So, what happened at Brimfield?

I know it has been a few days since I blogged, so perhaps I should catch up.  Yes, we went to Brimfield!

Of course, I might as well fill you in on all the other minutiae…

On Saturday, the lovely personal personal trainer, headed off island, while I stayed and completed further finishing touches on the wine shop.  And, as the appropriate hour, I hopped on the boat, and headed over myself.  The afternoon, and the following day, was spent mudding and painting our mainland digs, and also a little further prep for the Brimfield adventure.

On Monday, I headed down early, to check into the house we rented for the week, and also to pick up Tommy from the airport.  Along the way, I passed countless antique stores that were all closed given the early hour.

A bit after my departure, the lovely, who painted her way out of the kitchen, headed back to the boat to pick up our friend Alison would also be joining us for the Brimfield trip.  They plan was to pick up some additional groceries (I already had the wine) and meet up at the rental house.

Tommy’s plane arrived as scheduled, and it wasn’t long before we were back at the house.  He had brought a few corkscrews for show, tell, and possibly trade.  And, I had done the same.  He is rather desirous of the Western Appliance wall mount, and Tommy had recently acquired a Gorham Sterling prongs, that I really wanted as well.  He also brought along a couple of unusual pieces that he recently picked up, one that looks to be a patent from the back of O’Leary.  I have long felt that it is a good idea, when the opportunity presents itself, to be able to handle and examine new discoveries.  What are the functions?  What does it look like in person?

A little wine was consumed, and at that point no trades had been completed.

A little later, a message came in from the lovely, that they were about 20 minutes away.  And, upon their arrival, we popped some Champagne, and toasted our third Brimfield adventure together (third with the four of us, I have been going for for a decade or so).

The evening was spent with convivial conversations, but still an early night, as we would be waking up early, for Brimfield Day One!

Brimfield Day One:

Day one started early.  By 4:30 in the morning,  Tommy and I were on the road to the show.   Sue and Alison would catch up with us later.  After parking the truck, we wished each other luck, and headed off in different directions.

There were many corkscrews to be had, but largely of the Williamson, Clough, and Walker variety.  And, of those, pretty much of the common Williamson, Clough, and Walker variety.

Over the course of the morning, Tommy and I would cross paths, and eventually ran into Barry.  For the most part, the conversation went something like,

“Anything yet.”

“Not really.”

And, we would then part ways again.

In the final field of the day, however, there were a few better corkscrews available.  Tommy picked up a Murphy button, and Barry unearthed the find of the day; an Aaron Austin Toilet Necessity in really nice condition.  As it is a double for Barry, Tommy was hot for it.  I have no doubt a deal will be made between the two of them at some point.

I had a few nice little finds over the course of the day.  Early in the morning, I happened upon a simple t-pull with brewery advertising; Rochester Brewing…  At the hefty price of 8 dollars, I figured it was a good thing.  Later the morning, I happened on the identical corkscrew with different advertising.  This time for Genesee Brewing.  It was a bit more than the Rochester, but it makes for a good pair.

There were a couple of perfumes, which will go into the lovely’s collection, a couple of mechanicals, a Nylin patent, an interesting figural fish marked DENMARK, and a really nice Anri Bacchus stopper–missing the cork.  The cork will be replaced and will remain in the collection, although there is little reason for a wine stopper in our house…

IMG_5854

Not a bad day one.  Of course, there were lots of other things for sale!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In between, the lovely and Alison arrived, and we met up for a picnic lunch; tail gating on the truck.  Following lunch, they girls headed off on their own adventure, and we would get messages when they ran across a corkscrew.

With all of the fields of the day having been visited, we called it a day.  According to our various devices, it showed that Tommy and I had traversed 14.6 and 13.5 miles over the course of the morning/afternoon respectively.

As has become tradition, the evening was spent with wine and stories of the day, and a Taco Tuesday dinner.

