Corkscrews Online
by Peter Borrett
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5th July 2011
Bravo Bernard! For given us corkscrew screwballs a fun day out &
a decent corkscrew fix. I hope you were delighted with the results!

Today corkscrew collectors from around the World....New York,
Paris & London, okay, okay, more like Bristol, Reading & Hackney,
gathered at the Woolley & Wallis salerooms in Salisbury, England,
to witness the sale of Bernard Masson's corkscrew collection.

I set off early in the hope of securing one of the limited car parking
spots outside the auction house. I had a cunning plan! I'd packed
my boot full of corkscrews, I was offering a car boot sales outlet for
the day. As it turns out, I got caught in traffic, arriving about 15
minutes after opening & only just got one.

I bumped into Webby, Gavin, Francois, Ian & Daiva pretty much
straight away & in no time my boot was open for business. I even
made a sale, now two! (after follow up email) Corkscrew boot
selling could be the future.

We all soon headed upstairs to start viewing the 200+ corkscrew
lots. I must say that Bernard has a good eye for quality &
condition, some lovely corkscrews in mostly very nice condition. I
took my time to have a good look at most of the lots, carefully
recording my best bids. The porters were kept busy! Late
morning, some familiar faces appeared, first Richard & Paul &
soon after the man himself Bernard arrived with his wife Monique.
He seemed calm & collected, I didn't notice any tears in his eyes.

As we had a couple of hours to kill a few of us headed off for
coffee & of course some corkscrew chat, something like "What's
that worth, what's this worth, what would you pay for that?", us
corkscrew collectors are amazingly good at rubbish chat like that.
Soon Webby had to go off & collect Wally who would be waiting at
Salisbury station for his man. Webby took the bowl of rose petals
as requested to scatter in Wal's path as he walked from the
station entrance to Webby's car. The rest of us went off to the
Red Lion, as last year, for beer & grub. We had a good lunch & a
good laugh. My cunning plan of ordering the chicken Jalfrezi so I
could breath on anyone that tried to outbid me was an interesting
idea, I can report that it didn't work.
After a good feed & some lively
discussion it was time to get to the
auction. Back at Woolley & Wallis I
checked a few pieces over before
finding a spot near the back of the
room to settle in for a bidding frenzy.

The first corkscrew lot was moments
away. How exciting!
I was soon in the thick of the bidding action but was being taken out by
some more enthusiastic buyers with deeper pockets. Underbidderitous
was setting in & one particular chap seemed to be taking me out. I
wasn't unduly worried, 200 lots, plenty of time to buy some pieces.

In general prices were up & down, some pieces sailed away, others not
reaching the low end estimates & in quite a few cases being unsold.

Some results, including commission, approximate:
  • Royal Club £1920
  • Pemberton silver pocket £500
  • Pink & white striped ladies legs £360
  • Wilson patent £190
  • Painted Syroco Codger £130
  • Fancy engraved double folder £900

As the auction evolved a few wins came my way at reasonable prices
too. Most of the chaps were winning some pieces. I think only Webby &
Richard didn't buy. Nearer the end of the auction some multi lots came
up with no interest, Gavin & myself took the opportunity of buying a few
of these lots at a fiver a pop. Gavin was especially pleased with the vine
root lot. Gavin also got a cracking deal buying around 20 Christies
catalogues for £12! The bargain of the day? I won 12 lots :)

Auction over, I settled up & introduced myself to my nemesis in some of
the early lots. Turns out the chap is called Doug, comes from Bristol &
has been collecting for 15 years. I showed Doug my office (boot) & we
had a good chin wag. I think we might see him at an ABCDE meet
sometime soon.

I met Bernard in the car park, he seemed happy, that's great. It was a
fabulous day & a terrific corkscrew fix!
Meet our new friend
Bernard with a bag full of swag
Nice auction Bernard - hope you were
14th July 2011
Where were all the corkscrew

The alarm clock woke me up at 5:15 a.m. on
Tuesday - OMG! I was of course like a Zombie but
some cold water face splashing soon humanised
me. In no time I was filling my flask with extra strong
coffee & on the way to the Kempton Park antique

The roads were clear, the weather was good & after
a 50 minute drive I was parked up & ready, five
minutes before the 6:30 start.

6:30 prompt, the gates opened the crowds headed
with purpose to all corners of the hunting grounds. I
love watching people in their 60's & 70's sprinting to
their favourite dealers, I just hope I can when I'm
that age.

I thought I'd go for a slow & thorough search & was
well rewarded for my efforts. The horse legs with foil
cutter I believe is quite rare, can't recall seeing a
set before. Nicely marked too! The Key is a
whopper & is marked on the bottom of the sheath
Aubock, a nice buy for a fiver!

I can't remember the last time I went to Kempton
without stopping to chat with a few other collectors
& dealers but on this occasion it was like a
corkscrew collector ghost town. I didn't bump into

Thanks for staying away guys!
COMING SOON..........


August - September 2011

Wow! Check out the winner's trophy
20th July 2011
Coming up for air

Had a good few days of collecting.

First, while browsing newly listed
corkscrews on ebay US on Saturday
I noticed a superb miniature ladies
legs corkscrew with a very
affordable BIN price, a scarce set
too, with black & white stripes. I
quickly snapped them up.

On Sunday evening I was delighted
to see my snipe bid secure me Jose
Barella's clean example of Wilson's
double helix apple corer. Lucky for
me, Fotodeal didn't fancy bidding -
phew! Really pleased to get this
piece which has been on my wish list
for some time.

Tuesday was a corkscrew mega fix
day. Alarm - 4:50 a.m. First, Ardingly
antique fair then on to Lewes for the
antique centres & finally a drive to
Dartford to collect a small lot that I
won on ebay for £55. Other
corkscrew chaps were spotted & one
did particularly well :) Weather was
good too!

