Corkscrewing around 2017…

The lovely and I are heading off for a quick getaway for the coming days, and there surely will be some champagne and antiquing involved in our travels.

And, we wish you all a Happy New Year filled with love, peace, understanding, health, and of course, corkscrews.

Happy New Year!, and what a 2017 it was…


Narrowing the list

It is that time of year again.  26 days until the end of the fiscal-corkscrew-collecting year. And, while I would love to add a few more to the collection before the year is out, it is time to start narrowing the list of what will make the best six of the year.

And, as has become tradition, I put it out to you guys to vote on what should make the list.

For me, sometimes it isn’t about the rarest per se, but the most appropriateness of fit within the collection.  And, given that I focus on corkscrews of American manufacture, that certainly narrows the list already.

Still, feel free to vote below, and help me narrow the list!

It has indeed been a good year of corkscrew collecting thus far…

Of course, there were many other corkscrews picked up this year that could make the list but just didn’t make the cut.  And, there are those that have been traded away; The combination hammer with fold out corkscrew ended up with John Morris. The black and red legs that got traded away, but then ended up in Jose’s collection via the auction.  And, of course there was the folding Greeley that made its way into TC’s collection.

It is still a good time to be a corkscrew collector!  They are still out there.  Here is a small sampling of corkscrews that didn’t make the list, but might make someone else’s best 6!

That said, here are the 9 that are in the running, but it is time to narrow them down to six.

Of course, something could turn up in the coming weeks that makes the decision that much harder.

Still, feel free to weigh in.


It pays to advertise (again)

There is a Gold Medal Malt cork puller enroute to the collection!


A few days ago, I had posted an image of the folding Greeley on Facebook, hoping that someone would have a second one.

And, before long, this was offered up.

Not a Greeley, but still a cool cork puller to add to the collection.

This one is an advertising piece for “GOLD MEDAL MALT, FRANKENMUTH PRODUCTS CO.”

There will be more news shortly.  We are heading to the airport this morning to pick up Tommy!  Let the corkscrewing around commence!


Black and Red

So, the lovely and I headed off to Brimfield earlier the week for a one day visit to the show.

The September show, actually starts the Tuesday following Labor Day, and Labor Day is kind of the end of the vacation season in Maine, so heading south on Labor Day for an antique show that starts the following morning can make for a very slow drive.

Last year, I did just that.  I headed south, and then west, on Labor Day and traffic on the highway was and a stand still.  I chose to take route 1, and hit a few antique stores, but this route was also stop and go, and it literally took me an hour to traverse a certain 3 mile section.  Fortunately, I knew of a detours, and got out of the mess, and eventually hopped back on the highway a bit later on where it was smooth sailing from then on.

Having had that experience, we decided on a different plan.  Head down a day earlier, and grab a hotel in Portsmouth, NH…this would make for a shorter drive the following day, and we would have avoided those last day drivers.  The following morning, we discussed how making the usual drive down to Brimfield wasn’t very desirable, having just done it in July, and more recently for a trip to visit friends.  So, we took another option, we meandered east through New Hampshire, and then after a lovely lunch in Keene, took backroads south that literally dropped us into Brimfield where dealers were setting up.

Knowing that we would begin the hunt in the morning, we started heading to Sturbridge where we had a hotel, but hit a few antique stores along the way.  I almost never go to these stores, as we are usually staying further afield.  At one shop we did pick up a Warner’s Safe Cure Clough Medicine corkscrew, and passed on a few others.

On Tuesday morning, in the wee hours, I got ready for the day, and headed off; the lovely would be joining me at a more decent hour.  And, I made my way through the fields with flashlight in hand.

An H & B direct pull was the first corkscrew of the day, followed by a similar unmarked version.  A small folding bow came paired with an interesting 1881 patented folding button hook.   After another cup of coffee, I was off again and found a marked Chinnock patent frame corkscrew.  This too came as a pairing–I picked up one of those Williamsburg Brass frames with it, and while the Chinnock had a price tag of 25, the dealer offered both for 20 dollars.  The Chinnock was the better of the two, or course, and smokin’ deal.

Somewhere along the way, there were a pair of Noyes patents; both marked with the patent date rather than the Green River Whiskey mark.

It seemed like everything was coming in 2s….   Could there be two Frarys laying around? Two Blakes?

