Corkscrews Online
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by Peter Borrett
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7th January 2014
ICCA auction Buy It Now sale

Happy new year everyone! I hope you had a good Christmas & are all
set for another year of corkscrew hunting.

The ICCA new year buy it now sale went live from last Sunday afternoon
with around 300 pieces up for grabs, including a notable selection
listed byDon Bull which are part of the Carroll collection, a longs term (35
year) collector who is selling up.

I have to confess that I was checking quite regularly on Sunday, hoping
a reasonably priced top end piece might just come my way. Alas, there
was nothing for my collection, or anything at the top end I considered to
be fairly priced to buy as a dealer.

I have however bought 4 pieces: a sterling roundlet from Tommy, one of
those medicine spoons with advertising from Webby, a red devil from
Fred Kincaid & a miniature ladies legs corkscrew from the Wineleopard.

A few of the guys have been chatting about this latest sale, with
interesting points being raised.

At the time of typing, just 20 pieces off 300 have sold. Approximately 6%.
This is surely a disaster for the ICCA auction committee?

So why so few sales? I guess there are many reasons for this.

Some pieces are clearly priced way too high & can only really catch a big
fish or nothing. Noting Fotodeal has so far bought nothing. Some people
don't like set prices, considering a set price never to be a deal. Too
many corkscrews have been on offer via the www within a short space of
time, last Novembers ICCA auction, ebay 24/7/365, auctions, special
sales, websites, etc, etc. Too much choice - too many corkscrews =
corkscrew overkill! Many elderly collectors are now selling up, one after
another. Collection - collection - collection. Nothing much appears rare.
Ultimately, todays market is very different to the market of 2 or 3 years
ago, prices need to be lower to attract a buyer. Had this sale been 3
years ago, based on the prices I would of bought around 20-30 pieces.

I remember the heady days, or should I say nights of Italiancorkscrews,
selling most Sundays on ebay. Making fortunes from many pieces that in
todays market are commonplace. Those days are long gone.
7th January 2014
How bout a buy it now

It's Bintastic! Bigger, better, with
twists, turns & controversy & a T shirt
for the winner, which cost me a
whopping £16:04. Wow!

After considering the merits of the
standard cotton version for £9.50, I
decided the super soft deluxe t-shirt
had to be the option. It has passed
the committees quality control &
nipple tweak test. It is guaranteed to
fit the largest collector as a t-shirt or
the smallest collector as a night gown.

Stick the dates in your diary. August
& September 2014
8th January 2014
How do you plead?

I'm guilty your honour.

It seems my new years
resolution of being more
thoughtful about my Blog entries
in fear of upsetting the
corkscrew establishment has
gone a bit pear shaped. On the
first Blog of the year too. Oops!

It appears I'm in the dock for the
1. Suggesting that the current ICCA buy it now sale is a disaster. How do you plead? Guilty your honour.
2. Pointing out why the sale isn't generating many sales. How do you plead? Guilty your honour.
3. Suggesting the corkscrew market has declined in recent years. How do you plead? Guilty your honour.

I apparently should pledge a vow of silence or only be ICCA auction positive, out of respect for all that
the ICCA corkscrew auctions have done for me. This according to the law of Google the almighty.

As I can't afford a lawyer, I stand alone to defend my democratic right to "Say it as it is".
17th January 2014. Back!

Apologies for pulling the plug on my Blog for the last week or so, but being told I was dumb, guilty of being
an idiot & should be banned from the ICCA corkscrew auction, by a very prominent collector, who I greatly
admire, made me wonder if I should just give the Blog up.

Thanks to Webby & Robert for the support on their respective Blogs & to the many guys that took the time
to drop me an email to encourage me to get Blogging again. Some emails from very surprising quarters.

As one particular email said "Keep the English tradition of 'a stiff upper lip' and soldier on!

OK then I will.

17th January 2014
ICCAuctions or ICCA corkscrew auctions Buy It Now sale update

A collector just pointed out 172 corkscrews have sold on the ICCA corkscrew auctions Buy It Now site
since it was launched. This figure constitutes 23.65% sales of ICCA corkscrew auction Buy It Now
corkscrews listed. Pretty good!

The recent multiple listings, including Don Bull's Carroll collection listings have now returned sales of
15.5%, this, following around a two week period of being live on the ICCAuctions corkscrew site. Many are
still available, so this hopefully will rise further. The ICCA corkscrew auctions committee much be
heartened by these increased sales figures.

