September 23rd 2010
Land of Hope & Glory & Buy It Now Pie

Hoist the bunting, raise the Union Jack & organize a street party - the
Colonel has only gone & won a piece of BIN corkscrew pie & has made us
all very proud to be British.

Not only that, he managed to get a seller that said in the listing - "No end it
early & no but it now" to well, add a buy it now. Maybe he should get
double pie for such a great grab?? Ebay item 200522824622 for a five
tool bow corkscrew with carriage key, everybody loves a carriage key,
nailed for 50 quid & has to be worth the £100+.

You're my hero Stephen!

The Colonel's Pie Award Ceremony
Corkscrews Online
by Peter Borrett
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January 7th 2010
Snowed In

The snow fall on Tuesday night was quite amazing. I
travelled out of London at 10.30 p.m. & just about
managed to get back home through the treacherous
conditions, travelling at no more than 30 mph on the M3
& I don't think I got out of 2nd gear for the six miles once
I got off the motorway. By the morning the snow was 10"

Here are some more Ruthie snaps of the Silchester
January 7th 2010
Snowed In Quiz

Test your corkscrew knowledge with these twelve corkscrew questions.
Corkscrew prizes for the top three entries received by 31st January 2010. Good luck!
Q1. What's this?
Q2. Who's this smoking author?
Q3. How many corkscrews did Sir
Edward Thomason say he
manufactured during the 14 years
of the patent?
Q4. What does OBSTANDO
Q5. What US patent is this?
Q6. Who made this Seal
Q7. What's this?
Q8. What does SYROCO stand
Q9. Who is this band with a
corkscrewy name?
Q10. Who manufactured this
Q11. Why did this recently sell for
£961 on ebay?
Q12. Who made this Diamant
January 12th 2010
Antique Fair Corkscrew Catastrophe!

A new year of antique fairs started today with the exciting prospect of a double header. Firstly, London's
premier fair at Kempton & then on to the largest fair in the South of England, Ardingly. I was all set &
looking forward to some cracking corkscrew finds to get 2010 off & running. Plus it was the first chance
to check out one of my Christmas presents the all new Deputy Dog fur lined hat.

As it turned out Kempton was about a 1/2 of the normal size & I found absolutely nothing. Maybe the
missing stall holders were at Ardingly instead I thought, so chin up & on to Ardingly. There was a bad
omen on the way as my normal stop off caravan just off the motorway that serves up a tasty bacon roll
was closed - that upset me more than finding nothing at Kempton. When I got to Ardingly it turned out to
be like a ghost town, probably about 1/4 of the normal size. The tented Isle & marquees were missing,
the normal bustling hard standing isles full of casual stalls were empty & even the permanent buildings
were sparse. To top it all, the upmarket heated building, a good place to go to warm up was closed. I
found sweet Fanny Adams! What a waste of a tenner - I want a refund! I did however hook-up with Chris
Bristow - we tucked into bacon rolls & shared woe stories.
Thanks chaps for taking part in the quiz. Currently ten prize hungry collectors have had
a go with an English collector heading the pack with 12/12. At the wrong end Barack
Obama is currently in line for the wooden spoon with none right - thanks for taking part
though Mr President. Tim Missunderstood managed one right but looks like he might be
up for a prize for creative answers. Still plenty of time to enter.
January 13th 2010
Royal Club For Sale

Want a Royal Club? I know where there's one for sale. Unfortunately it has some
issues - see below. Does operate, badly pitted, broken top handle, badge good,
worm complete. Pictures are thumbs for your scrutiny. Offers are welcome.
January 18th 2010
French corkscrew sets eBay record
Well an eBay record for a corkscrew at that moment in time. It sold
for a whopping 2235 Euros. Attributed to Batard & apparently one of
only a couple known examples. My modest snipe didn't quite hit the
mark but I was primarily just interested to see what it sold for.

In other news, just received my CCCC dues reminder from Milt
Becker. It's $49.00 to go again. Should I - shouldn't I? I don't know.
I'm thinking maybe I should start acting responsibly & ditch my role
as a corkscrew jester, after all Richard Stevenson keeps saying that
he knows that one day when "I grow up" I'll be a good elder
corkscrew statesman, lol. Yeah, I can see myself with a pipe &
slippers. Um,er, what to do, what to do???

In other, other news. It's been a bleak start to 2010 for corkscrew
hunting, I've bought 4 corkscrews so far, all for resale & not a sniff
of a collection piece yet. Without a frequent fix the withdrawals hit
hard. I've been dribbling uncontrollably & I twitch every few minutes,
I've taken on a very strange disposition. If you have a corkscrew to
help cure these symptoms drop me a line.
January 25th 2010
10 Tool Folding Bows by Brian May

My name is Brian May and I live in Adelaide South Australia. I have been collecting corkscrews for the last two
years. It is a bit lonely. I know only one other collector- Ian Hunter in Sydney 1000 miles away!

I would very much like to know other collectors thoughts on my research on the 10 tool bow corkscrews.
I recently bought a beautiful 10 tool folding bow marked HILL HAYMARKET. I was interested to know more about
HILL and the possible age of the corkscrew.

Here is a brief summary of what I have found out about this corkscrew. I have also looked at the other 10 tool
folding bows.


Don Bull in his Weekly Screw in July showed a photo of the HILL HAYMARKET 10 tool folding bow the same as
mine. He indicated that in an 1874 directory, Thomas Hill was listed as a cutlery and skate manufacturer at 4
Haymarket Street opposite the Opera House. (Indeed I have located on line a photo of ice skates made by Hill
and Son, 4 Haymarket Street about 1870).

Thomas Hill was born in Exeter Devon about 1823 and had a wife Elizabeth. In the 1861 census there was a son
Edwin A B Hill aged 10 (Edwin did not appear in any census until 1901).

Thomas was still at  Haymarket Street in 1871 census and listed as a cutler (son Edwin was now absent).  In the
1881 census, Thomas had moved to 127 Finborough Road, Kensington where he was listed as a cutler employing
10 men. Presumably son Edwin, who married about this time, had taken over the business at 4 Haymarket.

The Guildhall Library London passed on some information from The London Knife Book by Ron Fook 2008.
Thomas Hill of 4 Haymarket was listed in the cutlers section of the 1855 Post Office London Directory. In 1880,
the business was now called Hill and Son and was described as a working cutler.

By 1890, it was called Thomas Hill and Son and in 1895, was additionally listed as razor makers (Recently on
ebay there was a pair of hand made razors in a velvet case marked Hill and Son, Haymarket). Between 1895 and
1900 the name changed to Edwin Hill and Son still at 4 Haymarket.  Edwin Hill and Son remained listed at
Haymarket until 1945.

As mentioned, son Edwin A B  Hill was not present in any census except the 1861 and 1901. In the 1901, he was
shown as aged 50 years and a “skate maker’s assistant” living in Croydon. Clearly he was not longer running the
business at 4 Haymarket.

I have seen mention on line of old pocket knives marked Hill and Son, 4 Haymarket.  A steel pipe reamer has
turned up (Steven Webb) marked like the bow - as HILL HAYMARKET.

None of this really indicates whether my 10 tool  folding bow was made by Hill and Son or when. Is it possible that
it was made by unknown manufacturer who added the retailers details ie HILL HAYMARKET? Was this practice
I was struck by the similarity of this HILL
folding bow to three other 10 tool  bows as
shown in the photos.

Top left, My Bow marked

(this one I found on the website of Peter

bottom left,
(in the leather case and on
Don Bulls July
Weekly Screw)

bottom right,
(on this Blog by Peter Borrett)

On page 33 of Don Bull’s Ultimate
corkscrew book there is a fourth 10 tool bow
but unmarked.
Remarkably all bows have the same sequence of tools (except for the HOLZAPFFEL BOND STREET). At first I
thought the HILL, ARNOLD and HOLTZAPFFELL 64 CHARING were identical. But on close examination there are
differences although subtle eg the number of notches on the saw.

ARNOLD 90A REGENT STREET Information from Guildhall Library London provided the following. This is Arthur
ARNOLD who was located at 90A Regent Street from 1890-1895 and at 61A Piccadilly in 1905. So this
accurately dates the 10 tool folding bow as being between 1890-1895 assuming he was the manufacturer.
ARNOLD was a “brush maker and cutler”. There is no evidence that he made corkscrews.

HOLTZAPFFEL Information can be found on Peter Borrett’s blog, December 2008. The company was mainly a
manufacturer of lathes but they also made many different wares including corkscrews as seen on a 19th century
trade advertisement. In the 19th century they were located at 64 Charing Cross Road and then in Bond Street
from 1902-1907. Hence this dates the Peter Borrett bow marked 64 Charing cross road.

Ian Hunter in Sydney has pointed out to me that there is another 10 tool bow (identical to HILL etc) in Peters and
Guilian Fig 618. It is marked KINGSBURY (I dont know anything about KINGSBURY). It is 6.8cm and identical to

Fletcher Wallis emailed me saying that retailers did not like the name of the manufacturers on their corkscrews.

So it is possible that my 10 tool bow was made in say Sheffield for a number of retail outlets (but we cant
eliminate the proposal that some outlets made their own eg HILL was a cutler so they could have made their own;
but why make it identical to others?)

I'd be delighted if you could add your thoughts/views or knowledge to this discussion.

Regards, Brian

Peter Borrett: Thanks so much Brian for a very interesting article. It makes a certain amount of sense to me that
these bows were bought by retailers & stamped by the manufacturers with their respective retail name.

If anyone can help Brian further in any way or form please drop me a line & I'll add your information to this article
& make sure Brian is informed.

January 26th 2010 - A reply by Richard Stevenson

A very interesting letter from Brian May in Australia in your Blog.   

I have three bows with 10 tools with exactly the same configuration as the first three shown and one of the smaller type.
Of the three larger ones, one is plain, one is marked A.BARRETT  KNIGHTSBRIDGE and the third one is marked
HOLTZAPFFEL  NEW BOND STREET. The smaller on is marked BB WELLS. It would seem that these bows are made
by a single manufacturer and supplied to the retailer with their name on or left plain.  Many retailers would have been
manufacturers of various products but may not have manufactured multi tools bows so would have bought these in.
January 25th 2010
I just can't help myself

So, I'm looking through eBay listings & spot one of those pig
butt corkscrews with a fleece finish. I read the listing which has
a reference to one being sold on a corkscrew website for a
whopping 55 GBP with the appropriate link. Oh sweet, some
more free advertising. The ad asking buyers to grab
themselves a bargain with the listing starting at a miserly

I did the decent thing, changed my website selling price to
£12.00 & informed the seller that they were false advertising.
When they amended the listing up went my pig to £250.00 & I
told them there one was ridiculously cheap & I'd definitely
have a bid. Anyway, this seller is way to smart for me. I got an
email to my loxwoodfc eBay account from them saying that I'd
been rumbled, lol. Looks like Columbo is alive & well & selling
on eBay. Good luck with your pig - oink!
My Pig current price -  a cool £1 million
January 25th 2010

My bad run continues, I've still not found a
piece for the collection so far in January.
Finished up the underbidder on a couple of
nice looking eBay lots. A French lever & a
nine tool bow marked BB Wells. Been a few
pieces at auction but in poor condition so I
didn't even bother bidding. Meanwhile, a
corkscrew friend bought this incredible four
pillar Thomason. Maybe the next one will be
Get em while they're hot!
January 26th 2010
He shoots he scores!

My bad run finally came to a end today with a couple of
nice buys for the collection. One of which will have to
remain a mysterious £300.00 purchase, as the seller would
only let me buy it on the understanding that it is not shown
on the Internet. Bit weird but no probs Mr seller. Another,
shown across is on route, an early direct pull with grips
stamped Robert Jones.

