As mentioned previously, the Sperry lever corkscrew had long been on my wishlist.  And, I am quite pleased to have been able to add one to the collection.

Of course, in going back to the patent drawing, and then back to the corkscrew itself, you can see how easily the replaceable corkscrew would be replaced.

In the patent description, it mentions a turn-button, which covers the hooks upon which the corkscrew is held.

The patent description explains, “On the face of the lower arm of the lever is a turn-button, F, is hung, as to turn over and cover the mouths of the hooks, as seen in Fig. 1, or away so as to open the mouth, as seen in Fig. 3”




Open, you ask?

If you have one, go grab your 1878 Sperry patent corkscrew so you can play along…

That long flat metal piece that rests atop the lever, that would be the turn button, and it easily turns to one side.

Try it!


With the turn button moved aside, the corkscrew, which was intended to be replaced can be removed.

Easy peasy…

Of course, before you go to put your Sperry away, be sure to put the corkscrew back and turn the turn button back into place.


Okay, what is this about a Sperry-ation Josef?  You might be asking yourself.


Well, as fortune would have it, on the heels of acquiring the Sperry mentioned a few days ago, recently I was sent photos of still another.

However, in looking closely at it, the construction is different.

On the Sperry that was recently acquired, on the left, it appears to be similar to that shown in O’Leary, as well as the various Sperry examples that have sold over the years.


The one on the right, has the turn button, but lacks that riveted piece on either side of the lever to hold said turn button in place.  Instead, the turn button is riveted to the top of the lever.    It is also a bit shorter, and is more representative of the patent drawing.

And, the lever is indeed marked with the 1878 patent date.


The turn-button also functions similarly.

Whether this is an earlier version or a later version, it is the Sperry patent, but a variation from the Sperry that recently arrived.

But, if you have one Sperry, why not have two, especially if they are different.

And, so…  a deal was done, and the Sperry-ation is on its way to the island.

Better pictures will be added when the Sperry arrives!

Perhaps two Sperrys will make the best 6 of the year!




Three arrivals…

Before we left for Europe, as mentioned at the time, I found a Henckels / Sunderland rack, and it was waiting for me upon our arrival back home.

Fortunately, the post mistress didn’t send it back to the seller, as we were gone for just over two weeks, and the post office is only supposed to hold packages for two weeks…

Oddly enough, our other mail that had been sitting there for two weeks, was not at risk of being sent back, but I digress.

That said, it is quite a nice looking corkscrew with a full helix, and it is indeed marked for JA Henckel, Solingen

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And, delivered yesterday was a lovely nickel-plated Frary with bell assist.  I do already own this version

, but not in nickel.  So, this is actually the 23rd Frary-ation in the collection.

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And, the PAT APPD FOR mystery corkscrew arrived as well.

Craig Gurney–a collector of corkscrews and jar openers, and apparently longtime reader of the bloggy blog–suggested that this is indeed a jar opener / jar wrench.  Thanks Craig!

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The chain is looped around, and hooks on the bottle opener.  The serrated edge of the opener would help grab the lid of the jar…

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Of course, the corkscrew folds out, but the metal piece that is crimped on does not slide on the handle.

I will continue to dig and try to see if there was an actual patent awarded for this piece, but it is remarkably cool.

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A nice few pieces to start the second half of the corkscrew collecting fiscal year…

Catching up: The ICCA and CCCC AGMs

Whilst at the AGM’s these past two weeks, there were several attendees that mentioned that I hadn’t updated the bloggy blog with tales from the meetings.

Of course, given that we were having conversations with one another, it kind of felt like we each already knew what was going on at the meetings.

That said, I did recognize that I had refrained from blogging while traveling, but I also knew that I would catch everyone up, upon our return.

I will add here, that detailed write-ups and pictures will be published in the CCCC’s newsletter The Quarterly Worme, and the ICCA’s newsletter The Bottle Scrue Times in the coming issue.

For Sue and I, the trip began in London.  We spent a couple of days traipsing around the city, before hopping a flight to Stockholm and a train to Katrineholm where we enjoyed the wonderful hospitality of Fredrik and Johanna and their boys; Edvin and Nils-Oscar.

After a fabulous evening at their home, and a lovely breakfast at their restaurant, we headed off to another one of their properties; Gripsholms Värdshus.  Once again, it was a fantastic visit, with wine, food, wine, food, wine, food, and a few corkscrews.

The next morning, we hopped in a taxi that took us back to Stockholm, and we hopped on a plane to Oslo, and then a plane to Bodo.

