didn’t you mention a trade???

In yesterday’s Brimfield recap, I did mention a trade.

Yes, a trade.

A few weeks back, Tommy picked up an Sterling and Ivory handled Gorham prong puller that resembles a Converse.  It shares many similarities with the Converse patent, with the biggest exception being that instead of the 1899 patent date, it reads STERLING 97, and SPAULDING-GORHAM–the sheath is also marked STERLING

Spaulding & Co., originally was S. Hoard & Co., but in 1920 was bought by Gorham Mfg., and changed the name to Spaulding-Gorham Inc.  The name remained until 1943, when it was changed to Spaulding & Co, in 1943.  So, we can at least but date range to the cork puller; somewhere between 1920, but before 1943.

In a 1941 Spaulding-Gorham Catalog, they feature a similar cork puller.  The lines are pretty similar, but it is described “Wine Cork Puller, sterling, and is illustrated with a Sterling handle, rather than one of Ivory and Sterling.

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Do any of you have the Spaulding-Gorham that is entirely Sterling?

After Tommy picked it up, we had discussed trade.  And, he threw out several options that would seal the deal.  That said, after I picked up the General Appliance wall mount with corkscrew, that was what he really wanted.  But, given that I had been trying to find that particular corkscrew for well-over a decade, I just didn’t want to part with it.

The conversation went back and forth over the course of the Brimfield adventure; scarcity, rarity, desirability, value, etc…  And, it continued with possible trade scenarios.

On Wednesday, Tommy presented another offer.  We had batted around a couple in the preceding days…  Folding Greeley patent and the half sized signed Clark, in exchange for the Spaulding-Gorham prongs.

I thought about it for a minute or two.  Tommy has a thing for the smaller (but not miniature) corkscrews, and I have thing for Converse and other prong pullers, so after grabbing a small Hall’s Red Devil Skull poison indicator corkscrew from his stash and placing it next to the prongs, I agreed.

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I also promised, that should I ever begin to trade and/or sell the General Appliance wall mount, that he would get the right of first refusal.

But, given that it will surely make my best six for 2017, I am guessing it will be sticking around.  I am thinking the Spaulding-Gorham prongs will also make the best 6!

Thanks for another epic trade TC.  There have been so any over the years, and I look forward to the next one!

So, what happened at Brimfield?

I know it has been a few days since I blogged, so perhaps I should catch up.  Yes, we went to Brimfield!

Of course, I might as well fill you in on all the other minutiae…

On Saturday, the lovely personal personal trainer, headed off island, while I stayed and completed further finishing touches on the wine shop.  And, as the appropriate hour, I hopped on the boat, and headed over myself.  The afternoon, and the following day, was spent mudding and painting our mainland digs, and also a little further prep for the Brimfield adventure.

On Monday, I headed down early, to check into the house we rented for the week, and also to pick up Tommy from the airport.  Along the way, I passed countless antique stores that were all closed given the early hour.

A bit after my departure, the lovely, who painted her way out of the kitchen, headed back to the boat to pick up our friend Alison would also be joining us for the Brimfield trip.  They plan was to pick up some additional groceries (I already had the wine) and meet up at the rental house.

Tommy’s plane arrived as scheduled, and it wasn’t long before we were back at the house.  He had brought a few corkscrews for show, tell, and possibly trade.  And, I had done the same.  He is rather desirous of the Western Appliance wall mount, and Tommy had recently acquired a Gorham Sterling prongs, that I really wanted as well.  He also brought along a couple of unusual pieces that he recently picked up, one that looks to be a patent from the back of O’Leary.  I have long felt that it is a good idea, when the opportunity presents itself, to be able to handle and examine new discoveries.  What are the functions?  What does it look like in person?

A little wine was consumed, and at that point no trades had been completed.

A little later, a message came in from the lovely, that they were about 20 minutes away.  And, upon their arrival, we popped some Champagne, and toasted our third Brimfield adventure together (third with the four of us, I have been going for for a decade or so).

The evening was spent with convivial conversations, but still an early night, as we would be waking up early, for Brimfield Day One!

