by Peter Borrett
Please feel free to contribute if you have
something that could be of interest to others.
Check out this news section for website
updates, corkscrew stories, great finds,
bargain finds, latest Ebay listings, new books,
club news & anything else related to collecting
January 8th 2009
2009 is up & running

My first decent corkscrew purchase of 2009 is a very nice example of
William Dray's 1847 registered design replaceable worm corkscrew.
His design incorporated a very clever dovetail joint to enable quick &
easy helix replacement. An unusual corkscrew which doesn't turn up
often & a very nice piece for the collection.

A few other replaceable worm corkscrews were also registered or
patented following Dray's design, best known is Joseph Page's
registered design from 1851. We've all seen many antique
corkscrews turn up with broken spirals so it makes absolute sense as
a design, it is questionable though just how successful any
replaceable worm corkscrews were as so few surface.

This example is unmarked, sometimes they are marked on the collar
REGISTERED MAY 14th 1847. If you have a marked one & want to
trade it for my leftover Christmas grub, including 2 1/2 large tins of
Quality Street let me know.
VISIT THE CURRENT  2006  2007  2008  NEWS PAGE

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
January 10th 2009
Folding Lady

I've just struck a deal to purchase a German
folding lady celluloid corkscrew from a chap in
sunny Florida. We could use some Florida sun &
heat over here, it's been bitterly cold so far this

She appears to be in great shape with no major
condition issues & she is clearly marked on the
shank "GES. GESCH".

If you have a celluloid folding corkscrew you don't
want, please drop me a line.

January 26th 2009

What's up?

No great finds for the collection to report over
the last couple of weeks. Here's the last two
weeks in a few words & some pictures.

A Van Gieson surfaced at auction, had a phone
line but missed out to Mr X's bankroll. Was
offered a Syroco Clown with rough paint & a
worn base, the vendor wanted $800.00, I
passed. Won a very nice golden peg & worm
on ebay with about 99% of the gilt in place,
super piece for the collection. Been practicing
hard for a new band I was asked to join, first
official practice at a studio in Ashford in a
couple of weeks, gigging this Summer, work to
do, noise to make. I managed to get my snipe
bid away on a very good Maud Patent on ebay
but I was a whopping £500.00 off the mark.

Didn't even see the Wilson on ebay, a bad
gallery picture didn't help. Good job Mike &
very unlucky Josef. Mike, if you read this & want
to trade - drop me a line. Was 4p short on the
Bachus - joking! My £200.00 was well short.
Left a good bid on a 3 1/2 window Thomason,
but seeing as no invoice has fallen on my door
mat, it appears that my good bid was not good
enough. Bumped into a funny old bloke at
Sandown antique fair who sold me an 8 tool
bow corkscrew complete with a Kangaroo skin
pouch (I'm bored, poetic licence included), also,
I sold the same funny old bloke my folding lady
corkscrew which turned up on another stand 10
minutes later.

Finally, Reading FC won the FA cup. The team
decided to celebrate with the loyal Royal fans
down Wembley Way, so they sent me & my pal
Al to collect the cup.




~ PRICE PER HEAD £33.67 ~
January 31st 2009
10% discount at ebay

I received an email from ebay during the week offering a 10% discount on one
ebay purchase, to be used by 12/2 & with a total discount value of £100.00. As
luck would have it the voucher came at a good time saving me a packet on a
ebay US win, a German celluloid mermaid corkscrew. With the exchange rate
making the GBP so weak against the USD it has become hard to win anything of
note lately, so I'm delighted that a more unusual variant of the Mermaid complete
with a blade will soon be flying over the Atlantic on the way to frosty Berkshire.  

If you have a plastic Mermaid cork screw that needs a good home, please drop
me a line.
February 13th 2009
278 attempts later

I'd just about given up on getting a buy it now deal on ebay,
especially with two particular chaps in the US being on
permanent newly listed ebay refresh mode. I think my last buy
it now deal was in May 08. Questions like "How bout a buy it
now?" & “Would you be willing to add a buy it now option?”
now appear on ebay items within a few minutes of being
listed. Refresh, refresh, coffee, refresh, refresh, lunch,
refresh, refresh, walk the dog on the treadmill, refresh,
refresh, etc, etc. That's the life they choose, lol.

Yesterday during my daily ebay UK search I spotted a very
nice cork puller for which the listing stated strictly no US
bidders. Knowing that these two US guys were respectful of
such instructions I thought I might just be in with a chance of
working a deal. I was right!! In no time a quick deal with the
vendor was struck that suited both parties.

The puller arrived today - a great piece & a nice addition to
the collection.
February 11th 2009
7 hours to Newark!!!

I took another trip to the Newark antique fair last
week & had the journey from hell. What should of
been an early morning leisurely 3 hour drive
turned into a 7 hour grind in the snow. At one point
I didn't move for 1 hour & 5 minutes & this on the
A1 - one of the major trunk routes running up &
down the Country. Okay, the weather forecast was
rubbish & I probably should of just stayed at home
but surely the major routes should of been
passable - it's not like we've not seen snow before.
I say "Sack the Government, sack the Highway
Agency - sack Leicestershire & Nottinghamshire
County councils!!"

As you can imagine by the time I arrived at 12.00
(3 hours late) my stress levels were at boiling point
but I soon calmed down when I found a Murray &
Stalker for a tenner - No, No, No!! I found next to
nothing. I think I'll stick to my local fairs in future -
but just maybe, by the time the next Newark fair
come around I'll change my mind.
13th Feb 2009 - Band update.
First band practice went well, 4 songs, Chilli's - Can't Stop,
Audioslave  - Be Yourself, Muse - Supermassive Blackhole &
Snow patrol - Run, all played without a serious hitch. Not bad
considering it's the first time we've played together. I think we're
called 78 Athletic, my suggestion which I though was a worthy
one - "The Reeb" Beer backwards was instantly rejected so
obviously these guys have no idea of a good band name.

I have a cunning plan - the band will gig the CCCC agm in
return for free admission & booze. That'll sort things out nicely.
Room 6 at Airplay Studios - Add 4 good
musicians & me - move about a bit & you'll get
the picture.
February 13th 2009
Just like London Buses

As the saying goes "You wait all day for a bus to come
& then two arrive at once". I've just returned from a
meeting at a service station on the A505 to pick up this
Wiers Double Concertina corkscrew.

Earlier today I received an email to my website asking if
I was interested in purchasing it, which also coincided
with it being listed on ebay - the listing saying offers
were very welcome with the telephone number
attached. By the time I noticed the email & picked up
the phone the offers had come flooding in.
Unfortunately my initial offer to buy it wasn't even
higher than the ICCA's young gun - the one & only
Josef "the binner" L'Africain who obviously (once again)
forgot that his corkscrew budget is $5.00 a piece. The
owner mentioned many other offers & past auction
sales results, so slowly but surely, in increments of
£25.00 my offer spiralled. Eventually, a deal was stuck
& a half way late night meeting arranged.
By the time we met he said that further offers had
been received surpassing our agreed amount but
he was still happy & so the deal was done.