We spent the afternoon exploring Bodo, before finding a charming wine bar where we would have dinner and then the next morning it was off to Lofoten!

The ICCA Annual General Meeting

We had a flight set to Lofoten, and when we arrived at the gate, we soon realized that several other attendees were on the same flight.  And, when we landed, we were greeted by that many other Addicts and Go-Withs that had also just landed.

After retrieving our bags, we each hopped in various taxis and made our way to our hotel.

With a few hours before registration and the Right’s Reception, a bunch of us headed to an adjacent restaurant where we caught up with one another.

At the Reception two of our new Addicts were introduced, and there was much discussion about our upcoming adventures.

Trips around Lofoten both by boat and by bus, visits to museums, lunches, wine, and more lunches and wine, and dinners and wine, and more dinners and wine, surrounded by unbelievable vistas and views it was a fabulous few days…

Of course, then began the corkscrew portion of the program!

We began with a special show and tell, by Bert Giulian, who just published a book on Irish Corkscrews.  Definitely a book that you need to have in your library.

This was followed by a fantastic presentation by Fredrik, Bjorn, and Jens on Scandinavian corkscrews–when I update the ICCA’s website next, this will be added to the library for all to see.

Later that evening, we headed off for a group dinner which was lovely, and then a 10:00 pm bus departure for a viewing of the midnight sun.  Yes, that means midnight.

We managed to get back to the hotel just before 2:00 am, and got some needed sleep before the early show and tell, buy and sell, and auction that would start the next morning.

Several corkscrews were shown and talked about, and during  the buy and sell lots of corkscrews changed hands.  At the auction, the piece of the day was the Fisher patent ratchet corkscrew that RL brought along.

A great meeting all around, with a fantastic job done by our hosts!  And, as is always the case, the gala event did not disappoint!  A fantastic punch prepared by Fredrik (one of the best I have ever tasted), a toast to The Bottle Scrue, the traditional opening of a bottle by Right Ian Hunter, and an impromptu corkscrew competition between Ian and Bjorn, the entire meeting was an awe inspiring adventure!

Again, kudos to our hosts Bjorn and Aud-Irene and Bjorn and Ragnhild!

The next morning, several of us hopped in taxis back to the Lofoten airport, as we had earlier flights than others.  That said, most of the others would be joining us later as we descended on Stratford-upon-Avon for the CCCC AGM.

The CCCC Annual General Meeting

After a couple of hours in Bodo, where we had a layover (we found an antique store, but no corkscrews) the lovely and I hopped on a flight to Oslo, and then a flight to London.  After a long-ish day of travel, we opted to hire a driver to take us to our hotel, where we shared dinner with Anne-Lise, and prepared for our CCCC adventures.

The next morning, the lovely and I headed off for a walk with hopes of finding some coffee.

After successfully getting caffeinated, we did a little exploring, where we found an antique market that was just opening.  With a brief walk through, I managed to find a Willetts for a song (I didn’t actually sing).


And, to celebrate the Willetts purchase, as well as the lovely’s acquisitions; she kept buying clothing off of various mannikins placed as window displays, we stopped for a bit of bubbly to celebrate.


With others soon to be arriving, and being in touch via messenger, we sought out a pub that would accommodate those that would be joining us, and had a lovely lunch with Leon, Saskia, Tommy, Ray,  and John D.

And, after finishing up, we made our way to the CCCC hotel, where registration was set to begin.  Upon arriving, it was warm welcomes, hellos, and hugs, from our hosts: Jim and Liz Edgar, Peter Borrett, Fletcher Wallis, and Tim Underwood.

The Reception and Gala were fabulous, and we were joined by some special guests–lots of pictures of the Reception and Gala and our special guests (William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway) will be shared in the QW.

Following the Gala, several attendees found their way to the bar.

The following morning was the auction and the buy and well.  And, there were lots of corkscrews to bid upon and to purchase.

I sold a few, bought a few, and witnessed lots of corkscrews changing hands.

Following the Buy, Sell, and Auction, the Corkscrewteers gathered together (as has become tradition) to share a bottle of vintage Port (thanks for providing this year’s bottle Leon & Saskia!)


Following the Port, we all headed down to the lobby where we had a brief walk and boarded some riverboats for a short tour, which was followed by a lovely dinner and great entertainment.

As many of the attendees headed back to the hotel, a few of us lingered.  Eventually, everyone made it back to the hotel, where the bar was quite the scene.