Brimfield Day One:

Day one started early.  By 4:30 in the morning,  Tommy and I were on the road to the show.   Sue and Alison would catch up with us later.  After parking the truck, we wished each other luck, and headed off in different directions.

There were many corkscrews to be had, but largely of the Williamson, Clough, and Walker variety.  And, of those, pretty much of the common Williamson, Clough, and Walker variety.

Over the course of the morning, Tommy and I would cross paths, and eventually ran into Barry.  For the most part, the conversation went something like,

“Anything yet.”

“Not really.”

And, we would then part ways again.

In the final field of the day, however, there were a few better corkscrews available.  Tommy picked up a Murphy button, and Barry unearthed the find of the day; an Aaron Austin Toilet Necessity in really nice condition.  As it is a double for Barry, Tommy was hot for it.  I have no doubt a deal will be made between the two of them at some point.

I had a few nice little finds over the course of the day.  Early in the morning, I happened upon a simple t-pull with brewery advertising; Rochester Brewing…  At the hefty price of 8 dollars, I figured it was a good thing.  Later the morning, I happened on the identical corkscrew with different advertising.  This time for Genesee Brewing.  It was a bit more than the Rochester, but it makes for a good pair.

There were a couple of perfumes, which will go into the lovely’s collection, a couple of mechanicals, a Nylin patent, an interesting figural fish marked DENMARK, and a really nice Anri Bacchus stopper–missing the cork.  The cork will be replaced and will remain in the collection, although there is little reason for a wine stopper in our house…

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Not a bad day one.  Of course, there were lots of other things for sale!

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In between, the lovely and Alison arrived, and we met up for a picnic lunch; tail gating on the truck.  Following lunch, they girls headed off on their own adventure, and we would get messages when they ran across a corkscrew.

With all of the fields of the day having been visited, we called it a day.  According to our various devices, it showed that Tommy and I had traversed 14.6 and 13.5 miles over the course of the morning/afternoon respectively.

As has become tradition, the evening was spent with wine and stories of the day, and a Taco Tuesday dinner.

It was, again, an early evening as Wednesday would be an early start.

Brimfield Day Two:

On day two, I headed down to the kitchen and proceeded to consume several cups of coffee.  Tommy soon came downstairs, and we were once again headed to the show.  The first field opens at 6 am, and we rolled into the parking lot at 5:54.  Hightailing it to the gate, we were walking in with the awaiting crowds, just as the field opened.

In the first aisle, I found an interesting Anri Monkey nutcracker, but the price was pretty high.  I still toyed with picking it up.  In the end, I left it behind, but let a friend who collects Anri know where it was.  I did pick up a couple of things in the field; a flash was the first purchase of the day, this was followed by an Atlas Beer opener/pencil, and this was followed by a Murphy patent bell with the spike.  I have lots and lots of Murphys, and this indeed is a double (or quadruple, if you want to get technical).  Still, it is a good thing, at a very fair price.

After a bit more hunting, I ran into Tommy a booth where a particular dealer always has corkscrews.  There was a really handsome Henshall with an interesting button and bone handle.  I got to witness Tommy’s negotiating skills in action.  Still, the dealer was a little less inclined to drop much in price, so we walked away.

We meandered a bit through other fields for the next hour, and in anticipation of the 9:00 field opening, headed over and grabbed a seat.  A few minutes later, Barry joined us, and we discussed how the show was going so far and also gave us a chance to catch up on recent finds.

As the field opened, the lovely messaged to say that she and Alison had arrived, and would head over to the field.  I had picked up a few things in my wandering; a few more perfumes, a Sterling roundlet (in not great shape), and few other interesting bits.

The 9:00 field, was eventually followed by the 12:00 field.  Not much there, and Barry and I crossed paths multiple times.  We actually found ourselves in one booth at the very same time, reaching for the very same corkscrew.  But, 35 dollars for a Hercules seemed a little steep to both of us, and similarly both of us opted to leave it behind.

There were, however, other things to buy at the various fields…

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After exhausting the various fields, Sue and Alison decided to head off to Litchfield for a bit of an adventure, and TC and I decided to head off further afield, and do a little antiquing before meeting back at the house for the nightly show and tell and wine.  This was followed by grilling a few filets, and a trade.  Yes, a trade!