Back home on Tuesday night, a bit
knackered but some parcels needed
opening which is always a pleasure.
Amongst the goodies was a very fine

A cracking few corkscrewy days!!
Hey Presto, an ebay BIN, scarce black &
white miniature ladies legs corkscrew nice
& cheap
Webby attempting to explain the offside
rule to Jim & The Colonel
Long awaited Wilson apple corer double
helix corkscrew
A days hunting at Ardingly including a very
nice Kings rack & a cheap Chinnock
A very, very cool Curley arrives
A collection only ebay purchase for £55.
Well worth a tenner of fuel.
The corkscrew buy it now challenge 2011
1st August - 30th September

One easy rule for 2011
Any buy it now that's worth twice the BIN price qualifies

The buyer that gets the most buy it nows

My, oh my, just look at the trophy + the kudos of being the 2011 champ
27th July 2011
EBINNER is working a treat

Like any sportsman leading up to a major event I've been doing the necessary hard graft in
preparation for the forthcoming corkscrew buy it now challenge. Call it serious stretching. Fortunately
for me
EBINNER is working a treat. First, a set of folding shoes were automatically taken for a poultry
£35 & then a small group including a Ross pig, Hollweg & Schlitz Walker were taken using the decent
corkscrew identify software upgrade.

Robert Leopardi who took the fifth & final
EBINNER licence reports some similar results & his decent
corkscrew identify software upgrade secured him a Coney patent mechanical for just 65 bucks.
The Corkscrew Buy It Now Challenge 2011
August & September 2011
1st August 2011
Just in from Josef L'Africain...

"40 dollar Bin... Bull puts this at
1200-1500 in his figural book.

Let the games begin!"

One, nil, nil, nil, recurring to Josef

Get your name on the graph -
report your BINS to
Simple rules - any buy it now worth double the buy it now price = 1 BIN. Winner - person with the most BINS
3rd August 2011
Dissent, competition flaws, bribes, lost
BINS, ebay sabotage .....

Yes, it's day 3 of the corkscrew buy it
now challenge

Lets start with the easy call. Congratulations to Roman
Atsik who picks up 1 BIN for his $60 Ross pig BIN. Great
job Roman! Unfortunately for Robert "The Wineleopard"
Leopardi, you get nothing for an assist in this game. He
set the BIN up & then went walkabout. Robert has quite
the reputation for asking for a BIN & then wondering off
for beer, wine, coffee, tennis, scrabble or bed. It seems
he never learns.

The Wineleopard obviously has his eyes on the prize
this year & why not, if Bull rates Josef's devil @ $1200+,
the 2011 BIN trophy has to be $2000+. Anyway, Robert
emailed yesterday with a claim for quite a rare Anri bar
set which incorporates a corkscrew, a steal of a BIN at
$65. However with the corkscrew being just a small part
of the BIN, the claim was forwarded to the
BIN committee
scrutiny & ultimately a vote to decide if 1 BIN would
indeed be awarded. I've just this moment returned from
the vote & can report that The Wineleopard gets the
nod, 1 BIN has been awarded. Great job!

One clarification & one amendment to this challenge.

1. Bar sets, tool kits, sewing kits, Anri sets, multi tools or
similar are all included just as long as there is a
corkscrew & the BIN is worth twice the BIN price.

2. Rule amendment (so we're not Binning cheap pieces)
the BIN must be worth $50, £30 or EURO 35 minimum.
4th August 2011
Chasing a Cotterill

Had a nice surprise today when a Thomason I bought, having viewed it with a blurry, distant
photo, turned out to be a great example named Saml Cotterill for Samuel Cotterill of
Wolverhampton. A named variant that doesn't surface that often.
I'm hoping it's a good omen. A few days
back I was contacted by a lady who has a
Cotterill, as in the 1842 English
registered design by Edwin Cotterill. She
wondered if I might be interested, if not
she'd list it on ebay. Yes, I'm interested
but it remains to be seen whether we can
agree a deal. It should be cheap as the
Unicorn horn is bent. ;)

I've had severall attempts of buying a
good Cotterill over the years without
success. The first at a general auction in
Andover, Hants which wasn't advertised
on the web. The auctioneer told me
about an interesting corkscrew coming
up at his forthcoming general sale when I picked up a Thomason from him that I won at the
antique sale a week or two before. I showed interest, he emailed me a picture, enough said. I
arrived at the general sale with high hopes & watched as 50 or so lots were sold for nothing much
more than a tenner each. The Cotterill, which was a great example sold for a tidy sum to
a mystery
bidder. Despite my best efforts I was the under bidder.

Back in March 2008 a very nice example surfaced at an auction house in Poole, Dorset (see past
Blog). It was a well advertised sale & the bidding spiralled out of control.

Just last year, in April (see last years Blog) I received an email from a chap that had a good
example. Despite my best efforts, he decided to keep the piece. I've subsequently followed up
without reply.

Maybe this time then? I'll keep you posted.
13th August 2011
The Cotterill road trip

Great news! I bought the Cotterill.

I collected it last Monday & decided to clear the diary
to make a day of it. A cross country trip to Worcester
visiting as many potential corkscrew venues on route.

First stop was an antique fair at Newbury, where I
picked up a very unusual roundlet with a faceted case.
Can't see a similar example in the various books, so a
nice find. I bought a couple of other lesser pieces at
the fair too.

Next stop the various arcades & antique shops at
Hungerford - nothing doing!

Next stop, the large antique centre & other shops at Malborough - nothing doing!

Next stop, two large antique centres in Gloucester, including one, the smartest antique centre I've
every visited with staff in matching suits & on three floors too. Any good? No - nothing doing!

Next stop, a variety of small antique shops around Worcester, just the sort that rarely get a
corkscrew collector looking in. Surely this time? No - nothing doing!

