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updates, corkscrew stories, great finds,
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January 4th 2008
An unusual Twin

I've just acquired an unusual version of James Stones
English registered design corkscrew from 1877. It's
unusual by having a spike at one end of the handle & a
hole for the dusting brush at the other. The handle is
definitely original & It is marked on one side "The Twin"
& on the other with the registration lozenge.

I've looked through Screwbase & all the corkscrew
books in my library, including the new book by Frank &
Barbara Ellis on British registered design corkscrews &
can't find any reference to this corkscrew with a brush
or with a spike.

Maybe it's unique or one of a few, I don't know...but it's
an interesting find & a great start to 2008!
January 8th 2008
Thomason Fluted Barrel

This very fine fluted Thomason corkscrew has just found
its way into my collection - it really looks like 2008 will be
a vintage year!  

I'd been after this particular piece for a while & had seen
a couple come & go but each one had some issues in
terms of condition which stopped me from considering a
purchase. This example is in fine shape & is beautifully
marked "THOMASON P NE PLUS ULTRA" around the
button. It has a smaller barrel than other variants of this
corkscrew that I have seen, maybe indicating that it is an
early version. Also, the markings are slightly different as
Thomason is normally proceeded by the word Patent as
apossed to the letter P in this case.

I'm ticking off the
Thomason variations one
by one - if you have any
interesting Thomasons for
sale please
drop me a line.
9th Jan 2008

More great corkscrews added
to the for sale section - check
it out!


January 30th 2008
A Beautiful Lady

Yesterday I was up with the larks & headed off to an
antique fair in London. Once amongst the stalls I was
soon spotting corkscrew dealers & collectors here there
& everywhere, with so much competition it looked like it
was going to be a very tough mornings hunting.

Luckily for me & against all odds this very fine Lady Wier
corkscrew came my way along with a very good Heeley
A1 & a couple of bone handled direct pulls.

This Lady Wier corkscrew completes my set of the five
Marshall Wier designs manufactured by James Heeley &
February 1st  2008
Corkscrew collecting hound

Today, a new member was added to
the family. Reggie the dog, a
Collie/Retriever cross was rescued by
some friends who live locally, but due
to one of them suffering a skin allergy
he was going to be sent back to the
dog home with his tail between his
legs. My wife Ruthie came to the
rescue, convincing me that we had to
give him a loving home.

Looks like I'll be training him to sniff
out some corkscrews at the antique
fairs or maybe get the price down with
his doggy eyes.

February 6th 2008
Alligator twins

I received an email last week together
with a fuzzy picture from a guy in the
States that was looking to sell a celluloid
Alligator waiters corkscrew. It was the
exact same piece that I already had in my
collection marked W. H. Morley & Sons,
Germany. I made an offer which was
quickly accepted.

A couple of days back the postman
delivered the package. It turned out to be
a very fine piece in near mint condition -
a great addition to the corkscrew swamp.

February 13th 2008
One for the Magpies

I picked up this silver pocket corkscrew the other day on
Ebay. The picture wasn't too clear in the listing & the
sheath was described as bent, so luckily for me my
modest snipe bid was enough to win the auction.

It arrived today & in no time the silver polish was out.
After an hour of polishing away vigorously it was shining
& sparkling in fine fashion.

It is a fairly large piece, measuring 4 3/4" & it is marked
on the base, although too rubbed to make out. The bend
to the sheath doesn't stop it from engaging correctly on
the threads. Overall, a very fine & decorative corkscrew
that for now will sit very nicely in the collection.

February 28th 2008
A hunting we will go!

This Tuesday was all about hunting for corkscrews. The
early signs were not too promising as the Kempton antique
fair was lacking sellers & the weather was wet, wet, wet. All I
found was a cheap Anri stopper.

Next stop - Ardingly & with the rain abating & the sun
breaking through I was more hopeful of a better result. It
turned out to be a very good fair with a cheap Armstrong
patent being the first of many finds. I soon picked up a pair
of champagne taps, one being a scarce variant with a loop
handle & within five minutes a Plant's Magic together with a
more unusual partial puller named "Little Joker" were
purchased at a great price. I continued to find some other
pieces & by the end of the hunt my backpack was nicely
weighed down.

The day was topped off with this very fine Lund type rack &
pinion corkscrew that I picked up from a fellow collector. It is
a fantastic piece which will sit very nicely in my collection.
February 22nd 2008
A swinger of a corkscrew

I picked up a small collection of corkscrews
the other day. Within the batch was this
unusual German spring corkscrew with a
revolving frame, a German registered
design from 1903 by W. Neues. It could do
with some TLC to improve the condition.
One of the original screws is a larger
replacement & the frame has been painted
with some black lacquer. Nonetheless, a
great find.

As German corkscrews are not my thing
this one will be sold via the website or
maybe Ebay if the mood takes me. If it is
one you've been looking for
let me know -
I'm open to offers.
March 1st 2008
A new corkscrew auction website!

