Pisula’s Reliable

The other day, a Reliable corkscrew was listed on eBay with it’s original box.  It had a fairly low buy it now, so I snapped it up.

What I found interesting about it, is that it isn’t the 1885 Weirs patent that is marked with the patent date, and with “THE RELIABLE” or “RELIABLE”

reliable1885

Instead of the U.S. Patent date, this is a corkscrew from France, and is an advertising piece for D. Recher Co, Chicago.

reliable2

And, it is indeed marked RELIABLE…

reliable3

And, while I haven’t tried it, I am sure that one can rely on it.

reliabledrecher

IMPORTED by D. RECHER & Co, CHICAGO U.S.A.

reliable

On the box, which is a bit tattered, someone has written “Best one.”  I am assuming that at some point someone had decided that not only was the Reliable reliable, but perhaps it was the most useful, or perhaps the best they had tried.  Or, maybe the best of their collection.

Also written on the box, in pencil, is “Belongs fo Fr. Pisula.”  And, inside the box, was a scrap of paper that read the same: reading “belongs to Fr. L. Pisula.”  Perhaps Father Pisula, loaned this out with hope of getting it back?  There was a Reverend Leon E. Pisula in Fort Wayne Indiana, and the seller of the Reliable lives only 20 miles away.

pisula

The good reverend is no longer with us, but the corkscrew upon which he relied still is!

manufacture of ballet corkscrews

Yesterday afternoon, for a moment, I decided to hop on to eBay, and how fortuitous it was that I did.

A pair of ladies legs had been put up for sale with a pretty fair opening bid.

Still, it was a normal pair at first glance, so I simply put it on my watch list.

ballet3

And, then I went back to the listing to check for cracks, missing celluloid, size, markings etc.

It looks to have one crack at the knee.

The second photo that came up revealed that this was not your average ladies legs corkscrew.

On one side, it was normal black and white/cream stripes, on the reverse were advertising plates like the Old Elk Whiskey – Always Pure pair of legs that I picked up last year:

oldelkalwayspure

On the plates on this particular pair, the advertising was not for Old Elk Whiskey, instead across the two plates it reads: “MANUFACTURE OF BALLET-CORKSCREWS”

How cool is that?

A legs corkscrew advertising legs corkscrews!

Did I mention it also had a fair Buy it Now price?

I clicked.

I paid.

And, the MANUFACTURE OF BALLET-CORKSCREWS legs are on their way to Vinalhaven.

A really cool piece, that could make the best 6 of the year.

balletballet2ballet4

Better photos after they arrive!

Steinwender & Sellner

A couple of weeks ago, I found a non-ebay online auction lot, that I found pretty interesting.  And, over the following days, I would go back and see how the bidding was going.

After registering for the auction, I placed a bid, and went back to business at hand.

At the end of the first week, I was the high bidder, and actually the only bidder.  As we got closer to the auction close, a few more bids were placed, but I was still in the lead.

My initial bid was not particularly high, but obviously higher than others that had also seen the auction.

With about 8 hours until the auction close, and knowing that there were 8 other bids, I went back to the auction lot, and upped my bid quite a bit, hoping to ensure that the lot would indeed be heading to Vinalhaven.

Last night the auction ended, and this morning I got the confirmation email.  I had indeed won.  And, the additional higher bid wasn’t necessary, the lot ended at a whopping $27.50 and with a 10% auctioneer’s fee, just over 30 bucks.

The auction lot, was billed as “Metal cork screw, “Steinwerder & Sellner”, St. Louis”

And, the metal corkscrew?

It is a Brangs patent, and it carries advertising, not for Steinwerder & Sellner of St Louis, but for Steinwender & Sellner of St. Louis

And, who is Steinwender and Sellner?

That would be Gustav A. Steinwender and Christian Albert Sellner; wine, beer, and liquor importers and dealers in St. Louis

 

brangs4

 

Steinwender and Sellner, was established in 1863, and the ads above date to 1891 and appeared in the St. Louis Dispatch.

Of course, the Brangs is the Jules Brangs’ French Patent Number 122,704 of April 23, 1878, which is a hard to find piece.  But, with the additional advertising, it is pretty darn cool.

brangs

brangs2

brangs3

I will add pictures, sans the Cory Craig, Auctioneer watermark, when it arrives in a few days.

A really neat little corkscrew that I have tried to acquire several times to no avail.

Best 6?  It certainly will be in contention!

 

 

Napier Hollweg arrives…

The 8 dollar buy it now lot arrived yesterday, and I was quite pleased that the Napier Hollweg had a nice sharp helix.  The images from the auction didn’t show the tip, and at such a smokin’ deal, I didn’t take the time to inquire about the condition of the piece.

IMG_7342IMG_7343IMG_7341

Marked PAT APPLIED FOR on the end hanging ring, and NAPIER STERLING on one of the hinges, it is pretty darn cool.

And, with a little silver polish, is suddenly got pretty shiny!

IMG_7345IMG_7346IMG_7350IMG_7352

A handsome corkscrew, that is a nice addition to the collection.

“The extractors are stocked by all druggists’ sundriesmen…”

From the July 27, 1895 issue of Pharmaceutical Journal Supplement:

Mr. Fred Coates, chemist and druggist, New Barford, Nottingham, has registered a useful and portable little Cork Extractor, which instantly and perfectly removes corks from bottles and bungs from jars.

coates

Chemists will appreciate it when they have to extra a cork cut off close to the bottle, dispensers will find it indispensable, and it is certainly about the handiest little tool for these purposes one can possibly possess.   The extractors are stocked by all druggists’ sundriesmen, and are retailed at 9d.  and 6d. each, according as they are plated or not.

Do any of you have a Coate’s Cork Extractor?