Between TC and I, it was quite the pile of corkscrew and openers accumulated thus far…

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Brimfield Day Three:

Day three started, a little less early, and I drove Tommy back to the airport–amongst other corkscrews, the aforementioned Henshall was in his suitcase, as he went back to the dealer and attempted negotiating the price again.  The dealer stood firm, and Tommy sprung for it.  It is a pretty cool corkscrew, after all.

After dropping TC off, and heading back to the house to help check out, I returned to Brimfield for Mays; which opens at 9 on Thursday.  Walking the line, I didn’t see Barry.  I wondered if he had decided to skip, and start the drive to New York and then back home to Florida.

I wandered the aisles, and at the fourth tent, picked up a nice Murphy with acorn handles; one of the earlier ones.  Two aisles over, I picked up a Bridgewater patent coffin guy.  The price was fair, and I had traded my last one to Leon on his visit to the island.  It was nice to find a suitable replacement.

Not much in the way of exciting corkscrews, but a few pieces.  And, I managed to find another perfume for the lovely.

After one more traversing of the fields, I headed off to say goodbye to a few dealer friends, and hit the road for Rockland, and the following day, hopped the boat back to the island.

For those wondering, there were a few other things to buy in Brimfield on day three…

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All in all, a pretty good Brimfield adventure.

General Appliance Co.

Several years ago, I was sent a collection of past best sixes.  Not the actual corkscrews, but binders of photos and printouts of various collectors best six corkscrews from years prior.

Interestingly, some of these best sixes consisted of a single photograph, some would be a typed up report with several photos, and still others would be a little more elaborate.  As I paged through the volumes of photos, when I got to something I hadn’t seen before, I make note of it.

In one particular best six, was a fuzzy image of a wall mount corkscrew.  I scanned it, and with a little photoshop, enlarged it so I could get a clearer image.

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Okay, maybe not so clear.

But, I knew that eventually I would find a similar one.

Fortunately, there was a description of this wall mount attached to it, so I did have an idea of what I was looking for…  a “General Appliance Co.” wall mount.

After years of searching around, a General Appliance Co.” wall mount corkscrew is heading to the island…

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Marked GENERAL APPLIANCE CO.  SO. CHARLESTON W.VA. PAT. PEND.  this very well could make my best six of the year.

Of course, now the hunt for information on General Appliance Co. of So. Charleston will begin.

Let’s see if we can’t find some literature about this unusual wall mount.

Stay Tuned!

“…clever advertising novelty (patented).”

From the January 10th 1915 edition of  the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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FOR sale outright, clever advertising novelty (patented), with dies complete; sells quickly; big profits; owner too far west to manufacturers: snap: sample free.  Josephine Spielbauer.  71 Columbia st., Seattle, Wash.

In doing research into the Josephine Spielbauer patent not much information or history has been uncovered.  I have since been in contact with a Spielbauer family member, and we are exchanging information.  A most recent email set about yet another search, and the above classified ad came up.

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So, Miss Josephine was selling her patent and dies as well to create the corkscrew/opener.  Could it be the “samples” that she sent out, are the few pieces that exist within our respective collections?

Interesting also to note.  The Spielbauer patent was awarded in November of 1914, by 1916 the state of Washington implemented prohibition (earlier than the rest of the country).

No more beer?  Would production of corkscrews and openers cease as well?

 

Corkscrewing Around 2016

It is New Year’s Eve, and it has been an exciting year of corkscrew collecting, corkscrew adventures, and wonderful times with the lovely personal personal trainer.

We will start ringing in the new year a little earlier this year, as the wine shop is hosting its second annual “Bubble Bath” and we will start popping corks and pouring wine at about 3 o’clock…

Tomorrow morning we will be off to Portland for a quick getaway, and then it will be back to corkscrewing around.

There have been many many many corkscrews acquired this year, some remain in the collection, some have been passed on to others, and it truly is amazing what is still out there in the wild.