There is new website for budding or seasoned corkscrew enthusiasts to buy & sell. The ICCA (International
Correspondence of Corkscrew Addicts) have launched an on-line auction web site allowing sellers to offer up
corkscrews over the value of $100.00. Each corkscrew is vetted to ensure that no questionable pieces are sold
without the correct description. With Christies electing to cease their corkscrew auctions this site looks like a
wonderful opportunity for the corkscrew World to find some great pieces on a twice annual basis.

I've signed up & will shortly list a few decent corkscrews for the first auction which ends 4th May 08. Look out for
my items under user name loxwoodfc.

Why not list a few corkscrews yourself? There is no listing fee, you can protect your items with a reserve & the
final fees are just 2.5% of the first $5000.00.

The site already has some great pieces & at the time of writing there is at least 15-20 pieces that are more
desirable than anything that is currently on offer at eBay.

Click the banner & check it out!

March 10th 2008
Fish 'n' Chips but no Cotterill

We had a great family trip to the seaside on Saturday.
After checking out the Cotterill which turned out to be a super piece,
we headed to the beach where Reg, the corkscrew collecting hound
had a great time racing around & chasing the seagulls.

Back at the auction, the tension was mounting as the lot got ever
closer. When lot 555 was called, the bids came in thick & fast, with the
floor very active before a phone bidder upped the anti & won the
piece for a very tidy sum.  

Nothing left to do other than dig into a large portion of local fish &
chips. Maybe the next Cotterill will have my name on it, or then again -
maybe it wont.

March 7th 2008
It's all happening at auction

I took a trip to auction today just outside of Gloucester, passing
the magnificent Cathedral on route. I just managed to get there
with enough time to check out the 50 or so corkscrew lots, grab
a coffee & find a good spot near the back of the room to wave
my paddle from.

There wasn't anything I wanted specifically for the collection
but there was a number of lots with good eBay or website
potential, if the price was right.  

I managed to wave my paddle successfully on a number of
occasions, totalling 14 lots all at very good prices. Looks like I'll
be busy listing some soon on eBay.

A commission bid also landed me a nice early Lund rack at
another auction house in Exeter today. The rack is missing the
springs, otherwise it looks a great piece.

On another note, a very, very, very (did I say very?) fine
Cotterill is up for grabs this coming Saturday in Poole, Dorset.
Ruth, Holly, Reg the corkscrew collecting hound & myself will
be attending the auction, followed by a trip to a nearby beach
to see the young hound stretch his legs.
March 12th 2008
Gone to the Dogs

OK, so I might not of won the
Cotterill, but I reckon that I am
the current World record holder
for having the most Terrior dog
corkscrews. Somebody stop
me ! I've been buying these
figurals for ages now & had lost
track with just how many I had.
Anyone want one, two or more?
March 13th 2008
The Eagle has landed!

I've been after one for quite a while, so I'm
delighted to report that a Jones I has finally found
its way into my collection. I haven't got my hands
on it yet, I'll pick it up next Friday, but by all
accounts it is in great shape, mechanically perfect
& only has very minor detractions.

Big thanks to a mate & his wife for helping me
land the piece for a very fair price.

Picture to follow in 2008 best six - I'm off to find a
Jones II.
April 8th 2008
A nice surprise

No, not George Willet's mechanical
corkscrew but a very, very cool English
Victorian direct pull with an oversize handle
that opens to reveal a spike.

I've not seen this example before, so it must
be pretty rare & it is in great shape with
minimal wear - just how I like em.

This very tactile corkscrew, the type you just
keep playing with will make an unusual &
terrific addition to the collection.

If you have a similar corkscrew for sale or
trade, please drop me a line, good trade bait
awaits, anything for sale on my site or maybe
a bundle of cash.

April 10th 2008
William Lund

I have just agreed a purchase of 25 corkscrews which includes
a rare 2 column corkscrew marked W. LUND standing for
William Lund.

William Lund was a prolific English corkscrew manufacturer
who started his business in 1830. His business was based at
Fleet St in London where he produced many different types of
corkscrews, notably the 2 part single lever corkscrew which he
patented jointly with William Hipkins in 1855. He died in 1872,
where-after the business continued as William Lund & son.
The business ceased trading in 1972 but by this time they
were diamond traders.

This corkscrew appears to be an early piece & more than likely
dates prior to 1850.

These 2 column corkscrews turn up unmarked a few times a
year on eBay but I can't recall seeing one marked Lund which
adds real interest to the piece.

If you have a corkscrew marked W. LUND I'd be keen to
purchase it from you - just
drop me a line.

May 10th 2008

I bumped into a fellow corkscrew collector last week at the
Shepton Mallet antique fair who informed me that he had
spotted an original Henshall corkscrew in a box with some
bottle stoppers at his local junk auction. He asked about the
handle, a Jones type, wondering if it was original. I pointed
out that it was & also gave him an idea of value. The auction
was taking place the following day & he said he would let me
know what happened.

Next day, I received an email from a very happy collector to
inform me that he won the box of stoppers complete with the
first patented corkscrew in the World fully marked around the
£140.00! In his words " Today, I am like a dog with two tails!"