Lucky for me, the last stop was to pick up the long awaited Cotterill. Somehow it made it all
worthwhile. :)
13th August 2011
Geez he's good - Wineleopard does
it again

There's been a few near misses in the corkscrew
buy it now challenge over the last week. Robert
Leopardi picked up an unusual roundlet with a cap
lifter at one end of the case, a $50 BIN. It was
deemed too borderline to be awarded a BIN unit
for the challenge.
A new ruling is now in operation
though. Any BIN that is refused will be granted if
subsequently sold on ebay for double the original
buy it now price.
Robert is currently trying his luck
on ebay, so watch this space.

I picked up a Negbaur pig on ebay US, right place,
right time when it was listed as a BIN for $55. Don't
think they normally make $110, so although a
good buy at 55 bucks, no reward for me. I also
picked up a Rodgers Henshall but the damn rules
got me. I offered £40 for a BIN, the seller said yes
but wouldn't add a BIN, preferring to end the
auction. Oh well, a nice buy. The Colonel had a
buy on the first day of the challenge for a similar
Henshall type named Harwood another end it now.

Graeme Nott spotted a good brass figural, a
quality cast double sided piece depicting comedy
& tragedy faces. I saw it too & offered £40. Gav
saw it & offered £20. I guess Josef saw it & offered
a fiver. Graeme didn't mess about like the rest of
us, his £200 offer was snapped up by the seller.
One sold on the ICCA for £600 a while back so
there's a chance he could do very well but it was
too uncertain a double up.

Finally, just in. Robert Leopardi picked up a $75
BIN for a nifty with a Camel head - that's my
tongue in cheek description. It's U.S. Patent No.
69,235 which was issued January 12, 1926 to
Everett Irving Rogers. Don Bull values this quirky
Camel in his figural book as RARE$$$ & although I
can't determine what RARE$$$ is specifically
worth, I presume it's more than $150 required. So
congratulations Mr Wineleopard a BIN unit has
been awarded & you are leading the way.
15th August 2011
Put that Bin on the books baby!

He's only gone & done it!

Robert "The Wineleopard" Leopardi's roundlet
with cap lifter currently listed on ebay has hit the
required double up of $100 to get another BIN
unit for the corkscrew buy it now challenge. He
now has a clear gap of two over Josef & Roman
& the small matter of a gap of three over the rest
of us.

Originally Robert's $50 BIN was deemed too
borderline to get the nod but you can't argue
when it hits the required number on ebay. After
all, ebay probably is the most reliable real-time
price guide we have. What's more, it has over a
day to run, so it could go even higher!

Still, loads of time to catch up & rumour has it the
Wineleopard will soon be on his travels so
refreshing ebay won't be quite so easy for him.

Nice 1 Mr Wineleopard!
It's still the 15th August 2011
Can someone else nail a BIN please

Two in a day, yes two in a day for the Wineleopard.
He's just nailed this very nice advertising brass
waiters friend corkscrew on ebay US for a poultry
buy now price of $45.

Josef L'Africain who has an eye for a cheap buy
bought a similar example at a past ICCA auction for
$120. I've previously sold one for $150.00, so,
there's no getting away from it - Robert Leopardi,
AKA The Wineleopard now has 4 BIN units in the
corkscrew buy it now challenge & his lead looks
very useful indeed.

The Wineleopard's pre competition odds of 10/1
against have come in to an amazing 1/10 on. The
2010 champ Josef L'Africain who started as the
bookies favourite at a 5/2 bet is out now to 7/1 &
the Colonel, the hot UK tip has gone way out to
50/1. Another UK hopeful, Graeme Nott is out at
80/1. Tommy Campnell who emailed earlier & said
he was off to look for a BIN is still the rank outsider
at 25000/1
17th August 2011
Raise the Union Jack in
tribute to the Colonel

A day or so back Josef L'Africain asked the following question,
I quote "What is wrong with the Brits in the competition..?"

A. (revised) There's nothing wrong with us Brits Josef, we are
just a bit more picky about our BINs.

To confirm this, today Brits can raise a glass to our very own
Stephen Paul who has come good with a stunning BIN.

This BIN aint no crappy Anri bar set, or a brass devil that
probably originally cost about 5 bucks new 20 years back or a
throw away nifty with a Camel head or even a roundlet with a
nostril hair remover attachment.

We Brits, pick quality, genuine antique corkscrews to BIN & in this case the Colonel's BIN is a 200
year old Dutch silver beauty of museum quality, secured for a pittance of £400. So exquisite is this
stunning corkscrew, it should only be handled while drinking a 82 Chateau Lafleur & while listening
to Mozart's Laudate Dominum.

Wait one second - phone!

Just in from the corkscrew buy it now challenge committee. Just need to get confirmation, so bear
with me, actually I'll dictate as I go here, as it's likely to be relevant to the contest.
"Really, yes, I
understand. Not too sure how well received that will be, but I do agree it's appropriate in this
instance. Okay then I'll tell the Binners of the update. Thanks, bye."
Wow, yet another new ruling.
So many new rules! It's been decided by the corkscrew buy it now challenge 2011 committee that
the quality of this BIN justifies recognition. An award of 10 BIN units has been made to the Colonel.


In case you don't have the Mozart share it with me here
17th August 2011
Silver Roundlets

I recently reported
picking up a very nice
faceted roundlet at the
Newbury antique fair &
couldn't find a reference.

Robert Leopardi kindly
forwarded a reference to
a similar example in
Peter's & Giulian's
pocket corkscrew book
described as a Dutch
engraved roundlet.
Mine is quite different, more of a Zeppelin type design & has the feel of an English
piece. I do however have another nice faceted example which is just like the one

Below, my two examples together.

Anyone got any similar faceted examples?

I would have loved to of hung out with the corkscrew crowd at the forthcoming CCCC meeting
at Cologne but after consideration I decided against the trip. It would of cost me around £700
for a couple of days stay, what with Hotels, meeting registration, fuel, food, etc. I just struggle
to justify it. I realise that I'd surely buy & sell some good pieces & have a right good laugh too.

