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

The goods are attractive in appearance and are made as either right or left hand, as desired.

August 20, 1898 issue of Metal Worker:

POCKET CORK SCREW No. 21

Erie Specialty Company, Erie, Pa., are putting on the market the pocket cork screw herewith shown. The points of excellence enumerated by the manufacturers include the following: That the screws are made of steel and finely tempered, highly polished and nickeled: that they will draw any cork, and that they are strong and durable. In Fig. 2 the cork screw is shown in the shape for carrying in the pocket, being compact and taking but little room. The goods are attractive in appearance and are made as either right or left hand, as desired.

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As we know, this is Walker’s 1898 patent (# 611,046) for his peg and worm.

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Although the patent drawing is more reflective of the advertising version that sometimes turns up.

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Interestingly, of the two Walker peg and worms in our collection, one is right hand and one is left hand…

Frame with Slidable Tool Bit

On January 9, 1947, Richard Itaru Nakamura filed a patent application for his Frame with Slidable Tool Bit.  After a lengthy wait, his patent was finally approved on June 20, 1950.

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Several years ago, I remember John Morris presenting a show and tell at one of the ICCA meetings, and sharing the story about this multi-tool with a corkscrew.   I have been on a hunt for this ever since.

This morning, over a cup of coffee, I happened to find a random eBay lot that, amongst several other corkscrews, had the Nakamura patent.

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When I first looked at the picture, I thought.  “What is that odd opener, I know I have seen it somewhere.”

After a bit of searching, and knowing that Tommy had found one a while back, I went back through his blog of the time, and found the photo.

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Definitely looks like the same Frame with Slidable Tool Bit to me.

A really neat, and hard to find, American patent, that will soon be headed to the island–along with all the other corkscrews in the lot.

Best 6 candidate?  Indeed!

 

Halfway through 2018…

Well, it is mid-June, and the tourist season is kicking off in Maine.  The island’s population is slowing growing, but by the beginning of July it will be booming.  It is great to have old friends returning, and it seems like each day, there are more summer folk, and day trippers, arriving on the ferry.

Of course, it is around this time of year that plans for the ICCA and CCCC AGM’s get finalized.  This year, we are hosting both clubs, and we are excited to share Maine with all the attendees, but moreover, to host those that are attending on the island we call home.

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And, given that we are halfway through 2018, I was thinking about the best 6 corkscrews thus far for 2018.  While corkscrew news has been a little slow as of the last couple of weeks, it has been a pretty good year so far in acquiring those twisted treasures we covet.

Some of the corkscrews uncovered this year have already been moved on to other collectors, but here is what my best 6 would be, should we have to make a decision at this very moment:

Van Zandt, Sterling Napier Hollweg, Silver Syroco Knight, Rees Patent, Brown Patent, Monfort Patent…

I did pick up a Jenner patent as mentioned in a past blog, but given it is missing a portion, it is more of a place holder waiting for a complete example.

Of course, we still have half a year to go, and you never know what might turn up next.

The hunt will continue, and we look forward to seeing all of you in Maine.

A Combination Cork Screw, Bottle Opener, and Mechanical Pencil

From the September 11, 1943 issue of, The Billboard”

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3-IN-1 EVER-READY MECH. PENCILS

A Combination Cork Screw, Bottle Opener and Mechanical Pencil—Attractively Mounted on Handsome Easel-Back Counter Display Card—12 Pencils to the Card.

With a shortage of Cork Screws and Bottle Openers, you’ll find this 3-in-1 Pencil an especially fast seller. Attractive in color effect, well made, with repelling and expelling lead pencil action. Big retail value at $1.00. Card mounting boosts sales action Everybody buys!

WHILE THEY LAST
$5.40 PER DOZ. $63.00 PER GROSS

Enclose 25% deposit—balance O. O. D., F. O. B. Chicago

 

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Of course, we knew the Ever-Ready 3-in-1, as the 1938 Ruby patent…

another lot

The other day, a small lot of corkscrews was listed on eBay with a new (and improved) option that eBay has apparently implemented.  Instead of a Buy it Now or Best Offer, there is now an option of bidding or making an offer.

When the lot came up, I saw the opening bid, and offered for a little more than half on this particular lot.  And, the seller responded a few hours later, rejecting said offer.  Figuring, I needed a Walker Peg and Worm–one of the corkscrews in the lot–I upped my offer to his opening bid.  Doing so, didn’t win the lot.  It merely stayed there still up for bid.

This morning, the seller countered my offer, but the price was still fair, and a deal was agreed upon.

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There were no details given about the lot; whether the roundlet is sterling, the Williamson bottle roundlet is Sterling or has advertising, if the Clough has advertising, or if the Converse has advertising on it’s sheath, but it was the peg and worm that I really wanted.

Of course, what I really need is a spare peg for a Walker Peg and Worm, as I have an interesting advertising version of the Walker lacking it’s peg.

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Not a super rare addition to the collection, and it is the change in eBay’s approach that more interesting here.  Will more sellers start to take offers on what would be auctions?

taking a chance on a lot

The other day, a lot of openers with a few corkscrews was put up with a buy it now on eBay.  The price, wasn’t cheap, but it wasn’t crazy money either.

Within the lot was several advertising corkscrews, a peg and worm, an interesting looking roundlet, and a piece that looked like a Jenner patent missing a few of its appendages.

I thought about it briefly, and figured, I might as well go for it.

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The lot arrived yesterday in the mail, and there were some interesting pieces within the lot.  The Jenner, is indeed a Jenner with the 1871 patent date, but missing a few bits.  And, the peg and worm is interesting as it has its leather case.  My favorite piece, however is the roundlet.   It is the smallest roundlet I have ever seen, and it signed F & B Sterling.

Had the Jenner been complete, it would have been the star.  But for now, it will be a place holder until a complete one turns up.

Was the lot worth the price of admission?  Definitely worth it.  That said, if anyone out there has a complete 1871 Jenner patent, I am on the hunt for one.  Feel free to drop me a line.  Heck, if you have a complete one that is has a broken worm, I would be interested : )

13 years, and an alligator…

Time sure flies.  13 years ago, I started the blog.  Initially, it was hosted on MSN, but at some point, MSN migrated their blogs to wordpress.

Unfortunately, when they made that migration, photos prior to the new host site were deleted.  So, if one was to go to an old post from 2005 and 2006, there is verbiage, but no photos.  Still, there have been quite a few blog entries over 13 years, and I promise to keep it going.

As it happened, recently I won an non-eBay auction lot,  with a carved alligator handle corkscrew.  After confirmation that I had won, and promptly sending payment, I was informed that the auctioneer’s preferred shipper would arrange for shipping and provide an invoice for shipping.

I received the invoice for 40 dollars.

40 dollars for shipping???

For a corkscrew that weighs about 8 oz.

I called the aforementioned preferred shipper, and questioned their rationale behind charging 40 dollars (it was actually 39, but still).

A couple of days later, I received a revised invoice.

The package arrived yesterday, and the corkscrew was well packaged; box, paper, bubble wrap, etc., and it was a good thing, as box itself, had been crushed a bit.

 

The alligator remained unscathed.  And, it is a handsome little corkscrew, and a nice addition to the corkscrew swamp.

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