The variation he bought is the biggest of the three versions
of the Henshall I made for quart-sized bottles. It has a super
rosewood handle complete with what appears to be the
original brush. Importantly the inscription around the button
which is often very worn appears to be good.

If you spot an interesting corkscrew at the bottom of a box at
your local junk auction drop me a line, I'll happily give you an
idea of value or possibly offer you lots of money to go & win
Drop Peter a line
May 13th 2008
Cheap as Chips!

I got lucky today at auction winning
this 19th century steel 2 column
corkscrew very cheaply. I have
similar pieces in my collection so no
doubt I'll move this one on. If you are
looking for a good early piece & are
interested in buying it or making a
trade don't hesitate in dropping me a

May 16th 2008
A toast to Frank Ellis
(March 31st, 1948 - May 11th, 2008)

I received a phone call earlier this week from Fletcher Wallis to tell me
that Frank Ellis had passed away after suffering a short illness. I was
stunned, shocked & speechless on hearing this devastating news. My
deepest sympathies go out to his widow Barbara.

Frank was a devoted English corkscrew collector, first hooked in 1988
who spent two decades in search of both new additions for his collection
as well as the historical knowledge that accompanied them.

An active member of the CCCC, Frank's informative & well written, often
humorous articles featured regularly in The Quarterly Worm, the club
newsletter. I don't think any one person contributed more than Frank to
the newsletter such was his willingness to research & then pass on the
information to others.

Together with his wife Barbara, he spent ten years, a true labour of love
researching registered English designed corkscrews culminating with a
lavish & definitive book on the subject "Corkscrews: British registered
designs by Frank Ellis and Barbara Ellis" which was published in 2007.  I
was excited to receive my copy which opened my eyes to corkscrews that
I had never seen before. It is an excellent book so clearly written by a
person that was passionate about collecting corkscrews. I had to laugh or
maybe I should of cried when reading about one particular design from
1913, described as having a snake tongue cap lifter & as yet no example
had been found. Laugh/Cry? Well, I found an example a few years back
at the Newark antique fair & then sold it a few weeks later without a clue
that it was a rare unrecorded registered design corkscrew.
On a personal note, Frank
was always keen to help me
out, answering my queries
& questions as quick as a
flash. I always enjoyed
bumping into him at the
various hunting grounds &
chatting about our joint

Frank was a focal point of
the British corkscrew
collecting scene & a highly
respected authority to other
corkscrew collectors from
around the World.

He will be missed.
July 10th 2008
Nothing Doing!
I've had a quiet time of things with regard to
corkscrewing in the last month or so. There has
been little of note at auction or on eBay & the
corkscrew grape vine has also been oh so quiet. I
did manage to pick up a nice set of folding shoes at
a good price & a few box lots at auction but not a
sniff of a top piece for the collection.


I decided after a few years of playing online poker
for play money I'd invest a few quid to play for real. I
bought up $30.00 & entered a few tournaments.
During the first weekend I turned my $30.00 stake
into a whopping $750.00 with the main earner being
a fourth place finish in a tourney with a $5.00
entrance fee & with 7500 other players. I thought I
was the Cincinnati kid! As you would expect I've
subsequently lost the lot, lol.

Also, went to Majorca with the family & had a
cracking time. The weather was hot, hot, hot & the
company was great. Holly has officially turned into
Holly the fish, she was hardly out of the pool & has
gone from a sinking doggy paddler to a terrific
swimmer, diver & somersaulter.
July 16th 2008
ICCA sign a Corkscrewteer

There is a small group of corkscrew collecting
scoundrels, five total, that for a few years now have
been the corkscrew highwayman of eBay. The buy it
now, end it now, I'll bung you now brigade have
between them pulled a bundle of goodies that would
put Dick Turpin to shame. This cheeky fivesome are
collectively known as "The Corkscrewteers".

Hot news just hit my inbox that Corkscrewteer Josef
"the binner" L'Africain has been invited to join the
ICCA, an elite corkscrew club limited in numbers &
only for serious collectors with top collections who
offer services to corkscrews, in terms of knowledge,
research, etc, etc. Some say that the ICCA are the
corkscrew club equivalent of the Masons which begs
the question - will Josef's initiation see him naked, all
but a corkscrew printed apron, standing on one leg
with a Ross pig on his head & a Converse prong
puller up his nostrils while he recites the ICCA prayer
of thanks to the great Philos Blake in the sky?

I'm sure Josef will give his all to the ICCA corkscrew
club which hopefully will leave more opportunity for
the rest of us to land a few good eBay deals.
Corkscrewteers Bristow, Leopardi & Borrett at a 2007 meet in
London. Missing from the picture, Corkscrewteers Woodard &
L'Africain who were probably busy refreshing eBay listings.
Here's our man!

The one & only Josef "the
binner" L'Africain, the new
young & dynamic member
of the International
Correspondence of
Corkscrew Addicts.
July 26th 2008
Mister X

A rare corkscrew came up at auction in Yorkshire on Saturday & I was sat on a red hot phone line trying to
win it. The corkscrew, with snail faces was patented by Chinnock in 1863 & this example was clearly marked
on the frame "G. Dowler Patent Self-Adjusting". The auction house included a reference to Ferd Peters book
in the lot description so whoever was selling obviously knew what they had, I wonder who it was? It didn't
help that I couldn't find any historical prices so gut feeling was my only guide & that was a very tidy sum.

