffee, go…  And, away I went.  Driving the next four hours, and pulling into Brimfield with time to spare.  I found another cup of coffee, and in short order parked, and was headed out on the hunt.

Given it was early, and dark, and September, the dealers were slow to open.  Still, in that early first hour, I did pick up a couple of corkscrews.  One a simple t-pull with acorn handle, and a few minutes later an interesting corkscrew with a coin in the handle, marked Aubock (for 8 dollars).

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There were a few other corkscrews seen over the course of the morning, but these were a bit overpriced for what they were; Perille single lever, Mumford Patent (this was available in May as well, and is still with the same dealer for the same price) a fair amount of Williamsons and Cloughs, etc.

As the day wore on, and Dealer’s Choice was to open in about an hour, I ran into someone who had in his possession a collection of corkscrews.  After a bit of a give and take, and given the price was a smoking deal, we made a smoking deal.

A little money changed hands, and these were now in my backpack:  closed barrel perpetual with embossed barrel, a much less expensive Mumford patent, small French T marked Guinot, early Henshall with bone handle, and the two aforementioned corkscrews the acorn handle and the Aubock.

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Not a bad morning!  And, the drive certainly seemed worth it.

Quite pleased with myself, I headed over to Dealer’s Choice…

At Dealer’s Choice there were few corkscrews to be had, not over priced, not under priced, just few corkscrews to be had.  Still, there would be another field opening shortly, and you never know what might turn up.

After paying my entry fee, and waiting for the appropriate time, I went through the gates, and at one of my first stops was discussing cork extractors with a dealer who historically has corkscrews in his wares.  This time around he had a Tormey cork extractor; one that I have been after, and while his price was high, he is also someone that has yet another cork extractor that I definitely want.  I thought, why not pay a little extra, and grease the wheels bit for a future purchase.

As I was counting out money, another collector, that I didn’t know, happened on the same booth, and asked if the dealer had any Aubock pieces.

He didn’t.

I asked if me minded if I showed him the one I had just picked up.

He didn’t.

The other collector was thrilled, and mentioned how much one had sold on eBay.  I had told him I had seen the listing, and gave him a price.  He grabbed his wallet and started counting out the cash.  Coincidentally, what he was willing to pay for the Aubock piece, offset the extra cost of the Tormey.

After placing the Tormey in the backpack, I was once again on my way.  There were a few more corkscrews about, most notably a celluloid mermaid, which was a very fair price.

And, having been up since 1 in the morning, and having walked about 14 miles in the heat and humidity, I decided to call it a day.

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Fortunately, I did have a hotel room lined up, and headed for a much deserved glass (or two) of wine and an early dinner.

The next morning, I headed back to the show.  A field would be opening at 6 am, and then another at 9.  I would skip the afternoon field, as I wanted to get back home to Vinalhaven.

The morning field didn’t offer much, but I just took my time and hunted around.  I did pick up an interesting pocketknife that looks like a Frary design but the blades were stuck closed and a Converse for a combined price of 10 dollars.

When the 9 am field open, the first booth I walked into had a fabulous champagne knife. The dealer deals in old tools, and I was quite pleased walking away with for 15 dollars.

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I meandered through the rest of the field and did pick up some Anri stoppers for a fellow collector that wouldn’t make it to the show until Thursday.  And, did eye a couple of Sterling and stag corkscrews which were a bit too much money.

Did I mention there were antiques other than corkscrews at Brimfield?

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With a 4 hour drive ahead of me, I kept my eye on the time, and started the walk back to the car at 10:00.

Filling up with gas, I started the trek back to Rockland, and then hopped the boat to Vinalhaven.

A good day and a half at Brimfield, with a few goodies coming home with me.

But, Josef, didn’t you mentioned that the dealer had a collection? 

Indeed I did.

These didn’t fit in the backpack, and were boxed up and put into the back of the xterra.

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Okay… it was a stellar day and a half at Brimfield.

The Shrapnel Patent Corkscrew and Bottle.