It was, again, an early evening as Wednesday would be an early start.

Brimfield Day Two:

On day two, I headed down to the kitchen and proceeded to consume several cups of coffee.  Tommy soon came downstairs, and we were once again headed to the show.  The first field opens at 6 am, and we rolled into the parking lot at 5:54.  Hightailing it to the gate, we were walking in with the awaiting crowds, just as the field opened.

In the first aisle, I found an interesting Anri Monkey nutcracker, but the price was pretty high.  I still toyed with picking it up.  In the end, I left it behind, but let a friend who collects Anri know where it was.  I did pick up a couple of things in the field; a flash was the first purchase of the day, this was followed by an Atlas Beer opener/pencil, and this was followed by a Murphy patent bell with the spike.  I have lots and lots of Murphys, and this indeed is a double (or quadruple, if you want to get technical).  Still, it is a good thing, at a very fair price.

After a bit more hunting, I ran into Tommy a booth where a particular dealer always has corkscrews.  There was a really handsome Henshall with an interesting button and bone handle.  I got to witness Tommy’s negotiating skills in action.  Still, the dealer was a little less inclined to drop much in price, so we walked away.

We meandered a bit through other fields for the next hour, and in anticipation of the 9:00 field opening, headed over and grabbed a seat.  A few minutes later, Barry joined us, and we discussed how the show was going so far and also gave us a chance to catch up on recent finds.

As the field opened, the lovely messaged to say that she and Alison had arrived, and would head over to the field.  I had picked up a few things in my wandering; a few more perfumes, a Sterling roundlet (in not great shape), and few other interesting bits.

The 9:00 field, was eventually followed by the 12:00 field.  Not much there, and Barry and I crossed paths multiple times.  We actually found ourselves in one booth at the very same time, reaching for the very same corkscrew.  But, 35 dollars for a Hercules seemed a little steep to both of us, and similarly both of us opted to leave it behind.

There were, however, other things to buy at the various fields…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

After exhausting the various fields, Sue and Alison decided to head off to Litchfield for a bit of an adventure, and TC and I decided to head off further afield, and do a little antiquing before meeting back at the house for the nightly show and tell and wine.  This was followed by grilling a few filets, and a trade.  Yes, a trade!

Between TC and I, it was quite the pile of corkscrew and openers accumulated thus far…

IMG_5881

Brimfield Day Three:

Day three started, a little less early, and I drove Tommy back to the airport–amongst other corkscrews, the aforementioned Henshall was in his suitcase, as he went back to the dealer and attempted negotiating the price again.  The dealer stood firm, and Tommy sprung for it.  It is a pretty cool corkscrew, after all.

After dropping TC off, and heading back to the house to help check out, I returned to Brimfield for Mays; which opens at 9 on Thursday.  Walking the line, I didn’t see Barry.  I wondered if he had decided to skip, and start the drive to New York and then back home to Florida.

I wandered the aisles, and at the fourth tent, picked up a nice Murphy with acorn handles; one of the earlier ones.  Two aisles over, I picked up a Bridgewater patent coffin guy.  The price was fair, and I had traded my last one to Leon on his visit to the island.  It was nice to find a suitable replacement.

Not much in the way of exciting corkscrews, but a few pieces.  And, I managed to find another perfume for the lovely.

After one more traversing of the fields, I headed off to say goodbye to a few dealer friends, and hit the road for Rockland, and the following day, hopped the boat back to the island.

For those wondering, there were a few other things to buy in Brimfield on day three…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

All in all, a pretty good Brimfield adventure.

Advertisements

three Murphys

IMG_4385[4].JPG

As mentioned in the Brimfield post, I picked up the early example of the “challenge-type” Murphy corkscrew.   It is a welcome addition to the collection, and soon enough will be added to the Murphy page.

But, for kicks, I thought I would show three Murphys together.  Each has different markings.  Two with the arched frame, and one with the squared frame.  The one on the right has marking on the handle as well.