My collection has always been totally financed by my selling profits & any cost involved in my
corkscrewing has always been accountable. Tax, petrol, fair entrance, web costs +++ more
come off before the profits are put in the money for the collection pot. The way I see it
everything in my collection has cost me nothing. I like it that way! Hence the £700 is one heck
of a pile of cash.

I hope that those of you that make the meeting have a really great time!
17th August 2011

The Blog update has been up for 30 minutes &
I've already received two protest emails regarding
Stephen Paul getting 10 BIN units as reward for
his exceptional Dutch silver corkscrew BIN.

Don't blame me, it's the committee's decision.
Personally though I think it's well deserved.

Okay, okay, let democracy decide whether the
outstanding quality of The Colonel's BIN justifies
the bonus award or not. If not, he'll just have to
settle for one unit & The Wineleopard will get his
lead back.

You decide!
21st AUGUST!
21st August 2011
Well that's conclusive

With a whopping 80% of the votes cast, the NO campaign wins with
ease, meaning Robert "The Wineleopard" Leopardi gets his lead
reinstated & Stephen Paul loses 9 of his 10 BIN units.

The vote scrutineers were quite surprised about the abnormal
amount of votes cast in such a short period & also noted some
interesting USA voting activity during the last hour.
21st August, 1800 hours & the poll is closed.
Votes cast before the deadline 30 - Yes 6 No 24
Further votes don't count
21st August 2011
This week in the corkscrew BIN challenge

Lets start with that cheeky chap Gavin Maddock. His claim for a BIN unit looked pretty good, a hard to find small
advertising bow with a couple of lesser pieces looked an absolute steal for $25.00. Very similar to a bow that he
sold for over £100 quite recently. Um, a closer look, a bit too similar, the same piece. Date check, he got the BIN
on June 28th, naughty, naughty!

You'd expect Josef L'Africain to weigh in with a couple of BINs & he didn't disappoint. First, an unusual German
spring frame corkscrew depicting a cat on the frame with a fish bones handle for $45.00 & second, a sea serpent
folding corkscrew for $25.00. Unfortunately, the committee believe both his BINs too tight for a double up.

The Wineleopard snapped up a very nice set of miniature legs for $525, a great buy for sure but again, too
uncertain a double up.
Finally, Gavin Maddock bought a huge lot of
corkscrews today for £45. Again, I think the
double up just a bit too uncertain but a nice

Don't forget the listing on ebay rule which  
applies to any of these BINs. If listed on ebay it
hits double the original BIN price a BIN unit will
be awarded.
22nd August 2011

Forget BINs on ebay,
get yourself down to
your nearest boot
sale, yard sale or
garage sale.

Graeme Nott found
this French 1888
Boue patent
corkscrew this
weekend at a local
boot sale for £1.00.

22nd August 2011
Sorry Gav :(

Gavin Maddock is a Brit on a mission.
Call it mission buy it now. His first
claim was clearly tongue in cheek, his
second was rejected & now his third, a
£20 BIN supposedly set up by Josef
has also been rejected, deemed too
uncertain a double up.
Gav's BIN, Usher's extra corkscrew & a picture of Gav with a
holiday flea market find - a very nice white double lever
25th August 2011
On vacation but Josef still
has time to Ebay

I guess his iphone with ebay refesh
came up trumps. A Syroco tramp
landed within 1 minute of being
revised to a $100 BIN.

Go Josef go!

One BIN unit awarded.
26th August 2011
Drum roll if you please

£20 BIN for me :)

I guess Josef must of been
drinking champagne & shaking
hands at the CCCC reception. No
free hands to check ebay. Josef
you need to grow a third hand so
you can always hold your iphone &
refresh, refresh ;)
26th August 2011
Working a few deals

A few weeks back I thought I'd look over a
couple of years of email correspondence to
see if I could bring a few dead deals back to
life. In most cases I got no reply or a simple no
thanks. A couple bounced back where I guess
the email was obsolete. A few however were
happy to work a deal :) Extra £££'s here &
more $$$'s there seemed to work.  

One deal for a Royal Club was made using
Google translate - sweet! Until that is, I spoke
to the chap's cousin who spoke English.

I'm pleased to buy the fancy Jones Thomason
which I Blogged about on February 24th.
Replace the handle & it'll look great. The fact
that I assured the seller I would keep it swung
the deal, plus an extra £20, then an extra £6,
then an extra £20. Long story!

The other Thomason is intriguing. It has a very
fancy engraved barrel. I've looked through the
various books & Screwbase & can't find
another. There is no machined banding on the
barrel (normally present) which makes me
conclude it's totally original & totally, as they
say "Awesome!"

I have a few emails I'm still waiting for replies
on. Stay tuned as there might be some more
sweet deals coming soon.

If you have any unusual old steel, iron, ivory, bone, double action or lever action corkscrews drop me a line.
Cash waiting for interesting pieces!
29th August 2011
Take the money!

I won this 4 tool bow yesterday on ebay for £22 following a 7
day auction. I wonder how this ebay seller feels? See the
question & answer taken from the listing.

Q: Can I offer you £30 for a buy it now? Thanks
A: Hi There. I have had four requests for a buy it now price
since listing last night. Sorry, but I am just let the auction run
its course, but thanks for asking. Best Regards

They probably thought they were sitting on a gold mine.
Ebay is one funny old place!
29th August 2011
Another drum roll if you

$50 BIN for me :)

One of these sold on the last ICCA
auctions (Listing # 5157) to
Fotodeal for his Romanian museum
for some loose change. In
Romanian that equates exactly to
£754/$1200 Lol ;) Fortunately for
me the last few on ebay have made

Sing it loud Rod

I am binning, I am binning
newly listed every day
I am binning, stormy waters
grumpy sellers don't want to play

I am trying, little white lying
grab a deal, that would be nice
I am ducking, I am diving
refresh, refresh, every night

Halfway report

The Wineleopard is looking good, a
very healthy two unit lead but
anything could happen, plenty of
time left, so all to play for.
30th August 2011
Feelin' hot, hot, hot!