A nice surprise for the owner who was given the
corkscrew along with some silver pieces by a
relative. He thought the corkscrew looked
interesting & that it might be worth £15.00.
February 14th 2009
February 18th 2009
Off to see the Queen

Yesterday, Ruthie & I took Holly on a trip to
London. Our adventure took in Buckingham
Palace, the changing of the guard, Trafalgar
Square & a trip to the Tower of London. We had
a great time & by the end of the day we were all
totally zonked.  

Once home, I got a call from an excited Brit
collector to say he'd got a buy it now deal on a
Twigg corkscrew on ebay for $125.00. I also got
an email from another Brit collector to say that
he'd lined up a buy it now deal on a Twigg on
ebay only to lose out when his PC went tits up.

Looks like the Brit pack are finally giving those
ebay refreshing Yanks a real run for their
As Winston Churchill said "We shall fight with
growing confidence, we shall defend our Island
whatever the cost may be".

Bring it home boys!
March 4th 2009
Another brick out the wall

I received an email last week from
an architect in New York, USA who
while overseeing the renovation of a
bar in NYC uncovered an unusual
corkscrew that was hidden behind
part of an internal wall - he wanted
to find out more about the piece. My
heart rate increased when I opened
the JPEG to see it was a sort after
American concertina corkscrew
known as "The Peerless".

Unfortunately for me, the corkscrew
is not currently for sale. Good job
I'm prepared to find my own then!
March 5th 2009
Scarce Registered Bow

Amongst a multitude of mixed lots at auction
today in Amersham was a scarce two tool bow
with a foil cutter & corkscrew. The foil cutter
marked "Rd 172917". It's a registered design
from 1891 by Sidney Thomas who traded as
F. Pigall. It carries the Pigall mark & also the
initial A. S. on the reverse of the cutter - I
wonder who A. S. was? Anyhow, an interesting
piece that I was very pleased to pick up.
March 8th 2009
Ruthie gets a corkscrew fix
While refereeing this morning my better half
Ruthie was left to field a call from an auctioneers
in the North who had a Jones I up for grabs.
Once I got back & after some joking Ruthie said
that I'd won it! Normally if I've sorted a phone bid,
while I'm on the phone my heart pumps at a
million miles an hour as the adrenaline rush hits
but none of that for Ruthie who's ice filled veins
kept her as cool as a cucumber throughout the
bidding. Good job Ruthie!
March 14th 2009
Happy Golden Wedding Anniversary Mum & Dad

Corkscrews have been off my radar lately as more important family matters have been approaching.

Today, my parents celebrated their golden wedding anniversary, an amazing 50 years of marriage & we
bombed down to Somerset to meet up with my sister & her kids to celebrate. It was a wonderful day which I
hope will be a lasting memory for Mum & Dad. Amongst the pressies was a laptop for Mum so she can keep
up with all the youngsters on MSN & Skype. Dad, who loves his gardening received a variety of gardening gifts
that will keep him busy for a while to come. It was an emotional day & my well thought out speech which I'd
planned went totally pear shaped when I started to blubber like a baby. My Mum & Dad are amazing people &
I'm very proud to be their son, I just about managed to get that across before my bottom lip went. They both
made lovely speeches. It's so beautiful to see how much they love each other after all these years. After
pressies, a lovely poem that Holly read (that made me very proud), champagne & cake (beautifully made by
Ruthie) we went out for a super meal to cap off the day. Many, many congratulations Mum & Dad!
Ian - drums, Alex - keyboards, Elly - vocals, Mike - bass and vocals, David -
guitar and vocals, Boz - guitar
March 27th 2009
Curry Negotiations

I've been after a Hedges & Butler Henshall type
corkscrew for ages, it's a really unusual piece with
a massive button, about twice as big as the typical
buttons found on Henshalls. I presume it was
manufactured as a gift for important customers of
the famous wine merchants. The other night while
enjoying a curry with a fellow collector & after
lengthy negotiations a deal was struck to add this
fine example to my collection. In return I passed
over a fancy silver peg & worm corkscrew & a
bundle of cash. It took forever to complete the deal
with both parties trying to get the upper hand, but
eventually the compromise was found & both sides
were happy.
April 11th 2009
No corkscrews - just Easter eggs & music

Happy Easter folks!

Lately corkscrews have been an after thought, as practice for the first Broken Helix gig was
required & plenty of it. Last night Broken Helix gigged a sawdust floored boozer on the
outskirts of Reading. The locals who were boozed up from an afternoon of watching big
screen football gave the band a rowdy welcome as did the friends & family who turned out
in numbers, thank you all! Considering the band had just 3 practice sessions in the studio
- it went incredibly well.

I did manage to get myself to the Newark antique fair the other week. I'm pleased to report
the journey was good & there were some corkscrews to buy. The back pack was bulging
nicely by the end of the day.
April 21st 2009
A days Eating, I mean

Took a trip to the Ardingly antique
fair today. The forecasters said it
was going to be the hottest day of
the year so far, possibly touching
as high as 70. Wow! That's tropical
for us in April!! So with the Summer
gear on I was looking forward to a
leisurely walk in the sunshine with
the added attraction of a few
corkscrews to find.

Here is what the day yielded:
1 bacon roll
1 ice cream
3 coffees
Ham, egg & chips
1 pint of bitter
1 vanilla milkshake
1 Mars bar
& some corkscrews as shown. Of
course, the first thing I said when I
got home was "What's for dinner!"

Unfortunately for those of you that
think Ardingly is the place to go, I
must add that I picked up the
Bonsa & Lews from another
collector by prior arrangement &
the Armstrong & Barscrew I picked
up on the way home from an
auction house, a previous win in a
general sale.

Still, what a great day!
April 24th 2009
A Little Beauty at Auction

I've always had a liking for folding bows & I'm lucky to have a good
collection which includes some really super pieces. During an auction
house search early this week I noticed a lot coming up at auction on
Friday that included, what was described as a miniature folding corkscrew.
It sounded interesting so I requested a photo. Normally when you receive
photos described in such a way it turns out to be a regular, uninteresting
example, but on this occasion it turned out to be a little beauty.

I booked a phone line with the auctioneer & spent the week trying to work
out what to bid. Friday came but I still didn't really know what to bid, so
when the phone rang just a few lots before the lot was up, I wasn't certain
how far I would go.

Once the action started, my enthusiast bidding was met by someone that
was even more enthusiastic, with each of my bids being swiftly countered.
When it started to go up in fifties, my brain engaged & I refused the next
bid. The hammer fell, I put down my handset & pondered if I should of
pushed a bit harder. I was so gutted! It looked like Mr X had done me

Later in the day, the phone rang, it was Mr Y who informed me he'd won a
very pretty folding bow at auction. Doh! Not MR X this time then & very
well done Mr Y. Sorry I made you pay a fortune for it but then again - it is
a little beauty!
April 25th 2009
I'm still Upset!