Buffalo Co-Operative Brewing Co.

I picked up a nice little Williamson roundlet corkscrew yesterday on our second favorite auction site.

And, while there is some finish loss on the bottle, it has a pretty cool advertising place for Buffalo Co-Operative Brewing Co.

buffalotray

This badge reads:

SPECIAL BREW

EXTRA 6

BUFFALO CO-OPERATIVE

BREWING CO.

 

buffalocoop1

buffalo3

And, while not described in the listing, there is a hole in the top for a stanhope.  We can (stan) hope that it is still present.

buffalo1

I will provide updates on the stanhope or not stanhope when it arrives in a couple of days.

A neat little addition to the collection.

On another corkscrew note, I am awaiting a second shipment of corkscrew stands so we can continue filling the various corkscrew cases that are now housed in the corkscrew room.

IMG_6978

frarybox

More pictures to follow, as the corkscrews get put in place…

Of course,  with the various cases, it is clear that I need more corkscrews.  Feel free to send pictures of corkscrews you have for trade!!!

 

Van Zandt Re-Vizited

While the deal for the Van Zandt patented cork pull was struck last week, the agreed upon price and subsequent payment needed to be completed through the U.S. Postal Service with a USPS Postal Order.  And, with holidays and Sundays, and then the lovely and I heading off  for a get away, the Van Zandt didn’t make it into my hands until yesterday.

Opening up the package, and looking at the piece, I am beyond pleased.  The mechanism works just as Van Zandt describes in his patent description, and oddly enough, functions very much like the Call’s Ideal that made my best 6 for last year.

I haven’t tried to clean the piece up (yet) but as mentioned the other day, this should make the best 6, and perhaps the best cork puller / corkscrew

of the year.

vpatentdate1867v1v2z3

I have done a bit of research into Van Zandt, and have yet to unearth anything other than the patent.  The hunt will continue, as will the hunt for antique corkscrews.

Stay tuned!

 

Best 1 of 6 of 2018…

It is early in the year, and there is much hunting and collecting to take place, but over the last couple of days a deal was struck for a cork puller that easily will make the best six of 2018.

If over the next 12 months, I manage to find 6 pieces that are rarer, and it doesn’t make the list, well…that would be a good problem to have.

As mentioned in the past, I spend lots of time looking at O’Leary’s tome on American patented corkscrews.  And, while I haven’t memorized every patent drawing in the back of his book, there are some that I indeed have.   Still, only going by a patent drawing isn’t really enough.  From drawing to manufacture things can change.  So, it really really really helps, when suddenly you are presented with a previously yet discovered cork puller that is clearly marked with a patent date.

The question of who?, what? when?,  is that really what it was intended for?, is answered pretty quickly with a quick  glance in the back of O’Leary.  This, of course, is often followed by visit to google patents.

Now, this very well may exist within another collector’s collection, but given it isn’t in O’Leary (at least the front) and given that it has yet to appear in any of the patent updates, I will say “new discovery.”   If it has been previously found, I will happily say, “it is a rare thing.”

“So, what did you find Josef?”  You are asking yourself

Ladies and gentleman, I present to you, the 1867 James D. Van Zandt patent for an Improved Cork Pull.

vanzandt7.jpg

vanzandt4

patentjuly301867

Marked “PATENT JULY 30, 1867,” within short order, I found the patent drawing on page 181 of O’Leary.

 

vanzandtpatentdraw

And, after checking on Google Patents, found even more…

Van Zandt’s patent description explains:

“The operation is as follows:  The cork-drawer being in the position indicated in Fig. I, it is forced down into the centre of the cork until the swing-bar has been pushed beyond the bottom of the cork, when, on drawing up the cork-drawer, the friction of the cork on the sliding prong d causes it to descend, b which the swing-bar is placed in a right-angled position to the prongs, and the cork follows the instrument as it is drawn out of the bottle.  The cork being drawn, it is easily disengaged from the prongs by sliding back the prong d by means of the thumb-piee and drawing it off, when the cork-drawer is again ready for use.”

The Improved Cork Pull will arrive in a couple of days, and I will add better pictures when it does.   Definitely a Best 6 candidate!  And, a fantastic addition to the collection.

In the meantime, the lovely and I are heading to Vermont for a quick getaway tomorrow… could the best 2 or 3 of 6 of 2018 be found in our adventures?

Stay tuned…

 

Miller’s Game Cock Rye

Over the weekend, the lovely personal personal trainer and I were on the mainland running errands and working on the house there.  And, with a little extra time between construction projects, the lovely suggested I hit up a local auction and see if there was anything worth picking up.

So, I hopped in the truck and headed over.  Skipping looking at the catalog, I sauntered over to the various tables and looked into several box lots, a few cases, etc., but didn’t really see anything that we HAD to have.  And, there were no corkscrews present.

During my examination of the upcoming lots, the auction was taking place.  And, I would glance over at the upcoming lots, to see if there was anything soon to be put up for bid.  A few paintings, some local advertising pieces…

Still no corkscrews.

Then, for some reason the auctioneer’s voice caught my ear, and he started talking glowingly about an advertising sign, 24 inches in diameter with an advertisement for Miller’s Game Cock Rye.

From my vantage point, I could only see the side of the sign and not the graphic, but it was getting a fair amount of attention from the bidders; with the ending bid at $ 155.00.

With the auction lot over, the runner with sign in hand started heading towards the purchased lots holding area, which required passing by me.  This allowed me a quick glance at the sign, which was brilliant.

And, at the bottom of the sign was pictured an antique corkscrew.

gamecock

Apparently there was a corkscrew present!

gamecock2

A really neat piece, and it was very cool to see it.

Of course, I would have preferred finding an actual antique corkscrew (or two) in one of those box lots.

Maybe next time!