$75 BIN for me :)

Just picked up this Amor Anri bar set on ebay for 75 bucks. Music box works, Ballerina dances, no damage, bit
dusty. Looks like a pretty straight forward tripple up to me, a double up would be way too easy :)
With Josef otherwise engaged at
the ICCA meet & Robert soon to
be locked away in a Reading
Hotel cleaning closet, my
chances of winning the amazing
2011 BIN trophy are increasing
by the day.

It's time to bring your A game to
the contest or maybe just try
checking ebay ;)

Josef, our normally intrepid reporter seems to of gone awol. I'm wondering if,
A. He can't walk to his laptop due to his corkscrew stiffy B. He's too busy
buffing up all the corkscrews he bought to update? C. He's too depressed to
fess up about this years meeting being the year of the vine root? The only bit
of information I got was inconclusive as to what deals went down. Sounds like
a couple of Cotterills were traded & guess who bought one of them?

We all want to know about the deals, right?
31st August 2011

Robert "The Wineleopard" Leopardi is in town for a
couple of days. Yah! We'll be hitting the road
tomorrow hunting for corkscrews. I'll let you know if
we get lucky. Tonight he came over for curry, great
wine, a good laugh & a game of scrabble with
Ruthie, Hols & myself. Lets play! I opened
with UNIT,
points, first move, double it up to 8 points. That's
a solid start in my book. Robert's reply -
SQUANDER for 68 points. He set the pattern & we
got one hell of a beating :( Well done Robert!

Earlier he had a look through my collection. I passed
him various rare Thomasons, Lunds, Twiggs, Georgian silver pieces, etc, etc. He thought this was neat, that was
pretty cool & this was interesting. However, the moment I opened the safe & pulled out the 2011 corkscrew buy it
now trophy his speech started to slur & dribble was seen dripping off his chin. He got a photo just like a kid would
standing next to Mickey Mouse at Disney land. He now is more determined than ever to get his prize. It remains to
be seen whether that will happen, especially with yours truly on a buy it now frenzy charge.

My secret CCCC source bought a few pieces, one of which he'll easily make
£1K on. He sold pretty well too. He overheard our friend Fotodeal talk about
his 8 employed ebay pickers :o & that he has accumulated 10,000 corkscrews
in just over a year from ebay & other sources (I'm guessing ICCA auctions).
Apparently, Fotodeal now haggles instead of buying corkscrews for 3-4 times
their correct value. More CCCC gossip as it comes in. Stay tuned!  
2nd September 2011
Yo! Who got the DICO?

Right now I'm having a blast on
one hell of a mega corkscrew road
trip with Robert. I got to his Hotel
this morning & before he could say
"Hi Pete" he was cursing his bad
luck & lack of Internet connection.
Turns out he managed to get
online long enough to find out that
someone had snapped up a really
good Twigg for a reasonably
priced BIN. To make matters worse,
Robert noticed that a very nice looking Dico was also binned for a miserly 50 bucks.

Just got an email from Roman Atsik who grabbed the Dico BIN, great job! The graph has been amended
& Roman
has two BIN points. Hey Robert, we're all catching you up!

Some news in from Josef L'Africain who informed me that his cat & fish bones spring frame corkscrew made $340
at the ICCA meet auction. Josef picked it up for a $45 BIN (see 21st August Blog) & is claiming a BIN point.
Sounds like he should get it, just need confirmation from the BIN committee who said they would discuss the claim
& make an announcement by Monday, 5th.
5th September 2011
Wineleopard Road Trip - day one 1st September - Reading to Somerset

What do you find when you hit over 20 antique stores around the UK hunting for corkscrews over a three day
period? Read on to find out.

Today we headed West from our starting point, Robert's Hotel in the centre of Reading. First stop Hungerford on
the Berkshire/Wiltshire border. First very posh store - nothing. A short walk over the road to a large furniture
based antique shop with only one small display case - nothing. Hang on though, you have to ask, it would be rude
not to. "Do you have any corkscrews?", "Yes, my husband has a bag full out the back somewhere that he's
collected over 20 odd years" Bingo! A couple of minutes later, said husband carrying a carrier bag which was
placed on a table top - we quickly emptied the contents. Mostly lazy tongs, flynuts & regular direct pulls. There
was a very cool champagne knife, a good French finger pull, these were the best of the bunch. Negotiations were
challenging but a fair price was agreed for the two pieces & a bonus worm from a peg & worm was thrown in for
free. Up the road to the major arcade & emporium both overflowing with some good antiques, but alas, despite
seeing some corkscrews there was nothing worth buying. A little further down the road to Below Stairs at
Hungerford. This shop has a small display case of corkscrews & Robert spotted a couple of pieces to have a
closer look at. He ended up buying a very sweet small early picnic. We took some time to chat to Stewart
Hofgartner, the proprietor, who talked about the time someone brought a Jones II into his shop. I need a shop!

Back to the car & on to
Malborough in Wiltshire.
Malborough has a large antique
shop with many dealers, when
you enter feels like it should
throw up some corkscrews.
Unfortunately, on this occasion
our diligent search turned up
nothing. Next a smaller junk type
shop - nothing. Only one thing to
do - head over the road to the
Lamb Inn & have some lunch.
Ham, egg & chips (very tasty) x 2
& two pints of Wadsworth X.
Robert got the passenger bonus
of another half :p

Back on the road destination Salisbury. First stop Woolley & Wallis auctioneers to pick up some freebie
catalogues & then on to a fairly large antique store on three floors. There were some corkscrews, including a very
nice F+J type with a wooden handle, all were too pricey though. We did notice what appeared to be a very fancy
peg & worm corkscrew but on closer inspection it was clearly a marriage. We got back to the car & headed off to
Stephen Paul's house to view his great collection & for some very civilised English afternoon tea. Thanks Leslie!
Stephen pulled out the silver horse that he bough recently on ebay - a very sweet piece! Robert looked a little
green, he saw it on ebay but decided against hitting the button.