There was an incredible corkscrew sold at Kempton today
but not to me. Unfortunately, my name wasn't on it & it was
one of those occasions where if your name wasn't on it you
just didn't get it. Circa 1790, English & very special.
January 29th 2010
The Queen on eBay

Finally got some decent higher
resolution pictures of the Lund
with grips that is currently on ebay.
Looks to me that the grips will be
very pitted after a clean up & with
a missing badge, short worm & a
dinged barrel I've decided not to
pursue it. The chap said he
couldn't add these extra pictures
to ebay so here they are as
thumbs for anyone that might be
considering a bid. Really funny
some of the questions on the

The Robert Jones corkscrew
arrived today, great piece, really
unusual & detailed handle. It
appears that the early Jones direct
pulls were manufactured to a very
high standard.
1st February 2010 Congratulations to the following winners of the Snowed in quiz:
Take a bow - 1st Stephen Paul, 2nd Peter Davidson & 3rd Tommy Campnell. Your prizes are waiting for

Here are the correct answers:
1. Royal Club
2.  Fletcher Wallis
3. 130,000
4. By standing firm one makes advancement
5. William Bennit's
6. Wade
7. Twigg & Bateman patent 1868
8. The Syracuse Ornamental Company
9. Broken Helix
10. James Heeley & Sons
11. It's the only known example with 12 tools (based on Ellis & Ellis 2nd book)
12. Jacques Perille
February 3rd 2010
I'm going on an eBay Detox

I've decided to take an eBay sabbatical for the remainder of
February. For as long as I can remember I've spent 20 +
minutes a day searching the auction site for corkscrews with
barely a day without looking in. Recently It has become more
of a chore & when all is said & done it's been a long time
since I bought a top piece or nailed a BIN. So my 20+ minutes
will be spent doing other things. Maybe I'll get my eBay Mojo
back for a new searching campaign from March.
Royal Club variant, a very nice recent buy but
not from eBay.
February 3rd 2010
My eBay Detox Diary Can I survive 26 days without a fix? NO!
Day 1, Pick my new guitar up later, no doubt that will take my mind off searching ebay.
Day 2, Feels a bit strange not knowing whats been listed but so far so good.
Day 3, So, I get an email saying there's a Jones II listed, ha, very funny!
Day 4, A refereeing weekend starts today, 3 games in two  games, too busy to worry about ebay.
Day 5, Got an email from a seller that wanted advise about an Empire they listed on ebay. I don't need to search,
lol. Offers from £40 upwards they said - the vultures are circling.
Day 6, I'm quite enjoying this sabatical, the shakes have stopped, thanks to a few mates I'm still kinda in the loop.
Day 7, Gavin Maddock  just mailed with an ebay number for a superb Georgian pocket already over a grand - wow!
Day 8, Still managing ebay avoidance OK. Have been quite sporty over the last few days, nearly died on the
squash court last night - tis an evil game! A war of attrition with the score at 2-2 7-7 when the lights went out.
Day 9, Been busy sorting through my corkscrews, so, so many. I'm organised at long last with specific categories in
specific containers. I'll be mass selling on ebay soon, probably just as the market goes pear shaped!
Day 10, Still hanging on in there!
Day 11, Great! Start of a busy weekend.
Day 12, I'm being stalked by a guy who's listed a Thomason with a Jones badge on ebay. Maybe I should set up
an ebay corkscrew listing advisory service or start charging for advise.
Day 13, The guy selling the Thomason with Jones badge on ebay wanted to know if he should accept £350.00 to
end the listing early. I said my opinion would cost him £25.00 - he didn't get back, lol. Joking!
Day 14, Still hanging on in there but I don't think I'm going to last much longer.
Day 15, More stuff coming through from fellow collectors, I'm still in the loop which is great, thanks guys!
Day 16, Ebay depression has hit, new solo demo called Frozen River, check out my about me page, I'm sounding
pretty depressed. Nick Cave & ebay withdrawals were my influence.
Day 17, It's all over, I managed 16 1/2 days. I've hit the searches & found nothing of note :(  
The last February 2010 eBay
purchase - a Fender 12 string
acoustic guitar from the 70's.
10th February 2010
Patrick Pagnier sent me some corkscrew related videos, thanks. Go grab the popcorn & watch the following.

By the way....The Cheap As Chips Corkscrew Club promotional video coming soon ;)
February 11th 2010
The big corkscrew
sort out
For a while my collection has been
stored with reasonable care, as has
the stuff for sale on my website. Well,
to the point where I could find what I
was after pretty quickly. The rest of
the stuff however has been stored in
all types of boxes & crates with a
right old mix in any given box. To be
honest - disorganised chaos comes
to mind! Tonight I went for the big
sort out. It took some time but I finally
have my corkscrews categorised &
accessible. About 600 pieces ended
up in a massive box or a giant bag -
these will be my first ebay focus.
Eight years of the unwanted pieces
from job lots. Question is - will
anybody actually buy them?

The bottom pictures show the stuff in
the said massive box & giant bag.
Any piece in there can be £1.00 +
P+P costs. If you spot something you
fancy let me know. Time for a tipple!
February 17th 2010
Mixed lot at auction

A massive mixed lot of corkscrews, whistles & keys went under the hammer today at a
auctioneers in Essex. I asked for additional pictures & the auctioneers obliged with a few snaps
which showed each corkscrew clearly. Only three reasonable pieces to report: a good bone
handled King, a poor Thomason & a Holborn Signit but there were plenty of low end pieces. I left
a commission bid of a couple of hundred but I was way off the mark. The lot sold for
approximately £850 including the commission. Maybe there was a rare whistle in there or maybe
some people have lost the plot, or maybe I've lost the plot.

Talking of multi lots, the first sixty of my bulk corkscrews have been listed on ebay, in lots of ten,
each with a 99p start.
A fake Fora, an
empire, early
bow & a tasty
looking pocket.
All recently sold
or  listed on
ebay. Thanks to
the sellers &
buyers for telling
me about them.
February 28th 2010
Happy Days Are Here Again!
My lean period of good finds is nearly at an end. I
struck a deal today to buy a Burgess & Fenton
single lever corkscrew. The chap lives a couple of
miles from Ardingly, West Sussex & as luck would
have it, the Ardingly fair is this coming tuesday, so
I'm going to pick it up on the way to the fair. I've
been really lucky over the last year or so buying
Burgess & Fenton corkscrews.

I'll more than likely list this on the ICCA auction site
in May. Or does anyone fancy a trade? Always on
the hunt for top notch English corkscrews. Please
let me know.
28th February 2010. SALESMAN OF THE YEAR GOES TO......

I had to laugh. I went to Portobello yesterday & went to see Fletcher Wallis as he'd been trying
to sell a few pieces for me. "Any sales Wally?", "No" he said. "I'll take the pieces back then".
He then went through a variety of brown boxes looking for three corkscrews. After about 5
minutes of looking he managed to find two, the third, one of those American red Devil
corkscrews had gone missing. I wonder why he couldn't sell anything for me, lol.

The moral of this story is.....If you go to see Fletcher Wallis at Portobello ask to see what is in
every brown box & you might find a corkscrew to buy.
February 23rd 2010
Back on Ebay & the corkscrews are
disappearing (as normal)

Missed Kempton today, missed kempton two
weeks ago, bought nothing at auction this year,
not hit Portobello this year & I'm only just back
looking at ebay. It's not surprising that I have little
corkscrew news of note. I believe I have been truly

I did however notice this very nice looking London
rack on ebay yesterday listed with a low start. I
set a snipe & kept looking. Later in the day, as if
by magic it had disappeared. The seller had added
a cheap buy it now option & it had been snapped
up with military speed & precision by that cheeky
leader of men. Yes, the Colonel grabbed it
presumably with a well planned operation of
cunning! Nice one Stephen!

I did have a scroll through completed listings on
ebay UK & I can't see anything mega that has
been snapped up. Looks like the sellers are
getting pretty streetwise to the buy it now offers
but obviously not on this occasion.

Gavin Maddock emailed to say he bought these
two guns on ebay which the seller listed at a BIN
price of £6.99 + £3.00 P+P. A nice profit will be
heading his way soon.

Any more BIN's to report guys? I'm sure Josef &
Tommy have some news, after all they are the BIN
refreshing specialists.

28th February 2010
BIN Update

Josef did indeed manage a nice BIN over the last
few weeks. Hours of refreshing & asking that all
important question "How bout a buy it now?" paid
off with a Barnes, one of those double helix
American patent corkscrews.

Not to be out-done, Graeme Nott hit the button
within a couple of minutes of some flesh legs
being listed with a legitimate BIN at £25.00 on
ebay UK. He also bought a very nice early
sheathed pocket for a paltry £40.00 BIN a few
weeks back.

Just in...another cheeky Brit Banker (boo hiss!)/
corkscrew collector has just bought a signed silver
pocket on a BIN for £40.00!
All set for corkscrew hunting.
Here I am sporting the all
new 2010 Deputy Dog hat.
March 6th 2010
Robert Scores at DC Big Flea

News just in from Robert Leopardi who struck it
lucky today at a big flea market in Washington DC.
He looks pretty pleased with himself & why not.
Robert is renowned for bargain finds, so you can
assume he paid at the low, low end for what looks
like a nice Syroco Monk, fancy golden roundlet,
Old Snifter & Leg shaped penknife.

To think I spent 4 hours checking out 1500 stalls at
Ardingly on tuesday & didn't buy one lousy
corkscrew. I suppose I had all my luck buying the
Burgess & Fenton. Cheers to you too Robert!
March 8th 2010
I've only gone and got myself a buy it now!

I just hit the various corkscrew searches on ebay US & there it
was, buy it now $50.00. I looked, then looked again & thought
that seems like a decent deal. I signed in & hit the button only to
find that the seller wouldn't accept bidders from outside the US.
Damn! I then remembered my ace in the pack, a user name that
Chris Bristow helped me set up with a US address for just this
scenario. I dug out the details & tried again. It worked! This Clam
Shell pocket folder will be heading my way soon via a diversion at
chez L'Africain in Vinalhaven.

Once bought & paid for I went back to see if it was listed as a buy
it now or if the seller added a BIN by request. It was the latter,
here are the questions asked on the listing.

Q:  Hi, How about a 50.00 Buy It Now? Thx! Mar-08-10
 its on buy it now,rite now
Q:  Hi, I sent you a request for a 50.00 Buy It Now a little while ago. I am about to board
a plan and won't be back to my computer till 5 hours from now. Please consider my offer
and do the appropriate thing if you want to accept it. I would love these corkscrews.
Thx! Mar-08-10
 im getting all kinds of buy it now offers
March 10th 2010

My bad run at Antique fairs

I hit Kempton yesterday with the usual optimism but
alas by the time I was through not one corkscrew
was purchased :( The only piece I contemplated
buying was a bulky brass frame with two cherubs
(Same as one I have for sale on my site in the
mechanical section) Trouble is, the one I picked up
was poorly cast & didn't have a base, plus it wasn't
particularly cheap, so I decided to pass. The best
piece I saw was a set of legs for £250.00.

That's three fairs I've visited in 2010 without a single
buy. Quite amazing! I'll be heading to Shepton
Mallet on Friday 19th March, so I hope my luck
changes then. I'll let you know.

I did manage a corkscrew fix elsewhere, buying a
small early two pillar with a horseshoe type handle.
I've never seen such a small variant, a nice addition
to the collection.
March 10th 2010
The highs & lows of corkscrew

On March 6th I blogged about Robert Leopardi scoring
some great buys at the DC big flea. Robert continued
his good run the next day at the Baltimore bottle show
buying a cheap Pabst Hollweg & an early Goliath. As
you can imagine he was pretty pleased with himself. His
good run continued later that evening when he snapped
up an eight tool bow with a cheap buy it now on ebay.
By this point he'd changed his name to Roberto with a
big O, was smoking Havana cigars while sipping Dom

Alas, Robert's invincibility has ended. He set up the
Clam shell buy it now with confidence that after 5 hours
on a plan or plane (see blog, 8th March) it would still be
there. Bit too optimistic, yours truly was in the right place
at the right time to grab that one. This morning he
reported with a frustrated tone that a Straight sold for
$10.00 on ebay US & he just missed it. Someone is
jumping around a room somewhere - one hell a buy!

That's the way it goes Robert, maybe you've used up all
your luck.
Great catch Josef
The ebay Buy It Nows seem to be shared around at the moment. Please
sign my petition to keep Josef L'Africain on permanent holiday to keep it
that way.
We believe Josef L'Africain should have a permanent holiday to give the
rest of us a chance of an ebay Buy It Now.

Please add your name to the petition.
Peter Borrett, Robert Leopardi, Tommy Campnell, Corkscrew Hunter (real name
omitted, I'm thinking Ian Hunter)
your name here

12/3/10 Looks like everyone wants Josef back grabbing all the BINs. I might make
some names up & add them to the petition.
March 12th 2010
Excuse me for going on about ebay

With three blank antique fair trips & nothing bought at auction
since the Stone Age it seems ebay is about the only place I'm
buying stuff lately. Given my recent ebay sabbatical, I've now
gone the other way & can't seem to keep away from the addictive
auction site.

I bet you are all jealous now that you know I won the celluloid
pear corkscrew a few days back on ebay US - woop woop! lol. I
shouldn't think you care less & doubt you even gave it a second
look. I do like these early plastic corkscrews & have a good
collection now. If you have any celluloid corkscrews drop me a
line, I'd be happy to buy or maybe trade with you.

It was quite funny a couple of weeks back when I saw a celluloid
golfer listed on ebay UK with a link to the composition & celluloid
corkscrew guide page from my website. The seller obviously
decided to overlook my two separate pleas on the page to buy
such corkscrews & it's kind of ironic that I ended up the under
bidder on his listing. That's life!

Okay, back to ebay. Today checking ebay US, I found a Clough
Powercone & a Brown listed, both bid-less. I didn't ask questions
or request a BIN but within a couple of hours the Brown had been
snapped up on a $50 BIN & then the Powercone suddenly
developed its very own BIN & lucky for me I got there first.

I'm off to look for a celluloid banana corkscrew ;)
Just in... a normal person reminds me what life should be about with
this photo. I've jigsawed it up to stop me slobbering on my keyboard.

Don't tease me. Anyway, I'm a connoisseur of seafood restaurants. I
love a good Harry Ramsdens!
March 16th 2010
A sleeper at auction?

Shame it wasn't upside down with just the
tip of the worm showing. Then maybe, just
maybe this lot today at auction complete
with original Henshall would of been
cheap, cheap. Sadly for me & no doubt
plenty of others it flew away with the wind,
selling for a total of £1092.96 including

It was quite a rough example with various
issues & I thought £500 might just buy it.
Wrong again!
16th march 2010
BAZZMEG, What have you gone & made now?

Fakes, brass cats with stuck in worms, more fakes, scissors, more scissors & even more scissors all
home made, more fakes, more brass dogs with worms stuck up their arse & so on.