IMG_4384[1].JPG

img_43892

As you all know, I like Murphy corkscrews!

murphys.jpg

And, while I would love to add another Ivory handled one to the collection…

murphyivoryhandlecorkscrew

 

what I am really after is an unusual Murphy that has little teeth below the button.

murphybuttonteeth

Do any of you have this?  I would love to trade!

Stealing away to Brimfield

A couple of weeks ago, the lovely personal personal trainer asked if I was going to go to the September Brimfield show. And, I had been thinking about it. But, with the wine shop, I was a little unsure if I could get away. Still, with a little change in the schedule, we worked it out, and I would be able to go. But, only for one day.

So, on Monday morning I headed south. And, given it was Labor Day, there were several million tourists also heading south and leaving Maine. Okay, maybe not several million, but the 95 was a parking lot, so I chose to meander down the 1, and hit traffic there too.

Knowing I didn’t have to get to my hotel until that evening, I just decided to hit a few antique stores and enjoy the slow and leisurely ride.

At one stop, I managed to uncover a few treasures under a whole lot of corkscrews.

lot.jpg

The corkscrew whistle was the best in the lot, but also there was a corkscrew that American Pickers Mike might want, as it carries an advertisement for Columbia Bicycles and Fowler Wheels.  The Walker Hallboy is in pretty nice shape as well.

whistle.jpg

After wading through traffic, I headed off to an antique store in Wells, Maine. I have always found corkscrews here, and I have been refraining from buying one particular piece for the past three years.

Three years? you ask.

Yes, every time I have visited, I have resisted paying the asking price for a wooden sheath corkscrew with advertising. But, this year, I knew I would finally give in, as not only is it an advertising corkscrew, it is an advertising corkscrew advertising “advertising cork screws.”

And, it happens to be an advertisement for A.W. Stephens, whose company I have been researching recently.  Interesting to note, it is actually a Clough patent, and is marked with Cambridgeport as Stephens’ address, which would predate his move to Waltham, when he went into production of his own patents.

It was still there.

And, I did buy it.  The lettering could be better, but given that I have never seen another…

img_4306

As I left Wells, I headed further south, and it quite literally took me 30 minutes to travel 5 miles. And, as I got towards Portsmouth, one of the bridges was closed, so, I snaked my way around backstreets, avoiding those that are less familiar with area, eventually hopping onto the 95 some miles later avoiding the lines of traffic at the tolls.

By late afternoon, I was pulling into the hotel in West Springfield, and set my alarm for the early morning.

Before daybreak, I was gearing up, and heading to Brimfield. Flashlight at the ready, I made my way to my normal first stop. What was going to be interesting this time around, was there was going to be less competition. Barry wasn’t going to be there. Tommy wasn’t going to be there. I haven’t heard if KC was going to be there. Could I be the only corkscrew collector hunting the fields?

Doubtful, but one could only hope.

So, when I made my first stop and JR’s tent (a KOOK, and collector of can openers), instead of hurrying off, we had a conversation, a cup of coffee, and discussed latest finds.

Of course, it also occurred to me that I am only here for one day, so perhaps I should start hunting.

Off I went, and soon enough happened upon a small grouping of corkscrews. I picked up the zig zag and a clough.

IMG_4313.jpg

And, there were other corkscrews about. Lots of Cloughs and Williamsons. At another booth, I picked up a Bennit for a fair price.

As the morning progressed, and there was more coffee, a couple of dealers that know both Barry and I, joked around that this was the first time in years that they didn’t tell me that, “Barry was just here.” Or, “the British guy was just in a little while ago.”

Of course, at those particular booths, there weren’t any corkscrews either.

