Stop. Hammer Time…


It looked unusual.

It sort of matches up with a patent drawing.

I don’t have it.

It had a buy it now.

How could I not….?


In the eBay listing, there was no indication of markings, so I am guessing that there aren’t any.  Do any of you have any info on this interesting corkscrew – combination tool?


Looking forward to the ICCA and CCCC AGMs

It has been a pretty busy last few weeks.  While the lovely and I got to steal away for a couple of days to go to Brimfield, the wine shop is buzzing with activity, as the Summer visitors have come to the island.  Many of these folk have over the years become good friends, and with the island’s population swelling four-fold, there is much wining, dining, and convivializing going on.

And, it is around this time every year, that we plan our escape.

We love the island and the activity/energy of July and August, but the Annual General Meetings of the ICCA and the CCCC will soon be upon us, and we will soon hop on the boat to the mainland, and after making our way to the airport, we will be off to Mainz and later Zaandam.

The wine shop will be left in very capable hands, and we will be off on our next corkscrew adventure, where we will engage in a couple of weeks of wining, dining, and convivializing, and corkscrewing around.

Our departure is still a couple of weeks away, but we certainly are looking forward to seeing everyone there.  Corkscrews will be shown and talked about.  Corkscrews will be auctioned.  Corkscrews will be bought and sold.  Did I mention there will be corkscrews? And, of course, it is great to see good friends.

For those of you that have never attended one of the corkscrew meetings, or haven’t attended in quite a while, it is a fantastic opportunity to see a wide array of corkscrews, and to meet a wide array of corkscrewy friends.

If you are going to be in Mainz and Zaandam, see you soon!  If you aren’t going to be in Mainz or Zaandam in 2017, the 2018 meetings will be held in Maine (Rockland for the ICCA and Portland for the CCCC).  And, we hope to see you there!

More corkscrew news as it happens.

Stay tuned.





Stealing away to Brimfield

It has been a few years since we have attended a July Brimfield.  When we lived in Massachusetts, I would still make the drive down, as it was all of about 45-50 minutes away.  Since moving to Maine, however, with the boat ride, drive, hotel, etc., we have been less inclined.

And, this works in combination with the fact that the July show is much smaller than May or September.  It is usually hot, humid, muggy, and that precipitates a smaller crowd, which precipitates a smaller dealer turn out, which precipitates a smaller crowd, which precipitates a smaller dealer turn out.

And, so it goes.

Still, there are a fair amount of dealers that turn up, and whilst smaller there are a group of dedicated buyer/collectors who make the trip.

And, so, with the wine shop being taken care of by a stellar crew, the lovely and I stole away for the opening day of Brimfield.

And, the aforementioned cycle of less dealers leading to less buyers leading to less dealers, was pretty apparent.  One particular field that might take you an hour or so, if you were hustling, was completed in half that time.  And, I was meandering, as it appeared as though there were no other corkscrew collectors present.

Still, there are dealers walking the fields that know a good corkscrew when they see one, and so one does have a fairly decent pace.

Oh, did I mention that rained for the first 5 hours of the show?

When I got there, it was pouring.   I hopped in a taxi from where we were staying, with the lovely planning to arrive a bit later than 5 am.  I had borrowed an umbrella from the hotel, and began my trek across the fields.  Word from various dealers was that it was supposed to let up around 10.  It did, now and then; until the next could burst and deluge.

Of course, with the lower dealer count, lower buyer count, heavy rains, many dealers chose to keep their tents closed, and presumably stay in bed, until the rain abated.

Still, there were a corkscrews to be found, although with fewer dealers, inevitably there would be fewer corkscrews.

A Clough here, a few wire cork retrievers there, I had picked up a few items by the time the lovely was supposed to arrive.  And, then literally as she was pulling into the parking lot, and I was in the adjacent field, I ran across a Syroco Indian (just the head version) for the nice rainy price of 15 dollars.


With the Indian now in my backpack, and the lovely bride walking the fields with me, things were looking up.

After lunch, we headed to Dealer’s Choice (which opened at 11:00).  By now the rain was over, but with the sun coming out, and temperatures heading towards the 80’s, it began to be muggy, humid, and you could hear people (that were complaining about the rain an hour ago) getting a little vocal about their new discomfort.

But, the sun was out, we are in the fields antiquing, and we were finding… well… stuff:


Beyond corkscrews, we were also on the hunt for a few other items.  So, with the lovely heading one direction in a field, and I heading the other, our respective phones were buzzing back and forth with images of midcentury coffee tables and barrister cases; both of which are potential additions to the corkscrew room.

There were a couple of contenders, but nothing was exactly right.  The hunt continued.

Did I mention there was stuff to be had?


Following the 11:00 field, we reconvened and headed over to the last field of the day.

And, as it goes in July, the dealers were sparse, but hope springs eternal.

I passed on a deal for two pair of ladies legs.  One pair was the half flesh half stocking variety, the other more interesting as the stripes were red and black.  The asking price for the two pair was steep.  I offered big for just the red and black, but the dealer was only going to sell them as a set.