Final stop Webby's house in Somerset. After a nice welcome of an out-stretched hand with a glass of red wine we
were soon looking over Webby's great collection of rarities. He sure has some amazing corkscrews. Later we
headed off for some Chinese food at The Golden House in Street. Duck pancakes, followed by a feast of tasty
chicken, prawn & beef dishes with some Chinese lager to wash it down.
It was late, my eyes
were on stalks & it was
time to head back.
After a two hour drive
I'd dropped off Robert
& was back home. No
time to check emails or
even our favourite
auction site - bed

Far left - The Colonel
teases Robert with his
Dutch silver pocket

Left - A Corkscrewteer
UK mini meet.
5th September 2011
Wineleopard Road Trip - day two 2nd September - Reading to Warwick

A 10 am start at Robert's Hotel & we were back on the road looking for that magic find. Today we headed North
via Woburn to historic Warwick.

First stop, Christopher Sykes antiques in Woburn which is on the border of Milton Keynes, Bucks. Christopher
Sykes is pretty well known in corkscrew circles, having dealt corkscrews since the 1960's. He's now in his 90's &
relies on his sales lady Deena to run the shop. There were plenty of corkscrews to see, Lund levers, Wiers
concertinas, various bows, finger pulls, etc, etc, etc. Sadly, nothing worth buying, although Robert did
contemplate the Mermaid priced at £2250 :o After a brief chat, Deena gave us some leads for antique shops
nearby in Paulespury & Towcester & we were soon on our way.

We scoffed some lunch on the run & twenty minutes later we arrived at our first
stop, quite a classy antique shop in Paulespury. A huge space but very sparsely
filled & no corkscrews to report at all :( We had a chat with a couple of sales
ladies about the lack of antiques displayed, they said it was due to the fact the
store was in the process of shutting down - the sign of the times. Antique shops
are disappearing all over the UK, I guess that's mainly down to the success of
the Internet, specifically ebay. Next stop Towcester but the two shops were both
shut & to be honest, neither looked like yielding a corkscrew so no big deal. The
two ladies previously mentioned had given us a lead for a large multi dealer
arcade in Brackley, so we decided we'd head there. On arrival, this huge antique
centre looked promising with glass cabinets a plenty but alas, slim pickings yet
again. I bought a concertina corkscrew which I could of easily passed on. Very
disappointingly they wouldn't budge on the £12 ticket price despite my incredibly
good negotiation skills. They mentioned the manageress might discount if I did
the cha cha cha but they change their mind when they saw me do it, lol.

Forwards & onwards to Warwick. Once in the town we circled a few times before
eventually finding the antique shops. We called in three promising shops but
again nothing doing. The best piece in any was a 1970's silver Salmon for
around £100. It's hard work hunting for corkscrews!
Final stop of the day we were guaranteed to see some good corkscrews at Underwood Wines. A warm welcome
awaited first by Dawn & then by Tim who soon found a nice bottle of red to open. If you've not been
to Underwood
you should. Tim has a good array of corkscrews for sale, plus a warehouse packed with fine wine & you'll
see some great classic cars too. We perused the corkscrews in the main warehouse & then Tim opened another
building where his huge map case/type display was located. Robert found the most beautiful faceted, early bow
with a hanging ring, the type found on a chatelaine. He also found a very early (probably 18th century) 5 tool bow
which was missing a couple of tools, a bargain though for £25. I bought an uncommon Bovril registered design
corkscrew & a Brewer Amor folding couple which needs a little TLC. We then returned to the main
warehouse & bought some wine on Tim's recommendation. We said our goodbyes & headed back on the road to
Back at Robert's Hotel we walked to The Oracle, the most recent development in the Town offering retail therapy
a plenty & a picturesque riverside which is flanked by restaurants & watering holes. We enjoyed a great meal
accompanied by some great wines at Jamie Oliver's Italian restaurant. Stuffed full, we walked back to Robert's
Hotel. After some brief wi fi ebaying I was off, a shortish walk back to the car to find a parking ticket waiting -
ggrrrrrrrrrrr. Seems I didn't read the small print below the big sign. Oh well, that's the way it goes. I headed home,
a great day.
5th September 2011
Wineleopard Road Trip - day three 3rd September - Reading to Lewes

We started todays hunt with a short walk to the only antique shop in Reading town. Robert quickly spotted a
Dewars advertising registered design waiters, a cracking buy for a tenner. Next we headed to Barkham out in the
sticks of Berkshire to a fairly
large centre, but despite
arriving 10 minutes after the
supposed opening time it was
locked up. We decided to
move on & headed to The
Barn at Eversley which is a
great looking shop, there were
quite a few corkscrews & I
bought a fancy Henshall type.

Five miles down the road to an
antique centre at Hartley
Witney. In a cabinet with about
20 corkscrews Robert spotted
a nice two tool bow with an
unusual square hinge. With the price being borderline & with no discount on offer he asked the assistent if she
would contact the seller to try & get an improved price. She phone but the seller wasn't around so she left a
answerphone message. We said we'd go for a pint & return to see if he responded. A good pint later we headed
back to the shop to find he hadn't called back, Robert bought it anyway, in truth it was a great deal without a
discount, but we all love a better deal :p With time restraints we picked up some food to eat on the run. Some
goat's cheese, wild Boar salami, smoked Dutch cheese & a French stick, add a couple of drinks & we hit the road.

