Zeilin arrives…

The bottle opener auction lot arrived today, and it arrived safely–all wrapped up together as one lot, in bubble wrap, in a box.

And, after carefully removing the tape, and unwrapping the contents, the Zeilin looked to be in nice shape, but with a fair amount of tarnish.

With a jar of Wright’s Silver Cream at the ready, I gave it a quick polish.

Much better:

Marked with S. Cottle’s makers mark, STERLING, and 10, it is a lovely addition to the Zeilin collection.

The embossed one on the right is also marked for S. Cottle, STERLING and 11.

If you have a dosage cup corkscrew with which you would like to part, I would love to add a few more.

Drop me a line!

20 days later

20 days after I won an auction for a bottle opener lot…

And, after seven emails, two phone calls, and four text inquiries…

I received a phone call yesterday regarding the cost of shipping said lot.

And, as requested, I gave the shipper a credit card number, and as one would expect, they charged my card for the various fees associated with packing up the bottle openers and mailing them off.

I was given two options, USPS first class or UPS ground (apparently USPS Priority wasn’t an option).

I opted for USPS first class, as it was half the cost.

But, the Zeilin lot is finally on its way!!!

Currently, said Zeilin bottle opener lot is somewhere in Wisconsin, and it should be here on Monday.

Better photos upon its arrival.

I was the high bidder for a moment…

Over the past few weeks, there has been a remarkable Singleton corkscrew on an online auction site.

And, while it isn’t your folding version of the Singleton, it was signed, and Silver, and had some fantastic engraving to it reading “Drink and Drive Care Away.”

I placed a bid, and was the high bidder for a few days.

Yesterday, the auction went to live bidding, and my high bid was taken out in short order.

And, I watched, poised to bid.

And, then watched the auction climb price as a flurry of bids quickly surpassed my poised to bid bid.

The winning bid hit 2800 Euros (just $2,990 US).

And, while the bidder’s names were masked, I have no doubt it will turn in someone’s best 6 for this year.

A fantastic piece.

As an aside, the engraved message on the corkscrew, “Drink and Drive Care Away” is a line in an 18th century drinking song Old Chiron:

On the Hainisch Hunt…

As you all know, in the back of Fred O’Leary’s book on American corkscrews, there are a myriad of patent drawings that (literally) illustrate the inventiveness employed in the removal of a cork from a bottle. And, over the years, there have been a few newly discovered corkscrews and cork extractors that have been found that appear in this section of his book.

For those that are new here, when Fred put together his tome Corkscrews: 1000 Ways to Open a Bottle (published in 1996) he photographed the known examples of American patented and patent wannabe corkscrews, and he also included the patent drawings of all known corkscrew patent drawings in his indices; hence creating a corkscrew collecting reference for a corkscrew being in O’Leary, or from “the back of O’Leary,” which JM tends to refer to as BOO.

And, while there have been one or two patented corkscrews that have been discovered that DON’T appear in the front NOR the back of O’Leary, that is generally a result of the patent and patent description not actually including a reference to the use of the invention in the removal of a cork. The recent Blantz patent would be an example of this, where the patent is for a “Tool,” and in the patent description, no reference is given for its actual use, and only in literature from the time was it found that one of the uses was as a cork extractor.

But, I digress. As, I am wont to do.

While the patent drawings in the back of O’Leary seem to be getting smaller as I have gotten older, it is still a section of the book to which I often turn and thumb through, as I am intrigued by what hasn’t been discovered, but might be out there in the wild.

And, one of those corkscrews that I find most intriguing is the Victor Hainisch patent of 1913.

