Turquoise, Arrowhead, Beads….

Okay… I am pretty sure the decorations are aftermarket, but yesterday a snuff box with foldout corkscrew came up on eBay with a smokin’ buy it now price.

The corkscrew, knife, and snuff box seemed to be in nice shape, but somewhere along the line, some one decided to add some turquoise pieces, what looks to be an arrowhead, and surrounded the arrowhead with red beads…

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Embellishments aside, it is a cool corkscrew.  And, as mentioned, it was cheap.

After making sure the corkscrew was all there, I snapped it up.

When it arrives, I will provide better pictures…  Perhaps this should end up in a collection located in the South West…  Any takers?  Feel free to send trade offers : )

Lifting shallow mustard bottle corks…

From a 1908 issue of Home Furnishing Review

The “Best” Can Opener and Cap Remover

This Tool is a most complete kitchen necessity, is made of steel, and is highly finished. The blades are of crucible tool steel, carefully tempered and the instrument

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includes five tools in one. It is a can opener and cork puller, and has in addition a fixed tongue, which is exceedingly handy in removing crown caps, lifting mil bottle seals without spilling milk, and extracting small, flat corks from condiment bottles in the manner shown in the illustration. It is a very handy tool and one that will fine almost every day use in the household. This is one of the many specialties made by the W. G. Browne Manufacturing Company, Kingston New York

When the Bird patent turns up, it is marked “PATS 3-28-07 & PENDING.”  and “THE BEST / CAN OPENER / CAP REMOVER / BOTTLE OPENER”

Of course, this particular can opener from W.G. Browne, is the 1909 Benjamin J. Bird patent # 913,191.  The ’07 patent refers to Bird’s previous patent # 854,979 (Thanks Mark Woodard for the information!).

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I am on currently hunting the Bird, if you happen to have one!

Interesting to note that one of the Bird’s appendages was intended to open condiment bottle corks!!

Frary Arrival

As mentioned recently, I picked up an oblong handle Frary corkscrew with the Henshall-type button.  This one has a little plus sign underneath that serves as a cork grabber.

And, given I have several of these in different sizes, with different worms, I had hoped that it would be a variant.

It arrived the other day, and the size of the handle, shank, and button, pretty much look the same; not that I pulled out my micrometer to check the exact measurements.

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Okay, I haven’t used a micrometer since my days as a machinist, but…

..they look to be the same, until you compare the worms.

Both are complete length, with no breakage or damage to either, but clearly one is longer than the other.

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So, technically not a new variation for the collection, but pretty cool nonetheless.

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If you have a Frary corkscrew with which you would like to part,

feel free to drop me a line.  I will happily add it to the collection!

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On another note, the lovely personal personal trainer and I are off on a road-tripping adventure for a few days.  If any corkscrews are discovered, I will provide updates here!

Stay Tuned!

Simplexity

So, as it happened, this morning I was perusing eBay, and ran across an antique bar screw, listed in category other than collectibles / corkscrews.

It looked vaguely familiar, yet not.

The seller also explained in his description, that it was unmarked, yet in the photos, you could make out the word PATENTED on the base.

And, there was also a buy it now price on the listing.

I went for it.

Before I could check out Wayne’s book on bar screws, I had to be at the wine shop.  So, I sent a picture to RL and TC, and RL came back with a picture of the Simplex Bar Screw in Wayne’s book.

I thought it looked similar as well, having owned the Simplex in the past.

Still, without a counter mounted version of the Simplex in Wayne’s book, I did wonder.

A bit later, I emailed images to Wayne, who responded with, “Looks like a top mount version of the Simplex to me, without the fancy casting.”

Okay, thus far we are thinking along the same lines.    Simplex, but not one that was documented in his book.  Could it really be a Simplex, or…?

So, I did a little digging, as I am want to do.   And, what should appear, but in an 1894 issue of The Iron Age, the top / counter mount version of the Simplex illustrated with description

Simplex Cork Puller

The illustration herewith shown represents a cork puller introduced by Manning, Bowman, & Co., Meriden, Conn., and 57 Beekman street, New York. The construction of the cork puller, which is nickel plated, is shown in the cut, the parts on which the strain comes are roller bearing to reduce the friction to a minimum.

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The cork puller is simple, having no cogs or levers; and it is impossible, it is stated, to get it out of order. It is claimed that bottles cannot be broken when using the puller, as the cork revolves while it is being drawn. The wire is cut, the cork drawn and thrown off the worm automatically simply by turning the crank. The manufacturers claim that the puller requires little room in which to operate it, as the it is smaller than other machines; that it takes one-third the power to oepratte it, and that it is positively noiseless in operation.

 

Not a bad way to ring in the New Year, and to start building the 2019 Best Six (a day early)!

 

A year of corkscrewing around: 2018

It was a fantastic year of corkscrewing around!

From adventures to Syracuse, the Murphy Knife Co., Brimfield and beyond, to hosting the ICCA and CCCC meetings in Maine, from the publication of the Syracuse Corkscrews book to christening the “Corkscrew Room” with so many fellow collectors, it has been a fabulous year of antiquing, good friends, corkscrews, and a little bit of wine.

Okay, more than a little wine…

What will 2019 bring?  Lofoten, Stratford Upon Avon, trips to Brimfield…  The mind races.

But, be sure to stay tuned, you never know what will turn up next!

patented in Rockland Maine

For those of you that found yourselves traipsing around Maine last month searching for corkscrews, there is a corkscrew that was patented in Rockland Maine in 1882.

And, while I have blogged about the Aaron M. Austin patent (#266,073) previously (5 years ago or so) the other day, I managed to find a second example.

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According to  Leading business men of Bangor, Rockland and vicinity: embracing Ellsworth, Bucksport, Belfast, Camden, Rockport, Thomaston, Oldtown, Orono, Brewer published in 1888, ““Austin’s Toilet Novelty,”  “gives but a very imperfect and inadequate idea of the many uses to which that truly wonderful combination tool can be applied…””

Marked with the patent date of  PAT 10-17-82, it is a very cool little combination tool.

That said, given that I already have one in the collection, perhaps a little trade could happen.

Anyone need the 1882 Austin patent?

Drop me a line.

 

Showing & Telling

While both AGMs will be written up in The Bottle Scrue Times and the Quarterly Worme respectively, and surely there will be a myriad of pictures from both, the AGMs both had fabulous show and tell sessions.

This is one of my favorite parts of our get togethers.  Fascinating new discoveries are shared and passed around.

Yes, there are still new discoveries!!!

As for me, I got to show and talk about the 1867 Van Zandt patent…

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as well as the new Syroco Corkscrews book.

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Only a few copies of the book were available at the meeting, but should you want a copy you can email Ion Chirescu at his book email: chirescu.book@gmail.com .

SyrocoWood Corkscrews and Decorative Accessories, is 330 pages of all things Syroco, and has fabulous imagery of the corkscrews and openers that we covet.

With that said, I would like to steal a moment here, to congratulate Tommy Campnell for receiving the Bernard Watney Award for his work on this book.

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Congrats Tommy!!!

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.

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.

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 : )