We then visited a couple of
large antique centres on the
Surrey/Hants border. In the
first Robert bought a great
silver perfume for £25. It
boasted a heavy Rococo
design a great faceted shank -
super piece. The next quirky
centre had about 5 floors but
no corkscrews. In the previous
shop we got a tip of a fair
taking place down the road at
Farnham Maltings, we did the
decent thing & headed over.
Parked up 60 stalls awaited :p
I quickly picked up a silver perfume, cheap at £7 & then a PHV jigger for £15. Robert found a very cool Anri
figural & an Anri bottle stopper depicting the Wookey Hole Witch.

Time was really against us now, it was 2:30 p.m. we had a drive of about an hour & a half to get to Lewes where
five large antique centres waited. Closing time 5:00 p.m. it was going to be tight to get them all in, so it was
time to
the hammer to give us a chance. Wow! Haven't driven that fast since I won the Indianapolis 500 in some weird

We got to Lewes at 3:40, given us some chance of getting around the various antique centres. First stop -
nothing, but in the second between us we bought three different Anri pieces including a very cool dog bottle
stopper. In the next centre we thought we'd got the bargain of the day - a Grafton champagne tap, in great shape
& with the original box, attached was a price tag of £20. Unfortunately, the tag was for something else & the
correct price was £95, damn! I negotiated & a good price was agreed. In the final centre Robert found a cool
German seahorse with a folding worm & I found a cheap Britannia key corkscrew with the original box.
There were
floors that we ran out of time to explore - we convinced ourselves that each floor was corkscrewless. We
headed to a nearby pub for a final pint to toast a great trip.

Cheers Robert! You were great company, I enjoyed every minute of our trip. Shame we didn't have a major find,
who knows, maybe next time. Thanks to The Colonel, Webby & Tim for their fabulous hospitality. I think our trip
proves that pickings are pretty slim heading around the Country but the thrill of the hunt still makes it more than
worthwhile. Ardingly tomorrow - yeah!
Cheers Mr Wineleopard sir!
Some of our finds, including Robert's friend welcome gift - a
mannekin pis & my welcome gift, yes, has to be - a vine root.
The Twigg included to make us feel better.
Our Lewes haul with our
farewell pints.
5th September 2011
Rules, regulations & the return of an old friend

Just received a facsimile from the Corkscrew Buy It now committee with regards to Josef L'Africain's request for a
for his cat & fish bone corkscrew that he sold at the ICCA auction a few days back for 340 Euros. Here's
what it says, I quote..

With regards to Josef L'Africain's claim for a BIN point for his cat & fish bone corkscrew the Corkscrew Buy
It Now
agree on receipt of the following:

  • Written confirmation of the sale from the auctioneer
  • Written confirmation of the sale by two independent witnesses
  • A photograph of 340 Euros changing hands between Josef & his buyer
Seems a little radical but I guess the committee wants everything above board. Hopefully Josef can get to work
providing the required information & claim the all important point.

Our old friend the Masked
Mauler is back & wants a
piece of the BIN trophy
action. His claim is for a
Dray he picked up on a BIN
for £340 late last night. It's
great to have you back in
the action Mauler but I'm not
certain your piece is a
guaranteed double up so I
can't give you a point.

Poor Gav isn't fairing any better. He tried his luck on a double up by listing on ebay (see rules) when a couple of
his BINs were refused a point. Both his pieces came up short, so Gav remains pointless.

Finally, fresh back from his UK trip, the Wineleopard waisted no time getting back on the ebay searches & picked
up a black large Syroco Police dog for a $50 BIN. You're good Mr Wineleopard, real good, but this one is too
tight to award you a point I'm afraid.
8th September 2011
Things are hotting up

It was late, I was sorting some paperwork, nearly ready to hit the sack. A quick check of newly listed UK & US &
there it was - a very nice early pocket corkscrew, staring at $19.99 no reserve. I made a $60 offer & waited, then
waited some more. An hour passed & no response from the seller. Just as I was ready to give up the ghost I
checked the listing again & there it was - the magic BIN button - a bit like scoring a goal at Wembley. Sweet,
sweet, sweet, $60 buy it now :) worth plenty more than double.

Five minutes
later, received an
email from the
turns out he hit
the button too.
Looks like I beat
him to the
checkout by
seconds. Great
stuff, call me
quick fire Pete :)
I also picked up a deal the other day for a fox figural corkscrew, a £12 BIN. My gutt feeling is it might be silver, if
so, I'll list it on ebay looking for a £30 return which will give me another point.

Josef L'Africain provided the Corkscrew buy it now committee with a clear picture showing his cat & fish bone next
to a sales receipt from the ICCA auction. Conclusive evidence that the corkscrew did sell for 340 Euros &
although there is no provision in the rules for such a claim the committee have decided that the 2010 champ
deserves appropriate respect & therefore he has been awarded a point. This does however open up doors for
anyone else that wants to send in a picture of a receipt next to a corkscrew they purchased on an ebay buy it
now. Each case will be considered on individual merit, lets get creative ;)
10th September 2011
Masked Mauler get his point

The flood gates have opened following the Josef L'Africain point for the cat & fish bones corkscrew. It was always
going to be a controversial award. Some say it's unfair, others that its favouritism, others are probably looking for
loop holes to get their own points on the board.

Received an interesting claim for a point from a mystery ebayer who goes by the name of corkscrew Vulture. You
guys are creative!  Apparently the Vulture bought a four finger pull on a BIN for £5 & has just sold it to a fellow
collector for £50 & demands a point. Sorry Vulture but your evidence (non existent) lacks credibility.
Two new points have
been awarded. The
first to The Masked
Mauler. He sold his
Dray which turned out
to be a Page
registered design, a
more uncommon
piece, for more than
double. He seems an
honest chap & it is a decent piece, so I have no reason to doubt him. Well done Mr Mauler!

The other point goes to Graeme Nott who plundered a very nice four tool bow for £25. I'd give him £50 for it & I'm
cheap, so happy to award the point. Good job Graeme!