I would like to point out that I just give it warts & all & if that is a positive spin, then great. If it's negative,
then so be it. Please review my past Blogs about the ICCA corkscrew auctions & this will be evident.
17th January 2014
The house clearance guy

I guess most of us that collect corkscrews have
spread the net far & wide. I am no different.

About 7 or 8 years ago, I was contacted by a house
clearance guy with a Tangent lever, just the lever,
no worm. I bought it. A couple of years later, he
phoned describing a Safety bar screw, I said I could
give him £30 but it might be worth his while taking it
to auction. He was happy to accept my £30.

Yesterday, he phoned again & described a double
action corkscrew. I worked out he had some form of
Thomason. We agreed a price range based on
condition in hand.

He knocked on the door earlier today & after a
cuppa, I put the top of the agreed price range in his
hand & he placed a very nice Thomason in mine.

Happy days!
The piece I bought is the central one in the top picture. An interesting example with a plain barrel with no
machined banding, it was once silver plated. The barrel is the same diameter as the original Thomason to
the right but the top handle loop is slightly larger & elongated. My serpent Thomason, by Dowler also has
a plain barrel & was silver plated. It appears that all plated Thomason corkscrews possibly had plain
barrels to enable the plating to adhere to the barrel. Interesting!

If you clear houses & have a an old corkscrew you'd like to sell, please drop me a line.
17th January 2014
How About A Buy It Now 2014
The Prize Arrives

And what a prize. As suggested, it will indeed fit the largest collector as a snug T shirt or the smallest as a night
gown. Thanks to my daughter, Helix Henshall for modelling
20th January 2014
How About A Buy It Now Winter Training

So, a nice miniature ladies legs corkscrew showed up, late night on
ebay about a week ago. As it had only been listed for about 20 minutes
I did the decent thing & made the seller an offer. I guessed others
might be doing the same, so went in with a punchy $550.

I didn't get a quick reply & before too long there was a bid, so I pretty
much knew the chance of a BIN had gone. A couple of days later I did
get a reply saying that a few people were interested so she would let
the auction ride.

Last night my winning bid was $472. A $78 discount. Happy days
20th January 2014
The Crosby Pup Corkscrew Debate

Josef L'Africain has just set up a Facebook page
dedicated to the Crosby Pup corkscrew. This an
attempt to clarify who has one.

Most of us are aware of the story that Bing Crosby
had 50-60 of these corkscrew made to give as gifts to
friends & family. However, no concrete prove exists to
establish if this is true.

Some while ago I contacted the good people at to find out more & to see if any
records might exist. Unfortunately, the good
people weren't good enough to send me a reply :(

So fact or fiction? Interestingly, two variations exist.
One with the cap lifter back feet joined & a less
common example where the cap lifter is not joined.
Josef L'Africain also reports an example not stamped.
I'm not sure if that necessarily clarifies anything but
interesting none the less.
If you have a Crosby Pup & would like to be added to the list, you can contact Josef through the facebook link
above, or if you don't use Facebook, drop me a line @ & I'll get Josef to add you
to the list.
22nd January 2014
Bitter, sour grape

So, you get yourself a cracking deal,
managing a BIN on a rare corkscrew, only
because the seller is happy with your offer
& likely thinks you're a bit crazy for offering
so much. The next day when the seller had
agreed to mail the corkscrew, you receive
an email saying that the transaction is
cancelled & the reason, well his car was
broken into & the corkscrew, along with
other items had been stolen.

Really? Nah. The seller has been nobbled
by what's known in Buy It Now circles as a
bitter, sour grape spoiler.

Bitter, sour grape spoilers don't like it when
they miss out on a deal so they decide the
best thing to do is inform the seller that the
corkscrew was under-sold & suggest that
the seller would be better off reneging the
deal. Most times, sellers still complete the
transaction, sometimes however, they
decide to cancel the transaction with a lame

In reality, bitter, sour grape spoilers
probably wouldn't win the corkscrew if it
went full term, they just don't like seeing
anyone else win it cheaply.
I say a deal is a deal & why would anyone feel the
need to make a scene, cause upset, especially
when the seller is happy to sell at a price they are
delighted with. I guess the spoilers must take
satisfaction from it.

