Why would you paint it?

The other day, the Haff patent corkscrew with frame and spring assist arrived, as as the photos showed, it had been spray painted black.


That said, whomever the offending spray painter was, they took the time to tape/mask off the handle so the wood would not have any overspray.

So, last night I took a little paint remover, and gave the corkscrew a little touch-up; leaving it on only a brief time.

And, it turned out pretty darn well.


The previously black and unreadable brass band on the handle is clearly marked, HAFF MF’G CO., NEW YORK, PATD APL. 14 85 MAY 5TH 85.



I have been on the hunt for this version of the Haff for nearly two decades, and this definitely will make the best 6 for the year.

Still, the question remains, why the paint job???



When I first started collecting corkscrews (21 years ago) one of my first purchases was a and 1885 Haff patent direct pull corkscrew, with PAT. APPL’D FOR incised into the metal band.

It still resides within the collection.

Of course, there have been lots of Haffs found over the years; different sizes, different handles, different worms, different markings.

But, the Haff that I have been most desirous of, is the Haff patent with spring and frame, as pictured on page 71 Fred O’Leary’s book.  That example is marked, “PATENTED APL 14TH ’85 MAY 5TH ‘85”

Nine years ago, one sold on the collectorcorkscrews.com auction.  I missed out, of course.  And, in 21 years, I have seen exactly three… The one in O’Leary, the one sold in that auction, and one in John Morris’ collection.

Yesterday, there was one that ended on eBay, and while the eBay listing didn’t offer a description of the markings that were clearly present on the corkscrew, under what looks to be a little black paint, it is indeed marked, and once it arrives (yes, I won the auction), I will report back here with how it is marked.

I will also look into removing the black paint.

A potential best 6 candidate, it will make a nice companion to the hard to find Haff with bell assist that is already in the collection.


a few days away

I have spent the last few days avoiding my corkscrew-blogger-to-the-world duties, as I have been otherwise occupied.

The big corkscrew news, is that the latest collectorcorkscrews.com auction began accepting listings on the 18th, with bidding starting on November 1st.

Who knows what will turn up this time around?

The other news, is that after some waiting, the Syroco Corkscrew book has arrived; in limited quantities.


This shipment was limited to 10 copies, and 8 have already been spoken for.

So, if you are looking for a copy of a fabulous coffee table style book consisting of 330 pages of the Syroco and Syroco Corkscrew story, it is available for $80.00 + shipping.

I have two copies left.

For those of you that have requested a copy, that live in outside the United States, Ion Chirescu has several copies that he also can ship, and shipping costs would be less than from the U.S.

Update:  Sold out for the time being!



Wonder Cork Lifter

While just a simple cork puller, this Wonder Cork Lifter recently made its way onto eBay, and after a week received no bids…

Well, only because I forgot to, in the hours before it ended.

I was intrigued by the label, and thought it would be a fun mystery to research.

Yesterday, it was re-listed with a buy it now, and I snapped it up.

Do any of you know the story of the Wonder Cork Lifter?

Better pictures, and hopefully more of the story soon…

Eclipse Folding Pocket Corkscrew


Within the pages of the Lord, Owen, & Co., Wholesale Druggists, Chicago 1896 catalogue, there are a few corkscrews pictured.  One in particular stands out.

Shown in the catalogue with this woodcut illustration:


And, the description of:

No. 999, Eclipse folding pocket, 1 doz. on card ……………….. doz. 1.75

Is this the folding pea pod corkscrew that turns up every once in a while?


It certainly look like it!

For some reason, I thought the peapod (which now we know is an Eclipse) was of more recent vintage.




Brother Placido Vogliotti

Okay, I am pretty sure that Placido Vogliotti wasn’t part of Christian Brothers Winery in California…


But the 1910 the Italian patent by Placido Vogliotti with folding Folding collar does turn up on occasion with the marking  THE CHRISTIAN BROTHERS, FROMM & SICHEL, INC., SAN FRANCISCO, CA. / 1908.


And, the other day, I managed to pick one up for a song–not that I actually sang.


Since I focus on American corkscrews, this will probably be offered up for trade.

Anyone need a 1910 Christian Brothers Vogliotti?  Drop me a line.


a quick look around

This morning, I had an appointment in Portland, Maine and was supposed to meet up with a colleague at 8:15, before we headed to another locale where a meeting was to take place.

And, given the distance between Rockland and Portland (about an hour and forty-five minutes), I left a few minutes after 6…

Being September, there are still a fair amount of tourists around, so there can be some traffic.

So, I am meandering down the coastal route one, when it occurs to me that it is Wednesday.  And, Wednesday is the antiques day at Montsweag Flea Market.


I couldn’t speed up, as there are cars in front of me, so I figured when I got close, I would check the arrival time on my iPhone, and make a decision on whether there was enough time to wander around, or maybe I could come back on the ride back up to Rockland later in the day.

As I crested the hill, I could see all of the vendors setting up, and given that I was about 10 minutes a head of schedule, I probably had enough time to make a quick walk through and hope that there is a corkscrew (or two) worth buying amongst the various wares.

As I pulled in the lot, there was a space right up front, which would also allow for a quick getaway.

I pulled in, and scampered off.

Making my way up one aisle — no corkscrews.

Then circling up and back down the other side — no corkscrews.

On the opposite side of the field — no corkscrews.

And, I am running out of time…

Then, as I was walking by one table that was still setting up, a corkscrew was soon within my reach.

Me:  “How much for the corkscrew?”

Dealer: “$ 20.00”

Me: “Do you have any others?”

Dealer: “A brass key, and the corkscrew goes in it, but I don’t know where it is.”

Me: “No worries,” handing the dealer a $20.00, bill and hustling back to the truck with my new found treasure.

Back on the road, according to my iPhone, I was going to be rolling in right on time, but I would be cutting it close.

But, apparently through the magic of iPhone/GPS mileage v. time on the road, I pulled in 2 minutes early.

One corkscrew in the field to be had, in those early hours of dealers setting up.  But, the early bird did get the worm!


And, it’s a Frary!

Frary’s Self-Extracting Corkscrew to be exact!


Now, I am pretty sure this is a double (or a triple), but how fun to find a Frary corkscrew on a few minute detour from your appointed rounds!