A seller in the UK is currently making piles of cash with some made-up pieces. The ebay crowd seem to
love them! One strange brass creation sold for a cool £100 a week or so back. Maybe we should chuck
away our good stuff & start sticking worms in anything. How about a mobile phone with a flip out worm
with a dog screen saver? Bazzmeg, the creative ebay seller in Hungary has surpassed himself with his
latest ebay creation. So funny! How much for a Bible containing fragments of the shroud of Turin with a
hidden fold out olive branch corkscrew, hhhmmmmm.... I wonder? Check it out - Item number

I've recreated the ebay page & made it interactive.  Anyone fancy bidding?
March 16th 2010

Check out these pieces that have sold recently on ebay. Some incredible prices for made up pieces &
some incredible prices for marriages & some just incredible prices! I wish I could get some of these
buyers to my website. Just as long as these rogues get a return they will continue bringing these
creations to market.
Buyer Beware!!!
Straight from the potting shed
Weird Argentinian bird with a
worm & cutter added £83.09
Marriage Peg & worm £67.00
Bone Henshall. Nothing
strange or wrong about this
piece other than the price.
A brass concoction
Another brass concoction
March 20th 2010
A Shepton Mallet

After three consecutive blank fairs
the rout ended when I picked up
this early Henshall at the Shepton
Mallet fair yesterday.

Between three corkscrew chaps at
the fair, this Henshall & a Heeley
A1 was all that was found. So slim
pickings once again, but at least
I've finally come away from a fair
with something in my bag.
March 20th 2010
Cheap advertising

It's all about trying to drum up a few hits for my
website & with a 40p loop hole to list a BIN at
any price on ebay I thought it was a nice
opportunity to get some much needed cheap
advertising for Corkscrews Online.

Maybe one of the big rollers will overdo the
vino over the next few days & just hit the BIN
button. Now that would be sweet! But in the
meantime, I'll give some thought to the only
official offer I've received so far from Josef
L'Africain for £35.00.
March 23rd 2010
Having a punt at auction

Sometimes you just have to take a punt on a piece. That's what I did
earlier today when my high bid won this interesting French corkscrew
by Coville at auction. I couldn't find a price guide anywhere & only
found a reference in Gerard Bidault's book "Les tire-bouchons
francais". I will have to wait until the ICCA auctions until I find out if
fortune favours the brave on this occasion.
March 31st 2010
A week at Auction

Poor Josef L'Africain just missed out on a
Thomason variant at auction & suspected I might
have something to do with it. It wasn't me Josef. I
had a sixth sense you wanted it, & being the
gentleman I am gave you a free run to go win it.

There were a number of really good pieces at
auction last week. The French rack by Coville that I
won, the Thomason variant which Josef should of
won (how unfair!) & a double Wiers to name but a
few. I had a phone bid on the double, the auction
lasted approximately 15 seconds from start to
finish, with the hammer landing at £950 +
commission. What an anti-climax!

I did win another corkscrew during the week but it
does need some TLC to bring it back to life. A nice
narrow barrel type Thomason/Jones as shown in a
mid 19th century line drawing.

Doesn't seem to be anything of note at auction at
the moment. Maybe the auctioneers pencil in a
corkscrew week once a year near the end of
April 1st 2010
Getting ready for ICCA Auctions

It's that time of the year again! Sellers who have hoarded good corkscrews over the last six months
will no doubt be dusting them down & will soon be getting them listed on the ICCA auction site. Here
are some of my offerings, more to follow. Hopefully we will all get a good corkscrew fix at the end of
April when the first set of listing end. Listings start from the 9th April. Here's a link to get you to the
ICCA Auctions

My user name is loxwoodfc
March 31st 2010
What's that in the shop window?

Check out the face & what a face! Good for
Tommy Campnell! He drives for miles, often
across multi States in a day, all in the search of  
corkscrews. Mostly he finds very little but nothing
deters him - the next week, maps are out & he
does the same again. He seems to have endless
staying power & belief in "The great find". Well a
week back he got his rewards for spending more
money on diesel than any other corkscrew
collector on the planet when he spotted a Will &
Finck corkscrew in a shop window. Very quickly
a deal was done - way to go TC!
April 1st 2010
Happy Easter!

We've recently had our
bathroom tarted up &
bought one of those
jacuzzi baths. Talk
about stirring up the

Have a relaxing &
enjoyable Easter
holiday! .
April 7th 2010
I don't believe it!

As Victor Meldrew would say "I don't believe it!"
Another Burgess & Fenton corkscrew is on the
way to Calleva. Two already this year - quite
incredible! This one seems to have a longer
handle than typical, maybe a later variant?
Possibly just the angle of the photo.

Easter Sunday was great, corkscrews were an
after thought as we enjoyed socialising with the
family. Ruthie cooked up a tasty Turkey & many
Easter Eggs were consumed. Hope you all had a
great time too!

Later that night while searching ebay I noticed a
fine looking four poster with this Q & A:
Q: Hello have you got a buy it now price on this item? Regards
A: It is a very interesting corkscrew. What would be your best price?
I hadn't asked the question but sensed an
opportunity. I quickly sent my question which just
£250. Within 10 minutes there was an email
saying a BIN had been added & I quickly snapped
it up. Lol, happy days!
April 7th 2010

As part of a website face lift I want to update the corkscrew guide section of
Corkscrews Online. I would like to make it a comprehensive, detailed &
informative guide that will be of interest to one & all. I want to cover anything
with a dateline prior to the 1950's & base the guide on English, French,
German & American designs but also touching on Dutch silver, etc. Within the
section I also want to discuss displaying, caring for pieces, restoring & have
informative videos showing collections & maybe collectors talking about

I think this project will be a year in the making. I will need articles, information,
pictures, videos, presumptions, thoughts, etc

If you would like to contribute with full credit please let me know.

The countdown is on - join me in making the most comprehensive
corkscrew guide on the web.

Antique & Vintage Corkscrew Guide
available in:
April 9th 2010

I mentioned in my Blog a few days
ago about being lucky to buy another
Burgess & Fenton corkscrew with
what appeared to be a longer
handle. It arrived today in good
condition & with a handle that is
slimmer & longer than any other that
I've previously seen. I would presume
it would be from a later batch, maybe
an improvement on the original
design with a handle that would fit all

Talking size variations, I also have
two different sized Perkins Codd
corkscrews manufactured by Coney
& I'm also aware of the English
registered design finger pull from
1925, marked Rd 713438. I currently
have a pair for sale on my website,
item # 20326 in the metal finger pull
corkscrew section.

Anybody else got any size variations
to report?
April 9th 2010
ICCA auctions up & running

BRAVO! to all the chaps at the ICCA auctions for putting on such a great show.

It'll be like kids in a sweet shop over the next few weeks. The ICCA listings started yesterday & in
less than 24 hours it appears that it is close to being full. I already have my eye on a few pieces
but do despair as to the amount of double, tripples & some quads of the same corkscrew. Some
examples at the time of writing:
2 Hipkins lever racks, 2 Burgess & Fentons, 2 Hull Prestos, 2 Wiers Doubles, etc, etc.
I don't really know what the organisers can do about it. They have come up with a great concept
& a highly successful auction site, but when you don't see a rare corkscrew for a year & then
suddenly see two or three at the same time it kind of takes the edge of the piece. I personally
would not have a problem if some of my listings were refused on the basis that a similar listing
had already been approved, but maybe that would be difficult to manage. If it was viable then
possibly as many as 50 different items would listed instead of the doubles. What do you think?
April 26th 2010
A Couple of Bobby Dazzlers

There are two very nice corkscrews out in
cyberspace currently. My chances of
acquiring one or both are pretty remote but
you never know. One of the owners says the
"Attached are photos of a
corkscrew which has been in my family for
many years, i would part with it but only for a
lot of money. Could you make an offer?"

Yes, I'm more than happy to make him an
offer but what's a lot of money? Watch this
space to see if my lot of money offer
(whatever that might be as I haven't decided
yet) relates to his idea of a lot of money.

If you have an interesting corkscrew that has
been in your family for years & want to sell
but only for a lot of money drop me a line to
give me another quandary.
April 26th 2010
ICCA auctions - What are your thoughts?

The first round of the ICCA auctions finished last night. I was pleased to win the Markham
patent bow from the Frank Ellis collection, looks a nice example, that was it for me. I sold
five pieces, the Coville rack went better than I thought but that was the unknown quantity,
so it was always going to be interesting to see where it ended. Most of my listings didn't
reach reserve which was disappointing but understandable as with 650 listings, including
some top end pieces, buyers are clearly being very selective. It was noticeable that Chris
Bristow's Twiggs hardly got a look in & my Twigg didn't get close either. We are all
definitely spoiled for choice twice a year now. As per normal a few corkscrews went crazy
but mostly I thought the pieces sold reached about the right money & were not
particularly expensive.

You've heard what I think. Some people I've spoken to think the bottom has fallen out of
the corkscrew market with these top end pieces not registering much interest. What do
you think?
April 29th 2010
One down one to go

I emailed the chap who offered me a
corkscrew but would only sell it for a lot
of money. His was the Lund Queens
patent. I asked him what he considered a
lot of money was & he replied by saying
he knew that one sold at Christies for
£5250, other than that he had no idea. I
replied with a lengthy email explaining
that the market had changed
dramatically since the heady days of 5k+
& offered him around a third of the
Christies price. In truth I didn't think for a
minute I'd hear from him again. I was
wrong, he accepted my explanation of a
downturn & accepted my offer. A
rendezvous has been arranged for

The owner of the Cotterill who sent me
this exact question "No date - any views
of value" has not been in touch since I
asked them to phone me. Either a wind
up or someone that sees a corkscrew as
low priority. It looks peachy! I'll let you
know if I get a contact.
April 29th 2010
I'm having a private Internet auction

Just noticed that the steel kings on ebay sold for £3400. Once
I brushed myself down having fallen quite heavily off my chair I
thought why not have my very own Internet auction on this site.
I have just the corkscrew to start this exciting new corkscrew
auction site
Cheap As Chips Corkscrew Auctions off &
running & it is - the exact same piece as the one that sold on
ebay, but this one has a mark on the sidewinder "VERINLER".

The reserve is set at a transparent £2500 but actually the
reserve isn't overly firm, bid me £1500 & you might just win.
You can save yourself hundreds on the ebay price of £3400 &
afterall ebay always reflects the correct current market place -
doesn't it? so you just know this is an unbelievable deal - isn't

So, if you want to own a top notch early English Kings & you
want it hundreds cheaper than the current going rate, send
me your bid & make it big!

By the way, my tongue is currently firmly in my cheek.

Please send your bids to the Cheap As Chips Corkscrew
Auction site bid co-ordinator.
April 30th......
I've changed my mind, lol. I feel so bad for the underbidder, I've decided to list mine on ebay for their bid of £3333.00.
What shall I spend all the money on? OK, the chances of selling it are about 0.01% but who knows, maybe I'll get
lucky. I'm off for a sausage roll.

May 1st update....
My ebay listing has been live now for 6 hours & the underbidder who bid £3333.00 on the early Kings hasn't found it
yet. I'm offering a £500 reward to the person that tells him or her that another is available or if you prefer take the buy it
now yourself & I'll deduct £500 from the total, making it a snip at a paltry £2833.00. It's just past midnight here & I'm off
to bed, I guess by the morning the BIN will of been taken.

Morning has broken & nobody has taken it, wow & at such a bargain price with £500 off. What's going on guys? I've
now added a best offer option to the ebay listing. Bring on all those massive bids!

May 2nd update...
My early morning email check & what a shock. There was an email from ebay saying the Kings had been sold for my
BIN price of £3333.00. Oh my! I quickly checked the ebay username to see it was a zero feedback buyer from
Hollywood with a highly unlikely moniker. My presumption - a wind up! Having received a few emails from fellow
collectors calling me a lucky this, a lucky that & plenty of a lucky other, one suggested that it might be for real, as a
couple from Hollywood bought some hefty pieces at the very last Christies corkscrew auction. I therefore sent an
invoice, requesting payment by Paypal. I'm reserving judgement now - I will let you know of any developments.

May 3rd update...
No money & no contact :( Maybe this buyer is far too busy counting their Hollywood dough & has forgot to transfer the
3k to my Paypal account?

May 4th update...
I've given up the ghost, the deal is dead, there's been no contact, no money, so the dream is over. Any chance of
joining my mates at the Boston CCCC has gone & all thanks to glamour_girl_cc from Hollywood. I'm off to claim my
fees back :( At least I get to keep the corkscrew :)

May 10th update...
It's not as simple as ABC claiming fees back from ebay due to typical bureaucracy but finally today I was able to claim
back the £200 fees. Hope you enjoyed having a laugh at my expense glamour_girl_cc.
May 10th 2010
Call me a fruit cake but....
How can a Tory MP get re-elected with an increased majority when he
claims the following expenses to be paid for by you & me?

Expenses for houskeeper £2433
Television £728
House sign £100
Service cost for Aga oven £341
Tree surgery £2749
One years house insurance £1157

Just a selected sample for you but in total, Mr Arbuthnot has claimed
£108,062 over the past five years - the maximum amount possible. When
the fees office deducted some of his payments during the 2005 general
election, Mr Arbuthnot queried their calculations, writing: “In practice, I will
easily exceed the ACA limit of £20,000-odd, but I should be grateful to
have this cleared up.”