This has happened to me personally a number of

Scroll down to 29th, March to see another
unnecessary approach to an otherwise very happy
seller on
this link

On this occasion, it was a great deal The
Wineleopard struck last night on ebay for a
corkscrew for $500. I'm gutted for him. He bought it
fair & square. The seller would of been delighted
with the $500 until the email hit from the bitter, sour
grape spoiler.
2nd February 2014
Heeley for a nice pair of legs

I recently managed to strike a trade with a fellow collector
who contacted me wondering if I had a Heeley double lever
in original box for sale. As it happened I did. I explained it
was in the collection & I wasn't that keen to sell & maybe we
could work a trade instead for something that I wanted more
than the boxed Heeley. A few emails followed with pictures
attached showing a selection of trade bait.  

Amongst the pieces on offer was a fabulous looking ladies
legs corkscrew with three colours. Red/green/white,
unmarked. A straight swap was agreed.

The three colour legs corkscrews are quite hard to find & this
example will sit very nicely in the collection until someone
else asks if I have a three colour ladies legs for sale. :)

I previously owned a set with three colours which had
different colours on each leg. Really quirky.

Do you have any unusual ladies legs corkscrews that you
are looking to trade or sale? Anything on the for sale pages
could be used as trade bait or cash if you would prefer.

Always happy to buy or trade corkscrews.
2nd February 2014
ICCA Special Sale Review -
Bull, O'Leary, Luchsinger & Kincaid

Last night the hammer went down on 280 corkscrew lots in a
special ICCAuctions corkscrew auction. The sale included items offered
by Don Bull (for Carroll), Fred O'Leary, Paul Luchsinger & Fred Kincaid.

Majority of pieces seemed priced fairly high - looking for one bidder? A
few had monster prices looking for that monster fish & just a handful had
come buy me prices.

The bidding activity during the week was poor with very little action. I
would presume the sellers were probably a bit concerned.

So how did it go?

The first 16 lots got off to a poor start with only a silver bow corkscrew
selling. The auction soon picked up & as suspected, a single bid
was often enough to buy a piece. There was some strong bidding on a
number of good pieces. After the final corkscrew had completed
around 65% of the corkscrews had sold. Approximately 45% of the
corkscrews sold were to a single bid.

Bull's French cage corkscrew saw the highest price of the night, selling to
an American collector for the opening bid of $12,500. Most bids - 37!
Involving Tommy Campnell & Joe Young versus the one they call
"Fotodeal", whos constant counter bidding won a very unusual Jos.
Schlitz Brewery Advertising button corkscrew for around $1400. Other
notable pieces included, a 1905 patent direct pressure corkscrew by
Peter Robertson which sold for $7990 & a heart shaped 18th century
pocket corkscrew selling for $6500. The highest ticket priced corkscrew,
the Shrapnel failed to attract the opening bid price of $19000 & the
London Bridge corkscrew also didn't attract a bid, finishing $10,000
reserve not met.

Some second chance corkscrews are already available on the ICCA
corkscrew website, the hammer falls on these next weekend at reduced
prices. Other unsold corkscrews have already found new homes,
snapped up by collectors on best offers. I bought three corkscrews myself
from Fred Kincaid including Benjamin Law's Plume corkscrew, I've always
wanted one of those. So the sales figures will continue to rise further
until next weeks sale is wrapped up.

Whatever happens next week it looks like the numbers stack up well to
consider this special sale a big success.

As usual there has been plenty of discussion about the ICCA corkscrew
auction's effect on the corkscrew market on Internet forums. Are there
too many sales? Market flooded? Prices falling? What's your view?

From a personal point of view I would of loved the level of excitement
heightened by low starts & no reserves. I would of been addicted to the
site if that was the case. I wonder if the ICCA corkscrew auctions will get
to that point? Difficult though within an environment when so many good
pieces are up for grabs (800+) &  good pieces could slip through cheaply.
That method of selling on ebay can be very successful.
2nd February 2014
Decanter Magazine

A couple of months ago Richard Stevenson, Daddy of the
British corkscrew club emailed wondering if I would be
interested being interviewed by Decanter magazine who
were writing a special feature article about corkscrews &
corkscrew collecting. Sure thing Richard. Thanks!

A couple of weeks later I was on the phone to a lady
answering away to her many questions. How I started
collecting, what I collected, thoughts on the market, where to
buy, best buy, etc, etc.

A few other collectors were also interviewed, Josef L'Africain
& the two Vinyard/Museum owners in Spain & Greece.

The article, in the March issue was out on the 1st Feb.
Funny how that works!