In the June 21, 1913 issue of Scientific American, the patent drawing is shown, with the description that reads:

CORK EXTRACTOR—V. HAINISCH, via Bellognardo 16 Trieste, Vienna, Austria. In removing corks from bottles with a screw like extractor, it often happens that no portion of the cork is removed when the extractor is drawn out, except that held between convolutions of the screw. The cork puller must then again be inserted, which is done with difficulty, and the cork afterward removed, often in sections. Sometimes the upper half


is removed by the corkscrew while the under remains in the neck. This is due to defect in the cork, and because the upper portion of the neck is often constructed so that the lower portion of the cork offers greater resistance than the upper, in removal. The inventor, as shown in the engraving, overcomes these difficulties by constructing the lower portion of the screw a greater diameter than the upper.

Hainsich was awarded patent #1,062,458 on May 20, 1913, and while part of his patent description mirrors the description in the Scientific American write up, there is an interesting paragraph within his patent description that explains that there are two versions of the cork extractor.

Hainisch explains, “The corkscrew 5a shown in Fig. 2, is substantially the same as the corkscrew 5, except that the convolutions or threads do not extend as high up on the shank, the enlarged convolution or portion 6a, corresponding to the convolution or portion 6 being similarly located. In either case, the larger broader convolutions take hold of the lower portion of the cork and exert a lifting action greater than the upper portion of the extractor, so that the entire cork s readily removed.”

So, there is the high shank version and a low shank version, in either case the helix is wider towards the point of the corkscrew, and tapers as it nears the handle. But, has anyone ever found this patent?

To my knowledge, there hasn’t been a documented example shown in any book on corkscrews. And, I would love to add this to the collection.

The Hainisch hunt will continue, and if you have a corkscrew with a reverse tapered worm or, “broader convolutions” that appear at the base of the worm, I would be interested in acquiring it.

Drop me a line.

and, let the bidding begin

It’s auction time!

The collector corkscrews.com auction is officially open for bidding, and there are over 900 corkscrew lots upon which to bid!

As mentioned the other day, I have a few that are up for bidding, and there are definitely a few that I will be going after.

Let the bidding begin!

Needed in every House, Restaurant, Hotel, Store, Office, Aboard Yachts and Ships

A seller on eBay, is selling a Converse patent cork puller with an original sheet of instructions. The instructions, pictured below, are a bit tattered and torn. And, I won’t be purchasing said lot, but I thought I would see if I couldn’t fill in the missing words.

Needed in every House, Restaurant, Hotel, Store, Office, 

Aboard Yachts and Ships.




For Opening Grape Juice, Malt and Ginger Ale it has no Equal.

Does not injure the cork at all.  Pulls large or small corks with equal faculty. No matter how tightly inserted.

It is simple—a lady or child can use.

Will not shake or spill the contents of the bottle.


Take the Puller and try to open a bottle, following these directions step by step, and after a minute’s practice you will be able to open a bottle, large or small.

You do not want to pull as with the old style cork screw

But turn and gently pull at he same time and the cork rides up and out.

Take notice of that Rocking Motion, (see cut.) TO YOU AND FROM YOU rocking the tines down ALTERNATELY.  If opening a hard wine or Guiness Stout bottle ROCK the puller down the whole length of the tines so as to be sure the bottle is vented.  Now taket eh driction off the cork by turning the Puller, cork and all around and around and the cork rides up, out, ad drops from the Puller.  If the cork is flattened out over bottle neck, stick tines through flattened cork.

To Re-Cork a Bottle with the Puller

Place the cork well up between the tines, insert the tines cork and all into the bottle neck.  Now turn and bear down at the same time and the cork rides in.  When down even with the bottle neck pull the Puller straight out and your bottle is left smoothly corked.

Also, of note, is at the bottom of the instructions is handwritten, Louis Einstein Co. I wonder if the Converse and instructions and Converse was being pitched to the retailer…

Carpets, Wall Paper, Shades, Lace Curtains and (Cork Pullers) a Specialty…

Springing Forward

We had to spring forward yesterday, and before you knew it, it was time to the road.

We were on the mainland, and there was an antique show in Bath to start the morning.

We headed down, found parking, and made our way into the show.

A small show, but with really good dealers and some fantastic things available–not so much in the way of corkscrews–but both the lovely bride and I definitely have an eye for antiques that are too large to carry, and Ralph-Lauren-y-looking stuff that really doesn’t fit into our house.