Apparently he has paid back the £100's he claimed for cleaning his
mansions swimming pool & mowing his acres of lawn - oh good on you

Source - Daily Telegraph - MPs Expenses.

Expense scoundrel James
Arbuthnot MP

Enjoying an increased majority
in Hampshire North East -

I suppose running a £2million
mansion must be tough James
Arbuthnot MP - no doubt soon
to be Sir James Arbuthnot for
services to mankind & politics.
Gobby Gorilla says...
"I reckon James Arbuthnot MP deserves the finger
because he has let you, me & the whole of the United
Kingdom down".
May 10th 2010
A stunning
Henshall at
Shepton Mallet

Took a trip to the Shepton
Mallet antique fair last Friday &
managed to buy a few
corkscrews including this
stunning Bone handled Henshall
type corkscrew.

It's probably the most impressive
Bone handled Henshall I've ever
seen, boasting a superb faceted
octagonal detail on the shank
which is mirrored by the very
unusual octagonal button. This
one will sit very nicely in the
collection. I now have three
Bone handled Henshalls in the
collection after 8 years of
collecting - they are all pretty
tasty pieces though :)
May 11th 2010
Drummer wanted

The drum animal aka Ian Boffin has
decided to leave Broken Helix - very sad
news indeed. Ian will be concentrating on
his electronic two piece group Redpoint.
Check out Redpoints

As Broken Helix have gig commitments &
the rest of us want to keep going I've
stepped in on the drums. However, I'm no
Keith Moon & there is no doubt Ian's
incredible drumming ability will be missed.

Do you play drums to a good standard?
Could you get to rehearsals in Staines,
Middlesex weekly throughout the Summer?
Happy to gig? Drop me a line.
Ian Boffin The Drum Animal at work
May 26th 2010
A few arrivals

I haven't been particularly pro-active with the
corkscrews lately. Other things have grabbed my
attention. Family, friends, BBQ's in the sun,
drumming & late night poker sessions have all
divided my spare time. Still managed to do some
deals, including the three shown. Unfortunately, the
Cotterill chap has decided to keep the corkscrew as
he says he is fascinated by the mechanics & likes the
fact it is a link to his past. Apparently, his family were
all Quakers & therefore it is quite mysterious how a
corkscrew was amongst their belongings. Maybe I
should of offered more than £250, lol. Joking!! The
wait goes on then to own a Cotterill but as the thrill is
mostly in the chase that's fine by me. One day!
May 26th 2010
Why do people take forever to reply to emails?

A million & one reasons I suppose. I remember when I was selling
regularly on ebay, if I didn't reply to an email within 24 hours some people
would send another email suggesting that I was ignoring them. Quite
bizarre after a day but there you go. In truth I try to get back pretty
quickly. Currently I'm waiting to settle two separate ICCA auction
purchases & despite three weeks passing & a reminder sent by me, it
seems these people don't want my money. Shouldn't they just send me an
invoice so I can pay? All my ICCA sales were invoiced within a day. I
reckon some of these sellers have a bad case of
I don't reply to your emails Peter cause I
don't give a toss & I've got loads of
June 10th 2010
C'mon England
For those of you that check my Blog out I can only apologies for the recent lack of corkscrew news.
This weekend I'm off on a road trip with fellow collector Steven "Webby" Webb. We will be navigating
his camper van via antique centres galore in Hampshire & Surrey, ending up at another collector, Jim
Edgar's house in Kent for a World Cup England v USA curry night. The following day Jim is hosting an
ABCDE (Any bloody corkscrew does Edgar, or is it Association of British Corkscrew Devotees and
Enthusiasts?) meeting. Therefore I'm expecting some gossip & will be reporting back soon.

In the meantime, please allow me to indulge myself

It's not enough that we do our best - sometimes we have to do what's required.

England 1966/2010

2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa
June 11th 2010
The Night before the big one

The question is who will partner Rooney upfront? What about Underwood? Will he tackle a Madrass or
could he possibly go one on one with a Vindaloo? Plenty of talk about who will stand in for Rio, my bet
is King will play & shine come to that. What about Webb, will the distractions in the Edgar stadium put
him off his game, can he manage to get through the whole game without mentioning the word
corkscrew or asking how much something is worth? I doubt it!

The cheap football lager is packed as are the spare undies, a toothbrush, oh & one extra shirt & a can
of deodorant. I will be wearing my England World Cup T shirt with pride & I am officially ready for the
World Cup Corkscrew weekend.

Thanks to my corkscrew friend Jeremy Astfalck for sending in the photos below. Jeremy owns THE
OLD CORKSCREW shop at Franschhoek in the Winelands of the Western Cape in South Africa where
he sells top notch antiques including plenty of quality silver & a large selection of antique corkscrews.
You can also visit
THE OLD CORKSCREW online where you'll always find some very good antique
corkscrews for sale.

Have a great World Cup Jeremy!
June 14th 2010
Corkscrew road trip/ABCDE Meeting

Back from the corkscrew road trip. A great time was had by all, no, a brilliant time was had by all! Mega thanks to Jim & Liz Edgar for
being fantastic hosts. Not even a poor England performance could sour what was a great corkscrew adventure.

The corkscrew road trip to Jim's house near Tunbridge Wells commenced at around 11:00 on Saturday morning when I was picked
up by Steven Webb in his famous corkscrew hunting camper van. It's the first time I've taken a trip in Webby's camper, an incredible
beast of a camper with techy gear with flashing lights all over the dash. I've never seen anything like it - quite incredible! A low down -
Corkscrew finding navigation GPS, detachable dash metal detector for interesting looking fields & he even has corkscrew dealer
recognition software which bleeps if a corkscrew dealer is within a 10 mile radius. Webby said when it bleeps the van automatically
detours. I didn't even realise all that stuff was out there. Sadly, the high tech van wasn't working that well & despite several stops at
many multi dealer antique shops the 100 mile trip yielded one small peg & worm.

We arrived at Jim's house at around 5:30 receiving a lovely warm welcome from Liz before joining Jim, Liz, Tim Underwood & his
partner Dawn in the spectacular garden boasting absolutely stunning views. The sun was shining & the agenda was booze, curry &
gossip, oh & plenty of TU one liners. Time check, 7:25, time to get inside for the footee. Four minutes into the match & a really weird
TV moment as ITV hit an unexpected ad break, wtf!!^*! footee comes back on & England are 1-0 up, yeah! some general jumping
around while sitting down - yes that is possible. Unfortunately, the rest of the game was forgettable & as for the equaliser from USA,
very embarrassing. Final score 1-1, not good, not a disaster but plenty of room for major improvement which has to be a positive.
Post match & a bigger event as Webb/Borrett went head to head with Edgar/Edgar in a 3 set table tennis match. Despite my best
efforts trying to coach Webby through the game he continually seemed to be aiming for the surrounding pot plants forgetting the idea
was to land it on the opponents side of the table. I was clearly a natural but despite my best efforts we went down 3-0 in a very
comfortable win for the dream home team William "The Hitman" Edgar & Jim "I'll put you in a spin" Edgar. Back indoors for more
booze & after getting beaten up by Jim on the Wii, Webby & I headed off to the camper to settle down for some well needed beauty

Day two, 9:00 am, bacon butty time - Webby got to work frying up. Soon sat down stuffing face with said bacon butties & I struck a
deal to buy a few pieces that Webby brought with him to sell. Jim soon came knocking & Tim & Dawn were also up & about, they
decided to take a trip to Tunbridge Wells. We headed indoors with Jim to see his collection. For those of you that don't know Jim, he
has been collecting for around 15 years & now has a clear focus - English corkscrews, primarily Thomason & Henshalls but he also
has a liking for pegs & levers. He has an amazing collection, many variations I've never seen & quite beautifully displayed. I was a
drooling dog. Jim & Steven worked a deal - eventually. Jim traded some lovely pegs - Steven traded a very nice Page. I think there
was a Thomason in the trade, I think there was some cash in the trade, anyway both were smiling & happy with the outcome.
Hey Webby, heck of a van.
Jim & Tim check out the corkscrew hunting
dash. That's incredible!
Webby frying up
Great piece Jim!
Drawers full of Henshall corkscrews
A beautiful display

In no time the collectors arrived, first Stephen Paul with wife Leslie followed at regular intervals by others who mostly were carrying
bags, cases or cardboard boxes full of corkscrews. Before you could say "Jim's got a lovely bunch of Henshalls" the corkscrews
were being emptied on to various tables & hands were grabbing away. There were some good corkscrews, bad corkscrews, ugly
corkscrews, some very expensive corkscrews, enough for even the most picky collector to find something up their alley. I bought
some super pieces for the collection & some great pieces to move on, I am delighted :)  

Soon, a very tasty lunch was served
by Liz (thanks again Liz, a
wonderful hostess) with puds, two
made by Rachel, Jim & Liz's
daughter (thanks Rachel). Everyone
tucked in & gleefully chomped away
& plenty were spotted heading back
for seconds. After checking out the
goodies for sale one more time I
managed to find another three
pieces to buy to make the most of
the corkscrew for sale bonanza
opportunity. Finally & after a couple
of quick games of table tennis, a
last beer & a cuppa it was time to
say our goodbyes & head for home.
It was a great day. Thanks to
everyone for making it so &
especially our super hosts - the
Edgar family.
Jim welcomes Stephen & Leslie Paul
The corkscrews are out!
Say cheese Paul!
Peter Carr grabs the attention
Well done champs! The Hitman &
Spinmaster pose for the camera
A bag full of corkscrews - what a great trip!
June 24th 2010
A cork that I nearly
threw away

I bought this Vaughan registered
design Codd bottle opener &
corkscrew last week at the ABCDE
meeting at Jim Edgar's house.

When I first picked it up I thought it was
a bit weird that there was a cork at one
end. All a bit strange - I assumed
someone had just found some cork to
place over the codd opener to protect
it. Anyway, I was pleased to buy it.

A couple of days back I was flicking
through Frank & Barbara Ellis's book
on registered designs & read that at
least two examples are known with a
cork protector that covers the codd
opener. At this point I was somewhat
concerned whether I'd chucked the
cork away. Fortunately, I hadn't & on
inspection the cork is clearly original &
made to measure, a snug fit.

I need to read my books!
June 24th 2010

There's a chap from Romania who seems to be buying most of the best
corkscrews ebay has to offer - code name FOTODEAL.

Now that ebay protects identities the only way to find out who bought a piece is
by feedback numbers. For Fotodeal he's a red star & currently with around a
4700 score. With amazing regularity the winning bidder of the top end
corkscrews has his profile. He sometimes wins pieces for 5 x the market value
which has made some people think he puts a potential reckless bid in his
sniper for anything he wants such as $10,000, on the basis that he wins
everything he bids for & the market will dictate his price - sometimes high,
sometimes low but mostly where the market should be. An interesting theory
which I think is possible. I've personally never noted him being the under
bidder (have you?) on a corkscrew which backs the argument.

I did have a look to see what he bought, via completed listings & noted about
$25,000 of purchases in one calender month. Not all corkscrews but quite a
few very nice ones.

The trouble with these big rollers is out bidding them! I was checking ebay US
a week or so ago a saw what appeared to be a good plated AMOR folding
couple corkscrew. I put a strong bid in my sniper as I considered it would be a
good collection piece. I ended up as the under bidder, doh & gggrrrrrr!!! & yes
the high bidder was Fotodeal.

Today I got a nice surprise when I received a legitimate second chance offer
for the piece. The seller saying that the buyer had not paid within her specified
timescale so I speedily hit the buy button & then the Paypal button.

So, a very nice piece heading to Calleva! I think that is the only way I'll ever
beat Fotodeal to a corkscrew.
July 4th 2010
Back from holiday

Had a great week away in sunny Cornwall with my girls. I
managed to avoid the antique shops & even stayed
away from a very large antique fair just a few miles from
where we were staying, near Padstow. Wasn't I a good
boy? Sometimes a corkscrew detox is just what the
doctor ordered.

Due to my holiday there's little corkscrew news to report.
I did however win a super Heeley Thomason at auction
yesterday. I've had a few average examples which I've
moved on, this one is a definite collection piece.
July 7th 2010
The John Burton Collection at Woolley & Wallis

Yesterday was a good day for anyone who wanted a corkscrew fix. It was the sale of John Burton's collection of
corkscrews & champagne taps at Woolley & Wallis auctioneers in Salisbury.

I had planned to view the lots mid morning but due to a squash court calf pull the night before I decided I'd get
there first thing to claim one of the limited car parking spaces outside the auction house & avoid a long limp from
the public car park 1/2 a mile down the road.

I arrived to a shut shop but in no time the doors opened & I was amongst the corkscrews & taps. I slowly
inspected every one of the 200 lots & lined bids up on everything, hoping that my Masterplan would pick up a
couple of unwanted lots cheap,cheap, cheap. There was some very nice taps, many I've not seen before, there
where some good corkscrews too, all in all, pretty much something for everyone. Soon familiar voices were heard
as other collectors & dealers arrived. The porters were kept busy grabbing the various lots for inspection. After
about two hours of viewing I was done. The note book was full with my bids.  