Decanter quote me as being a member of the ICCA. Don't
think so - Cheap of Chips is my preferred corkscrew
collecting club. Everything is free at the cheap as chips! My
lawyers have been contacted, I may sue for
misrepresentation, although I might accept a written apology
instead. As you can imagine, I'm pretty shook up by that
announcement. Otherwise, I've been quoted correctly & the
article is pretty good - considering they are editing views
from 4 different people.

The great news is the magazine quoted my website twice &
today I was able to buy a Wiers double concertina from a
reader who inherited it.

Thanks Richard & thanks Decanter magazine.
9th February 2014
Thanks Webby

I took a trip to visit my dear Mum in Somerset last
thursday & on route popped in to see Steven Webb
who lives about 20 minutes away.

Always good to see Webby! We put the World to right
over a couple of coffees & I got to see some pretty
spectacular corkscrews. We all missed a special one at
the last ICCA main auction - a small, delicate & very
beautiful steel 2 pillar corkscrew. Stunning!

I bought this nice 2 pillar from Webby. Not in the same
class as his ICCA purchase, but rather lovely all the
same. Thanks Webby!
9th February 2014
Corkscrews Online 10 point guide to
buying from The Wineleopard

1. Ask if he has any specific types of corkscrew. In this
case American fancy tusk/ivory/stags.

2. Check the picture & ask for clearer pictures of a couple
pieces that might be of interest.

3. Look at the new pictures which aren't the ones you

4. Send him a picture with added text which clearly shows
the ones you like.

5. Check out the clearer pictures of your choices.

6. Tell him you don't like one as it looks like it lost a points
decision to a T-Rex.

7. Let him know that you like the other piece & how much?

8. Ignore the fact he quotes a high price relating to unsold
ICCA pieces.

9. Make him a take it or leave it offer.

10. Send him some Paypal when he says "take it".
10th February 2014
ICCA Corkscrew Auctions Second Chance Auction

The final lot of the 94 second chance corkscrews in the ICCAuctions special
sale has just finished. 14 of the 94 found a buyer. None of the highest ticket
items attracted a bidder.

Fotodeal bid on just one piece but decided against the Shrapnel & London
Bridge corkscrews. He is definitely becoming more mainstream & thoughtful
about his purchases. Maybe the days of thinking of a price, doubling it,
adding you Mums age, adding 2 naughts & then multiplying by 4 with him in
mind have finally ended? Shame! Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.
I've requested a couple of condition reports & have already put a few good offers forward to ICCA sellers.
Hopefully, a few more corkscrews might just come my way. Will keep you posted.

Following my last ICCA Blog post on 2nd February, I was able to buy a nice early steel pocket corkscrew with
Freemason seal from Fred O'Leary, shown above. I'm a big fan of early steel pocket corkscrews & this is a great
addition to my collection. My first example with a seal attached.

So, back to the boring grind of checking ebay until the nest ICCA corkscrew auction in April.
13th February 2014
Today was a bad day, a bad day indeed

Today I took down a Blog relating to two multiple high end corkscrew fakers.

I feel sick!

These fakers are WITHOUT QUESTION making thousands of £'s/$'s of hard working collectors cash with
modified corkscrews & blatantly calling them old & original.

I contacted several very experienced corkscrew collectors, corkscrew book authors & some corkscrew
collecting friends for support, feeling strength in numbers was the only way forward. Despite many agreeing with
me, nobody wanted to be named on my Blog for fear of reprisals, libel actions, etc. Many chose not to reply &
silence is indeed golden. It says it all!

Except! I would like to thank Göran Nilsson, the only collector who was prepared to back the campaign.
We have a strategy meeting planned on 5th March. Code name "Screw the fakers". Oops, just given our
code name away! ;)

Last year I named & shamed a seller on my site for selling one of those brand new silver pockets on ebay (yes,
the one we see often on ebay, see below) as 18th century on a BIN for £200. Someone tipped him off, he
phoned me, was like mad man & said he'd get his lawyer on me if I didn't take it down. Who is right & who is
wrong? Of course, in fear of some lawyer causing me grief I took the post down & the guy sold it for £200. :(

Surely strength in numbers is the way to deal with these dishonest fakers & con men? But nobody wants to get
involved, preferring an easy life. Really?

The comment below represents many similar comments :(

Anonymous: I do think this piece is wrong, but I don't want to be involved in NAMING the
seller as disreputable.