While some remained in the bar until the wee hours of the morning, the entire hotel had to be evacuated at 2:30 in the morning, as there was a fire alarm.

After the hotel was determined to NOT be on fire,  we were all allowed back into our rooms (or the bar, depending on your previous circumstance).

The next morning, was to be the show and tell, AGM, and a special display of British corkscrews.

The display was mesmerizing, and the show and tell didn’t disappoint.

After the AGM, it was farewells, good byes, hugs, handshakes, and see you next year in Nashville, TN (ICCA) and Winter Park, FL (CCCC).

A fantastic couple of weeks of corkscrewing around…

Again, many more photos and tales of our corkscrewy adventures will be published in The Bottle Scrue Times and the Quarterly Worme in their next issues!

For your reading pleasure…

The lovely personal personal trainer and I have been traveling for the last few days.  Two days traipsing around London, then a couple in Katrineholm, Sweden.

In Sweden, we got to enjoy the wonderful hospitality of Fredrik and Johanna, and yesterday there was a viewing of the corkscrew collection (pictures later).

Actually, it has been two days of viewing collection upon collection…

He collects lots of things!

In amongst the fantastic pieces, there was a Bottle King (TK patent) in the original box, with the original instructions…

While we all know how to operate a prong puller, since there are instructions, why not share them, since it is a “…radical change from conventional screw type corkpullers.”


We are off to Bodo, Sweden this morning, and then Lofoten tomorrow where the ICCA AGM will take place.

More soon!

Packing up for the AGMs

Today the lovely personal personal trainer and I hop on the boat, and make our way to Rockland.  A few chores to be done on the mainland, and then we fly from Owl’s Head to Boston, and Boston to London.

A few days kicking around London, and then we are off to Stockholm.  A few more days in Sweden, then we fly to Oslo, Bodo, and finally Lofoten for the International Correspondence of Corkscrew Addicts’ Annual General Meeting.


It will be quite the adventure, and it will be fun to see old friends.

Following the Lofoten meeting, we fly back to Oslo, back to London, where we will hop in  a Jaguar and motor to Stratford-upon-Avon for the Canadian Corkscrew Collectors Clubs’ Annual General Meeting.


Again, it will be fun to connect with old friends and so many collectors that will be attending.

There certainly will be corkscrew tales to tell!

I will post photos to Corkscrewing Around when I can.  And, of course, will post a wrap up blog after we return.

For those attending, see you all soon, and safe travels!



Henckel v. Sunderland

Yesterday, I came across an interesting listing for a corkscrew for sale on a non e-Bay website.

I examined, checked photos, and hemmed and hawed over whether to buy it or not.

The price was fair enough, but being at the wine shop, reference books were not at my disposal.  Of course, that crazy Internet was available, and I went about trying to figure out what I was looking at.  It looked familiar enough, and then I thought it would be a better idea to buy it, and then figure it out, rather than wait for someone else to buy it, whilst I was figuring it out.

I clicked the appropriate buttons, and the corkscrew is heading for Vinalhaven.

After securing the deal, I looked closely at the images and there are no markings described by the seller.  Still, it is a rack and pinion mechanism but clearly not the London Rack.

After a little digging around on the past listings of the corkscrewcollectors.com auction site, I got a few answers.

Once it arrives, I will check closely for markings, but in the past listings this has been sold as the 1870 Sunderland, and marked for Henckel’s.  Of course, the other version of the Sunderland is marked PATENT 2841, with the side handle affixed at the base of the frame rather than higher up.

After getting home, I cracked open the wcc book, and on page 282, a similar corkscrew appears, again attributed to Edwin Sunderland, but bearing the mark “J.A. HENCKELS SOLINGEN” marking.

All that being said, a very cool corkscrew!


Mystery Slider / Slide-out Corkscrew

The other day, I was sent photos of a small collection of corkscrews that were available, and within the lot was a corkscrew that I have yet been able to identify–other than it is a corkscrew…


In e-conversations with the collector, he explained that there are no markings on the corkscrew in question…


Using photoshop and zooming in, there looks to be a 1929 Hiering patent resting under the Williamson Flash, and a 1909 Rydquist to the left of the mystery opener with sliding corkscrew.

In many ways it looks similar to an M-73, but clearly isn’t an M-73.

But, what is it?  It doesn’t appear in Ferd and Bert’s book on pocket corkscrews, and it doesn’t seem to appear in the WCC book…


It looks somewhat familiar…but…

What do you all think?  Have you seen this corkscrew before, and do you know its origins?