With around four hours to kill before the corkscrew lots came up I headed off with Ilya, Webby & Gavin for a
coffee fix where we bumped into Patricia Harbottle & John Ericson. After a while we all headed our separate ways
& agreed to meet up for lunch at the Red Lion, a historic pub in the town centre. Webby apparently went off to
fondle a giant giraffe, all a bit weird! I looked around town, wandered into a music shop & drooled at a couple of
guitars before I stumbled across a very large multi dealer antique shop where I found nothing :(

I headed to the Red Lion early, Richard Stevenson soon turned up as did the others. We had a good laugh,
shared a few corkscrew yarns, drunk a few beers & enjoyed a very good lunch all in glorious sunshine.
Wahoooo! It's time to go - 3 O'clock! We headed off to the auction.

On arrival we still had to wait for about 50 more lots to come & go but it was finally time to find our spots in the
auction room. Comfy seat, back of the room? I settled for a comfy seat, the others settled for a comfy seat too.
We were all quite spread out looking for a little discretion. Next time I'm going to take a mirror so I can see what
everyone is up to! The Peter Coldicott corkscrew auction last year at W+W achieved incredibly high prices so it
was going to be really interesting to see how this auction went. The first few lots went pretty high - the pattern
was set. There were a couple of chaps (If either of you ever read this, email me, I really want to be your new best
friend badly, I have other Ferd Peters books you might like) one on the left side of the room & one on the right
that were bidding on most lots. There were some mystery phone bidders & there was us lot. Us lot were enjoying
the auction but winning very little. I won 6 lots, 3 for me & 3 for a friend. Gavin won a few, Webby & Ilya won a
couple of good pieces each, Richard won a very interesting tap. Ironically, the local Salisbury boys, the Colonel &
John went home empty handed. Apparently every lot sold & the sale grossed 35k.

Some sale highlights, prices include commission:
Ferd Peters - Mechanical Corkscrew book - £180 te he
Gothic Thomason £1104
Wulfruna & a Perpetual £336 oooh er
Whistle roundlet £312
A pile of tat £320 ha ha
Full results can be found at

My Masterplan didn't work. Still, a good day out & a great corkscrew fix!
Wow, look Gav a corkscrew!
Cheers to you too Richard.
I'll see your bow & raise you a Farrow &
Gav & Ilya - the cool guys
The magic number
The auctioneer at work
Richard, can you ask Webby for a pen
when the Gothic comes up to give me a
clear run? Thanks mate!
Ilya in confidential mode
The Colonel in confidential mode but
taking it a bit too far & being rather silly, lol.
July 8th 2010
Memories from Brimfield

Was it really five years ago? Yes, it was. September 2005 I headed to the US to
team up with fellow corkscrew collector Chris Bristow, who at that time lived in New
York. Our plan - to make our fortune selling corkscrews & wine collectibles at the
largest US antique market/fair at Brimfiled in Massachusettes. Not only were we
going to make our fortune selling we were going to find jewells a plenty. Probably a
couple of golden knights each, pretty much every decent American patent, etc, etc.
You know how the mind works!

Had an awesome trip. Chris was terrific company & we had a right good laugh all
week long. Chris bought a canopy tent, various display units & racks, he went to a
lot of effort & the pitch looked great! In truth though the corkscrew collectors were
few & far between. We only met Barry Taylor & Mike Gordon at our pitch & the only
other corkscrew dealer at Brimfield was Andre Burgos. Things seem a little different
now, what with Josef, Tommy & others making regular trips. From a selling point of
view, I made enough to cover my half of the hotel bill & pitch cost, it certainly wasn't
a profitable experience. I don't think Chris faired any better. From a buying
perspective, you can imagine we thought we'd fill our boots full of wonder buys but
we didn't find one good piece between us :( just a few minor pieces that had a profit
in them.

The stuff we sold looked like it went to regular dealers who sniffed a potential profit,
a couple of pieces were sold as gifts. Hey boys - look at all that cool stock :-p I
reckon Tommy & Josef would fall over there tongues if they found a stall like ours at
the next Brimfield show. Where were you in 2005 boys??

Our evenings were spent sharing hard luck stories over a beer in a very nice nearby
pub - The Admiral O'Brien. We ate well there too, I remember having a starter of
shrimp arriving on a plate big enough to hold a 16oz steak :o Barry ate with us one
night & I recall working a trade with him, not entirely sure what the trade was. Seem
to remember a multi bow & one of those Volstead spoons as part of the deal. I'm
sure that shrewd Barry got the better of me.

Back at the Hotel & Chris spent his evening chatting away or watching TV while
polishing various corkscrews. Chris definitely has a polishing fetish. I prefer my
corkscrews a bit more rough & ready. That's probably why Chris sells his stuff for
more. Maybe I should buy some polish.

In no time the week was up & we headed back to New York. It was a fabulous trip,
one that I hope I'll do again one day. I'd highly recommend anyone take a trip to
Brimfield - It'll be more for a social than finding corkscrews though.
July 8th 2010
The Cats are away so the mice can play

This is just in from Graeme Nott...

"So the 6th of July arrived and I had decided not to go down to Salisbury to the sale as it
is quite a trek from East Sussex and I thought it had been so well advertised that I would
probably get blown out of the water with my modest budget, so I was off to work as
usual.  I was about to leave for work and I thought, I will check ebay while all those other
corkscrew mad guys are going to be on their way to the sale or already examining the
lots.  Unbelievably staring back at me at the top of the page was a slightly blurred picture
of a narrow barrel Thomason type with a BIN at £175.00 I grabbed it, it arrived today and
is a really good piece (see pics).  I don't think anything I might have achieved at the
auction could have bettered this."
I wish I'd stayed at home - Great buy Graeme!

You do realise that the Colonel will be deeply disturbed by this purchase. He prides
himself on sitting on his computer from 7:00 a.m until midnight asking for BINS on ebay
UK. The one day he takes a day trip he misses a big one. He will not be pleased!
July 10th 2010
Back from the World Cup

Jim Edgar was lucky enough to visit South Africa
for the World Cup with tickets for the second &
third England group games. Shame about the
second game, 0-0 with Algeria, rubbish England!!
At least the third was a better which gave us
English fans some hope going into the last 16. We
all know what happened next though!

Jim looks pretty cheery in this photo & why not,
he's outside Jeremy Astfalck's shop "The Old
Corkscrew" which is full of, yes, old corkscrews. If
you ever get to the Winelands of Western Cape be
sure to pop in & say hi to Jeremy from me.
July 29th 2010
Two Great Recent Buys

Has been relatively quiet on the corkscrew hunting front lately. However, a few good
corkscrews have been purchased, including this very cool 1881 Codd & corkscrew
manufactured by Hipkins.

Better still, bought this great Roland digital drum kit to hopefully improve my drumming
skills. Just what Ruthie wanted - more noise!!
July 29th 2010
Corkscrews Online Website Update

Over 100 corkscrews currently being added to the for sale pages.

Be sure to check it out!
Corkscrews for sale
August 3rd 2010
WAHOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!! I GOT A BUY IT NOW

A fire damaged & handle free Autumnal Fruits Thomason
marked "Patent" for 50 smackers. It arrived today & it is
definitely fire damaged & definitely handle free + it has
the added bonus of a whopping great big dent in the
barrel. I know how to do Buy it nows in style.
August 10th 2010
I'm on a Buy It Now roll

A couple of days back I bagged this
nice, could it be? I think it probably is
;) but lets call it a Henshall type, for
£20 on ebay. Thanks Mr Seller!

I love it when that BIN button
suddenly appears :P

August 10th 2010
A Fly Past

This very nice looking Hootch
Owl corkscrew briefly
perched nearby. I was close,
but not close enough to
reaching up & catching this
wise old bird & locking it up in
my corkscrew Avery.
Unfortunately for me & for a
buddy in the US who was also
aware, we could only watch
as it flew away to ebayland. It
will be listed on ebay US
tonight with a very hefty price
August 10th 2010
The Corkscrew Buy It Now Pie

With a couple of recent ebay Buy It Nows behind me I'm definitely currently in the BIN zone. Seeing as
there are quite a number of us who are well up for an ebay "BUY IT NOW", lets have a challenge.

From 16th August 2010 until midnight (GMT) 30th September 2010, lets go head to head in a BIN

Simple rules as follows:
1. Items (corkscrews only) true value has to be more than £100/$150, tight calls my decision.
2. Item has to of had an added BIN (revised listing) & not originally listed as a BIN. Grabbing someone
elses BIN is all good work!
3. Item must be purchased for one half or less of the true value, tight calls my decision.
4. Report your BINs with your name & the ebay listing link or ebay item number to:
5. Each item will be recorded & then the Binner's good work will be reported on this page & he/she will
be rewarded with one slice of the corkscrew pie.
6. One slice of pie per BIN.
The winner will be whoever ends up with most pieces of the Corkscrew Pie!
August 19th 2010
Pieless atm

I have asked for a couple of BINs but there isn't
really that much to ask about. Unfortunately, the
sellers aren't biting, gggggrrrrrrr. Don't forget to
report any Buy It Nows to the Corkscrews Online
Buy It Now reporting department to claim your
piece of pie.

I did just get an EIN for this Bone direct pull with a
very cool auger type worm. But rules are rules, so
no pie for this one.
August 20th 2010

I was up before the larks yesterday, 3:50 early, ooooh er. Two
flasks made & the extra large sandwich box filled & I soon was on
my way to the Newark antique fair - my first visit for a year & a
half. The weather was good, new CD of Amy's Ghost on - great
band by the way, Maltesers strategically placed on passenger
seat all helped the journey which was good, it didn't seem to drag

I arrived just after 7:00 & parked up. Got my gear together & then
headed off to find a get in early ticket. I found a get in early ticket
from a man in a white van who had a sidekick, a pug type dog
called "Dougie". As dogs go Dougie was nice enough but he did
have a licking fetish, I couldn't stop him licking my face, if I wasn't
fully awake before I was after a couple of minutes with Dougie the
dog's slobber flying around. I was pleased when a few minutes
later I was in the fair & off looking for the corkscrew jewels.

I went off to find a chap that had a few bits put to one side as well
as a number of possibles. Agreed on about 8 pieces & then
started the general hunt. In all honesty, I found just one piece on
the early ticket, so hardly worth it, most sellers just weren't getting
there stuff out quick enough.

9:00 & the stampede of the doors opening. By now, the tables
were pretty much full of collectibles & I started to pick up various
pieces. As the day developed, the corkscrew radar seemed more in tune & the bag was starting to
feel quite weighty. A few nice pieces came my way from fellow collectors & dealers that I met up with
including a Henshall from the Colonel (see Blog below). It was nice to bump into Wally & share a
coffee & an update. Wally has been very poorly, so great to see up & about.
By the end of the day/hunt, I was
chuffed with my corkscrew haul,
a really cracking day out. Will
look forward to February 2012,
my next scheduled visit. I've got
a sneaky feeling I might just get
up there before!

All spent out - a cracking day at
August 20th 2010
Trading with the

As mentioned in the Newark Blog I
aquired an original Henshall
yesterday from the Colonel (Stephen
Paul). In a tense coffee negotiation I
agreed to part with a very nice, fully
marked Compound Thomason & the
Colonel parted with his Henshall &

The Compound is a great piece,
some minor handle issue but
probably 8/10. However, the
Henshall, although being the real
deal has bad pitting on the button &
only about half of the letters are
legible, mouse over the Henshall
picture to see, about 4/10.

Question is, who got the better deal?
August 24th 2010
Close but no cigar or pie

News in from Josef "The Binner" L'Africain who
managed a Buy It Now on the three corkscrews
in the bottom picture for $50. The lot includes
a Dainty pocket folder which is quite sort after.
Unfortunately too borderline for a piece of pie
but a jolly good effort. Josef also mentioned
another BIN that he lined up only to be
distracted by contractors to find someone else
had taken it. Anything to say about that
Graeme? Lol. £30 for the lovely little
chatelaine perfume bow, not quite at the
required pie portion £100 but has to be a
cracking buy @ £30.

My money is still on Josef to be served with the
first portion of corkscrew pie. No sleep Josef -
keep drinking the coffee - keep refreshing the
listings - you have your reputation to protect!
August 25th 2010
Who's been bidding
on my Manor?
I thought all the Berkshire
corkscrews were mine by rights?
Just missed out on a Loach
patent at a nearby auctioneers.
It has a few issues but how often
do you see a Loach? Well done
Mr X, Y, Z or whoever you are.
September 1st 2010
A Busy Day

Quick meet with Boris outside
no 10 - Drop Hols off to the
Whitehouse to meet Barack -
Grapple with The Hulk -
Swimming with the ebay
piranhas - Cuddle the Mrs -
jump in a giant space age egg
capsule with windows & check
out the awesome views of
Congratulations to Josef L'Africain who has
been awarded a piece of ebay buy it now
corkscrew pie for item number 300462561808
3 Old Corkscrews which includes a Duck Bill
German registered design. Bought for $45.00
& worth the $150 required for a portion. This
currently means - Josef owns the complete pie.
Come on chaps & chapesses we can't let
things stay that way.
Now please stand & pay respect to our first brave & gallant Binner. We salute you for your

Josef's Pie Award Ceromony
September 3rd 2010
Damn Rules!

So, England are playing the first Euro qualifier, it's on TV & I think I'll see
what it's really like to be Josef L'Africain. So I sit down with TV remote, a
cafetierre full of strong coffee to keep me alert, 4 cans of London Pride
bitter to counter the over alertness & most importantly the lap top
conveniently placed on lap with ebay UK on auto refresh. After 20
minutes of auto refresh one of those celluloid elephant corkscrews worth
about £120-140 turns up. Oooooh, I thought, potential pie. Listing
starting at 99p & on for three days, a prime target. I asked for a £40 BIN
& got an email back saying yes, fine, but they would end the auction
rather than add a BIN. That's the first time I've been upset getting an end
it now as it means no bloody pie :( I do get a cheap elephant though :)

This follows Robert Leopardi's similar pieless ebay corkscrew when a
seller decided his offer was on the money for a Griswold patent that the
seller listed as a Bennit. Rather than adding a BIN they agreed a EIN.