It's funny how something like a corkscrew can effect
you - I'm still gutted about missing out on the bow

Today, I decided that I'd wiz over to Tring in
Hertfordshire, about an hours drive. There were
about 30 lots of corkscrews up for grabs.
Unfortunately, nothing amazing to report but I won the
few lots that interested me for no money, including
this pile of direct pulls for £30.00 + commission.
There's one good one in the pile - honest there is!
May 11th 2009
Check out my man bruise!
A couple of weeks back I played football for the first time in 10 years turning out for my village against a
neighbouring pub side. After 10 minutes I felt something twang in my thigh - oooooh er. I carried on, albeit a bit
slower than everybody else. Over the next couple of days the biggest bruise I've ever had developed. I'm not
certain what I did, but I think it might of been a small tear to the muscle. I couldn't let the moment pass without Holly
taking a couple of photos. Please send corkscrews to me to make me feel better - I'm still rather delicate, lol.
May 11th 2009
A registered Sailor

I just picked up this unusual Sailor
corkscrew, an English registered design
from 1958.

According to the Ellis & Ellis book on British
registered design corkscrews, the
registration numbers on the back of the
Sailor's life belt 887318 & 887319 relate to
two separate designs, one for a corkscrew
& the other for a bottle opener. The Sailor
being a corkscrew is marked with the
registration number 887319.

I've only seen this cheeky chap as a
corkscrew on a couple of occasions, so it's
relatively uncommon & a welcome addition
to my collection.

If you have a Sailor corkscrew you don't
want. Drop me a line.
May 15th 2009
Thanks Reverend Henshall

It was obviously meant to be. I received an email earlier this week via my website from an ebay
seller asking whether he should accept a buy it now price of £250.00 for his corkscrew that he had
just listed on ebay for a fiver. Pictures attached. I said, he should give me a call & I'd make him a
better offer. He rang, I made an offer, at which point he informed me that he had already added a
buy it now which had been snapped up by a French chap. He decided he would sell it to me
regardless & take any consequences that might arrive via ebay. Get in there!

It arrived today & is a peach of a corkscrew.
May 31st 2009
Hoot Hoot!

How much a Hootch Owl corkscrew? The one listed on
ebay & ending today
without the magic word
corkscrew reached 6 days 20 hours at the $12.00
mark, quite incredible. Four hour countdown, I
wondered what it would fetch? Surely I had to
win it???
Think again. My hefty snipe bid was countered by a
heftier snipe bid & I ended up the under bidder.

If you have an Owl double lever corkscrew marked
Hootch Owl & want a quick & easy deal drop me a line.
May 31st 2009
Loving Britain's Got Talent

I don't watch much TV, unlike my better half &
daughter who both have square eyes through
TV abuse. However, we do as a family watch a
few programmes together & over the last eight
weeks we've been goggling Britain's Got Talent.
Oh so funny through the early rounds/auditions
& tonight was the final. Spectacular stuff! We
loved Stavros Flately, hilarious! They got Holly's
50p phone vote. 2 Grand were great too, if you
like sentiment, I can see myself singing like that
in my 70's, need a grand daughter first though.
What a climax to the show, when it looked for all
the World that Susan Boyle was a definite
winner. After a lengthy delay Diversity, one
amazing street dance act were proclaimed
Winners! Great job Diversity, fantastic show,
can't wait until next year!

If you don't know what I'm on about - check out
youtube & be prepared to be entertained.
July 14th 2009

Similar to last year, the early Summer has
proved to be a tricky time for corkscrew finds. In
all honesty, I've been more interested in the
music thing than corkscrews for a while now, so
I've not been anywhere near as pro-active
trying to find them as in the past. However, I've
still kept my eye open & visited a few fairs, but
as the header states "nothing doing" is apt with
not one new addition to the collection to report
for two months now.

I'm actually not sure if I'm still a corkscrew
addict. Maybe, I should just sell up & buy some
decent vintage guitars. You can actually pick
them up & play them. I've yet to get a tune out
of a Thomason, although a uncleaned
mechanism does have a nice whine to it. I think
the lack of corkscrew finds is making me bitter &
twisted! No doubt something tasty will come my
way soon & I'll be chomping on the bit once

If you have a corkscrew to sell that would cheer
me up & stop me becoming even more bitter &
twisted - please, please, please drop me a line.
July 14th 2009
Corkscrews Online in the Hall of Fame
An email hit the other day from Collectors Weekly, an online
guide for collectors of pretty much anything, saying that
Corkscrews Online had been awarded a slot in the Hall of
Fame - Wow! How bout that!! So, I'm officially lined up with
Don Bull & Babe Ruth as one heck of a player. I can now put
the initials h. o. f. after my name & according to some of my
US buddies, being recognised in any Hall Of Fame is the
equivalent of an honorary degree at Oxford or Cambridge.
Should I start signing balls or something??  Get certified if
you are not laughing now.

Yours sincerely,
Peter Borrett h. o. f.
Member, Collectors Weekly Hall of Fame: The Best of Antiques and Collecting
August  14th 2009
An American Warthog Corkscrew

A rather lovely carved Stag Walker bell
corkscrew arrived the other day. It showed up on
ebay a couple of weeks back with one of those
really fuzzy images which made it near
impossible to work out what it was - juts the type
I like! Luckily my modest snipe bid hit the mark.
It's always great when you open a parcel & get a
pleasant surprise & on this occasion a very
finely carved Warthog with a sterling band was
peering at me through the bubble wrap. If I'm
honest I didn't even know what animal the
carving was depicting when my snipe bid landed
the piece. Happy days!
August  19th 2009
It's nice to see ya - to see ya nice!

Was great to hook up with Josef (the binner) L'Africain &
Chris Bristow last night, sharing the delights of Chris's
wine cellar. It was concluded that both Deborah (Chris's
wife) & myself are definitely wine philistines, the others
seemed to sniff, slurp & gargle like true pros, they
convinced me at least. Josef & his better half Sue are in
town for the Canadian Corkscrew Collectors Club &
International Correspondence of Corkscrew Addicts
meetings, so no doubt if there are any bargain
corkscrews to be found Josef's radar will pick them up.
Thanks Chris & Deborah for a great night!
August  23rd 2009
CCCC Meeting - I'm Gutted!

I didn't get to the CCCC meeting. I wanted to go but was only interested in attending on the Saturday
for the buy/sell sessions & auctions, unfortunately no concession was offered, with the London
CCCC committee demanding the full dues of £225.00 to come join the fun. Sadly, that sort of money
is way out of my budget & I am not inclined to sell one of my prized corkscrews from my collection
purely for a seat just to watch the big rollers win all the goodies at the auction. I believe I would of got
a lunch for my £225.00, I guess that would of been Lobster, caviar & oysters or similar, lol (probably
ham salad washed down with a can of Tizer). I feel gutted that a compromise couldn't be found. I
didn't want to cheat other collectors that had paid for the weekend & I would of happily given the
committee say £80.00 for a lunch & a chance to meet some other corkscrew people. Surely that
would of been fair to everyone? After all, I am a full paid up member of the club. I hear the
gate-crashes had a good time.