At 8ish, the lovely texted that she was in the fields, and I headed over to meet up with her.  We meandered around, finding a few treasures.   She picked up a deco jigger, and we searched the dealer’s booth, as he swore there was a corkscrew somewhere amongst his wares.

No corkscrew was found.

We headed off looking for corkscrews and display cases, and other various items in which we are in need.

As the time was heading towards 11, the lovely was on her way back to Maine, as she needed to pick up Philos from boarding, and I was going to hit the last two fields (we had two cars, for those wondering).

At Dealer’s Choice, there were a couple of corkscrews, but nothing that exciting.  I did pickup a bobblehead Anri stopper for a fair price, and toyed with splurging for a midcentury coffee table, but eventually passed.

As the 1:00 field opened, I knew there would be corkscrews, as there is always one particular dealer that has them.  That said, he often has a high price on the corkscrews within his possession.

Instead of heading over to his booth immediately, I meandered the aisles, ever hopeful.  A grapevine there, stag handle with sterling caps here; both overpriced.  I made the rounds.  Then, I hit the aforementioned dealer’s both, and there you had it.  A pair of legs.

Not a pair of legs, but a pair of a pair of legs.  One was a half flesh version, the other stripes.  I was offered both, but when it came down to it, I only really wanted one.  And, this time he really wasn’t pricey given the rarity of this particular striped version.

I offered a little less than he was asking, and he came down a bit.  Then I offered a partial trade, as I brought a couple of nice corkscrews with me.  No deal there, but I now know what he is looking for.  But, in the end reached into my pocket and paid his (reduced) asking price.

With the legs in my pocket, I headed off to continue the hunt, but I also had about 15 minutes before I too had to head off and make the drive back to Maine.

I did manage to hit the entire field, and was back in the truck by 2…  And, after a bit of traffic in the beginning of the trek back to Rockland, the rest was pretty much smooth ride.

Not a bad haul for one day in Brimfield.  And, while I am sure there were other corkscrews put out for sale on days 2 through 6, it was certainly worth the the drive.


The treasure of the day was definitely the red and black legs!


We have already booked a house for the May Brimfield Antiques Show!

You never know what will turn up next!

Stay Tuned…





more catching up…

Okay…. so there is some more catching up to do…

After a few days in Amsterdam, the lovely personal personal trainer and I… Ubered (is that a verb?) over to Zaandam for the next segment of our adventure.

Arriving early…we were allowed to check in early, which was fortunate, as we had plans to hop on a train with Tommy (who had already checked into the hotel the day before) to Horn to visit Ferd & Mariet.

After a two-hour train ride, Ferd was waiting for us, and drove us to their home.  A fantastic mid-century house; wine was followed by wine which was followed by lunch which was followed by a viewing of the corkscrews.  And, the viewing of corkscrew was followed by more wine and more corkscrews.  It was a great time!


At the appointed time, Mariet delivered Tommy, Sue, and I to the train station, where we headed back to Zaandam and our hotel.

The next day was going to be the corkscrewteer adventure!  Our unofficial meeting; Robert and Marie France, Tommy, the lovely and I, and the Vrijland Family…  Leon and Saskia, in separate vehicles, scooped us up at the hotel, and we headed over to their place.  Wine, corkscrews, wine, and more wine, it was great to see the collection, catch up a bit, and meet the kids.


Corkscrew viewing and deals was followed by a lovely lunch, and this was followed by a return to corkscrewing around.  And, this was followed by a fantastic multi-course dinner with wine pairings for each course where Nic joined us as well.



An outstanding welcoming adventure; especially given the pressures of hosting a meeting in the following days!


The next day the meeting was to begin.  Registration, reception, followed by a gala dinner.  Members of the CCCC enjoyed the evening; wine, food, and a convivial atmosphere!   Peter managed to arrive, albeit a bit late, to the party!


The following morning it was time for the auction and buy and sell.  Lots of corkscrews changed hands, and two of the pieces that I picked up at the antique market in Wiesbaden found new homes.


Following the buy and sell and auction, we headed off for a boat ride where we saw many windmills.  More details on the meeting  and our adventures together in the upcoming Quarterly Worme (for those of you that are CCCC members).


This was followed by yet another lovely dinner!

The next morning was both the AGM and the Show and Tell.  The lovely personal personal trainer and Tommy presented on the 2018 meeting; to be held in Portland, Maine, and there was a vote for the 2019 meeting.  And, a collective of Brits won the vote with 2019 to be held in Warwick, England!