I have a feeling they will be available in September, and will try him again.

Having exhausted the fields for the day, and having (according to my iPhone) traipsed some 14 miles, we called it a day.

Half a dozen corkscrews, no midcentury coffee tables, no barrister bookcases…

The next morning, the lovely hit the gym, and I headed back to the show.  We were actually going to be heading home that morning, but I stole away for the morning opening.

At 6:00, I made it through the appropriate gate, and preceded to peruse the various dealers’ booths.   Again, less populated than the May and September, but attendees and dealers were in better spirits, as there was no rain, and temps were lower.

Alas, no corkscrews were to be found.

Knowing that we had a long drive back home, I decided I would skip the next field (opening at 9:00) and head back to the hotel to pick up the lovely, and begin the trek back to Maine.

Walking through a field on the way back to the all-terrain-corkscrew-pursuit-vehicle, I wandered past a tent where a dealer was unpacking, I asked about corkscrews, and he said did indeed have one.

Reaching from under a couple of boxes resting atop a Mies Van der Rohe Barcelona chair, he pulled out the corkscrew and handed me an 1892 Becker decorative split frame.


A little cash (very little) changed hands, and I was again on my way.

And, with that last purchase, a fun, albeit wet and muggy, Brimfield adventure came to a close on a pretty high note.

Shortly thereafter, the lovely and I were back on the road and heading home, with much of our conversation revolving around our next corkscrew adventures…

Planning for the September 2017 show has begun, and even plans for 2018 are being set forth.

You never know what will turn up.

Stay tuned.




Another alligator is heading to the corkscrew swamp…

For the last week or so, I have been keeping an eye on an non-eBay auction, and the lot I was watching ended the other day.

The lot of interest contained several corkscrews, and one was a celluloid alligator.


As I am inherently cheap, I threw out a fairly low bid, and went about business as usual.

To my amazement, the following morning as I was checking my email, it was confirmed that I won the auction.

Wait… What?


So, it looks like the celluloid alligator (and all the other stuff) will soon be heading to the island.

The cigar tools are not my thing, so if anyone wants to make a trade, feel free to drop me a line.

Mont Rouge Wines…

As many of you already know, over the years I have been culling the herd, as it were, and reducing the corkscrew collection from anything-corkscrew to American patented and manufactured corkscrews.  Not that I don’t appreciate English, French, and German corkscrews, it just seemed to make sense to me.  Limited space, limited funds, and American stuff does turn up whilst traipsing around looking for corkscrews.

Still, there are some German, British, and French corkscrews that remain in the collection.  Some are a good fit for where we live.  Celluloid Mermaids do somehow fit given we live on an island 14 miles off the mainland, for example.

And, as of yesterday, another German corkscrew is headed to the collection.  This isn’t the rarest of German corkscrews, as it is a simple Steinfeld waiter.   And, I have had others, but this one also seems to fit as it carries an advertisement for an early California winery; Mont Rouge.


Mont Rouge was a winery in Livermore California started by Adrien Chauché in the 1884.


An article from an 1886 issue of the Livermore Herald explains:

The Mont-Rouge Vineyard was planted by well-known wine expert MR. A. G. Chauché, in 1884.  Its name is taken from the celebrated Mont Rouge in France, resembling the same in general style and principally in soils. Mont Rouge (Livermore) contains as fine an assortment of wines as there is in the state.

The location of the vineyard is on a slightly elevation within a mile of the town of Livermore.

The winery is constructed for the best conveniences for the proper wine making and ageing of wines, a fact most important in the making good wines, as the handling of properly fermented wines is the sure road to a good article.

Mr. Chauche’s one ambition in entering into the California wine business was to make such goods as would in the course of time sell on their name as well as merit, the same as well-known European wines are sold to-day…

For Chauché, his grape of choice was Zinfandel, and in 1889, his Mont-Rouge Zin won gold at the 1889 Paris exposition.  Clearly he lived up to the ambition mentioned in the 1886 article.

There are several other Steinfeld waiter corkscrews that carry early California advertising.  Featured on Dean Walters’ Facebook Early California Wine Trade Museum page, he lists the following wineries and wine merchants that appear on Steinfeld waiters…
A. Finke’s Widow, San Francisco
Korbel’s Champagne.
California Winery, Sacramento, Cal., Cordova, the Wine of Quality.
The Winedale Co., Oakland, Cal., Copo D’Oro Wines.
Mont Rouge Wines (near Livermore).
The A. Goux Co., Santa Barbara, Cal.
I. DeTurk Wines (Santa Rosa).
Montebello Wine Co., S.F., Cal. (winery near Cupertino).
Theo. Gier Wine Co., Giersberger Wines. (Oakland, Livermore, & Napa).

Do you have a Steinfeld waiter with California wine advertising?  Are there others that we could add to Dean’s list?


Old Elk Whiskey – Always Pure

The lovely personal personal trainer and I headed off island over the weekend for a trip Down East.  For those of you not from Maine, which I gather is everyone that will read this, to go down east from where we live, you actually go north.