As Brucey would say - "You get nothing for an End It Now - not in this
Has anyone got any corkscrew news to report?
Drop me a line with anything that might be of interest to others
& I'll stick it on this Blog
September 6th 2010
Masked Corkscrew Mauler Pie Claim

Another member of the ICCA (International Correspondence
of Corkscrew Addicts) who wants to be known under the
anonymity of The Masked Corkscrew Mauler is claiming a
portion of corkscrew buy it now pie. Ebay item number
250688315897 bought by the Mauler and relisted from item
250687396470 after a BIN price with the seller was agreed.

Having studied my own rules Mauler, it does state a revised listing & not a new listing, so no pie I'm
afraid. Looks like you've just lost to a TKO.

The ICCA club sounds a blast. You guys with all your Binning work are definitely up my alley.
September 8th 2010
Yes, yes, yes - I am MAD!!

So, I get to the Ardingly showground at around
6:20 am, park the car, grab the bag full of
grub, the leak proof coffee flask & the all
important waterproofs & go looking for an early
entry ticket. Found a ticket from a South
London antique dealer who didn't have a
slobber dog but did have an antique tale or two
about "The good old days" to pass the 20 odd
minute wait to get in the fair. Once at his pitch,
I snapped myself out of the good old days
trance & was soon among the empty stalls,
seeing pretty much nothing & similar to  
Newark, the early ticket was proving fruitless. 8:30, over an hour & a half into the early ticket & I bought a
couple of German pieces that were a borderline buy, I could of quite easily walked on by. Maybe a touch of
desperation? By now, the stalls were finally filling up & close to being ready for the 9:00 opening. Down one
aisle I picked up a couple of more interesting pieces, a French lazy tong, Le Policinelle, a more unusual
variant of this corkscrew with a brass handle. Also bought what I believe is quite a scarce French double
lever corkscrew, it doesn't look like much but to the right geeky collector it will be very well received, this was
the bargain of the day at £2.00 - that's more like it! A few other minor buys followed but in truth it was hard
work. My legs were aching after 3 complete walks around the complete showground. I guess I gave myself
the best chance of finding a Jones II it just wasn't meant to be. This time!
September 9th 2010
Woodman Patent at last!!!

Of all the American patents, the one that I've
always wanted is a Woodman's Patent.
During my Brimfield trip with Chris Bristow in
2005 we took a trip to the Student Prince in
Springfield, near Boston, a pub known for a
huge glassed display crammed full of
corkscrews that covers the entire length of
the restaurant wall on one side. I saw a
Woodman there & thought - how cool.

The latest one to surface on ebay just
finished & luckily my snipe bid was successful
- yeah! Can't wait to see it!

Wiber B Woodman patented this corkscrew on June 29th 1886 but very strangely, all Woodman corkscrews
are marked Patd Jan 6 1888. Rumour has it, that during a dangerous, cross country trip in the very wildest
of the Wild West & while on route to get his new patent made, Wiber suffered concussion when he fell from
his normally trusty horse Custer, who reared after seeing Chief Hiawatha & a few of his mates approaching.
Poor Wiber bashed his head on a rock & was out for the count. When he came too & finally got to the
corkscrew branding yard he inadvertently got the date all messed up. I bet you didn't know that?

Wiber & his steed Custer who still seems to have half an eye on Chief Hiawatha.

If you have a Woodman's Patent corkscrew I'd love to buy it from you - they look great in pairs.
Drop me a line
Are you excited about a recent corkscrew find? Is there
something corkscrewy on your mind that you'd like to share
with others? Come on - get yourself involved. Drop me a line &
I'll stick it on this Blog
September 9th 2010

As part of a website face lift I want to update the corkscrew guide section of Corkscrews
Online. I would like to make it a comprehensive, detailed & informative guide that will be of
interest to one & all. I want to cover anything with a dateline prior to the 1950's & base the
guide on English, French, German & American designs but also touching on Dutch silver,
etc. Within the section I also want to discuss displaying, caring for pieces, restoring &
have informative videos showing collections & maybe collectors talking about specifics.

I think this project will be a year in the making. I will need articles, information, pictures,
videos, presumptions, thoughts, etc

If you would like to contribute with full credit please let me know.

The countdown is on - join me in making the most comprehensive corkscrew
guide on the web.

September 9th 2010 Update Plea
I'm specifically now looking for people passionate about French
corkscrews & German corkscrews. You'll get full credit for your work.
Please step forward if you would like to be involved in the most
comprehensive corkscrew guide anywhere on the WWW.

Antique & Vintage Corkscrew Guide

Launching 7th April 2011
September 9th 2010
Flying at half mast

Oh deary, deary me. Them
there pie rules are causing to
be quite a problem. First, the
Colonel pulls item #
170534256281, an original
Thomason corkscrew for £100
on a revised Buy It Now. All OK
so far, but the rules state it has
to be worth double the BIN
price. With half a handle & a badly dented barrel I decided in its current form it wasn't. Think that's fair enough.

Just in from Robert Leopardi is a request for pie for item # 190441018474, a set of ladies legs with green &
white stripy stocking which he got a revised BIN for @ $250.00. Like I say, deary, deary me. Same rule
applies, musty be worth double the BIN price & they don't normally sell in the $500 range so Robert is foiled
yet again. I suddenly feel a bit like Ebenezer Scrooge. Sorry guys.
To make you both feel a bit better
I'm flying your respective flags at
half mast in tribute to a good effort
& a very near miss. I've been close
myself with a couple of End It Nows,
so I do feel your pie hurt.

BINS should be about the deal, so
half the true value is fair enough.

Come on guys, get yourself back
on the refresh button but remember
1. Must be a revised BIN 2. Must be
worth £100/$150 minimum & 3.The
BIN price must be half the true
value & the sweet taste of pie will
be coming your way.
September 11th 2010
How much for a Will & Finck?

From time to time I get an email from people wanting to know how
much a corkscrew is worth & on many occasions the
accompanying image files have names such as ebay 12 or ebay
corkscrew, so my attempts to try & buy these pieces are pretty
much in vain.

Today I received an email from someone who asked about the
value of their Will & Finck corkscrew. Not a fancy bone example
but a more modest stag handled piece with a foil cutter. Not really
my thing but I suggested $120 & said I'd be happy to buy it should
they ever decide to sell. I think there could be a fair chance that
this chap wants to sell the piece as this time, the image files are
named craigslist home 005, 007 etc.

So, you chaps that spend 3 hours every couple of days checking
every single US town on Craigslist, about 300 or so - get to work
on this hot lead & good luck! Let me know who gets it. If by a
miracle this chap accepts my offer I'll let you know to save you the
hassle of finding this needle in the Craigslist haystack.

It's been a good year for adding good quality silver pockets to my
collection. Today I picked this nice piece up at auction in Dorset. If
anyone out there has good examples & want to trade let me know.
Anything on my for sale pages could be trade bait.
September 14th 2010
Tis a beautiful thing

What a good laugh Angela is. You'll find her at Kempton
Park antique fair in London every second & last
Tuesday of the month, except December, when the fair
is just the second Tuesday. Be sure to drop off your
Vine Root corkscrews @ £1.00 a pop, lol. Angela's pitch,
via the main gate road entrance is....through 1st gates
on the right & then the very first pitch on the left, pretty
much by the gate. She always has a few French
corkscrew for sale. Tell her, Peter says "Hi".

On another note, I was delighted to pick up this beautiful
Henshall type at Kempton this morning. Corkscrews as
beautiful as this make the very early start & journey
more than worthwhile. Thank you Mr Seller!
September 22nd 2010
I now know how the
other half live

Last weekend was a corkscrew
free zone. Ruth, Hols & I were
invited to a family birthday
celebration weekend at a very
posh venue - Tylney Hall in the
depths of Berkshire. What a
stonking good time we had!

Years of travelling the UK selling
plastic materials & staying in
various hotels & I'd never stayed
in anywhere quite so upmarket.

Porter to carry bags - oooh er, a
fabulous suite, with a bed big
enough to sleep six, a Harp
playing in the background while
we munched on tasty canapes,
two days of silver service eating
with great food to boot, plus all
the leisure facilities you could
ever want. Brilliant, brilliant,

Quite funny... the car park with
Jags, Lotus, Beemers, one Ferrari
was spotted, oh yes & our
Hyundai Getz, lol.

My lovely niece Katie & I were
plonked on the end of the table.
We referred to it as the naughty
step end. When we asked for a
couple of flaming Sambucas to
cap off Saturday nights meal
eyebrows were seen being raised.

What a great weekend!
September 23rd 2010
The First Rule of Binning is?

Don't go to bed until you get the BIN.

Poor Gav doesn't have a cheeky grin today, in fact he
probably looks quite grumpy. All his BIN hunting hard
work went to waste last night after he decided to hit the
sack 15 minutes after asking for a $50 BIN for an
interesting Whistle picnic corkscrew.

While he was in noddy land, the seller got back saying
"OK" & added the BIN, no 320594244805. Who else but
Josef "the binner" L'Africain was in the right place at the
right time (sound familiar?) to grab the BIN, ha, ha.

As the listing was revised to a BIN, must be worth
around $150 & was bought for less than half in $50,
Josef receives his second piece of pie & appears to
have an unassailable lead now, with just over a week of
the challenge to go.

In other news - The Masked Corkscrew Mauler is at it
again. This time he grappled with a seller in France &
landed a decent French piece for about half the money.
Unfortunately, the rules beat him again, as the piece
was relisted as a BIN & not revised. Don't the ICCA
teach you anything Mauler? Learn the rules.

Keep refreshing chaps. Time is running out. Maybe
Josef does have it all wrapped up but surely someone
else can get a piece of pie?
To confirm....

That ebay refreshing junkie Josef L'Africain
now has two pieces of pie. Heck, he owns the
complete pie!
23rd September 2010 - Corkscrew Buy it Now Pie standings
September 27th...Just noticed
this result on ebay
Hollweg on Ebay
Could it be a World record price?
September 29th 2010
He's happy again!

I went to the Kempton antique fair
yesterday. I didn't find a bag full, but a
few pieces to move on, just about
enough to cover my petrol cost.

On the way around the fair I bumped into
the normal corkscrew collectors &
dealers & mostly the frowns said it all.
Having already bumped into Gavin early
on to share "Nothing doing" stories, I
spotted him a bit later looking at an Anri
bar set. He said that he'd bought a small
bag full of corkscrews & the best piece
was a four poster but it was a bit rough,
he didn't seem particularly excited.

Well later, much later, I picked up an
excited email from him asking me to
phone. Cutting a long story short, he
didn't realise at first, but within the bag
was a Dray.

Following some dealer interest Gav's
corkscrew value alarm was activated &
once home he found a reference.

He said its his best result yet & he is
definitely smiling again.

Good for you Gav!
September 29th 2010
PIE for Tommy!

Go Tommy! Just in, ebay item 370438864070, Syroco Pickwick, a
revised listing with a BIN of $80.00 & worth plenty more than the
$160.00 required. Rumour has it that the BIN was lined up by
Robert "The pie hunter" Leopardi, but no matter, it's all about who
hits the button, congratulations Tommy Campnell who did!

There's one day left chaps, refresh like you've never refreshed
before. There's till time to savour the sweet taste of Buy It Now
corkscrew pie.

Tommy's Pie Award Ceromony

WARNING!!! Seriously bad language
Wed 29th Sep...1 day to go & here are the current BIN
corkscrew pie standings
September 29th 2010

After the Kempton fair I headed over to Banbury for an informal get
together with some other corkscrewy people at Roy Payne's home.  

Enjoyed looking through Roy's collection & catching up with the
corkscrew chaps. Lunch in a nearby pub was tasty, bitter was good &
with Tim on hand to order the wine, that was good too, slurp.
Paul has spotted Tim's corkscrews
Paul checks the piece over, a regular
four finger pull, price tag an
unbelievable £235.00
Paul looks closer, Tim says it's well
worth the investment
The deal is done! Tim holds the cash

Back from the pub, a few deals went down, a couple of trades & a couple of cash deals for Tim. Don't
believe everything you read. The cash Tim is holding was from me, for a miniature bone handled direct pull
& & cream crackers peg in the original case. I think Paul did buy a penknife though.

Post a few deals, we received another Masterclass, this time from Roy & Paul on how to record your
collection. I wish I'd taken a couple of pictures of what these chaps do. Roy has every piece from his
collection recorded within Screwbase software & Paul has an A4 page for each & every corkscrew ever
purchased within a ring binder. The references & information were quite staggering, there was a picture of
every piece, where it was bought from, price, etc, etc, etc.... I have nothing - I am clearly rubbish.

How do you record your collection? Share, share, share with us.

Thanks to Roy & the chaps for an enjoyable afternoon.
September 30th 2010
A Different Configuration

Just in from Richard Stevenson.