We all know the moment you question anything clearly faked directly with the seller, the seller goes from
persistent faker to compulsive lier - to a point where he is in totally denial that he did anything wrong. Of course
he is safeguarding his reputation through his lies. It's a horrible World at times - isn't it?

So, what are we meant to do? Help???? Answers on a post card or maybe an email.
This is the modern silver corkscrew referred to in
this Blog. I'm not sure where it was made, possibly
the Far East. It is clearly modern. It weighs just 25
grammes, it measures 3 3/8" & it's marked on the
base "925 S".

The one I mentioned that was listed on ebay as
18th century had a replaced period worm to make it
look more legitimate. Shocking!

They often surface on ebay & advertised as old. Be
aware of dark/blackish patina, basically uncleaned

Look for this specific worm but also the possibility of
the piece having a period worm added. Be extra
observant & vigilant. If you are unsure, ask me & I'll
help. Don't be afraid to pass. If it looks to good to
be true, it often is.

So, you've bought a fake, thinking it right & then you realise it's wrong. You are then a carrier. You have spent
maybe $200, $500 or $2000 on something worth next to nothing. What do you do with the piece?
This now introduces a moral dilemma to you! Are you fair to the next person & prepared to lose a pile of money?
How good is your moral compass? What if - you are just naive & believe everything is right? Some people are.
When it comes to selling your collection & somebody knowledgeable who you trust tells you half of your stuff is
wrong - do you take it off the market???

It's unfair!

This is what happens because of the fakers!

What are we going to do about it??????? It seems nothing :(
17th February 2014
Safety Bid

I won a very nice lot at auction yesterday. The
lot included an early London rack & the
hammer price was just $325 + commission.

The night before I was chatting to corkscrew
collector extraordinaire - Mystery man.
Extraordinary defines mystery man well, he
puts extraordinary effort into his corkscrew
hunting & misses very little due to his search
endeavours. He deserves his luck!
Anyhow, we were chatting online about a couple of upcoming auctions. I mentioned this lot & said I would be
bidding. He then mentioned a couple of other lots in a different auction & asked if I could give him a free run. OK
Mystery man, I won't bid.

Turns out the two lots mystery man bid on, that I backed off, went to someone else, but it also turns out mystery
man was the under bidder on the lot I won. Mystery man! I thought we had an agreement? Of course, I was
wrong, mystery man never once said that he wouldn't bid on anything that interested me. I'll learn from that one -
make sure it cuts both ways!. What made me laugh was mystery man called his bid - a safety bid, to ensure that
a bid was definitely recorded by someone (him). It's likely that mystery man has a safety recorded in any auction,
anywhere, anytime. So make sure you place a safety bid too!


Send in a photo of a YOU with & a known CELEBRITY  
holding a vine root corkscrew. Doesn't matter who is holding it.

Once posted on this Blog you will receive 100 vine root points. :) Your
wonderful picture will also be posted on the Corkscrews Online
Vine Root
Celebrity Challenge page for all to admire. You will become a legend for as
long as you grace this planet. OK, maybe not. But it's all good fun!
Most points by the end of the year wins!

If you want to take part & don't have a vine root. Send £3 UK or £6 Worldwide by Paypal to & I'll send you one.

Make sure the vine root corkscrew can be clearly seen in the photograph.
Vine roots all set & ready to go

£3 UK
£6 Worldwide

Send cash via Paypal to:

Tommy Campnell + Britney Spears
+ Vine root corkscrew = 100 vine
root points & T C makes the

Send pictures of you with celeb & vine root to:

Absolutely gutted for Josef :(

He managed to get Miley
Cyrus to ride on his giant
vine root :p but in his
excitment forgot the rules.

Josef, you had to be in the
photo also. Sorry, but no
vine root points for you :(
Double Awesome!

Gavin Maddock + Duchess of Cambridge
+ Vine root corkscrew = 100 vine root
points & Gav makes the

Send pictures of you with celeb & vine root to:
23rd February 2014
Brand new folder sold on ebay for £451

Just noticed that this folding bow type corkscrew sold on ebay for £451 on
18th December 2013. Advertised as a mid IX century folding steel corkscrew
tire bouchon. It attracted 32 bids in a private auction.   

This is a new corkscrew. It has been darkened with patination fluid to make it
look old.

These corkscrews have often been sold on ebay as replica, new or
reproduction. Buyer beware when they are sold as old!