From and 1841 issue of Iron, An Illustrated Weekly Journal for Iron and Steel Manufacturers, Metallurgists, Mine Proprietors, Engineers, Volume 34

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Sir,—When we are about to enjoy the society of our best friends, and in evidence of our sincerity, have selected some of our “double diamond” port, we cannot endure the peril of disappointment by breaking the cork already sufficiently tender from age, by the use of the present corkscrews; and having no secured a substitute which will completely remove a cork, however decayed, we think we should be chargeable with selfishness if we did not introduced it for general adoption. This invention is admirably adapted for common bottles ; but exclusively so, for the Patent Shrapnel Bottle, which not only renders the bottle perfectly air tight, but so firmly grips the cork, that wire or string even for ales, porter, ginger beer, &c., are perfectly unnecessary ; and when it is considered that the wiring of the bottles used for those purposes, forms, the most material part of the manufacturer’s expense, the use of both articles becomes exceedingly advantageous, and particularly so, when the cost scarely exceeds that of of the common bottle.
In the above Engravings,
Fig. 1. Represents the corkscrew, with three spikes pressing perpendicularly into the cork, (the former acting on a centre attached to a plate) as the worm enters, until they are embedded in the cork ; the stop (see Fig. E.), then catches a rack, thereby causing the spikes to cease running on the centre, and the cork is immediately turned and extracted from the bottle.
Plate 2. Represents the patent bottle, G, having a female screw cast in to the neck, and is particularly adapted for holding effervescing liquors, champaign, wines, porter, bottled ales, &c., thereby rendering it perfectly air tight, and precluding the necessity of having wines as heretofore. The cork being driven in the usual way, naturally expands in the screw, and by means of the great power of the corkscrew, D, is unscrewed from the bottle in the form of fig. F ; the corkscrew is also adapted for any other bottles; however decayed or tight the cork, it has the power of extracting it with the greatest facility.

Yours’, &c

G.

Gilchrist’s Lightning Cork Puller

From the the September 19, 1899 issue of Iron age…

The Gilchrist Lightning Cork-Puller

The Gilchrist Mfg. Company, 20 and 22 Michigan avenue, Chicago, Ill., are manufacturing the cork-puller illustrated herewith. In use the neck of the bottle is pressed firmly into the mouth of the puller. When the handle shown is pulled down the teeth in the arm work in teeth in the upright rod, causing it to resolve and screw the corkscrew into the cork, the latter being then readily extracted. Returning the handle to its former position discharges the cork.

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It will thus be perceived that one movement of the lever pulls and discharges a cork. If desired corks may be partially drawn and left in bottles. The manufactures claim that it as making a most convenient article for users and a very attractive sample-case for the trade.

Frary Sullivan Bar Screw

The other day, within the suitcase of corkscrews was what looked to be the handle and helix for a bar mount corkscrew.

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In seeking information on what bar screw this might be part of, I sent the picture to bar-screw-guru Wayne Meadows…

Within short order, he responded that it is part of the Sullivan, and sent a picture of his complete Sullivan.

Of course, the Sullivan, which is usually unmarked, on occasion has been found with a Frary signature, as Frary produced the Frary Sullivan.

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Well, since I already have the handle and helix, now we need to find the rest of Frary Sullivan.

If you have a Sullivan corkscrew with a broken helix, missing helix, or heck…if you have a complete one, I am looking and would be interested in adding it to the Frary collection!

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Drop me a line.

Suitcase of corkscrews

A week or so ago, the lovely lovely personal trainer was on the mainland, and I was on the island.  And, she sent me a message with a picture of the exterior of an antique shop, and asked if I had ever been there.

Surprisingly, I hadn’t.

I responded with that bit of information, and we made plans for a visit when the next opportunity presented itself.

Yesterday, was that opportunity.

After spending the morning working on the house on the mainland, we headed off to Camden for lunch, and then following lunch, headed further north.  As we turned off the main road, after a mile or so, there was the antique store.  And, as it was Sunday, it was closed up.

Oh well, we shall try another day.

We kept driving, and decided to explore the environs.

After a bit of driving and exploring, we looped back around, and suddenly there were two vehicles in front of the antique store.  We pulled in, and the owner opened up the doors.  He apparently had an appointment to meet with someone, but given we pulled up, he decided to open for business.

The shop certainly looked promising!

We meandered the shop, and there were some interesting items.  And, eavesdropping on his conversation a bit, it was clear he sold on eBay, and had been in business for sometime.