Auction day came & with a few lots to go the phone rang. In no time the lot was called & I was soon in the
thick of the action. It's amazing how quickly the price skyrockets! In no time it reached my limit & after a brief
ponder & one last bid "Mister X" took me out with a sweeping, instant response.

So, foiled again by "Mister X".

If you go into your loft & find an expandable corkscrew marked "G. Dowler Patent Self-Adjusting" or "B. B.
Wells Strand & City London Self Adjusting Patent" & would like a pile of cash please drop me a line.
September 4th 2008

I just picked up this folding celluloid corkscrew which is
marked on the shank "AMOR GERMANY, D.R.G.M.
105407" . This German Patent was issued to Carl
Bewer of Solingen on November 31, 1898. It is also
known as the kissing couple.

The lady had her shoes stolen, they must of been
Gucci or similar. Nonetheless, a very hard to find
corkscrew bought at a fair price & available to anyone
that wants it.

Drop me a line if kissing couples with missing Gucci
shoes are your thing.
September 9th 2008

The Peter Coldicott Collection

Today I took a day off & headed to Salisbury for the long awaited
sale of Peter Coldicott's (He who wrote the little blue book)
corkscrew collection at the Woolley & Wallis auction house. I'd
already viewed the goodies on the web & worked out bids on
pretty much everything pending condition. On arrival I checked
out the stacked shelves of corkscrews & noted a few issues &
modified my notes accordingly.

Viewing over, I soon tracked down fellow collector Steven Webb &
we headed off to the greasy spoon to put the World to rights & of
course gabble on about corkscrews for a couple of hours. A few
other Brits were around (Mike Meakin, Norman Wright, Richard
Stevenson, John Davis, Bernard Masson & Stephen Paul) but
these guys were having an executive London CCCC 09
committee meeting somewhere a bit more upmarket. Rumour has
it that the Salisbury lobster count was zero by the time these guys
were through. Roll on London 09, I just hope I get a go of running
with the Olympic, I mean corkscrew torch.

Back at the auction house & with still 70 odd lots to go before the
corkscrews started we all gassed away about anything
corkscrewy & handed around a few very nice pieces which were
pulled out of pockets, jiffy bags & in Webby's case dusters!

Ok, here we go, comfy leather sofa, lot notes, catalogue, paddle
& poker face - auction time! Then followed an unbelievable series
of incredible prices. Lot after lot the hammer fell with absolutely
astonishing results. The phone lines were primarily winning out
with the odd piece selling to unknown people in the room. Webby
& myself couldn't stop laughing & our chins fell on the floor with
the staggering results. We were told to button up on a couple of
occasions by a couple of the London 09 committee, lol. To be fair
we were all in shock & not one of us won a single lot! The closest
I came was being the under-bidder on a shocking example of
Hull's Presto, but it was so bad it was probably a lucky escape.
Some of the stand out prices are shown ----------------->
others include a Gothic Thomason selling for £2337, Thomason
variant selling for £2337, Syroco Waiter selling for £135, modern
brass barrel corkscrew selling for £283 & four books selling for 3
x their value, so funny! The final hammer came down & with a
rushed goodbye to the Brit pack, I headed off to the car park at a
rapid pace as it was touch & go whether I got a parking ticket,
luckily I was OK.

Cross country to see my sister in Andover & on to the eat all you
like Chinese buffet in Andover High St & then back home.

What a day!

While these incredible events were unfolding at Salisbury,
elsewhere in the depths of Surrey Mister X came up empty -
Thomason Autumnal fruits with a solder
repair on the barrel sold for £1722
Heeley Empire, average shape with
loose handle snap sold for £1660
Double folder with loose T bar sold for
5 Key corkscrews sold for £197
September 9th 2008

Can you hear Mister X sing? No-oh,

A couple of really great pieces came up today at
auction in Surrey, a named four poster & very
rare Royal Club variant. Mister X missed them

The four poster needs a small rivet repair,
otherwise all good & very nicely marked. The
Royal Club is a very special piece. The only
pictured example can be found in Screwbase
where it is described as an unmarked German
variation of the Royal Club with a very unusual
flared neck protector. The corkscrew at auction
dispels the German variation theory as it is clearly
marked "C. Hull's Patent, Royal Club Corkscrew,
Birmingham". So without doubt an original English
Hull Royal Club variant as defined by the makers
marks. It is a very, very exciting find!

There is no mention of this variation in Fletcher
Wallis's definitive book on British patented
corkscrews or any other book for that matter.
Maybe deep in the patent archives is a dusty,
moth eaten patent application by Hull for this
interesting variant or maybe it was just one of a
handful in an unsuccessful small production.
Hopefully one day we will know but regardless, a
fascinating corkscrew that can now clearly be
attributed to Charles Hull.