Don Bull's Weekly Screw, March 4th 2007, to find this & other new
corkscrews, so you are familiar when you see them on ebay or elsewhere.

Alas, the modern silver pocket strikes again. An ebay seller sold their
example for £184 on 19th January. Sold as "ANTIQUE VINTAGE SILVER
CORKSCREW". Another private auction! The corkscrew had clearly been
aged, dented & it sounds like the modern sterling mark has been scratched
away, as the seller reports no marks.

Check out ebay item 141172689042 another wrong piece. A marriage of
parts. Again - a private auction.

Private auction beware! Ebay protects buyers by only allowing feedback
scores as identity. Why do sellers feel they need a private auction?
28th February 2014
Today I picked up an email from long time antique dealer Jeremy Astfalck with a link to a Blog
he wrote about the modern silver pocket corkscrews.

Thank you Jeremy for spreading the word. If it helps one person it has been very worthwhile.

I've put some pages together on my site to help spread the word further. A mini site, very
much a work in progress, called
Corkscrew Beware. I have also set up a Facebook group for
collectors to join & share information. Please join - click the Facebook link --------->
Please get involved.Join the discussion. Post pictures. Help new collectors. We will never stop the fakers & rogue
sellers, but by spreading the word we can make it harder for them.
3rd March 2014
Autumnal Kings

I received an email a couple of days back from a guy in
Louisiana looking to sell his corkscrew. He attached a few
pictures which had references ebay 001, 002, etc - o oh.  
I opened them to see an Autumnal fruits corkscrew but
not the regular Thomason, a Kings pattern.

It didn't take long to work a deal that worked for us both &
the corkscrew is now on the way to me, via Tommy in
Chicago. Nice to keep it away from our 2nd favourite
auction site & the one they call "Fotodeal".

Has any one seen a Kings pattern corkscrew with
Autumnal fruit decoration before? I can't find a reference

A lone Wolf? Please drop me a line if you can have any
6th March 2014
A Lund at Serrell Auctions

A couple of weeks back an interesting English corkscrew
appeared on the auction search engines. A Thomas Lund 1838
patent with springs, but not in the normal form with a rack &
pinion mechanism, instead this one was a Thomason design.
Wow! Never seen the like.

I sent an email off requesting high resolution pictures showing
every conceivable angle & asked for a full condition report. To
be fair to Serrell auctions they responded with approximately 15
very clear high resolution pictures & a comprehensive condition
report that left no stone unturned. They probably realised they
were on to something good with the number of enquiries.

I booked a phone line & for the last few days have been mulling
over my maximum bid.

Today was auction day!

The phone rang with a voice soon saying "6 lots to go Mr
Borrett", "OK, great, thanks". The heart rate was increasing
(120 bpm) as I heard the auctioneer getting closer to the magic
number - 290. "OK, here we go, I'll let the floor bid before I
come to you", "OK, thanks" (135 bpm). "£2200, do you want to
bid?", "Um, OK, yes, thanks", "£2600?",(148 bpm) "Yes please",
"£3000?", "er, um, OK, yes please", "3400?", (167 bpm) "um,
er, oooh, yes please". I think you get the picture. I was soon all
out but stayed on the phone to hear two heavy weights go toe
to toe - hammer price a whopping £8500! Add the auctioneers
commission = £10000! Woweee!

I wonder who they were? Mr X & Mr XX I guess.

It just proves that good corkscrews very rarely sneak through in
an auction environment. To be honest, I can't recall a really
good corkscrew ever sneaking through.

To be fair my heart might of blown up if I carried on bidding! ;o
11th March 2014
Corkscrew Beware!

Last week Göran Nilsson, a very passionate Swedish
corkscrew collector visited my home to discuss the
Corkscrew Beware project. Like me, Göran feels very
strongly about the extent of fakes, forgeries & seller
deception currently plaguing our marketplace. It was
a pleasure to meet Göran. We will now be working
very closely to develop a plan of attack to make it
harder for fakers & rogue sellers to operate.

Corkscrew Beware Facebook page now has 100
collectors & it's great to see many discussions on the
merits of ebay corkscrews. We are all learning!
I have just contacted all the corkscrew website owners I could think of requesting a direct link for the Corkscrew
Beware guide. I hope they will oblige so we can spread the word further. The more people that join the
campaign to STOP THE FAKERS the better.

Please, please get involved.
Join the Facebook group

If you would like to write an article or get involved with the Corkscrew Beware guide, please drop me a line.