Reference Brian May's article about 10 tool bows on 25th

I have acquired a 10 tool bow which is marked Nazer 31, Royal
Exchange with a different configuration; the spike has been
replaced by a carriage key. The frame is not as bulbous as
some of the others and as a result it is a tight fit to get all the
tools in particularly as the carriage key is so bulky.
Thanks for sharing Richard! Have you got another variation of a multi tool bow? Let me know & I'll add it to this
Blog to share with others.
October 1st 2010
Congratulations Josef L'Africain
The Corkscrew BIN Pie Champ

I guess it was always going to be Josef who won the
corkscrew BIN pie challenge & I get the feeling he
didn't even get out of 1st gear to win the thing.

Overall, 22 requests were made for a portion of BIN
pie but due to various rules only 4 portions were
served up. With two portions equalling half the pie,
Josef is a clear winner. Congratulations to The
Colonel & Tommy who managed a piece each.
Thanks to Gavin Maddock, Robert Leopardi,
Graeme Nott & the Masked Corkscrew Mauler for
giving the contest a right good go.

Put August & September in your 2011 diary when
battle will recommence in another corkscrew BIN
October 18th 2010
ABCDE Meet at Underwood Wines

Had a great time at the weekend with the corkscrew chaps & chapesses at the ABCDE meet & more.

The corkscrew weekend started for me at around 6 pm on Saturday night when I arrived at the Underwood wine
empire in Warwick to be met by Tim Underwood with his arm stretched out with a welcome glass of red, my type of
welcome. Jim Edgar & Steven Webb were already there, had already checked Tim's corkscrew stock & their own &
already done a deal or two. I knew I'd be too late to beat Webb to the corkscrews. Apparently Webby travelled
cross country & visited around ten antique shops in the corkscrew collecting camper van but no corkscrews were
found. After a couple more glasses, a laugh, joke & a few yarns we were off. I left my car outside the wine
warehouse, I believe Jim left his car inside the wine warehouse, which I could understand as Jim's very tasty new
Jag is in the 80k range. I jumped in Webby's camper & we followed Tim & Jim to find our pitch for the night, a local
car park which was conveniently near to one of Tim's local boozers, which of course was visited. I soon realised
that Tim was somewhat of a local celebrity, the bar Cheers on TV & Norm came to mind, everyone in the pub
knows his name. After a swift pint we left, that is, when Tim had said goodbye to pretty much everyone he passed
on the way to the exit. Apparently Tim shares his drinking business around, so the other Warwick pubs & bars
know him equally as well.

We headed off to Tim's house in Warwick centre, a fabulous 16th century terrace, furnished with style, with plenty
of antique furniture & collectibles to admire but with a quirky homely touch too. We enjoyed a feast of Chinese
take-away washed down with six bottles of red & a 1963 port from Tim's cellar to cap off the night. It was a great
fun evening shared with Dawn, Tim's better half. The slurs became more slurry as the night developed, Webby
threw the towel in half way through with the early signs of chronic liver disease, badly bloodshot eyes, asking for
water & refusing more wine. The rest of us kept the pace up & clearly have good quality livers or have I got that
the wrong way round? When I suggested a toast to our host, Jim decided to throw the contents of his full glass of
red on Tim's 1950's table - ooooops! There were no more toasts. The strike of midnight & Webby & I said our
"Love you" goodbyes & headed to the camper for some noddy blinkens. It was a cold walk which probably sobered
us up enough for a good night of recharge.

Next morning, I felt reasonably good given the heavy night & was soon sat down pricing up 50 odd corkscrews for
the meet. Webby started frying up. Bacon, sausages, eggs & about 1,000,000 mushrooms were served, cheers
Webby, very tasty mate! After breakfast we were back on the road & off to the meeting.

Once back at the
Underwood Wine Warehouse we found a sprightly Tim & a delicate Jim. We drunk coffee!
Webby, Jim & I were given a sales area (a table) & we carefully displayed our wares (emptied our boxes from a
height on the table). Soon the collectors were arriving & before we knew it, the time had come for Tim's welcome
address. I was looking forward to this, as a fifteen minute slot in the itinerary was put aside for this important duty.
One minute late Tim was done, well they do say keep it simple I suppose. The Daddy of the group, Richard "I'll
show you a bow" Stevenson decided to use up some of Tim's unused 14 minutes & finished by saying "Let the
games commence", well maybe not, he said thanks to Tim & Dawn for hosting, yes thanks Tim & Dawn.

We tasted wine, we talked corkscrews, we looked at corkscrews, we bought corkscrews, we had a very civilised,
tasty two course meal (thanks very much Dawn), we shared corkscrew stories, we gathered like a mob of
corkscrew wolves when Barbara emptied 3 boxes on a table, elbows were flying around.
Bleary eyed Webb
Outside the Underwood empire
Our host, Tim Missunderstood with some
drunk trying to touch him up
My stock is out, bring on the buyers!
The collectors have arrived
Paul always ready for a photocall

Norman was given the duty of the group CCCC Boston briefing. Neither Norman or Richard rated the meet
compared to previous gatherings. Barbara thought they were being somewhat harsh. I found it quite interesting as
I was told by a couple of US mates that the meet was awesome. Anyway, I'm definitely going to attend the CCCC
Cologne meet 2011.

I bought some lovely pieces shown in the picture below & looked at every corkscrew at the meeting for sale. I sold
one corkscrew but surprisingly nobody enquired about the £150 piece that I priced at £5, ha, if you don't look you
don't get. I nearly fell asleep waiting for a reply from Gavin on my very generous offer of £1k cash for a couple of
pieces. He seemed to be staring at the roof, then the floor, then outside, then the roof, then the floor again before
he said no thanks. I could see him trying to compute something while I waited. He obviously prefers a lottery with
fees to a fair cash deal in the hand.

It was a great meet, a good laugh, cheers to Tim & Dawn for all their efforts in making it so.
Norman gives us a Boston CCCC briefing
Others are agasp as Norman says the
Boston meet was uneventful
Ian at checkout
My haul for the day. A rare Henshall type marked Robert Jones & Sons on the shank, two rare Lund worms both marked around the
lever hole, a four finger pull with leather grips, Stone's registered design with lozenge from 1877, a very good Milestone lever & a
super S. Pat, Wilson double helix roundlet.
October 21st 2010
What shall I make?

Josef L'Africain picked up a modified Syroco piece at
the CCCC meet, a cool piece modelled as Babe
Ruth, the Red Sox baseball legend which was made
by Sal Robinson. He said he had to pay a healthy
sum but just knew he was going to buy it. I had no
idea how much a healthy sum would be until, at the
ABCDE meet on Sunday, while enjoying lunch I was
told that someone paid nearly $1000 for a home
made Syroco at the CCCC meet. I nearly fell of my
chair. Oooooooohhh er! Josef & his $5.00 budget
has gone bonkers mad.

As some of you know I have a National diploma in
Arts & Crafts & also have a good awareness of
plastic polymers & resins. It makes perfect sense -
I'm going to compete with Sal & make some Pete -
Ocos. Easy money, slurp!

Question is, what will be the biggest earner? A Pete
- Oco sculpture of Josef L'Africain? Maybe worth
$1500. A Pete - Oco of Don Bull, hhhmmmm, maybe
another $1500. How about just a Pete - Oco
everyone will recognise? A US President, take your
pick - Ab Lincoln, Obama, Reagan, etc, etc. Movie
star maybe?? Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt & let us not
forget the ladies, how about Marylin Monroe?

Vote in my poll & let me know who I should make first.

Let the cash register ca-ching!


What should I
October 21st 2010

This more unusual Burgess & Fenton variant is on route
to me via Special delivery. Will look forward to unwrapping
the parcel.

Bit cheaper than Babe Ruth up above but I suppose it's
old & passed it & not sparkling & brand new ;)

Having got lucky with the Burgess & Fenton I thought I'd
push my luck & contact someone who'd emailed me ages
ago with a Lund Queens for sale. I'd previously emailed
twice & phoned their number in Spain about 6 times
without reply. Persistence might of paid off, I got through
& had a good chat with the owner who said that he'd been
travelling with his wife for ages, hence the lack of contact.
He said that they would be visiting the UK at the end of
December & would contact me to organise a meeting.
Maybe just in time for Christmas? I won't hold my breath
but you never know. Will let you know if I get a result.

Cash waiting for antique corkscrews
October 26th 2010
At last I'm getting a display area

Ruthie came right out & said it "I think you should get a large
display cabinet for your corkscrews & put it there". Wow!
"There" is the right side alcove in our dining room. From
mushroom baskets & mail boxes to a fancy display - oooh er!

This was about a fortnight ago & for several days thereafter I
was checking various online retailers & ebay looking for the
right sort of display cabinet. I found some pricey units online
but none that fitted the space snuggly & mostly what I found
was very expensive, in the £800-£1000 range. I've ended up
buying three identical units from Ikea that will fit the space
perfectly. Each has three shelves & a lighting area to shine
down on my collection. Very competitively priced at less than
£200 for the three delivered total.

They arrive the first week in November. I'm looking forward to
getting my collection on show. Although, I doubt very much I'll
be putting them together as they are flat-pack & I'm rubbish at
assembling flat-pack. Luckily Ruthie loves flat-pack, well
Will look amazing when my 50+ vine root corkscrews are
on display!!
maybe she doesn't love flat-pack but she is damn good at putting it together. I'll feed her chocolate on a drip while
she works like a demon.

I'm trying to convince myself that if any corkscrew from my collection doesn't get displayed in the cabinet than I
should sell it. I doubt this will happen. Maybe I'll have a rotation system. Fill them with bows one week, Henshalls
the next & so on.

I don't want the cabinets to look too packed full or just plain tacky, so I'll be kept busy trying to make them look the
business. I'll be using the plastic tubes where I can, but for corkscrews more difficult to display like bows, picnics,
pockets & legs I've been thinking about the use of Perspex sheet, free standing at 45 degree angles with some
small recesses for the corkscrews to sit.

Anyway, exciting stuff. Look out for a few pictures here in a few weeks time.
October 30th 2010

I was out all day yesterday, got back around 11 p.m. & was keen
to see what was listed on the opening day of the Autumn ICCA
auctions. I'd already submitted 37 auctions, a right mixed bag,
something for everyone? Well, I was hoping so. My best pieces
included an Obstando Henshall, Jones 1, Brummell & Dray.

Cup of tea, packet of Digestives & Mars bar strategical placed in
my mouth & I was off & scrolling through the 563 listings. One
Henshall, that's two, oooooh three, another that's four, oh, there's
mine. OMG! five original Henshalls are up. The same with my
Jones 1, another five are listed. Soon realised that it was going to
be hard work selling some really good pieces that I might see just
one or two of in a whole year on ebay. I don't quite know what the
ICCA chaps can do about multiple listings of the same type of
pieces but it would be a good thing if they could come up a
solution. Anyone got any good ideas about this?

I've listed one of those Comedy & Tradegy brass pull corkscrews.
That's my wild card. Last one on the ICCA made £600. Horse &
bolted come to mind but maybe I'll get lucky & hit my mega
My ICCA orginal Henshall. One of five!
My Robert Jones registered design
corkscrew. One of, um er, well five.
November 11th 2010
I have a display with 222, no 223 corkscrews, um make that
224 corkscrews

Ruthie & I tackled the Ikea display cabinets the other day. The first one went up without hitch,
albeit slowly. We then decided we'd assemble the next against the clock. Typically this one proved
somewhat of flat pack disaster to put together. Thirty four minutes later & with a fair old sweat on
& the air blue with expletives, number two was finally done. Number three took a quick-fire 24
minutes & with the last one placed in position, the three cabinets were side by side & looking
rather good.

I still need some lighting which has been ordered up from Ikea. All the big DIY stores only seem to
sell light units for much larger holes than the Ikea 35mm pre cut slots, a cunning Ikea plan I
presume. Strangely, Ikea don't link these lights on the Ikea cabinet page which would of made life
a bit easier. I could just make the holes bigger but I'd have to buy a special drill bit & I'd probably
just wreck the laminate knowing how bad my DIY skills are.
Cabinets are up & filling the space nice. Plastic is out, display stands to make & corkscrews to get
ready to display. What to display???? um, decisions, decisions.
It's great to have some corkscrews on display, I've categorised where possible & I'm well pleased
with the result.
November 11th 2010
Trading with Tommy

Yes, I know, I know, my track record trading
corkscrews isn't particularly good. See
August 20th where I was out maneuvered
by the Colonel.

A few weeks back I listed a near mint set of
German celluloid shoes on ebay with a hefty
BIN price. Within an hour or so of listing,
one of my corkscrew chums, Tommy
Campnell emailed asking if I fancied a trade.
I said sure & knowing we'd work something
out I removed the listing from ebay.

Over the next couple of days we worked the
deal & parcels were mailed.

Tommy got the mint German shoes & I got 2
pairs of legs, a four tool bow with leather
case, converse with advertising, oversize
bullet & a plated Scotsman figural.

Question is - who got the better deal?
Who got the better of this trade?

View Results
Free web poll from Free Website Polls
November 12th 2010
They say good things
come in threes

As much as I'm always on the hunt for a bargain I don't
have a problem paying the going rate for a really good
piece, especially if it fits my collection.