I won't renew to the CCCC next year, there is no point, it serves no purpose for me. The newsletter is
thin, packs little punch & the Yahoo site is like a corkscrew mortuary. Maybe I'll rejoin another day,
but in the meantime I'm going to start a new collectors club for people that don't need bureaucracy or
cash flow to dictate their collecting habits. All are welcome but by joining you'll be agreeing with me
that the CCCC London meet was somewhat elitist & that there should of been some concession to
join the action just on the Saturday. I realise this could be a one man club but I really don't care.
Read the next bulletin for more details. Want to join?

By the way, as my regular readers will know, music has gripped me this year which means the
corkscrews have been playing second fiddle. I'm currently writing a musical tribute to the CCCC
London committee which I'll post here just as soon as I can. Should be a giggle. :-)

A dynamic new corkscrew club for everybody, the CACCC, Cheap as chips
corkscrew club. For those collectors that don't like bureaucracy or think you
should have to spend big on fancy corkscrew meetings or memberships.

  • Everybody is welcome at the CACCC
  • Free membership here at the CACCC.
  • Free access to the CACCC Internet Yahoo chat room.
  • No chairman, Right or silly stuff - all for one & (cork)screw everyone else. Everyone is equal in
    the CACCC.
  • Free entrance to first annual meeting of the CACCC, Reading, Berkshire, England, United
    Kingdom, 26th June 2010 - Please bring one bottle of wine. *See itinerary.
  • Your photo will be included in the CACCC Clubhouse.

Want to join? Drop me a line with a picture of yourself that I can add to the Clubhouse. Also, let me
know where you're from & how long you've been collecting corkscrews & anything else, such as
other hobbies, etc. I'll add your profile to the site & invite you to join the CACCC Yahoo forum.

CACCC Meeting 2010, Reading, Berkshire, England, United

26th June 2010


  • 11.00 a.m. Welcome - Ritz cracker reception with a glass of wine, maybe two if there's enough
    to go around.  
  • 12.30 p.m. Calleva Arms pub lunch - Enjoy a fine English luncheon in the historic Roman
    village of Silchester. £20.00 should see you bloated.
  • 2.30 p.m. A leisurely visit by foot to the Roman wall & amphitheatre - dig for corkscrews if you
  • 5.00 p.m. AGM, buy & sell, auctions & lighting of the BBQ.
  • 6.30 p.m. BBQ feast followed by Berkshire real ale tasting.
  • 11.00 p.m. Thrown out if you've not already left.

I am deadly serious about this - come join me at the CACCC. Will it just be me there at the
inaugural annual meeting next June? Join
The Cheap as Chips Corkscrew Club now!
September 1st 2009
If you like finding nothing - go to
As usual I bought next to nothing today at the
Ardingly antique fair & the pieces that I did buy I
could of quite easily walk past without regret.  But
thanks to the company of three of my favourite
corkscrew chaps....Josef "the binner" L'Africain,
Steven "what's it worth" Webb & the one & only
"Wally" it was a great laugh & well worth the day

When the Ardingly fair gates opened we all
headed off with high hopes of a great find, quick
marching our separate ways. After 3 hours of
diligent hunting we re-grouped to compare notes
only to find that next to nothing was purchased,
with the best corkscrew find being Steven Webb's
£25.00 French bone handle mid size. Josef
picked up a small pocket knife that he can turn a
few quid, I mean bucks on. He also picked up a
smart Murphy which cost him an extra fiver on a
coin toss. Wally found sweet FA & I found the
usual mix of stuff that nobody else would dream of

We headed off to drown our sorrows in Badger &
Cricket beer at a new pub on route to Haywards
Heath, (the other pub opposite the main entrance
is rubbish - be warned!) can't recall the name of
the new boozer but they served up a very fine
double sausage, eggs & chips.

Can't wait to find nothing at the next Ardingly!
Josef all smiles for the camera while Wally only has eyes for
the buy off the day - Webby's £25.00 French mid size. I
wonder what he'll do with the £10 profit?
Steven clearly has arm around the shoulder issues & I think
Wally may have lost his teeth on a stall somewhere.
CACCC Update, 1st September. Wow! After less than a week there are now 6 of us in the CACCC,
thanks for joining chaps! Free membership is still available, so if you fancy becoming a Cheap as
chips corkscrew club member with all the free perks of signing up drop me a line with a photo & short
profile & we will welcome you on board. Thanks for the emails from collectors that have expressed
that they really want to join the CACCC but don't want to upset the CCCC establishment & therefore
won't. We totally understand & respect your opinions guys. We all get named & shamed in the
CACCC as mavericks/dissenters so we understand your predicament. If you're so inclined to join us
why not check to see if you have balls & just do it? Joking, lol.

Stay tuned here for developments of the CACCC. The Yahoo group is now up & running & some
great ideas for sharing information within the Yahoo group have been discussed. So, exciting times
are definitely ahead.

Don't delay - join today for free!!!!
September 14th 2009
Done again by Mr X

Slim pickings at auction lately, although I have bid on a
few lots without success. The latest failure was a French
concertina corkscrew, an unusual variant known as The
Butler in England & Le Desire in France. The example I
was bidding on wasn't great but I sensed it would be a
good piece to move on. As usual auction fever hit me
once on the phone line - bidding far more than I had
planned. As it turned out auction fever hit someone else
more & it sold for a tidy sum but not to me. Other less
interesting lots have also passed me by narrowly. I may
change my name to Mr Underbidder!

I've been contacted by a number of people lately online
with corkscrews to value. Notably, a set of legs with
pointed inward toes, an Eclipse bar screw & a lady
Wiers, my offers for all have gone on deaf ears. I did
pick up another Little Joker corkscrew though.

There has been little of note on ebay, although I did just
find out about an incredible piece that sold for a fraction
of its value after the full duration of the auction. The
seller missing out on £1,000+ all because they didn't use
the magic word "CORKSCREW". Fair play to anyone
that spends hours in the dungeons of ebay searching
for hidden treasures - they deserve these deals when
they come along for their hours of effort. I've bought
very little on ebay myself lately but I did just win another
carved stag corkscrew for 50 bucks, clearly it's only me
that rates these American Walkers.

The Cheap As Chips Corkscrew Club is growing fast.
Join today - free membership always available.
Cheap as chips corkscrew club
September 22nd 2009
Done this time by Mr Moneybags

How much 3 silver pockets, an early picnic & a peg & worm?
£1100 + commission. Mr Moneybags obviously wanted them
badly. The auctioneer opened at £900 & 10 seconds later the
hammer was down. Yet another anti-climax at auction then.

Back at the auctions where I won a 4 poster yesterday at a
reasonable price. Condition report was fine - lets hope the
piece turns out to be okay.