Barry Squires with Reese

To quote Barry "I have attached a photo of me with
Reese Witherspoon and a vine root corkscrew as a
possible entry for the challenge.

Actually, I should have said that it's me with my
grandson Reece with a spoon ....slightly different so
I am guessing that this might not quite count!!!

Barry, this is brilliant. You absolutely deserve 100 vine root points & a place, with Reece in the  Hall of fame.

Send a picture of you, celebrity & vine root to:

21st March 2014
A silver Wilson for the collection

I recently won a silver roundlet corkscrew on ebay. It's
hallmarked for 1877 & was made by William Wright and
Frederick Davis who had their work shops in Oxford
Street, London from the early 1860.

It has a double helix corkscrew based around British
patent 858, by James Edward Wilson, 3 Mar 1877. I'm
unsure whether the shank carries the "S. PAT" mark or
if it is stamped with the bell symbol trademark.

Interestingly, I have seen around 4 silver English
roundlet double helix corkscrews over the years & each
& every one has carried a hallmark for 1877. Does
anyone have a double helix silver roundlet corkscrew
with hallmarks for a later date? I'd be interested to know.
Seems rather strange that I haven't noted other date
marks for this type of piece. A one year wonder?

I have a nice mini collection of Wilson type corkscrews
as shown in the top photograph. All but the roundlet,
top right & the large direct pull, middle row, far left, are
marked. This silver piece is a welcome addition. I'm still
hunting for a few other variants of this type of
corkscrew, so if you have a different example, not shown
in the above photograph & are interested in selling or
fancy trading, please drop me a line.
21st March 2014
Corkscrew Beware! Update.

At the time of writing 107 collectors are part of the Facebook Corkscrew Beware group. If you
are not already involved - please join the active discussions.

A new article section of
Corkscrew Beware is up. I have added an excellent piece by Göran
Nilsson on Fitter that he wrote for Facebook, to ensure it stays on the radar. If you have an
article in mind that you would like to share, please send it to me & I will publish it for you.

I contacted all the major corkscrew websites for a link exchange to Corkscrew Beware, to help spread the word
further. I can report that Gavin Maddock of Era Corkscrews & Göran Nilsson of Vintage Corkscrew Centre have
already linked - thank you both very much. I also have the promise of a link from both Tommy Campnell and
Josef L'Africain. Thank you guys. Hopefully other sites will follow too.

Corkscrew Beware is about helping corkscrew collectors become fake aware & reducing the amount of fakes &
seller deception within our marketplace. Please support it!

11th April 2014
Silver Wilson Update

In reply to my Blog about silver Wilson double helix corkscrew only
being found with a hallmark for 1877, Richard Stevenson sent in
details of an example hallmarked with date marks for 1884.

Richard purchased this corkscrew (shown in the top picture) from Don
Bull who said it was made by a silversmith called Purnell.

Richard says there is no S. Pat mark due to the small size of helix.

The bottom picture shows a fancy design with gilding that sold on
ebay a few months ago. It sold to Fotodeal for around £750. It was
hallmarked for 1877. Nice piece, lucky him.

As Richard has a different variation with a later hallmark, I would still
be interested to find out if anyone can report the Wilson with the
shank design shown in the bottom photo, in silver with a different date
mark than 1877???

11th April 2014
Searching for Winston Churchill

I have quite a large collection of celluloid type direct pull figural
corkscrews, including animals, birds & some famous people. For quite
a while I've been on the hunt for a good example of a Winston
Churchill celluloid corkscrew. Winston is part of a set of this type of
corkscrew that includes Roosevelt, Macmillan & Edward VIII.

I've seen a few Churchill corkscrews come & go over the years on
ebay, including some good examples. I've been the dreaded under
bidder a few times. Gggrrrrrrr!

I was pleased to recently receive an email offering me a good example
at a fair price, so delighted to finally add Winston to the collection.

This particular piece was part of a Winston Churchill exhibition at
Bletchley Park, near Milton Keynes, England. Bletchley park is
synonymous with the WWII code breakers that played such a key role
in the Allies victory. "The enigma code".

According to The Express, the trustees at Bletchley park feel that the
Churchill exhibition is not relevant & all Churchill exhibits will be
removed & the space used instead to tell the stories of the people
who worked at the intelligence-gathering station during the war.