If you open a box in your cellar & find a rusty old
corkscrew marked "C. Hull's Patent, Royal Club
Corkscrew, Birmingham" & want to swap it for a tin
of Quality Street, Roses or two tickets to the
cinema drop me a line. I'm joking - I'd be pleased
to swap your corkscrew for a pile of crisp notes.
September 25th 2008
A bag full of corkscrews

I took a trip to Somerset last week to visit the Shepton
Mallet antique fair, it's one I try & get to as my parents
live about 20 minutes away. On arrival I met fellow
collector Steven Webb who was already in the queue
with his family. We agreed to go our separate ways &
meet up later for a coffee & to show the spoils.

I set off at a good pace & hunted like crazy. After
about an hour I found nothing more than an
interesting Anri stopper, things were starting to look
bleak. I then spotted a stunning perfume corkscrew
with some very beautiful silver decoration, a nice one
for the collection. Soon after I bumped into Steven who
was weighed down with a bag full of corkscrews, he
definitely went the right way, funny that, right you win,
left you lose. Anyhow, we went off searching again &
despite finding a couple of minor pieces, a roundlet &
heart shape bow nothing else of note came my way.

It was coffee time & Steven eased my pain by buying
me a coffee & doughnut before he emptied his bulky
bag & sold the lot to me at a fair price. After a natter
we both headed off again, this time I slowed down the
pace & looked more thoroughly. I managed to find a
carriage key combo, a Converse, a Farrow & Jackson
mechanical & a stylish silver perfume. Maybe, slow is
the way to go!

On another note, Chris Bristow struck it lucky the other
day landing a Lund bottle grip corkscrew via the
internet at a great price - good job Chris!
A very beautiful perfume corkscrew with
inlayed silver decoration found at the Shepton
Mallet fair.
Mr Bristow's Lund bottle grips all the way from
John O'Groats
October 1st 2008
ICCA young gun does it again!

In the eyes of Syroco corkscrew hunters the jewell in
the crown for any corkscrew collection is the sought
after golden knight. These free standing armour
plated corkscrew guardians probably turn up a couple
of times a year on eBay & sell on the hammer for a
pile of $$$$$. Quite unbelievably my buddy Josef "the
binner" L'Africain has somehow managed to land four
in the last four years & has paid no more than $40.00
for any of them. Three have come by the way of eBay,
the latest just a day or two ago when he spotted it
withing 30 seconds of being listed with a buy it now
price tag of $19.99. It is no coincidence that Josef has
won three for no money on eBay, he clearly puts the
hours in & no doubt refreshes certain newly listed
categories at very regular intervals. I don't think I could
go to such extremes, there are other things I prefer
doing but I wouldn't mind the rewards. Good job Josef!

I would love to buy your Syroco golden knight
corkscrew & have $200.00 waiting that's a whopping
ten times what Josef paid - drop me a line to
the deal.

A Sunderland in Canada

Last week I spotted a very, very rare English rack &
pinion corkscrew listed on eBay US, an 1870 patent by
Edwin Sunderland. It was missing the winding handle,
otherwise it appeared to be in good shape. In no time
there were a number of questions to the seller mainly
asking for a buy it now, some of which were very
creative. I was watching this corkscrew with interest,
wondering what it would sell for with a missing winder
but when I checked this morning it had disappeared
without trace, I hate it when that happens! Maybe the
seller will relist it or maybe some crafty chap has done
a deal, if so it would fetch a very tidy sum once fixed
up. I would of loved to see what it sold for - oh well,
c'est la vie.
Syoco Golden Knight corkscrew.
What price a broken Sunderland patent
October 2nd 2008
Collection for sale

I'm currently studying a number of
photographs of a complete collection for
sale. It was offered to me by a chap that
had previously bought corkscrews from
me on eBay. There are some fantastic
pieces in the mix, so hopefully my offer
will be acceptable. Unfortunately, the
vintage wine & champagne shown in the
picture is not for sale.

I'm always looking to buy antique &
vintage corkscrews, if you have any for
sale please drop me a line.
November 1st 2008
Hunting for Winston Churchill

I just picked up a very cool celluloid corkscrew depicting
Lloyd George the Welsh politician. He is one of a few in
a series of famous heads of State & politicians that were
depicted as celluloid busk corkscrews & probably
produced during the 1930/40's. I currently already have
Edward VIII & Roosevelt, so Lloyd George is a very
welcome addition to the collection. I'm not certain of all
the other figures in this series but Winston Churchill is
definitely one, so if you have a celluloid busk corkscrew
depicting Winston Churchill & want to trade or sell it
please drop me a line.
November 5th 2008
Lot 141 Box of corkscrews & tin openers

Just won this lot at auction with a very unlikely corkscrew sitting at the top of the pile.
November 1st 2008
Trading with Tommy
Another Alligator corkscrew is heading
my way following a trade with fellow
collector Tommy Campnell. After
lengthy negotiations it was agreed that
Tommy gets a four pillar Kings, Negbaur
pig & a Clough wire corkscrew & I get
the Alligator & a couple of multi tool
bows. A fair exchange & both sides
happy. Thanks for your patience
Tommy while I pondered the deal.