Down East which now is used to describe the geographical area of northern coastal Maine and the Canadian maritime provinces, stems from nautical terminology referring to wind direction, rather than physical location. In warmer months, the prevailing winds along that area of the coast blow from the southwest.  Ships then would sail downwind, to travel east; hence down east.

Not that really has anything to do with corkscrews, but what the heck.

So, we got off the boat, and headed north.

We skipped the Big Chicken Barn, but did hit the Trash or Treasure Barn.  No corkscrews were found, but we did see a few pieces of furniture that might work in the house.  And, we did hit a few more antique stores along the way.  Similarly, no corkscrews were found.

This was our first trip this far up the coast, and as we meandered north, we both enjoyed the bold rocky coastline.

Eventually we got to our hotel; which is also, conveniently, a pub.  Located in Lubec, Maine it is the easternmost town in the U.S.  So, we ate at the Easternmost restaurant, visited the Easternmost gift shop, toured the Easternmost museum, and had several pints at the Easternmost brewery in the U.S.   I will add here, that not every establishment advertises themselves this way, but several do.  Not that there are a lot of establishments in Lubec.  It is a fairly sleepy little town even this time of year, but that will change in the coming weeks as Summer travelers visit the seaside town.


With Lubec being our homeport for a few days, we visited the Quoddy light house, East Port, and also Campobello (Canada is across the bridge from Lubec).  A word of advice in driving through Campobello…slow down for the turtles…

All in all a really fun trip.  We got to see an area of Maine that one could easily fall in love with, a bit of antiquing (no corkscrews were found), some good food and wine (and beer), and some stunning scenery.


For those of you in the ICCA, we are hosting the meetings in Maine in 2018.  With those extra days that you might be spending, a trip down east (which includes Acadia and Bar Harbor) is definitely worth experiencing.

Okay Josef, so what does this have to do with corkscrews???

Nothing really, but it was a pretty fabulous weekend.

And, in between all of this fabulous-ity, I managed to pick up an interesting pair of ladies legs online.

On one side, it would seem, more or less common as they are pink and white striped legs.

On the reverse side, however, there are two advertising plates mounted across the celluloid which carry advertising for OLD ELK WHISKEY ALWAYS PURE.



The Old Elk Bottle pictured above is courtesy of the Lexington Historical Museum and they date the bottle to 1895, so it is pretty much the very bottle that these particular legs might have been used upon.

An interesting pair of legs…and a great weekend.





Well, I just looked at the calendar and realized two things.  One, I have been remiss in blogging.  And, two…we are pretty much midway through the corkscrew-collecting-year, and I need to buy/find more corkscrews!

It has already been a pretty good (half) year for corkscrew hunting already, and with Summer travels, corkscrew meetings, two more visits to Brimfield, and other wine related adventures, you never know what might turn up.

Tonight we are having a wine tasting at the shop, but tomorrow we begin a boat/road trip up the coast of Maine towards (and possibly into) Canada.  There certainly will be some antiquing along the way.

Still, at this halfway/midway point, I started to consider some of the better finds that have been made so far, and wonder if these will ultimately make the best 6 of the year.

While there have been many corkscrews already, here are the potential candidates…


The Voigt Brewing Davis

Spaulding Gorham Prongs

Ivory Handled H & B

Unusual (unmarked) cork extractor

General Appliance wall mount

Yes, I know that is only five…

I did pick up an interesting Thomason the other day with a really unusual fluted/ribbed barrel.  Unfortunately, it had a replacement handle–a poor choice at that…and similarly unfortunate, a marked Guinot worm.

I am still working on a more appropriate repair job, but I have no doubt this will find its way into another collector’s collection.


It could very well be that over the course of the coming months, corkscrews are found that knock all of the aforementioned five off the list.

At least we can hope!

Stay tuned…



JFO handbook listings…

As mentioned yesterday, the Voigt Brewing Davis is a new discovery.  But, given that I have quite a few Davis/Detroit and Puddefoot/Detroit corkscrews with advertising, brewery and otherwise, I decided to revisit the JFO handbook listings to what other advertising was out there.

And, it looks like there is some more hunting to do… (the ones in bold, I do already have…)

According to the Just for Openers Handbook, here are the variations of brewery advertising (this does not include non-brewery advertisements) that appear on the Davis Detroit Corkscrew, Davis Detroit Corkscrew with Knife, and Puddefoot Detroit Corkscrew:

Davis/Detroit Corkscrew (P-002, in JFO speak)











THE VOIGT BREWERY LTD. DETROIT, MICH. U.S.A. “DRINK RHINEGOLD” (will soon be added to the handbook).



Davis/Detroit Corkscrew with Knife (P-185, in JFO speak).


Puddefoot/Detroit Corkscrew (P-70, in JFO speak).



Of course, going through the handbook listings, gives one pause.  There are two different versions of the Greenway Brewing Davis, two variations of the Minneapolis Gilt Edge Davis, and four variations of the Voigt Davis!

With the variations in advertising, you might want to check your Davis corkscrews to see if you have one that isn’t on the list.

Want to access the handbook, and other Just For Openers information?  Click here!