After emailing a picture of the corkscrew to Barry Taylor, he suggested that it might be a version of the Becker patent… Not exact, but there certainly are similarities.


Perhaps an American version of the Becker…

I will provide more information when it arrives!


the last bottle…

Two and a half decades ago, I had just finished a round of golf in Aptos, California and stopped by a small wine shop on my way back home to Santa Cruz.  Amongst the various wines available was a case and a few extra bottles of 1991 Chateau Montelena “Estate” Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

While the lovely bride and I were only recently married at the time, and monies were tight, I had recently read a review of this particular vintage, and we knew the winery’s reputation.

From Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate back in the day…

Montelena’s incredible 1991 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is an exceptional wine. It may be the most promising vintage among the bevy of Montelena Cabernets produced over the last two decades, rivaling even the winery’s profound 1987… The color is a dense, opaque purple. The nose offers up Chateau Montelena’s tell-tale signature – abundant, pure aromas of cassis, minerals, and spicy oak. Full-bodied, spectacularly rich, and highly extracted, with moderate to high tannin, this is a youthful, exuberant, stunning example of blockbuster Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. Its inner core of cassis fruit is something to savor! It should hit its peak around the turn of the century and last for 20 years thereafter. Don’t miss it.

I bought a bottle that day, and after trying it that night, I went back and bought all that I could.

We ended up splitting the case + with a colleague, and those bottles that remained with us (at the whopping price of 24.99 a bottle)   followed us back and forth across the country; Santa Cruz to Scottsdale, Scottsdale to Boston, Boston to Chicago, Chicago to Boston, and finally to Vinalhaven.

Most had been consumed over the years, shared with friends, and opened on various special occasions.

Two days ago, as the lovely wanted to celebrate my birthday (which was yesterday) she sent me a note saying we should open the 91 Montelena for dinner.

The last bottle of 91 Montelena from that purchase 25+ years ago.

When this wine was released, it was a blockbuster cabernet; backward and tannic, but filled with fantastic flavor.

When we brought it to a restaurant several years later, in California, to celebrate some friends’ anniversary that had been married in 1991, the tannins had barely softened, and the lush blackberry flavors had become more prominent.  At the time, we offered a glass to the owner of that restaurant, and told him about our friends’ anniversary.  He returned with yet another bottle from 91, and shared it with our table.

When we opened the last bottle, two days ago, the wine was still lovely, the tannins faint and soft, the flavors a less vibrant, but still a lovely wine that very much, as we tend to say when we have a Napa cabernet that brings us back to our California wine country roots, “tastes like home.”


We opted to open the Montelena with an 1878 Tucker patent corkscrew.  It did its job fabulously.





Brimfield Day 3, back home, and back at it…

On the morning of Day 3 at Brimfield, the skies were blue, the temps a tad bit warmer, and the crowds and dealers plentiful.

The lovely headed off for home, and to run a few errands, while I headed to May’s field for a final day of corkscrewing around.

And, it was quite the crowd lined up for the 9:00 start.

No signs of the usual suspects, and I somehow got pushed towards the front of the line and was in the gates in short order.

Making my way through the field, I darted from booth to booth asking the usual question, and hearing the usual answer:

“Do you have any antique corkscrews?”






Eventually, I did find a couple worthy of purchase, and would again be on my way.

At one booth, I found an interesting figural cat.  This would be the best purchase of the day for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, it was a corkscrew.

Secondly, the dealer explained that he had 80+ others at his house, and we exchanged contact information for a future visit.

Back to the cat.  It is interesting, insofar as, it is a three dimensional figural with a tail that wraps around him and would make it difficult (or at least uncomfortable, in one’s hand) to use.

Still, a cool thing.

As I made my way through the field for a second pass, and checking the time, I realized it was time that I headed back to the all-terrain-corkscrew-pursuit-vehicle, and soon enough was heading for Rockland.

A fun, albeit wet and muddy, few days in Brimfield.


rare egg beater, purchased for a collector friend


Looks remarkably like that dolphin bottle opener that turns up…




Another Syroco look-a-like brush holder


Love these


Really?  We love our dog, but really?

Also, whilst I was traipsing through May’s field, I had received an email from someone that has a collection in Connecticut, and while I will get to visit said collector in the fall, a price was agreed upon for four corkscrews, and said corkscrews are already enroute to Vinalhaven.

A nice grouping, three American pieces and one Norwegian cork puller;  apropos given our upcoming trip to Norway.


Tucker, Joop, Austin, and Jopson: The Jopson will be heading to BT, but the others will remain on Vinalhaven.