Have you got any interesting
corkscrews to trade?
November 10th 2008
William Willett

I've just struck a deal to purchase a registered design corkscrew from
1934 by William Willett. It is marked on the handle "Rd 790035" & is a
combination of both a cap lifter & corkscrew. The frame is based on
George Willett's very successful patented corkscrew from 1884 (The
Surprise) & the handle based on Coney's mass produced registered
design finger pull corkscrew & cap lifter from 1925.

You would think that with this registered design being based on probably
the most commonly found patented corkscrew (The Surprise) & also, one
of the most frequently found registered designs (Coney's finger pull
corkscrew) it would of been a certain winner...far from it. This corkscrew is
pretty tough to track down & always garners plenty of interest when it does.

You can find a reference for this registered corkscrew in Frank & Barbara
Ellis's book "Corkscrews, British Registered Designs". It states that this
design was shown in a catalogue of Catering Equiptment Ltd of Bond St,
London. It offered a Combined corkscrew and crown cork opener with lugs
for extra pulling power.
November 12th 2008
Another Nice Surprise

A small box crammed full of corkscrews arrived today, it was the lot I
won last week at auction. I received the typical UK auction house
service, a charge of £25.00 for postage & packing which cost them
a fiver & it appeared they had thrown the corkscrews from a great
height into the box & then smashed the ones that didn't fit too well
down with a hammer to squeeze them in. No bubble wrap, paper or
any protection for that matter. As Mr Angry would say "It's
outrageous!" If these guys were on eBay they would be inundated
with negative feedback.

Luckily, all the pieces seemed to be in good shape & the Thomason
variant was in much better shape than I expected. To my great
surprise there was a corkscrew in the box which I didn't notice in the
original picture, it had me dancing around for a while, it's worth a
few hundred quid & is in great shape. I've made the above picture in
the 5th November entry a thumbnail, click it to enlarge & see if you
can spot my unexpected Brucey bonus.

Happy days!
November 15th 2008

I've just arrived back from a great trip to Somerset. It was a busy
couple of days, taking in the Shepton Mallet antique fair, a
marathon game of squash & some quality time with my parents.

There were no great finds to report at Shepton Mallet, in fact I
picked up nothing better than a basic champagne tap. I did however
manage to strike a trade with fellow collector Steven Webb who had
a stunning Dutch silver parrot corkscrew available if I could offer up
a suitable amount of trade bait. After agreeing for him to take half
my collection & some cash, the deal was done. I'm happy - he's
happy - the parrot's happy - everybody's happy!

After the fair & a brief stop at Steven's place we bombed down to
Jonah Barrington's Squash Academy at Millfield School & played
squash for over an hour. Some excellent tips came my way. I play in
my local leagues but I'm pretty hopeless, Steve doesn't play in his
local leagues, nobody can give him much of a game, you get the
picture. I'm hoping Steve's latest tips will help improve my pathetic

After the squash it was on for a Ruby Murray & then on to my folks
to catch up on all the family news.
Always great to see them! I was
up til 2.00 a.m. chatting for
England & after a good sleep,
tasty breakfast & some more
gassing I was back on the road.

Back home & Polly the Parrot
was added to my other silver
pieces - it looks great!
November 25th 2008
A rare registered design corkscrew

I was up with the larks this morning to visit the Kempton antique fair. The forecast was for a bright but
extremely bitter morning, so after wrapping up like the Michelin Man, thermals & all, I was on the road.

On arrival I headed for the main hall where I found a silver perfume corkscrew, Anri corkscrew & a simple
Anri stopper. Quickly back to the car to pick up Reg the corkscrew collecting hound who accompanied me
for the rest of the hunt.

Once out & about amongst the outside stalls I found a number of bits & pieces, all good ebay fodder. I also
bumped into a fellow collector who sold me a superb bone handle Henshall, so good I might just keep it.

The find of the day was my final purchase, a beaten up Codd bottle corkscrew which on closer scrutiny was
stamped with a registration mark. It was priced at a fiver & I had a good laugh with the vendor about how he
could justify asking a fiver for something in such bad shape. I passed over my fiver, threw it in the bag &
headed home.

This evening & with Holly's help we identified the corkscrew as Thomas Jackson & Co of Birmingham
registered design corkscrew from 7th May, 1894. The registered number marked on the corkscrew matches
correctly, Rd no 231961. As you can see from the photos, it has plenty of wear & is missing the foil cutter
attachment, there is a small hole where it would of been.
My lucky find, Thomas Jackson & Co's registered design corkscrew from 1894.

According to the excellent book, "Corkscrews: British registered Designs" by Frank & Barbara Ellis, there
has been no recorded example to date. So it appears this beaten up old corkscrew is quite a rarity.
December 5th 2008
Corkscrewing from 5.30 a.m. - 10.30 p.m.

A few weeks ago I agreed to visit a long term collector in Leicester who
wanted to sell me his collection. After checking the diary I noticed that
the Newark antique fair was coming up, I'd not been to Newark for ages
so I decide a double header day of corkscrewing was definitely in order.