Churchill once described workers at the intelligence-gathering station
near Milton Keynes, Bucks., as “the geese that laid the golden eggs –
but never cackled” such was their importance.
11/4 So my PC exploded & spent 2 whole weeks in the computer Hospital. Was kind of
weird not having my trusty friend on hand, but also quite refreshing detoxing. Back just in
time to get some listings prepared for the forthcoming ICCA Spring sale. Looking forward
to seeing what's on offer this time.
Check out my band Sound Mined - find us on Facebook A like would be most appreciated!!! :)
12th April 2014
£4.99 Ebay Wulfruna, Really?

Just won it after a 7 day auction, total of £7.79 including P+P.

Maybe a freaky cheap price but it doesn't overly surprise me.
Auction prices have been plummeting over the last few
years. Yes, there have been a few peaks too during that
time, noting several Heeley A1's that recently sold for £100+
but the reality is, the low/mid end of the auction market is
really struggling. Talking of Heeley A1's, five years ago I was
buying them regularly on ebay for £65, last year I was still
sniping them & often winning them at £45. Today, I don't
even snipe them.
The higher end of the market has also slumped. Royal Clubs, Thomason Variants & alike have typical dropped in
price by 25% or more.

The reality is the likes of ebay, ICCA auctions as well as auction houses, plus the fact of many collectors selling
up has shown that so the vast majority of good antique corkscrews are readily available.

Of course we have seen some high prices over the last few years on pieces that many of us would say are
available. That is the nature of auctions & it will always be the case. If only we knew when auction fever would
happen - we'd all be rich! We also are collecting in the Fotodeal era & he has been relentless with his
purchasing. Goodness only knows what will happen when he's had his fill???

Got a view to share?
14th April 2014
Oh, what a beauty! I've not seen one as
lovely as that before

This corkscrew appeared on the WWW late last night & lucky for me I
was in the right place at the right time to snap it up.

It's a super early English 2 pillar with a very unusual handle
terminating with an ivory dusting brush holder. It has a loop top. The
top loop could in fact be stretched & possibly was more of an oval
design when manufactured, This corkscrew looks delicate, fine &
totally original.

I've had a look through the various corkscrew reference books &
can't find another example. However, I'm aware of a collector who has
a similar design that incorporates a ratchet mechanism.

I can't wait to see it!

Anyone out there got a similar example?
16th April 2014
Nothing doing at the South of England's premier
antique fair

Yesterday I was up with the Larks to visit the Ardingly antique fair in
Sussex. A swift coffee & I was on my way.

The journey didn't get off to the greatest start with the slip road closed on
the Motorway junction, meaning a 10 mile detour & 15 minutes added to
the arrival time. Gggrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

I arrived at 7:20 & managed to get an early ticket to find myself amongst
the stalls by 7:30. I had 1 1/2 hours of hunting before the main gates
opened at 9:00 prompt. Head down for some serious hunting. I quickly
found a cased champagne tap, a French olive wood Club corkscrew & a
small roundlet corkscrew marked "Brevette, Paris" all very cheap but not
particularly exciting. Then followed a long period of finding nothing worth
enquiring about. It was soon 9:00 & the stampede of hundreds of buyers
was underway. The search continued & by the end of the day I had only
added a fairly simple direct pull with cork grabbing teeth & a registered
cat figural corkscrew. Slim pickings indeed. I didn't see anything better
than a Thomason throughout the day. You'd think with 2000 stalls to
check out better rewards awaited. Of course, plenty of other early birds
were also there potentially looking for corkscrews, so maybe someone
found something amazing.

After the fair I met up with Wally & we headed off to Peckish Café in
Haywards Heath. We ordered up a full English with bread & butter & mug
of tea & found a suitable table. Wally presented me with a book with a
covering letter. I was emotional as my application had finally been
approved & I had been accepted into "The International Correspondence
of Pie Funnel Collectors" Also known as "Pie Fun". At last! The book was
the definitive  guide to pie funnels. I have to be careful what I say as law 7
of Pie Fun states "The society is a secret society, communication with
anybody not a member about the society, is strictly forbidden."

After some "Pie Fun" fun Wally & I worked a deal for a rather nice Dutch silver pocket corkscrew. My first with a
Cow. It has some indistinct hallmarks. The worm is a little different & I note a very similar example sold on the
ICCA auctions by Barbara Ellis, same worm & a similar theme.

So, not the best fair, but good weather, fried food & the company of Wally certainly made it a great day out.