A few days back on returning home Ruth said that an
auctioneers were chasing payment for something. Hadn't a
clue what that was all about as no invoice had landed on my
door mat. It turned out the auctioneers had taken down every
line of the address slightly wrong, enough for any
correspondence not to get through. Funny that, maybe I was
pissed & slurred down the blower to them. I'm still not sure
what I've won. Whatever it is cost me £50 + commission +
£7.50 to post - I'm intrigued! Maybe it's the Compound
Henshall I noticed in the box of ladies knickers?

I managed to buy the Lady Wiers that was offered up to me
the other week for a fair price. I'll probably ICCA auction the
piece with some other decent pieces, including my
superseded Henshall. I think collectors are hanging on to the
good stuff now for the ICCA such has been the success of the
first few sales.

I wonder - could another Burgess & Fenton be heading my
way? Maybe, there's one out there. I'll let you know if I get it.  
September 19th 2009
Where have all the corkscrews gone?

I keep going to the "BIG" antique fairs in the South of
England but I wonder if there is much point.
Yesterdays Shepton Mallet antique fair, the biggest
such event in the South West of the UK was a waste of
a visit, just like Ardingly. Yes, I bought a couple of bits
as shown across but nothing exciting. I didn't even see
a good corkscrew let alone buy one & all this at the
mega September fair where the organisers allow 100's
of additional outside stalls. The two corkscrew guys
that I met there found nothing either. A Lund lever was
probably the best buy at £25.00! Where have all the
corkscrews gone?
October 7th 2009
After some thoughtful deliberation I've decided to censor a couple of articles I wrote about the
Canadian Corkscrew Collectors Club. Although many corkscrew people agreed with my views about a
lack of concession at the London CCCC meeting earlier this Summer, some CCCC members that
have contacted me thought my remarks were offensive & totally unnecessary. I do think I had a point
as these meetings (in my opinion) shouldn't be prohibitive to collectors due to price & £225 is a lot of
dough to some, I include myself in the some. It does nothing to encourage people with low incomes to
get involved. However, on reflection, maybe I made my point too forcefully with typically bad humour
& not enough respect for the hard work of the organizing committee. I do realise they did a great job
putting the meeting together & sometimes you just can't please everybody. Seeing as I'm a lover &
not a fighter I've decided to do the decent thing & pull the plug on my right to free speech on this
matter. Yes, I've sold out to the CCCC. Now comes the dilemma. Having spent fortunes writing,
recording, directing & editing the long awaited musical tribute about the London CCCC committee there
is no way it can be published Online, (so sorry to you chaps that kept asking me about the progress)
quite clearly it would be the wrong thing to do. However, I need to cover my costs, so If you'd like a
copy, please Paypal £3.50 to headed CCCC MP3 & I'll send you a copy.
When you listen to it please bear in mind that it reflects my past frustrations & in no way whatsoever
reflects my current thought process. I'm sure the committee will take it in good spirit. Apologies in
advance if you find it: Offensive, Sick, Repulsive, Tacky, Weird or just plain Awful, it could possibly
scare you - you pay your money & you take your chance. Personally, I think it's a masterpiece.
Thank you.
October 8th 2009
You've Got Funds!

Sometimes you open a picture & think, wow, great piece! A couple of nights back I had
one of those moments. It was accompanied by an email from Australian lady who asked
if she should accept $400 Australian for the piece or if it was worth more. I pinged back
a "worth more" reply with an offer of more than double for the piece which was duly
accepted, so I sent across the Paypal funds together with postal instructions. Last night,
some 24 hours after my payment I received an email from Paypal saying "You've Got
funds!" I'd be refunded. It transpires that the original potential buyer who'd offered
$400.00 had already paid & had got somewhat upset when she tried to refund him. He
did however agree to pay more than my offer. I just accepted what had happened I
didn't want to add to her stress levels.

The refund came from her credit card, because of this I needed to accept the Paypal
fees plus an inferior currency exchange. Unfortunately, she had already withdrawn my
original Paypal payment into her bank account. If she hadn't of withdrawn that money
she could of just refunded with no fee issues at all. So for me to receive my exact
money back she had to send me an extra $80.00 to cover the fees & currency
exchange. Paypal know how to make money, that's for sure! Despite missing out on a
very nice corkscrew I felt pretty bad about her having to send me an extra $80.00 just
for me to get my cash back. Anyway, it's all done & dusted now.

I suppose when the dust settles & her stress levels have dropped she can laugh about
all the fuss over a rusty old corkscrew & enjoy spending the cash.
October 20th 2009
Too full on for Broken Helix

One of my songs that I've written "MASQUERADE" has been shunned by my band
"Broken Helix". It appears the nature of the politically charged lyrics were just too much
for my normally laid back band mates so they voted to chuck my creation in the musical
bin. Rather than dumping it I made a home recording & whacked it on Youtube. Click the
link to check it out. Warning! Some scantily clad ladies & men are featured, some bad
language & full on views.

October 21st 2009
It's been a good week

Had a good time this week in terms of buying. It all started with a red carnation
rendevouz at Reading train station where another Burgess & Fenton was swapped for a
pile of my cash. The cash was counted incredibly slowly in the middle of a full rush hour
commute. Couldn't find anywhere discreet to go & I had a feeling the cops were going to
bust me for brokering a drugs deal but luckily - ten minutes later the dough was counted
& I was on my way. I ended up the high bidder on the thrice listed Twigg on ebay but
with the reserve not met - I quickly emailed the seller who decided to accept my high bid
which I thought was pretty reasonable. I've never had this particular variant so I'm
hoping it's a keeper. I also managed to pick up a multi tool bow with cartridge extractor.
Adding to the list - a good pair of ladies legs, an interesting Diamant & today at auction I
nailed a 3 1/2 windows Thomason, although fingers crossed with this one as I've been
told the inner thread is loose. Today (see next Blog) I picked up a very cute stained
silver picnic by Joseph Taylor & a Gamble from Barbara Ellis, it's my first Frank Ellis
corkscrew. Although I never really got to know Frank that well I can totally relate to the
incredible passion he had for collecting corkscrews, so I'm pleased to get one he owned
October 21st 2009
ABCDE Meeting

Today a good time was had by all at a ABCDE meeting held at Christopher Sykes antiques in Wooburn. That
good old bean Richard Stevenson done us all proud by arranging a corkscrew bonanza at Christopher's shop
with the added bonus of copious amount of wine & nibbles galore. There were plenty of rather expensive
corkscrews to fondle, admire & then put safely back with a £2k Mermaid pushing the boundaries of the word
expensive. In between chatting for England with both new & old acquaintances I looked, looked & then looked
some more for "the sleeper". I can't say that I found one but did take a fancy to a near perfect Georgian silver
pocket by Joseph Taylor. The price tag was a hefty £475.00, top retail I thought. I bit the bullet & asked a cheeky
question & somehow pulled off one heck of a deal with a £155.00 discount! I'm very happy :)  Moments later
another great deal was done with another collector buying two stunning, no, seriously stunning peg & worms, an
incredible decorated & named double pipe tamper folder & a Singleton type bow. Other deals went down, as did
more red wine (it's great when you get a lift, cheers Webby).