Last week I was browsing ebay UK & noticed a lovely &
very early Dutch silver horse corkscrew with pipe pricker
that appeared to be near mint. I gave it the once over, set
a snipe & continued to browse ebay listings. Later while
putting another item in the sniper I noticed that the silver
horse had a BIN added (nothing to do with me). The BIN
price was a jaw dropping £1,000! Rather than falling off my
chair or just rolling around on the floor with laughter I
thought I'd research similar pieces, hall marks, makers
history, hammer prices, etc. Around half an hour of
Internet research later & I had found a couple of similar
examples that had sold in the £1500 range, that the
hallmarks matched fine, everything was re-assuring. I
decided, given all my findings I'd hit the button. It arrived a
couple of days later & is a peach & a definite keeper. As it
was listed starting at £9.99 with a reserve & then with a
later added BIN I'll never know if I would of won it cheaper
or if someone else would of taken the BIN, but "He who
hesitates is lost" does come to mind.

Also picked up a very unusual champagne tap
<------------------------------- which looks like an early piece.
Couldn't find anything that matches exactly in Screwbase,
which is probably currently the best reference point for
champagne taps. It's quite similar to some of the Robert
Jones taps depicted in Frank & Barbara Ellis's book
English Registered Design Corkscrews. Help! Anybody
know anything about it?

Finally, also got this
<------------ German registered design
chap. First one I've had. Picked it up together with an nice
English Henshall type.

Other news, ICCA

ICCA first round of sales end this Sunday 14th. My listings
have been a bit static this last couple of weeks. I'm hoping
for some frenzied last minute action but I'm not holding my
breath. Will be really fascinating to see how this sale
goes. There are some big collections coming up at the
same time. Are there enough people getting into collecting
corkscrews to buy all these good pieces?
November 12th 2010
Anyone need a pot?

Won a very cool boxed Parrot yesterday at auction
which came with an interesting large porcelain pot
with some strange squiggle marks on the base.

Seeing as pots aren't my thing anyone fancy a trade?

Or if you'd just prefer a cash deal then feel free to
deposit £53 million into my Paypal account ;)
November 21st 2010


Wow! The three regular ICCA listing sales have just finished & the
corkscrew collectors were certainly in the mood to spend, spend, spend
& then spend some more.

New to the ICCA auction was ebay's number one must buy it corkscrew
buyer FOTODEAL & does that chap know how to party or what ;-) ???
He won lot after lot after lot, taking out most of the well known big rollers
with bids that just, well blew them away into the depths of under bidder
depression. I wonder how they feel? These chaps normally get what they
want but with Fotodeal prowling it didn't seem to go their way. Probably a
few big roller tantrums are happening around the corkscrew World right
now. Some pieces, as you would expect garnered plenty of interest &
bids, selling for "Loads of money". Others, as you would expect attracted
buyers (hint, hint), that maybe got somewhat carried away & bid multiples
of the true market value of a piece. Two buyers with the attitude of not
getting outbid is, as we all know, the magic formula that any seller hopes
for when selling anything at auction.

What did you buy? Share your purchases, thoughts on this latest ICCA
auction with the dark side of the corkscrew World.

I bought a small Henshall from Brian, a Paraf double lever, the one with
the catch from Tommy & the Walton tap in the box from Barbara. I had
my eye on others which went too high for my budget. Under bidder on
many, about 20 pieces in total where it was just too borderline to bid
once more.

I was happy with my sales but report nothing mind blowing, no mega
auction fever for me, pretty much hitting my reserves when sold, which
were not unreasonable. I did manage £275 for my Gladman Sailor which
has been available on my website for the last few months at £155, lol.
Other sellers had some amazing results due to said auction fever.
Webby's cork splitter didn't hit the £1800 reserve on the last ICCA
auction in April. This time it sold for more than 3k to a buyer that
ironically was bidding at the last auction. This Spanish wine man wasn't
going to be denied when our mate Fotodeal started bidding against him
& why pay £1800 in April when you can pay £3200 in November, afterall,
all that cash these guys have must be very heavy to carry around, lol.
Very bizarre but great for Webby :)

I find the whole ICCA auction experience so fascinating. I don't declare to
be an expert in any shape or form, I would
however say that I'm a student of
. I've spent nearly 10 years watching 1500 Heeley A1's sell, probably
a thousand Thomasons, 25 Tuckers, 500 set of celluloid legs, etc, etc.
Yes, I've paid too much on occasions, I'm sure we all have, but I do know
that if everything I have sold at a general auction tomorrow, at the very
lowest end of the market I wouldn't be out of pocket. It makes me think
these guys are absolutely bonkers, if they sold tomorrow I reckon they
would lose mega money. How can you continually bid on pieces that you
don't really know the value of, over pay & expect your investment to be a
viable one? Am I missing something here? Maybe I'm the one that's
bonkers? As most of these big roller chaps are likely to be very
successful business men you would think they would be shrewed with
their investments. Maybe, when they come to sell their collections on the
ICCA auctions in 2020, there will be a new batch of even bigger big
rollers that will make them a healthy profit.

What do you think?
Available on my site for sale at
£155 but SOLD on ICCA
Auctions for £275
Sweet at a nut!!
Holroydes Cork Splitter
Available at ICCA auctions
Spring 2010 for £1800 - no
sale. Sold at ICCA auction
autumn 2010 for £3200.
Talk about inflation, lol.
Walton Champagne Tap
One of my three purchases.
Don't lose it for a bid
Phew you won it, good job,
$12,000 well spent mate.
Corkscrew Valuation &
Buying Service

Send pictures of your corkscrew or corkscrews to receive a
current valuation with the compliments of Corkscrews Online.

Value my corkscrew
December 10th 2010
Robert Jones II anyone?

Oooooooooh er Mrs, look what's coming up at auction.....a Jones II.

Well, today it came up. So relatively early I headed cross Country to
Cirencester, to go view It & hopefully win it for fifty quid. I'd already seen the
pictures which showed up a few issues, a piece missing from the badge, with
ugly solder, tipped worm, nibbled handle, short spikes. To me, from the
pictures it appeared to be about a 6/10 & I had a bid in mind which reflected
the condition.
On arrival at the auctioneers, I quickly registered to bid & soon had the piece in my hand. My glasses, which I rarely
wear were donned, I wanted to be thorough in my examination - call me Dr Pete. Quite remarkably, the handle was
perfect, the spikes were full length, yes the worm was tipped but the badge which looked quite ugly in the photograph,
really didn't detract. The lozenge was crisp, as was the decoration & the maker marks, the threads were perfect, the
mechanism was smooth. Oh my, much, much better than I'd thought. Ooooooooooh er, what to bid, what to bid?

I headed off to the town centre to explore a couple of antique arcades that I'd found Online the night before. One
boasted 40 dealers on multi floors, how exciting :p Needless to say an hour later, I'd found them, explored them, found
nothing in them & left them :(  

Knowing I was close to spending our life savings on a Jones II, the Sat Nav was grabbed & local POI was hit, I then
entered the magic letter M C & D, & as if by magic, the only lunch I could afford came up on the screen & less than 1
mile away - yeah, Mc Donalds. Big Mac meal with a vanilla shake were scoffed as I contemplated what I was going to
say to Ruthie. I came up with 2 options.....

1. Hi Ruthie, how r u babe? Ruthie, today I was walking down the road in Cirencester contemplating life. Babe, I was
thinking - we are so lucky, we have each other, we have Holly, we want for nothing & our Mortgage is up next June. I
hope you won't be upset Babe. I'm sure you won't be. I bumped into this chap in town, he opened a door for me &
asked if I had any spare cash, he seemed such a lovely man that had clearly fallen on terribly hard times. I came over
all funny, never felt like it before. I can't explain why but I just felt compelled to take him with me to the Bank &
withdraw all our savings & give them to him. By the way, I won the corkscrew.

2. Hi Ruthie, how r u babe? Hare Hare, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna. Babe, there were these really cool people in
Cirencester today. You know how I feel I'm still young & funky? Check out my young & funky orange robe & what
about my bald head, oh & check out these bangles - cool or what? I've become a Hare Krishna. I've taken out a family
life membership, very reasonably priced, we just had enough to cover it in the bank. Do you want to listen to my
chimes? By the way I bought the corkscrew.

After my daydreaming had ended I headed back to the auction house & soon bumped into two of my favourite Brit
collectors, Richard (The Daddy) Stevenson & John Davis. We drunk tea & shared corkscrew stories. Of course we
were soon comparing notes about past Jones II corkscrews & the merits of this one, which we all agreed was much
better than we'd expected. Before we knew it, there were twenty lots to go, so we decided to find our spots in the
auction room.

We found a couple of spots near the back. In no time - Auctioneer "Right, lot 353, ahh the corkscrew, should have four
lines up, all OK? All on? Yep, Ok, starts with me at £350". Heart racing, bid, bid, bid, bid, bid, bid, bid, bid, bid. Heart
thumping, bid, bid, bid, bid, bid, bid, bid. Heart close to exploding, bid, bid, bid, bid etc, etc, etc I didn't win it :( I gave it
a really good rattle, I have no regrets but I wasn't even the under bidder. It sold for a very tidy sum to a mystery phone

On the way home, being a gluten for punishment I had a fruitless antiquing trip to Hungerford.
A cow shed which contains a glass cabinet
with a Jones II.
The Brit pack, Richard Stevenson & John
Davis contemplating their bids
End of the day of fruitless corkscrewing -
the picturesque canal bridge in
Hungerford, Berkshire.
14th December 2010
Dear Peter

I purchased this corkscrew as a gift
for my husband about 40 years ago
at an antique shop in Englewood,
NJ.  I am trying to find out its value
and where I could go to sell it. . . . .
can you help me identify it and its
value.   It is brass.  I would be most

I've just bought my Christmas
present :)
31st December 2010
Happy New

I was really looking
forward to the new year
but just found this
worrying looking Mole.
Do you think I should
seek medical attention?

Happy New Year
everyone & good
corkscrew hunting in
Peter Borrett
BEST SIX for 2010
~Lund Corkscrews~

On 2nd April 1855, William Lund, of Fleet Street, London, together with his factory
foreman William Hipkins were awarded three corkscrew patents, no 736, as follows:

Lund & Hipkins I: A steel two pillar corkscrew with a rack & pinion design. Today known
as a London rack.
Lund & Hipkins II: A two piece lever corkscrew. Today known as a Lund lever.
Lund & hipkins III: Pocket corkscrew marked Lund Spherical Joint, an improvement to
the Brummel corkscrew. Today known as a roundlet corkscrew, but probably more
recognisable as the Wright & Bailey improved registered design of 1873, as apposed to
the Lund patented design.

Lund is a name synonymous with English corkscrew design & manufacture. The
patented designs were innovative, successful & copied by many. Any good collection of
corkscrews will contain a Lund corkscrew or two & if it doesn't, it surely will have a
design based on a Lund patent in some form or other.

My best six for 2010 shows a variety Lund corkscrews mostly derived from the original
1855 patent .
~from left to right & top to bottom~
1. Thomas Lund's Queen patent with bottle grips, marked at the top of the springs
"Lund's Patent 57 Cornhill" & also at the base of the barrel "Lund Cornhill London"
2. An unusual corkscrew, doubles up as a direct pull or can be used with a lever, marked
"Lund maker, 57 Cornhill".
3. Rack & pinion with bone handle & unusual leather bottle grips, marked along the
frame "Lund maker Cornhill & Fleet St London". Also marked below the handle "Lund
Patent London Rack".
4. Rack & pinion design with copper paint, marked along the frame "Lund maker
Cornhill & Fleet St London". Also marked below the handle "Lund Patent London Rack".
5. Lund Spherical joint corkscrew, marked "Lund's patent spherical joint London".
6. Lund Milestone single lever with correctly matching worm. The lever is marked "Lund
patentee London" on one side & "The patentee 56 & 57 Cornhill London" on the other
with the Milestone trade mark. The worm is marked "Lund patentee maker" with the
milestone trade mark.
April 26th 2010
Another cock up

s you know, it's been slim pickings for me at the antique
fairs so far this year. Five UK fairs have yielded one
Henshall type corkscrew. It's no wonder I decided
against a trip to Ardingly last Tuesday, afterall, twenty
quid to get in, another twenty in petrol & seeing I
normally pig out when I go, probably another twenty on
grub. Read on...

On Wednesday evening while checking ebay UK I
noticed a nice early steel Kings rack listed by a
Portobello dealer I know. I did the decent thing, phoning
him with an offer of a quick & easy cash deal. He didn't
go for my hefty offer, deciding to keep the piece on for
the duration. I asked where he got it & he said it was
one of a number he bought from the same seller at
Ardingly, doh! & what's more he got them on the second
day. Maybe they weren't out on Tuesday (trying to make
myself feel better). He sent me a picture of a very
unusual German piece & mentioned a couple of other
pieces he bought. He then went on to talk about one he
left behind, he later found a reference in a past Christies
catalogue & sent it to me. The Christies reference he
sent showed an open frame Thomason compound
selling for £450 or is that £731? Anyway, I said I'd be
happy to give him a grand should he get lucky & get a
second chance of buying it. He said that he doubted it
would still be available as it had to survive the complete
Wednesday at Ardingly, but he knew the dealer & would
find out on Monday if he still had it. I phoned him today &
Incredibly, it survived Ardingly & he bought it.
Unfortunately, despite my offer being top end he won't
sell it to me. I could probably offer him 4k & he'd still
decline. I find this to be quite common with hard nose
dealers that don't trust anyone to be fair with their offers.
I call it seller paranoia, defined as a seller that holds out
for long periods until they are absolutely certain the price
is correct.