After the meeting, there was a group lunch, where many attendees exchanged goodbyes, hugs, handshakes, and “see you next year in Maine.”

Sue had arranged a bottle of Champagne to be delivered, and with just a small group of us, we toasted our hosts.  A great job Leon, Saskia, Ferd, and Mariet!

Many of the attendees departed following the meeting and lunch, but a few of us stayed on for one more night.  And, after regrouping, we headed out as a collective to find dinner.

Early the next morning, a taxi took us to the Amsterdam airport, where after a kind of crazy bag checking frenzy, we made it through security, boarded our plane, and headed for Boston.

All in all, the travel went off without a hitch, and we made the drive back to Rockland, stopping off to pick up Philos along the way.

The last few days have been playing catch up at the shop, unpacking corkscrews, and looking forward to our next corkscrewy adventure.

More corkscrew news as it happens!

Stay tuned

Catching up…

Well, that was fun and exciting!

I know it has been a bit since I have blogged, but we have been on the go since we last left off…

To catch up…

On Friday the fourth, we left Vinalhaven and met up with friends for the First Friday Art Walk in Rockland.  For those wondering, Rockland has pretty much become the art capital of Maine; galleries, museums, etc.  This was then followed by dinner for 9 at In Good Company, one of our favorite places to dine in Rockland.

Saturday was a leisurely morning, with a few errands to run before we headed to Boston to catch our flight, but with the Union Antiques Fair happening that morning, eight of the nine that had dinner together the previous evening found themselves hunting the fields at Union.  No corkscrews to be had (well, worth buying, or not overpaying for), but a good time was had by all.

Sunday included a few last errands, and then a drive to Portsmouth, where we caught a commuter bus to Boston, where we hopped an overnight flight to Paris.

Our Paris stay was brief, as we were then on a flight to Frankfurt.

The two days in Frankfurt were just lovely.  Good weather, morning runs, afternoon stops at the various eateries, Goethe museum, and just a good couple of days to lose any jet lag, and get ready for the next part of our adventure; the ICCA AGM in Mainz.

After a 30, or so, minute train ride to Mainz, we walked from the train station to the Hilton on the river, where the meeting was being held.  As we checked in, we ran into several other attendees, and exchanged pleasantries.

Having checked in, Sue was messaging with Tommy, and we met up for a walk across the bridge for a lovely lunch (with wine…lots of wine).  Knowing we had to get back for the Right’s Reception, we headed back.

The reception was quite lovely, with some nice wines which were enjoyed by all; with much of the evening spent catching up with each other, hearing corkscrews stories, and discussing the upcoming days.  The reception was followed with time for dinner on our own, and we headed downstairs to the bar/restaurant area.  We called it a night at a relatively decent hour, but word was the drinks kept coming into the wee hours.

The following morning started with breakfast, and at the appointed time we gathered for a walking tour of Mainz and a tour of the Guttenberg Museum.  We enjoyed a fascinating presentation of how the moveable type was made, and after continuing our walk, ended up back at the hotel for a group lunch.

After lunch we had our annual auction, buy and sell, and show and tell; in that order.  Ferd had brought with him an oversized Clough that was soon in my hands, and then auction slips were filled out on other items in anticipation.  Overall, the auction went pretty well, with lots of pieces changing hands.

The buy and sell, also netted out lots of sales for the addicts the brought corkscrews with them.  I sold many, bought two, and then was asked if I would sell those as well.  Always funny when that happens.

The show and tell was a definite highlight of the meeting.   In the latest issues of the BST, BT, IH, and I, all had a bit of a focus on the Show and Tell portion of the meeting, and there were lots of corkscrews shown and talked about; with several addicts showing more than one.  It is fascinating what each of us finds in a given year, and each corkscrew was handed around, examined, photographed, and discussed further.

With lots of corkscrews shown and talked about, later that evening we had a group dinner together at a nearby restaurant.  Good food, lively conversation, and lots (and lots) of good wine.

On our next morning, after breakfast, we were soon on a bus.  And, the bus took us to the appointed location where we would be boarding a riverboat a cruise on the Rhein.  The tour of the river offered another opportunity for addicts and go-withs to catch up, engage in the convivial atmosphere, and work a trade or two.

Midway in our journey, we docked at a castle where we were met with music, a bit of dancing, and a tour.  This was followed by a return to the boat where lunch would shortly be served.  The food was lovely, and the wine (lots of wine) flowed.