There have been visits to the island from Leon,  adventures with Tommy at Brimfield, visits with Leon, Tommy, and the lovely in Chicago, adventures to Toronto to visit Joe, Monika, Ron and Marilyn, trades, deals, purchases, sales, auctions, the construction of the “corkscrew room,” the annual meetings in Nanaimo and Vancouver, multiple trips to California (with some good finds) and so many exciting adventures in between. And, there have been so many other exciting events. Truly a great year for corkscrewing.

We wish you all an upcoming year of peace, good health, love, and a few corkscrews!

three Murphys

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As mentioned in the Brimfield post, I picked up the early example of the “challenge-type” Murphy corkscrew.   It is a welcome addition to the collection, and soon enough will be added to the Murphy page.

But, for kicks, I thought I would show three Murphys together.  Each has different markings.  Two with the arched frame, and one with the squared frame.  The one on the right has marking on the handle as well.

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As you all know, I like Murphy corkscrews!

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And, while I would love to add another Ivory handled one to the collection…

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what I am really after is an unusual Murphy that has little teeth below the button.

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Do any of you have this?  I would love to trade!

Stealing away to Brimfield

A couple of weeks ago, the lovely personal personal trainer asked if I was going to go to the September Brimfield show. And, I had been thinking about it. But, with the wine shop, I was a little unsure if I could get away. Still, with a little change in the schedule, we worked it out, and I would be able to go. But, only for one day.

So, on Monday morning I headed south. And, given it was Labor Day, there were several million tourists also heading south and leaving Maine. Okay, maybe not several million, but the 95 was a parking lot, so I chose to meander down the 1, and hit traffic there too.

Knowing I didn’t have to get to my hotel until that evening, I just decided to hit a few antique stores and enjoy the slow and leisurely ride.

At one stop, I managed to uncover a few treasures under a whole lot of corkscrews.

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The corkscrew whistle was the best in the lot, but also there was a corkscrew that American Pickers Mike might want, as it carries an advertisement for Columbia Bicycles and Fowler Wheels.  The Walker Hallboy is in pretty nice shape as well.

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After wading through traffic, I headed off to an antique store in Wells, Maine. I have always found corkscrews here, and I have been refraining from buying one particular piece for the past three years.

Three years? you ask.

Yes, every time I have visited, I have resisted paying the asking price for a wooden sheath corkscrew with advertising. But, this year, I knew I would finally give in, as not only is it an advertising corkscrew, it is an advertising corkscrew advertising “advertising cork screws.”

And, it happens to be an advertisement for A.W. Stephens, whose company I have been researching recently.  Interesting to note, it is actually a Clough patent, and is marked with Cambridgeport as Stephens’ address, which would predate his move to Waltham, when he went into production of his own patents.

It was still there.

And, I did buy it.  The lettering could be better, but given that I have never seen another…

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As I left Wells, I headed further south, and it quite literally took me 30 minutes to travel 5 miles. And, as I got towards Portsmouth, one of the bridges was closed, so, I snaked my way around backstreets, avoiding those that are less familiar with area, eventually hopping onto the 95 some miles later avoiding the lines of traffic at the tolls.

By late afternoon, I was pulling into the hotel in West Springfield, and set my alarm for the early morning.

Before daybreak, I was gearing up, and heading to Brimfield. Flashlight at the ready, I made my way to my normal first stop. What was going to be interesting this time around, was there was going to be less competition. Barry wasn’t going to be there. Tommy wasn’t going to be there. I haven’t heard if KC was going to be there. Could I be the only corkscrew collector hunting the fields?

Doubtful, but one could only hope.

So, when I made my first stop and JR’s tent (a KOOK, and collector of can openers), instead of hurrying off, we had a conversation, a cup of coffee, and discussed latest finds.

Of course, it also occurred to me that I am only here for one day, so perhaps I should start hunting.

Off I went, and soon enough happened upon a small grouping of corkscrews. I picked up the zig zag and a clough.

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And, there were other corkscrews about. Lots of Cloughs and Williamsons. At another booth, I picked up a Bennit for a fair price.

As the morning progressed, and there was more coffee, a couple of dealers that know both Barry and I, joked around that this was the first time in years that they didn’t tell me that, “Barry was just here.” Or, “the British guy was just in a little while ago.”