Over the road for grub & more red wine which seemed like it was on some sort of Wooburn tap. With a theme of
bows some very nice pieces were passed around the table including Richard's stunning 16 tool example along
with some very fine Copley type pieces. Even more deals went down including an incredibly slow paced saga,
stare out, over a Divergent frame corkscrew, which thankfully was concluded with both parties happy. More
pieces came out of boxes & were placed or in some cases dumped on the designated corkscrews for sale table
where the corkscrew vultures were circling in anticipation of a tasty treat. Not too many tasty treats to report but I
think most collectors found a piece or two to buy. Even Wally bought something! Time pushing on & with the rush
hour looming I got the hurry up from my lift, it was time for the off. I said my goodbyes & left Tim Underwood to
what was left of the wine. Happy days!
Steven Webb & Wally casing the joint! Mike, Peter & Paul already
in the corkscrew zone.
Wally with his monthly subscription to Big & Bouncy magazine
safely hidden within The Times.
"A Lund pull will do for me" says Peter Davidson.
Wally taking some action shots for his blog while Paul, Richard
& Chris hunt hard.
Paul posing for the camera.
Christopher Sykes - thanks for the discount!
The £2k mermaid in all her glory together with some other nice
Yes, he's done another deal. Steve counts his cash.
The tension is unbearable. Ilya is pensive on the Divergent frame
deal. Webb looks close to tears while the Colonel is as cool as
my Lasagne.
What a relief! It's all smiles - after 10 minutes of incredible
tension Ilya has only gone & pulled the deal off!
October 24th 2009
So after some consideration I decided I'd censor my articles about the CCCC
London meeting. However, now it seems that one particular person feels I
haven't gone far enough & thinks that I should fully
remove the articles & not just add a censor banner.

Ultimately it's my site & I can do what I want but as I don't want to be
unreasonable I'll put it to a vote.

I won't add my thoughts on this matter - I won't add his thoughts either. Just
vote & I'll remove them if that's what is decided. Democracy will decide. Poll will
end 15/11/09. One vote each IP address.
24th October 2009
Here are my auctions
24th October 2009.
Just in from the chap that thinks I should remove the articles.

"Without the opposing viewpoint, I think your democratic poll does not have much validity. The bottom line is by
voicing negative thoughts about the CCCC, you can only do harm to the corkscrew world and to yourself as a
dealer. Sorry."

Don't really see how my simplistic views can harm the corkscrew World or myself as a dealer for that matter but
maybe I'm just too thick to work that one out. I'm purely one person voicing one persons opinion, we all have the
right to an opinion & I don't believe mine is particularly radical.

Personally, I think the other chap realises he's backing a losing horse on this issue but seeing as I do want a fair
resolution I'm going to scrap the poll & give this chap until the end of next week to write whatever he wants in
favour of me removing the articles. I won't edit what he writes in any way. I'll then start another poll when he
agrees all is in order. If the poll goes his way, I will accept the vote & the articles will be removed immediately. If he
doesn't respond that will just be the end of the matter & I'll just keep the page as-is. Whatever, you will all be
pleased to know this whole pathetic argument will be settled soon.


November 6th 2009
A late night ebay Monk

During a recent late night ebay search I noticed Friar
Tuck here listed with a $5.99 start. I placed a bid, set a
snipe & got on with my searching. A couple of hours
later "You have email" rang out through my speakers. I
checked my inbox to see a mail from ebay saying that
my bid had been cancelled & the auction ended. Clearly
there was some sort of deal going down. Somebody had
surely offered a "buy it now price" that was too
appealing for the seller to turn down. I kept checking the
sellers items to see if a buy it now listing was added.
After ten minutes or so the sellers items suddenly
increased by one. Here we go! After quickly scrolling
down the sellers list of items for sale there he was, Friar
Tuck in all his glory, complete with a wart covered face
& with a BIN price of $150.00. I did the decent thing &
snapped up the buy it now & sent the Paypal cash on its
way. As luck would have it I have somebody that wants
a Syroco Monk - happy days!

Next day, I picked up an email from a mate in the States
who said that he'd asked for a buy it now & got a reply
from the seller after he had already left for a basketball
game. Looks like I got very lucky. Hope the basketball
game was a good one!
OCTOBER 28th 2009
Just stumbled across this on the net
Oregon man accused of threatening corkscrew attack

Corvallis police arrested a 56-year-old man accused of threatening another man with a corkscrew. Police say the
incident occurred at a public restroom in Riverfront Commemorative Park.

A witness told police he saw a man holding a corkscrew in his hand while kicking the bathroom door and
threatening to kill the man inside. No one was injured.

Officers arrested Scott Edward Nelson on charges of menacing, unlawful use of a weapon and disorderly conduct.
They confiscated the corkscrew. Nelson, who has no permanent address, was taken to the Benton County jail. Bail
was set at $62,500 after his arraignment Tuesday afternoon.
November 6th 2009
Rare but not desirable

In any line of collecting there are jewels to find that get collectors
salivating. Corkscrew collectors are very fortunate that there are so many
amazing jewels to find. You only need to look through some of the superb
corkscrew books to see many wonderful pieces that we can hunt for.

Enthusiasts in every genre of collecting are looking for that rarity for their
collection but in reality, it is not the rarity factor that attracts collectors it is
the desirability factor.

What makes a corkscrew desirable? That is not particularly easy to
answer, as there are so many different factors. Mechanical interest,
makers marks, age, known patent, condition, precious metals, rarity &
provenance are just some ideas.

I recently listed a couple of extremely rare English registered design
corkscrews on the ICCA auction site. Neither have previously been
recorded as found, this according to a recently published book on
registered designs. Neither are in great shape but they are definitely two of
the rarest pieces currently on the ICCA auction site. I listed them with
what I
to be low reserves but neither have generated much interest while
common pieces listed seem to be selling well. I'd be surprised if they sell
but I guess there is still time. Ultimately, they hold interest to the collector in
terms of rarity & also both carry the registered marks which dates them,
condition lets them down but clearly they don't really have that all important
desirability factor. I'll let you know if they sell or not.
Sir Edward Thomason manufactured 130,000 corkscrews within the 14 years of the patent protection. Following
which, a number of other companies manufactured Thomason type corkscrews for many, many years.
They turn up
constantly & still sell really well. It's clear that these corkscrews hold a reasonable value because they have the
desirability factor & not because they are tough to find. The Royal Club is a very sort after English patented
corkscrew & quite rare, although you'll typically see two or three a year at auction or on ebay. They sell for around
£1500.00. This value clearly relates to the desirability/rarity together with other elements.

When it comes to rarity, it appears it doesn't mean an awful lot to the collector other than historical interest, unless
the rarity combines with the magic word "Desirability". In truth it's desirability that us collectors are really looking for,
the sexiness, or as Simon Cowell would put it "The X Factor". Therefore a relatively common corkscrew such as a
regular Thomason can be worth plenty & a rarer corkscrew like The Royal Club is worth a small fortune because
they are desirable.