Following lunch, we had a bit of entertainment, and we also held a second chance buy and sell.  For those that bought more corkscrews with them, it did give addicts a second chance, with a few more corkscrews changing hands.  In some cases, with no monies changing hands, as TC had taken it upon himself to offer to flip people for corkscrews; price of the corkscrew doubled versus getting the corkscrew for free.  While the result was met with laughter and handshakes, TC lost both flips.

In the late afternoon, we docked a block or so from our hotel, and we all headed back to our temporary digs; making dinner plans along the way.

The next morning, we were to be on a bus to Ruedesheim.  Addicts and Go-withs enjoyed a brief stop at the Niederwald Monument, and this was followed by a delightful visit to the Museum of Mechanical Music.  The instruments were fascinating!


After a brief ride through the vineyard clad landscape, we had a tour and tasting at Schloss Johannesburg.  The tour was lovely, the wines were quite nice, and the lunch that followed was fabulous.  The bus ride back to the hotel was followed by a brief break between activities and then it was time for the Annual General Meeting.

Minutes were approved, awards were awarded, and proposals and presentations for our next AGM were proposed and presented.  The 2018 meeting will be in Rockland, Maine and held at the Samoset Resort, for those that are wondering.

Following the meeting (and after grabbing a bottle of wine from the bar), we had time to unwind a bit, and get ready for the Gala dinner.  Addicts adorned in their finery were soon congregating at the appointed location where the annual punch (made from Jack Daniels) had addicts and go-withs seeking a second glass, before we all sat down for a lovely dinner (where the wine flowed).

The next morning, a special side trip had been planned, and those who were interested would be hopping in taxies to Wiesbaden for a morning antique show.  And, were there corkscrews?  Reinhold had let the various friends and dealers that set up there, to bring their corkscrews, and word definitely got around.  Piles and piles of corkscrews amongst the many dealers.  At one dealer, BT was making a deal on a Rausch, while at another table TC made a deal for a Dray.   Lots of corkscrews were changing hands, and I managed to pick up a few.  On in particular was garnering a bit of attention, as I picked up what looks to be a bike wrench with corkscrew attached.

BT said he had never seen another.

Ferd said he had never seen another.

Reinhold stopped me to introduce me to another friend/collector, who informed me that he had indeed seen another example years ago.  Knowing that there was another version of this out there, and others oohing and ahhing at the find, made it a kind of fun trophy/souvenir of an antique show attended by throngs of addicts.

Knowing we had yet another train to catch, we said our goodbyes to one another; although these are rather temporary goodbyes as in a few days we will all come together again in Zaandam for the CCCC AGM.

After returning to the hotel, we gathered our bags (with added corkscrews, and an art deco overhead light fixture (a story for another day) and headed over to a train to Frankfurt airport, where we would change trains for a pretty overcrowded, but pleasant enough train ride to Amsterdam.

Where after a day of exploring, we are having a second glass of wine.

More photos to come, and I will catch you all up on the next portion of the adventure as it happens; or perhaps a few days after it happens.

Stay tuned.

just a few more days

Just a few more days until we leave the island in anticipation of the ICCA and CCCC meetings in Mainz and Zaandam.

We are pretty much packed, with the exception of corkscrews.  That will happen later today, and then we depart for the mainland tomorrow.

Saturday will include an antiquing adventure to the Union Antiques show.  I will report back here if anything corkscrews are found, or even if corkscrews aren’t found.

Let’s hope for the former.

And, then it is off to Boston where we will board a flight to Frankfurt.  We have rented an  apartment in Frankfurt for a couple of days before we head to Mainz.   I will report back here if anything corkscrews are found in Frankfurt, or even if corkscrews aren’t found.

Let’s hope for the former.

Of course, lots of corkscrews will be found, handled, sold, bought, and traded at the meetings, I will report back with news from the meetings as well.

For all that are attending, safe travels…  And, for those who can’t make it this year.   Good hunting!


That is a BIG Clough…

So, the other day, I was perusing the usual potential corkscrew sites, when I noticed a large Clough being offered on the CorkscrewCollectors Buy Now site for a pretty fair price.

I have always wanted one of these salesman sample display pieces, and I promptly went through the the process of buying said item.


Measuring approximately 10 inches from stern to stem, it will be a handsome addition to the collection.

The question remains, does this go to the wine shop, or does it go to the corkscrew room?  And, if it does go to the corkscrew room, what sort of corkscrew stand would be appropriate?