Of course, at those particular booths, there weren’t any corkscrews either.

Sometime before 11, I was walking through another field, and I saw a Murphy with the challenge-style handle. I picked it up, and noticed it looked different. In Bob Nugent’s article on Murphy, he mentions variation. I have long been looking for this version; for over a decade mind you, and a have never seen one. Just to be sure I wasn’t wrong about the variant, I pulled up my Murphy corkscrew page on my iPhone, and there it was:

The Challenge and the Victor models are usually marked R. MURPHY BOSTON across the top of the open frame which is usually arched.  On example has square cut openings and is marked ROBERT MURPHY.  It is probably an early example.

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This may well make the best 6 of the year!

Shortly thereafter, I hit the booth where Tommy got his MOP mini legs in May. No rare legs there. I did pick up a few bits, and on a whim the slide mechanism and helix from a roundlet. Not that I really need it, but you just never know…

Looking at my watch, I headed off, hitting Dealer’s Choice at 11, and having exhausted that field, headed over to the last field of the day. And, whilst in line, who should come over to talk to me, but Mike Gordon. Of course, the field wasn’t open yet, but Mike was already inside. And, he explained that he had previously been in Dealer’s Choice, and found nothing in either.

Hmmmm…

Still feeling optimistic, I waited for the gates to open, and made my way through the aisles. Nothing in the first few, and then I ran into a dealer friend who historically has corkscrews—albeit expensive corkscrews. He explained he hadn’t picked up anything, but an adjacent dealer had a pair of legs. The dealer-friend had said he had offered x for them, but told me I could have them if I matched his price. During the conversation, it was explained they weren’t striped, but instead a gold flecked finish. Suddenly, even without seeing them, the price, which was fair, became a pretty good deal.

After searching his van for 15 minutes, the aforementioned adjacent dealer presented the corkscrew to me…

Apparently there were indeed corkscrews to be found in the field…

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Not a bad day at Brimfield; The Murphy, the gold legs…

With 2/3 of the field done, I turned a corner, and saw what looked like a Clough. But, the shadows in the booth, made it look like it could be the Lowenstein patent of 1903.  After retrieving it from the case, it was indeed the Lowenstein, with an advertisement for Humphrey & Martin’s Whiskey, and a whopping price tag of 9 dollars.

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After paying 8, the dealer asked if I wanted any of the others.

Others?

I went back to the same case, and saw a few wire Cloughs, and then an advertising Clough for Lactopeptine for Dyspepsia / For Indigestion. I picked up that one too, for the same price.

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Quite pleased with the Lowenstein and the Clough, I headed off again, visiting the rest of the booths, passing on an overpriced Mabson, and repeatedly checking the time. I needed to hit the road, as I had a 4 + hour drive back to Rockland.

Visiting the last booth, I headed back to the ATCPV (all-terrain-corkscrew-pursuit-vehicle) and started the drive back home. The lovely was there to meet me upon my return, and over wine had a bit of show and tell, and tales of the adventure.

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There surely are other corkscrews at Brimfield this week, and with several fields opening this morning, I am sure there will be other treasures to be had. As for my one day at Brimfield, it was a pretty darn good one.

“Self-pulling cork screw…of new and ornamental design…”

May 30, 1986 issue of The Metal Worker

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The self-pulling cork screw illustrated in figure.3 is of new and ornamental design, and has a wire cutter attached. It is finished in nickel plate, and in operation, turns the cork out.

Of course, the self-pulling illustrated above, is made by Walker.  And,  it is one that I do not have.  And, I could really use one.

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Anyone have one to trade?  It will fit nicely into the collection…

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Back from Brimfield

Yes, it is that time of year again.  Starting the second Tuesday in May, the Brimfield Antiques Show attracts collectors and dealers from all over the world.

This year, we rented a house again within relative proximity to the show, and the lovely personal personal trainer and I were joined by our friend AA and Tommy.

AA and the lovely drove down together.  I drove down earlier to drop off P-Doggy to be boarded, and then headed to Hartford to pick up Tommy who was flying in.