I was on the road early yesterday for my marathon corkscrewing day,
5.30 a.m early to be precise. It was cold, wet & miserable just as
forecast the night before. Stocked up with two flasks, a giant packed
lunch & choc bars galore I was more than ready for the day ahead.

I made it to Newark just after 9.00 & the queues were gone, hopefully
the corkscrews hadn't. I struck lucky in the first building when I noticed
an interesting French rack amongst some other corkscrews. The
others were mostly English patents, all overpriced but the rack was well
within my limit. Same building, a little further down & a cork grip direct
pull was quickly snapped up. Sadly, the weather had clearly put many
stall holders off, the overall fair was probably about half the size of the
busy summer fairs that I'd previously gone to. Nonetheless, I kept
finding bits & bobs, a Chinnock, a loop handled champagne tap, a
German rack were all purchased at great prices. Throughout the day I
met up with sellers that I hadn't seen for ages, it was great to see them
& catch up. One of these guys pulled out a Hipkins lever rack for me to
look at, it had some pitting, nothing too bad, mostly on the collar, nicely
marked, full worm, good action & the price seemed pretty reasonable,
one to consider. Later in the day I found a very nice silver plated picnic
& after a trip back to the car to empty the bag & tuck into the nosh I
was back out once again for a slow walk around. I found a few extras, a
horn handled Codd corkscrew, a Deco type French direct & a cream
crackers peg & worm. Part one of the trip complete & back to the car -
destination Leicester.

After a slowish cross-country drive I arrived at the collector's house just
outside of Leicester & was warmly welcomed with a coffee. After a good
chat, we methodically went through his 8 giant boxes crammed full of
corkscrews. One by one he pulled them out & one by one I made him
an offer. Each time I made him an offer with the exception of a couple
of occasions he said "yes, that's fine". What a super chap!
It went something like this "Oh yes
this one, I remember picking this
one up in the Lanes at Brighton
during a business trip in 1989, such
a shame about the broken worm". I
replied, "Yeah, a real shame about
the worm, still maybe I can get it
fixed, I'll give you £200.00 for your
Roper" & he said "Yes, that's fine".

5 minutes later...."My wife spotted
this one. We were holidaying in
Monaco, a beautiful trip, stunning
scenery & with culinary delights to
die for. Whilst there we took a day
trip to Nice & she noticed this one in
a small shop of bric-a-brac just by
the main square. I was taken by the
unusual tiger's head". "Oh yeah,
wow that's so cool. I'll give you
£50.00 for your Perille L'Express" &
he said "Yes, that's fine".

If only! I did however make him an
offer on about 100 or so
corkscrews that filled an oversize
bag. Nothing special to report but
plenty of good pieces for resale.

Found a corkscrew & want to sell it?
Forget the Internet auction lottery.

For a top return, send a picture of
your corkscrew to:

Sell them your corkscrews!

Drop me a line if you have any
corkscrews for sale
December 12th 2008
The trouble with research

The trouble with research is you
don't often easily find what you're
looking for. Kudos to those that
spend hours & hours searching,
maybe that's partly why their books
costs so much & rightly so - I just
don't have the patience.

I recently picked up the most
wonderful folding bow corkscrew,
really unusual with three worms &
marked Holtzapffel, New Bond St. I
already have a couple of super multi
tool bows marked Holtzapffel, so it
got me wondering about Holtzapffel,
who they were, when they were in
business, what they sold, etc, etc.
I was under the impression that Holtzapffel traded as gun smiths during
the late 19th century into the early 20th but to be honest I didn't know if
that was correct so I started to hunt for more information. Couldn't get
any help out of Google, nothing to report in any of the corkscrew books
& a couple of other collectors I contacted didn't know anything either.

I'm stuck, would like to find out more, anybody help?
December 14th 2008
.........Holtzapffel Update........

Following my last Blog entry about Holtzapffel & my plea for help I received a
number of emails from readers. Many thanks in particular to Josef L'Africain
& Graeme Nott for their help, both provided some very useful links about the

Here are some findings...

Holtzapffel were manufacturers of lathes & an amazing amount of different
tools & wares, yes including corkscrews! The business was started by Jacob
Holtzapffel, a German native, who set up a mechanical & toolmaking
business in 1794. During the first years he made anything requested
including gun-casing & inventors models, in 1795 he started lathe
production for which the company would make their name. By the turn of the
19th century the company had sold just short of 400 lathes & become a
partnership with John George Deyerlein who at the time was Jacob's
assistant. The business was now trading as Holtzapffel & Deyerlein & at this
point each lathe manufactured was numbered. In 1827 John Deyerlein left
when Jacob's son Charles joined the business. Over the next twenty years
Charles drove the business forward with vigor & by the time of his premature
death aged just 41 the company had produced 1500 lathes.

Further generations of Holtzapffels continued to successfully run the
business. First Charles's wife Amelia who ran the firm until his son John
Jacob headed the firm aged 31, some twenty years after his father's death.
John Jacob was credited with bringing down the cost of lathes to a price that
"mere gentlemen" could afford & for also improving lathe design, resulting in
a combination that was both elegant & functional.