Sometime before 11, I was walking through another field, and I saw a Murphy with the challenge-style handle. I picked it up, and noticed it looked different. In Bob Nugent’s article on Murphy, he mentions variation. I have long been looking for this version; for over a decade mind you, and a have never seen one. Just to be sure I wasn’t wrong about the variant, I pulled up my Murphy corkscrew page on my iPhone, and there it was:

The Challenge and the Victor models are usually marked R. MURPHY BOSTON across the top of the open frame which is usually arched.  On example has square cut openings and is marked ROBERT MURPHY.  It is probably an early example.

img_4329 

This may well make the best 6 of the year!

Shortly thereafter, I hit the booth where Tommy got his MOP mini legs in May. No rare legs there. I did pick up a few bits, and on a whim the slide mechanism and helix from a roundlet. Not that I really need it, but you just never know…

Looking at my watch, I headed off, hitting Dealer’s Choice at 11, and having exhausted that field, headed over to the last field of the day. And, whilst in line, who should come over to talk to me, but Mike Gordon. Of course, the field wasn’t open yet, but Mike was already inside. And, he explained that he had previously been in Dealer’s Choice, and found nothing in either.

Hmmmm…

Still feeling optimistic, I waited for the gates to open, and made my way through the aisles. Nothing in the first few, and then I ran into a dealer friend who historically has corkscrews—albeit expensive corkscrews. He explained he hadn’t picked up anything, but an adjacent dealer had a pair of legs. The dealer-friend had said he had offered x for them, but told me I could have them if I matched his price. During the conversation, it was explained they weren’t striped, but instead a gold flecked finish. Suddenly, even without seeing them, the price, which was fair, became a pretty good deal.

After searching his van for 15 minutes, the aforementioned adjacent dealer presented the corkscrew to me…

Apparently there were indeed corkscrews to be found in the field…

img_4331

Not a bad day at Brimfield; The Murphy, the gold legs…

With 2/3 of the field done, I turned a corner, and saw what looked like a Clough. But, the shadows in the booth, made it look like it could be the Lowenstein patent of 1903.  After retrieving it from the case, it was indeed the Lowenstein, with an advertisement for Humphrey & Martin’s Whiskey, and a whopping price tag of 9 dollars.

img_4332

 

After paying 8, the dealer asked if I wanted any of the others.

Others?

I went back to the same case, and saw a few wire Cloughs, and then an advertising Clough for Lactopeptine for Dyspepsia / For Indigestion. I picked up that one too, for the same price.

img_4344

Quite pleased with the Lowenstein and the Clough, I headed off again, visiting the rest of the booths, passing on an overpriced Mabson, and repeatedly checking the time. I needed to hit the road, as I had a 4 + hour drive back to Rockland.

Visiting the last booth, I headed back to the ATCPV (all-terrain-corkscrew-pursuit-vehicle) and started the drive back home. The lovely was there to meet me upon my return, and over wine had a bit of show and tell, and tales of the adventure.

img_4339

There surely are other corkscrews at Brimfield this week, and with several fields opening this morning, I am sure there will be other treasures to be had. As for my one day at Brimfield, it was a pretty darn good one.

IT HAS SOME LETTERS ON THE BIT BUT I CAN’T MAKE THEM OUT

About a week ago, a simple direct pull corkscrew with a blade on the side was listed on eBay with a pretty low buy it now, in the grand scheme of things.

newmurph1

And, the seller explained that was a bit of wear on the piece, and that “IT HAS SOME LETTERS ON THE BIT BUT I CAN’T MAKE THEM OUT.”

newmurph

The handle looked pretty familiar, and well…it looked like here might be an M and U, and that might just be an R that follows…so I guessed R. Murphy Boston…

It arrived today, and wouldn’t you know, it is a Murphy with blade…

Yes,  i know there are some chips on the handle, but for all the Murphys that I have found whilst traipsing around New England, finding one with the blade is quite unusual, and this would be the 4th Murphy with blade in the growing R. Murphy corkscrew collection!

This does need a little cleaning… We shall see how it turns out later today!