Ultimately, I believe that if a piece is genuinely quite rare if it doesn't have desirability you pretty much take
away the
bulk of the value.

I'd be interested to hear your views, feel free to drop me a line.
6th November 2009
I can't say that I get many "buy it now" deals on ebay these days. I don't ask that
often as it seems as soon as something of any worth is listed the questions
come flooding in asking for a buy it now so there seems little point. Okay, I just
picked up a BIN but that was thanks to somebody else, I was just in the right place
at the right time to grab it. A couple of years back there was a very colourful debate
on the CCCC forum as to the ethics behind asking for a BIN. Some people said
that it was fair enough making an offer & up to the seller should they wish to
accept it. Others said it was bang out of order offering money below the true
market value. One thing is for sure, there are more people than ever trying to get a
buy it now deal.

What's your view? Add your vote to the poll & leave any comments.
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.
A song in his honour
November 10th 2009
Nothing at the fair but something in the
antique shop

Had another fruitless trip to London's premier antique
fair this morning with nothing but a Tesco breakfast to
cheer me up.

I think that the trick to being a successful collector is to
be an optimistic collector so on the way home I did the
usual stops & struck extremely lucky when I spotted a
super Henshall staring at me through the glass cabinet. I
stared back & noticed what appeared to be a folding
blade at one end. Woop, woop! I then crouched down to
try & read the price tag which was typically upside down.
The blood rush was worth it as the tag attached said
"BUY ME". I didn't ponder, I didn't even haggle I just
passed over £65.00 & said "Thanks very much!"
November 16th 2009
Having a laugh at
Shepton Mallet

Last Friday I bombed down to
Somerset to visit the Shepton Mallet
fair. On route I dropped in to see
Patricia Harbottle who wanted to
dispose of all her old catalogues,
brochures & various corkscrew
paraphernalia from 20 years of
dealing with corkscrews. I was more
than happy for her to dispose them
my way. It was nice to see her again.

When I finally got to Shepton I was
soon amongst the stalls hunting
diligently for, well, same as always -
not much! I did however walk
passed a lady who was holding a
Heeley A1 double lever & raising &
lowering the arms with some
purpose. She asked the stall holder
how much it was. He replied
"£45.00", he also offered her a Zig
Zag but she said "No, it's only the
Heeley that interests me". I
hovered, thinking £45.00 was fair
enough & if she didn't want it, I'd
buy it. Trouble is she stood there
pensively continually raising the
arms up & lowering them down for
ages. I decided I'd move on.
We soon met up with the Colonel for
coffee who asked if either us had
bought an A1. It transpired that his
wife Leslie had spotted the piece &
after pondering phoned him to see if
she should buy it. By the time she
got back to the stall - it had gone.
Ooops! We had a laugh, even Leslie
saw the funny side. I did offer it to
the Colonel for the ticket price but he
The Colonel, recruitment officer for the CACCC &
corkscrew collector extraodinaire.
A couple of minutes later while
coming back the opposite way down
the isle I noticed the same lady was
on the phone & I heard her say "Is
£45 a good price for a Heeley lever
corkscrew?" Sensing an opportunity
to have a giggle, I quickly picked up
the A1, shoved 50 quid in the stall
holders hand, grabbed the 5 & went
on my way. Lol.
I'd arranged to meet up with Steven
Webb & the Colonel (Stephen Paul)
for a coffee at 3.00 pm. I spotted
Webby early who asked if I'd seen
the silver pocket. I hadn't. He took
me over, a lovely piece, named,
smaller than the norm with a ribbed
sheath. I haggled hard & a deal was
done. A very nice addition to the
silver pockets.
November 18th 2009
What's your most desirable, most unique or maybe just your
favourite corkscrew?

Graeme Nott recently emailed saying it would be good to see what I considered my most desirable or unique pieces & that it would
be great to invite other collectors to send pictures & information of their most desirable or unique pieces too. A top idea! Cheers for
the suggestion Graeme.

This is one of my favourites which is possibly unique & would be one of the very last corkscrews that I'd sell. It's an American bone
handled corkscrew from the early 1900's which is beautifully & intricately carved into a horse head. It has a lovely colour & patina - a
truly wonderful piece. I'm also very attached to my three corkscrew bow - see Blog December 08.

Please send in your favourite, most desirable or unique corkscrew & I'll build a web page to show it off to other collectors. It would be
great if we could share each others pride & joy pieces.
November 18th 2009
Giant corkscrew in the

So big jugs Jordan is back in the jungle again,
as she says "To get closure". I say she's back in
the jungle to get £500k, lol.

Okay Gav, by now you realise that I watch it!
Own up - you do to.

On tonights show, Jordan was shoved inside a
massive transparent bottle where she held the
handle of a giant corkscrew in both hands & on a
correct answer to a question she turned it to
eject a piece of cork which was worth two meals
for camp. When she got an answer wrong the
bottle did a 360 turn & 60,000 cockroaches got
the fright of their lives when they landed on her
tits, lol. Lets hope they aren't allergic to silicone.
November 19th 2009
Yep, I am officially Mr Underbidder

Had my eye on a few pieces on ebay this week. A very nice Coney
type pocket, another pocket/carriage key combination & a
Woodman's patent. Decent snipes were set for all & each time I just
drove the price up as the under bidder. Shame about the
Woodman, the third occasion as an under bidder & still I've not
owned one, but at least it sold to a mate & fellow Corkscrewteer.

Today my sights were set on a small lot of corkscrews at auction in
Devon. They were not particularly well advertised, no picture
attached to the lot on the website which was described as "A
Heeley`s double lever corkscrew, a two pillar open caged
corkscrew and three others". The photo arrived showing what
looked like the contents of a Country house estate pantry drawer
with a 200 year corkscrew history. The star of the show a French
tire-bouchon a cage.

I looked long & hard at the French piece, many have been forged
but following scrutinising a couple of extra photos closely I felt
convinced that all was correct & decided I'd have a decent go at
buying it. Yesterday I contacted the auctioneer who said there had
been a reasonable amount of interest in the lot, sufficient for them
to allow a phone line to be booked, which I duly did. So all was in
place, I just needed to work out my bid.

I was due to go out at about 3.30 today which was going to coincide
with the auctioneers phone call, so ice cool Ruthie was lined up
with my bid. The phone actually went a little earlier than expected, I
was still around so picked up. The chap said there were 10 or so
lots to go before lot 872 was up but the auctioneer was selling at a
rapid rate, hence he phoned early. I listened as various wares sold
for £12, £35, £8, £20, finally lot 872 was announced with a pause,
as expected I suppose. Straight in at £200. I was asked if I wanted
to bid, "yes", £220, £240, £260, £280, £300, £320, £340, £360,
£380, £400, still yes. It seemed to go a tad slower around this point
which made me think maybe, just maybe I was getting a bargain,
but no, £420, £440, £460, £480, £500. It went all the way to £1000
in £20 increments, I was actually getting a decent phone bid fix for
a change, normally the auctioneer has the hammer down in like 20
seconds. Up in £50 increments now & far from things slowing down,
the bids were actually coming in quicker. Got to £2k, I was still
sitting tight, unfortunately so was the other phone bidder (asked
the chap who I was up against). It was now going up in £100's & it
wasn't long before I called it a day at £2600. Hammer fell at £2700!