As I was searching, I managed to find a small pile of corkscrews and openers, and while they were mostly common, there was a Noyes patent amongst them.  I kept that one in my hand, and continued the search.

About 5 minutes later, I came around a corner, and there was the owner, asking if I had yet found any treasures.  I responded with, “one so far.”

I followed up with, “I see you have some corkscrews over there, do you have any others.”

His expression changed.

He grinned a little, and said, “well, yes…and no.”

He then proceeded to tell me the story of how years ago, someone had asked him to find some corkscrews for him, and he amassed a sizable collection.

He told me of his “Sarracho Gold Armor” corkscrew with the head that comes off, that he sold on eBay for 1800, the 5 pair of ladies legs, and how selling corkscrews got him through a long winter one year.

After a few more stories, he explained that he had a suitcase filled with them, and asked where we were from.  I explained, and he said, come back any day but Wednesday, and he would unearth them for us.

I inquired as to how far away was this suitcase.  About 700 yards, he responded.

Wishing to finish up with his other customers, he said, “Give me 5 minutes, and let me think about it.”

Then, “Okay, let me close up the doors, and then follow me.”

He climbed into his truck.  And, we climbed into our own, and followed him to his house.

In the garage, after moving a couple of chairs, and stepping over a lawnmower, under a workbench was a large suitcase.  If it was full, it would be pretty heavy.

He picked it up with little effort, and then handed it to me.  “Go put that on the tailgate of my truck,” he said.   “That will be our office.”

I put the suitcase down, and clicked one half of the lock.  He clicked the other, and with anticipation I opened the lid.

Yes, it was a suitcase of corkscrews!


I went through the corkscrews, and we discussed how he amassed the collection, and how he has sold off the best stuff.   Still, there were a couple of treasures within the suitcase.  And, I did buy four.

We also exchanged information, and he promised to call when he finds others.

A fun adventure, and a terrific find by the lovely lovely.

Union

So, the wine shop has been taking my focus as of late, although there are antique corkscrews now for sale there amongst the wine, beer, and cheese.  And, of the couple of dozen I have put out, 10 have already found their way into interested customers hands.  And, one person explained that they had a collection of about 100 or so.  I asked her if she was a member of any of the clubs, and she looked at me with an inquiring glance.

Corkscrew Collecting Clubs?

She didn’t actually say that, but it was clear that she hadn’t heard of the CCCC or the ICCA.

We exchanged contact information, and I sent her a bit of information regarding the CCCC.

That said, the lovely personal personal trainer and I have escaped the island for a few days, and yesterday visited the Union Antiques Show.  In years past, I have picked up various interested corkscrews at this show.  And, this year, with rain threatening.  And, then rain not threatening, but actually pouring, there were less dealers than usual.

And, truth be told, there were less corkscrews than usual; A sterling Blackington boot, Williamson Roundlet, two interesting T’s although the ivory small one was tipped, a negbaur parrot, and a couple of Cloughs.

We meandered the aisles, were tempted by a couple of non-corkscrew items, but ultimately only purchased a Gyro, Falafel sandwich, and two beers.

Still, it was a good time, and you never know what you will find.

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I did almost pick this up for Ian: an old sign from a Maine camp, “The Adlaide,” but then I realized it was missing the E in Adelaide.

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The hunt continues….

“simple and powerful implement for extracting corks…”

From the September 4th, 1869 issue of Scientific American

Improved Cork Extractor.

Our engraving shows a simple and powerful implement for extracting corks from bottles, patented Jan. 14, 1868, by James Morton, of Philadelphia. It consists of three bars pivoted together, which, together with the corkscrew, constitute the entire apparatus. One of the bars has a socket or cap at its lower end, which is placed on and around the neck of the bottle. Near the upper end of this first post or bar is pivoted the end of the second bar, near the middle of which the third bar is pivoted. The second and third bars have handles at their outer ends, and at the inner end of their third bar is a hook.

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This hook engages with the corkscrew in the manner delineated in the engraving, and by forcing the handles together or pressing them downward, the cork can be easily extracted. The instrument is equally adapted to extracting corks on which rings or hooks are already formed so that no corkscrew is needed.

For further particulars address James Morton, 912 South Eighth street, Philadelphia, Pa