So, we passed on the fabulous rowing oars the were totally underpriced, what looked like a galvanized steel satchel (perhaps for a horse) an awesome Cartier flask with matching cups monogrammed MEOW (with a cat and mouse drinking martinis also monogrammed on the flask), and a few other items.

Down one aisle, I found a dealer that I know from Brimfield and Montsweag, and he always has corkscrews. Nothing super, but I picked up a faceted bow as we exchanged pleasantries.

We headed down the next aisle and the next, and ran into another Brimfield dealer friend. He too usually has corkscrews, and I picked up a Walker peg and worm from him.

He and I had a promising conversation. A few years ago, I showed him the Van Zandt patent that I had recently picked up…

…and he explained he had a similarly functioning cork extractor–he didn’t know that patent–but we have been talking about it ever since.

Yesterday, he mentioned that he will bring it to Brimfield for me (unfortunately, not the May show coming up).

Looks like I will HAVE to be at Brimfield in July as well.

After walking the entire show, and not buying anything large or oversized, we made another pass around the perimeter, and I picked up a Weinke patent marked O.I.C CORK DRAWER.

It was cheap, and I like how it was marked.

From the Bath show, we headed south to El Rayo for lunch. Then off to Lucky Pigeon! A Maine craft brewery doing only gluten-free beer. Their pale, blonde, and IPA are really good.

Their stout is awesome. And, the lovely picked up 3 cases to bring back to Island Spirits, with a four-pack of stout heading to the house for me.

From Lucky Pigeon it was of to Woodfire (another brewery) where we picked up another wholesale beer order, and after a bit of Trader Joe’s-ing, we were on the road again, but still had another antique mall to hit along the way.

No corkscrews there, and we opted NOT to buy a large brass camel saddle.

Really, the camel saddle was tempting.

A great day on the mainland, and a few corkscrews were acquired.

And, the promising conversation regarding the Van-Zandt-like cork extractor is definitely promising.

Stay tuned!

Lookout for Yeggs…

From a December 1932 edition of The Sierra Madre News

Lookout for Yeggs, Police Head Warns Local Householders

Chief of Police Gordon McMillan has issued the following warning to Sierra Madre householders:

“Look out for solicitors! Now on the eve of our greatest holiday the residents who do not want to be bothered by solicitors , peddlers and those selling everything from a patent corkscrew with an ivory handle, to a can opener, and who do not desire to be disturbed from their early morning slumbers or their noon-day naps, should place a card on their doors, stating “Agents, Peddlers, Solicitors, and Beggars Prohibited—No Trespassing.” In placing this card upon your door you will be cooperating with your police department.

“At the present time there is an influx of box-car tourists from the east going from door to door.

Soliciting and peddling are occupations used by sneak-theives, yeggs and crooks as an excuse to enter your premises, and if you chanced to be away from your home, what might happen? And, besides its 100 to one that the peddler is operating without a liscense, violating the law and you have no come back on their wares or representations.”

As an aside:

Merriam-Webster defines Yegg in the following way:
Definition of yegg
also : ROBBER

Missouri Wine & Liquor Co.

The other day, DB sent me an email with an image of a Converse corkscrew extractor with advertising that doesn’t appear on my list.

And, well, I don’t have it so, in short order a deal was struck.


Of course, it will make a nice addition to the Converse cork extractor with advertising.

So… Who is the Missouri Wine and Liquor Co.

In 1885, the business was called the Missouri Wine Co., but added “Liquor” to their moniker in 1888. And, amongst their offerings they had their own label of whiskey known as “Art Hill Whiskey.”

“Art Hill” being area of Forest Park in St. Louis.

If you want to learn more about Converse cork extractors, and their use as a vehicle for advertising, you can read an article about them that I wrote a few years ago, A Two-Pronged Sales Approach: Converse Cork Extractors with Advertising.