John Jacob's nephew William Budd adopted the Holtzapffel name & became
head of the firm in 1896. His son John George joined the business in 1919 &
went on to succeed his father. Sadly, in 1927 John George Holtzapffel
announced that due to increased costs of production after the war,
combined with tremendous preoccupation with the automobile over
ornamental turning they would be closing their doors. The last lathe sold in
1928 was number 2557.  

Lathes aside, it's clear that Holtzapffel & co manufactured & sold  a vast
amount of different wares of which corkscrews were just a small part. It
appears that the business was prolific & very successful in the production of
precision engineered products.

In a 19th century trade advert, amongst the many assorted wares for sale
manufactured by Holtzapffel & Co, 64 Charing Cross & 127 Long Acre were:
corkscrews, champagne taps, nippers, hooks & knives, Butler's corkscrews,
lever corkscrews, ditto with rack & pinion & corkscrews containing 2 - 12
useful implements.
Holtzapffel & Co retail location at
Charing Cross, 1821 - 1901

What I personally find very
interesting is that the three
folding bows that I have are all
marked with the New Bond
Street address, a location
Holtzapffel were located at for
just five years, from 1902 -
1907, it clearly dates them
within a tight time frame. I notice
that in Don Bull's Ultimate
corkscrew book he has a few
Holtzapffel bows which have the
64, Charing Cross mark. Has
anybody got a Holtzapffel
marked bow for any other

I'd also be very interested if
anyone has any other type of
corkscrew or champagne tap
(not a folding bow) marked with
the Holtzapffel name.
December 14th 2008
Spot The Difference

I just received a very nice miniature German ladies legs corkscrew with pink & white striped stockings, a
corkscrew I won last week on ebay. I was getting a bit worried, while the auction was running I asked the
seller a couple of question & never got an answer back. Despite the lack of response I decided I'd still stick
with my bid which ended being the winner. Worryingly, after three days of the auction ending I had heard
nothing from the seller - you'd think they would be straight on the email asking to get paid. I paid but half
expected to have problems. Thankfully, it all turned out fine.

We've all seen the crazy fluctuations in price on ebay, I equally love & hate the ups & downs, afterall, I'm
buying & selling so both can work very nicely for me. I was shocked to see the blue & white set pictured
below left sell the week before for over £700.00, luckily for me pink & white is obviously so yesterdays
colours as my set were less than half the price. It is so very strange!

I'm not complaining, they will sit nicely in my
collection for the time being. I wonder what I'll get
if I decide to sell them at some point via the ebay
lottery??? Will it be my money back plus enough
cash for a giant bar of Galaxy chocolate (I love
that stuff), maybe a loss or hopefully a whopping
double your money cash bonanza?
Peter Borrett
BEST SIX for 2008
~from left to right~
1. Lund & Hipkins London rack corkscrew with central rack & pinion marked "Lund's Patent
London Rack". An English patent from 1855.
2. Victorian direct pull corkscrew with an oversize handle that opens on one side to reveal a
spike, see Blog entry for April 8th.
3. English two pillar corkscrew marked W. Lund for William Lund.
4. Robert Jones 1st registered design corkscrew, registered in 1840. Marked on the barrel
"Robert Jones & Sons Birmingham, Register no 423 8th Oct 1840"
5. Thomason IV fluted barrel corkscrew, marked on the button "Thomason P Ne Plus Ultra" .
6. Thomason VII corkscrew with single bunch of grapes decorating the barrel, marked
"Thomasons Patent Ne Plus Ultra".
December 17th 2008
A fish caught on ebay

A couple of years ago during an
early Saturday morning trip to
Portobello Road, I found a very cool
corkscrew & can opener combination
in the form of a fish. Unfortunately, it
had a very pricey tag so I decided
against the purchase. During the
following week I kept thinking about
my missed opportunity so I decided
that I'd go back the next Saturday &
hopefully buy it. As you'd expect, by
the time I got to the stall it had gone.

Time to get corny...

Since then I've seen a couple of
others surface on ebay but
unfortunately for me both swam away
without me catching them.
Thankfully there's always another opportunity....

A couple of days ago my ebay snipe bid landed a very nice example for
my collection. It has a indistinct registration lozenge which dates it to
1875. It was registered by Frederick Sunderland & manufactured by
Coney & Co of Birmingham.

Ironically, I won it, inclusive of postage for £2.50 less than the fish I saw
two years ago at Portobello.

If you have a fish corkscrew that needs a new home, drop me a line.
Merry Christmas & Happy New
Year to one & all.

I've had a cracking time searching for
corkscrews during 2008.

I'm now looking forward to eating, drinking
& spending some quality time with my family
over the next couple of weeks. I'll then be
back in the hunt for some new gems for my
collection. I wonder what 2009 will bring?

I raise my glass to corkscrew collectors
everywhere & wish you all good hunting in


& woof from Reg the corkscrew collecting
Corkscrew Central corkscrews for sale