So, a good fix yes, but once again I ended up as Mr Underbidder.
Maybe I should stick to sniping four finger pulls on ebay for a fiver.
November 24th 2009
Australian Henshall Discovered

Jim Edgar recently purchased this unusual
Henshall corkscrew & writes:

"Attached pictures of the inverted button
Henshall which is completely original and
was obviously put together by someone who
wasn’t concentrating on their task. Its got a
great old handle (slightly damaged at one
end) with a square shaft (with rounded
edges) then the domed button on upside
down. I wonder if its the first Australian
Henshall we’ve seen! It might be my eyes but
the button could be marked Fosters Patent!"

Yeah, looks like a Fosters Patent to me - fair
dinkum Jim!
November 24th 2009
The Missing Snappy Corkscrew Returns,
well nearly returns

Back in 2005 I was lucky to win a carved Walker
corkscrew on ebay US depicting a black boy being
grabbed by an alligator. I remember that the ebay picture
was as bad as you can get, basically a fuzzy digital blur,
but I'd seen a couple before & realised what it was. Extra
clearer pictures confirmed my thoughts - a very cool
piece, no doubt a souvenir from the alligator filled
swamps of Florida from the early 1900's.

Rather than paying $75.00 to get it mailed to the UK
which was clearly OTT, I requested that the seller to
send it to a friend in the US who could forward it me.
Unfortunately it managed to get caught up with my friend
moving back to the UK, his girlfriend putting stuff into
storage & moving house.
I received an email today to say it had been found. I
nearly fell off my chair with delight. It will be swimming
over the big pond soon to join some other alligators in
the corkscrew swamp.
What's your most desirable, most unique or maybe just your
favourite corkscrew?

Favourite Corkscrews
December 3rd 2009
Captain Scott's Corkscrew

Captain Robert Falcon Scott (6 June 1868 – 29 March 1912)
was an English naval officer & later an intrepid explorer who
led two expeditions to the Antarctic regions. The second being
the ill-fated Tera Nova expedition where having reached the
South Pole on 17th January 1912, Captain Scott & his four
comrades all perished on the return journey from a
combination of exhaustion, hunger and extreme cold.

Scott's base camp for the second expedition which ran from
1910-1912 was Cape Evans, Ross Island. The camp being
named after Scott's second in command on the expedition
Lieutenant Edward Evans.

The New Zealand Antarctic heritage trust have recently been
conserving the artifacts left behind at the base camp by
Captain Scott & his team when they journeyed to the South

Amongst the artifacts, two corkscrews have been discovered,
simple horn handled direct pulls with spikes.
: Restoring one of the two horn handled direct pull corkscrews
found at Scott's base camp. Did the design remind Scott of an ice pick?

Right, top: Captain Robert Falcon Scott.
Middle: The final push to the pole, the five ill-fated explorers...Scott,
Edward Wilson, H. R. Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans.
Bottom: A view inside Scott's base camp, Cape Evan, Ross Island.
Decemeber 8th 2009

Just been checking out a few sold listings on ebay.
Found something rather tasty that sold for nothing
back in September.

I've recreated the actual scenario across. See how
quickly you can find it & hit the BIN button.

The buy it now was floating around in cyberspace for
50 minutes before it was snapped up by a UK
*RARE, RARE, l@@k, RARE Black boy
Bottle corkscrew
Lever corkscrew Set
Victorian old vine handled corkscrew
Cheeky Victorian style man corkscrew
diamante eyes
Three vintage corkscrews
~Georgian mechanical corkscrew believed
Very rare Crusty clown corkscrew opener
Early English Thomkinson winder cork screw
December 9th 2009
French Tire-bouchon a cage

It was my final trip of 2009 to the Kempton
antique fair yesterday. I soon met Peter
Carr, a well known corkscrew dealer who
immediately asked why I stopped bidding
when I did on the French cage (Blog Nov
19th), about the sixth person to say just
that. I shrugged my shoulders, came up
with a lame reason & went on my way. In
truth I'd wished that I'd pushed somewhat
harder, but that's easy to say after the

After 20 minutes of fruitless hunting I
bumped into another familiar face, a
Portobello dealer. I asked the normal
question, found anything? No, but he'd
been shown a French cage, dead right, but
he wasn't sure if there was a profit in it. I
asked where, he said where, I ran off,
found dealer, asked the dealer to see it,
examined closely, haggled hard with
dealer, a fair deal was done.

How about that! Funny thing is, if it wasn't
for me & this other dealer bidding it would
of sold at auction for next to nothing.

Being a collector of English corkscrews I'm
not sure what I'm going to do with it. Keep
it, trade it, sell it? I'm really not sure. I'll give
it some thought though.

What I can say is, it is a stunning corkscrew
of museum quality, in uncleaned condition
& I'm delighted to of taken the second
chance opportunity.
Decemeber 31st 2009
Happy New Year!

Nothing much to report over the last couple of
weeks. My corkscrew radar has been pretty much
turned off for the Christmas & New year festivities.
I even managed to avoid eBay for 3 days - so I'm
well & truly detoxed for the start of the corkscrew
hunt in twenty ten.

We had an amazing snow fall just before
Christmas. Ruth captured it beautifully in photos +
1 of Reg in his Christmas hat.

I wish you all good health, happiness & some
great corkscrew finds in 2010!
Peter Borrett
BEST SIX for 2009
~A tribute to the Reverend~

In 1795 The Rev. Samuel Henshall from Oxford, England was the first to patent a
Corkscrew. His idea was to incorporate a button between the shank & the worm. Its
purpose was to compress and turn the cork once the worm was fully inserted, thus
breaking any bond that might exist between cork and bottle.

Henshall's improvement to the simple direct pull corkscrew was no doubt a winner. His
design was produced well into the 20th century in a vast array of different styles.

My best six for 2009 shows some interesting variants of Henshall's design.
~from left to right & top to bottom~
1. Stunning large early Henshall type corkscrew with a fabulous ebonised handle,
faceted shank leading to a cyphered wire helix.
2. An unusual Henshall type corkscrew with a folding foil cutter.
3. A very nice Henshall type corkscrew with a large foil cutter & dusting brush.
4. A Henshall type corkscrew with an extra large button carrying advertising for Hedges
& Butler Wine Merchants.
5. The real deal! An original Henshall corkscrew, inscribed around the button
6. Another large early Henshall type corkscrew with a ebonised handle. This one has a
super bulbous shank leading to a revolving button which is serrated on both sides.
Corkscrew Central corkscrews for sale
Is asking for a buy it
now fair game?

The vote ended with a
landslide victory to the Buy It
Now hunters.

10 Yes
1 No