|November 10th 2009
Rare but not desirable - Your comments
Thanks for the feedback about the my Blog regarding desirability. Out of interest to you, the registered Codd
corkscrew by Thomas Jackson & Co reached £205.00, it didn't sell, my reserve was £350.00.The Berkeley & Co
Horn registered design corkscrew with the forked snake tongue type opener sold for £375.00, I'd actually set the
reserve at £275 on that one purely as I thought the Codd opener was a more interesting piece & worth a bit more.
While this was happening I somehow managed to spend a fortune on a Frank Ellis Brummel type corkscrew, yes, I
really did catch auction fever but it's a nice piece & I guess every now & then we all get the auction fever bug.
Anyway, some of your comments about Rare but not desirable:
Graeme Nott, Sussex, UK writes:
"I think you are right in what you say drives pricing on corkscrews. I also think what the people at the top of the
corkscrew collecting pile have in their collections drives prices and the pieces that appear in the major books on the
subject; "The Classics," if you like. The feeling of he/she has got that and I want one plays its part as well,
particularly as you move into corkscrew elite from what I have seen; I think that sometimes unique items are not as
popular because not enough collectors can own one for people to feel their collection ought to contain one.
I still think the main factors are quality (engineering and build quality), rarity, desirability (importantly including to the
wider markets as with Thomasons anyone can see they are a pretty flashy way of getting a cork out of a bottle) and
of course condition."
Tommy Campnell, Bainbridge Island, WA, USA writes:
"There are many views and factors when it comes to rating a piece. And some of the MOST influential are the avid
collectors. From the guys who write books to us avid sellers. When Don Bull features variants or highlights a piece
in the Weekly Screw, you can bet a handful, or more, start to look for, and ultimately bid up whatever was featured.
Consider the Austrian Era or the Williamson Flashes, Syroco's go up and down, and right now - The Gemelli
Patents! Some people have taken a liking to these pieces,and us avid searchers notice the spike in prices, and we
jump on the band wagon! Usually make out pretty good too. But we are the ones who notice the small spikes, add
to the market trend or fad, then ride the wave!
I hear you, with the whole "new discovery" / undocumented piece, but "we" need to create the buzz. Not everybody
knows what it is. Have the piece published in a book or revision. Get the word out in Blogs and Emails. We
capitalize most, when most of the collectors know what it is. It is the bidders who ultimately set the market value.
We just feed it.
Desirability will always yield higher bids over rarity. Fortunately and unfortunately."
Bob Smith, Sussex or Suffolk (he's on the move), UK writes:
"What prompted me to get in touch after not doing so for a while, was your interesting piece on your website
regarding the unsold 1894 Codd opener by Thomas Jackson & Co. I think you've highlighted some valid points
regarding how some people collect, and their motivation behind their individual interests.
I think (maybe) that we all have our favourite categories of corkscrews (mine as you know, are Levers) while
admiring all of the genre, but there is no doubt that some do go for the shiny, ornate and elaborate (preferably with
a big name attached) above all others. Personally, that kind of thing doesn't effect me so much - I actually like the
simple, quirky items, and will choose a Lund lever above a celebrated piece, just to add it to my collection of similar
levers - no matter how plain and dull the appearance."
I actually was one of the people 'watching' your Codd opener, as I have several Codds in my collection and was
keeping tabs on it out of genuine interest - and was amazed that it didn't sell.
Richard Stevenson, Aylesbury, UK writes:
"For what it is worth, if a corkscrew has PA (Public Appeal) then it will always sell well and for a good price.
When I do a wine tasting and show some corkscrews then it is the 4 pillar Kings Screw that people find most
impressive. It is not rare like your previously unseen corkscrew registrations but fetches £400+ where as your
extremely rare items only fetch half of that. Likewise Thomasons,Robert Jones, Ladies Legs etc. will always fetch
good prices even if they are not rare."
Thank you all very much for contributing.