With everyone arriving safely, it was time for a bit of wine, catching up, and a little corkscrew show and tell.

On the first morning, Tommy and I got up early, and headed out.  And, after a few hours of hunting, I got a message from Tommy about a “score!”   This was followed by another message,  “Major Score!”  Wondering what it was, he shortly sent a picture; a miniature pair of legs with mother of pearl scales.  Wow!  And, with a whopping price of 35 dollars–I had no doubt he talked the seller down–it surely would be the find of the show.

It goes that way at Brimfield.  There are lots of interesting pieces that we can pick up, but almost always there is one standout piece that shows up.  A Tucker, Chippendale, Sperry, the Stephens patent, a Kummer for 15 dollars, Satyr legs for a song, a Geissen, signed Henshall patent: these have all turned up.  And, this time around it was Tommy’s turn to get the piece of the show.

Congrats TC!

Of course, there were many other corkscrews that were acquired over the last few days.

On the first day, I had picked up a couple of direct pulls, and was super excited for Tommy. And, as we entered one of the fields, I was going through a booth and saw a small grouping of corkscrews; all in decent shape. After asking about them, the dealer responded with the fact that he knew nothing about them, and hoped his prices seemed fair.  I selected a couple of them, and said he was pretty spot on.

He further explained that he had just found a small collection, and when I asked if he had any more, he reached into his truck and retrieved an entire box of them.

Going through the box, I picked out a couple of pieces, and he explained he left the mechanical ones at home.  And, he promised to send pictures at the end of the show.

Nothing really rare within the box, except he did have the Rudy Dolberg Weinke patent–with the American patent date.  I have owned this piece in the past, but gave it up to a German collector a couple of years ago, as he didn’t have this variation.  Weinke’s do turn up pretty frequently, but with the American patent date, not so much.

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About this time, my phone rang…actually as I was peeling off a few bills to give to the dealer, and while two friends came up behind me, my phone rang.  It was the lovely who had found an old factory cart that we had been looking for for the wine shop.

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(For those wondering, the wine shop is rather small, and I wanted an old industrial cart that would serve as a place to stack wine for display, but it would also give me the ability to roll the display out of the way when we host wine tastings.  And, I wanted that old industrial look–that said, the prices on these are pretty high at Brimfield and the like, the lovely found this one for about a third of what they were selling for at other fields within the show).

So, for the rest of the day, I was pushing a cart around from booth to booth.

After we exhausted the field, we said goodbyes to the various friends that we had met up with over the course of the day, and headed back to the house; only to be joined by BT for dinner later on that evening.

The next day, was another early one, and Tommy and crisscrossed the fields, messaging each other to see where the other way, and were there any finds.  I managed to pick up a couple of odd Anri pieces, and a pretty nice T & C silver overlay piece.

As an aside, over the two days, there was an interesting phenomenon taking place.  On the first day, I happened upon a booth, and the seller had corkscrews; zig zag, flash, Le Presto.  I don’t remember all of his pricing, but he was at about 100 on the Le Presto.  By the time Tommy got to the booth, the price dropped to 50 dollars.  Tommy picked it up.  On the T & C piece, Barry had seen that one earlier in the day, but passed on it.  By the time I got there, that dealer also dropped price by just about 50% of what he was asking earlier.  Price it high and hope, but after getting a couple of collectors to walk away…

After exhausting the various fields on Wednesday, Tommy and I headed off to hit a few antique malls on our way to Springfield where the lovely, AA, Tommy , and I would be meeting friends for dinner.  But, since we are in Springfield, and we had a half hour or so to kill, why not visit the Student Prince for some libations and some corkscrew viewing?

After dinner, we headed back to the house, and over wine had a little show and tell of the days finds.

The next morning was another early one, with Tommy flying out at 6:00 in the morning.  After saying our good byes and dropping him off, I headed back to the house before making the trek back to the show for one more walk around.  Not much at May’s field that morning, but I did manage to fine one of those French eyebrows with mother of pearl inlay.  And, for a nice price.

With the lovely and AA already on their way back to the island, and knowing I have a few hours of driving a head of me, I started making my own way back home.

A fun trip to Brimfield!

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