16 BINS, that's good going guys. I reckon it's still anybody's game.
10th September 2011
Mega Corkscrew Fix :)

Bought some fantastic pieces for the
collection earlier today. I've pretty much
emptied my corkscrew piggy bank.
Therefore the Heeley A1's will probably be
hitting ebay any day soon. And, anyone
that wants a 10% discount on anything on
my website for sale & free S+H - you got

My view is when you see good
corkscrews you should snap them up,
just as long as the price isn't prohibitive &
the condition is good. Better to invest in
top end corkscrews then a volatile stock
market or a low return building society.
Love them all, but especially delighted with the mini double folder, amazing piece & in A1 condition. The horse legs are
really unusual what with the small fixed blade below one hoof. Baby Mop legs - cool. Van Geison - fabulous. Very early 2
piece bow with screw nut hinge and knurling round the rim - glorious!
11th September 2011
Gav gets his BIN

Don't think anyone has tried harder then Gavin to get a point on the board. He's bought some borderline buy it
now corkscrews that just haven't cut it. And when he's tried to take his chances with these same pieces on ebay
looking for the magic double up he has just come up short.

Gav has changed all that with a sweet BIN. A job lot of cutlery for £8 with includes a cracking little perfume
corkscrew. Good on you Gavin!

All I can say now is - come on Tommy!
14th September 2011
Wineleopard Controversy

With two separate readers highlighting a recent ebay result
relative to the 2011 buy it now contest it would be remiss of
me to not investigate.

On 15th August, Robert Leopardi got a $45 BIN for a brass
waiters with advertising for Acqua S. Perrigrino. The point was
awarded with yours truly believing that it should easily be
hitting the required double up of $90. Trouble is, Robert
recently listed it on ebay & the 7 day auction finished way
short at just $71. Here's what the readers are saying:

His Pellegrino only sold for $71 dollars.  :)  Does
this "disqualify" the BIN Point awarded?

Just seen that Wineleopards waiter came up short. Whats the
committee doing bout that then?

This is obviously a serious issue & shouldn't be taken lightly.
Wineleopard's point has therefore been suspended pending a
decision from the committee, due on Monday 19th September.

Looks like the comp has a new leader - me! I would like to add
I have absolutely no satisfaction taking the lead in this
controversial manner ;)
14th September 2011

Went to kempton Park antique fair on tuesday. I picked up a Titan
bar screw, a massive hunters penknife, a nude cap lifter called
Jugsy, an Austrian figural cat corkscrew, a Maws tap & a full figure
mechanical Anri guy (courtesy of Gav).

I'd made arrangements to hook up with a chap who had some very
nice pieces for sale. Once sat down, a big ball of bubble wrap came
out of his bag & within the bubble wrap were about 10 great
corkscrews. I bought quite a few, mostly keepers.

This picnic is stunning, boasting wonderful bands of gold pique decoration & geogious faceted detail to the steel.
A welcome addition to the Borrett collection!
14th September 2011
Who would of thought it?

I've lost count how many cards I've handed out at antique shops over the
years without a result. That changed the other day when out of the blue I
received a phone call telling me about an unusual corkscrew that was
available :)

The unusual corkscrew turned out to be a very nice Thomason compound
& a deal was quickly agreed.

If you have an antique shop & have just found an antique corkscrew - I'm
your man. Drop me a line, cash waiting for good, bad & sometimes very
ugly corkscrews.
14th September 2011
Okay, lets get serious

I know, I'm somewhat of a joker in the pack & maybe sometimes a little flippant, possibly bordering on
disrespectful. I don't mean to be, but I do like a laugh & sometimes people are just way too serious. Well, it's time
for me to become serious for once.

I'm now approaching my 47th birthday. I don't feel as though I'm edging towards 50, I'm definitely young at heart,
however, my body does, creaky knees, dodgy eyes & slower sports recovery make me realise I'm not getting any

I'm concerned. I've been collecting now for 10 years, I'm incredibly passionate about my corkscrew collecting &
yes, I'm definitely addicted to my daily corkscrew fixes. The reason I'm concerned is, I still feel like the new kid on
the block, when, as I stated, I've been collecting now for 10 years. Where are the next generation of corkscrew
collectors? I have no clue - do you? I only know of a couple of young bucks that have come on the scene since I
have, Gav & Tommy, & Gav at this time just deals. Who am I missing? I don't think I am. And, if I am right,
how are
we as
a collective group of corkscrew collecting enthusiasts going to encourage & nurture the next generation to
be as passionate as us?  

Newer collectors soon find ebay but there's a lack of interaction there. The books are great, plenty of them but
many are ridiculously expensive, obviously small production runs & heavy books don't come cheap. The Internet
is spreading the word but ultimately, there is nothing better than interaction with fellow collectors. I enjoy the
meets with the Brits at the ABCDE club, which is well run now by Richard Stevenson who keeps us all informed of
corkscrew info & works very hard trying to get regular meetings organised. It's free to join, welcoming for newbies,
pretty much perfect in my opinion. I also enjoy exchanging emails with many corkscrewy guys.

Unfortunately, I believe that there is a level of elitism within our hobby, bred from personal status, education &
social standing, driven by personal affluence & the ability to afford. I believe there is a lack of foresight into what
really is required to develop interest within the hobby long term. Rules, regulations & bureaucracy stand in the
way of the younger collectors who might come from modest backgrounds, with modest incomes & with priorities
young families.

I have some back copies of some CCCC Quarterly Worm newsletters dating onwards from the early 1990's. The
other night I was reading a very eloquent letter, written by Fred O'learly with regard to a past discussion of
registration fees at the annual CCCC meeting. This dated back to November, 7th 1997. As I said, Fred's letter
was very eloquent, raising good reasoning for justifying the high meeting registration fees. He mentioned not
compromising the experience of the meeting. In his words, I quote "I want more than a good time. I want an
experience, be it the personal engagements, learning about the historical/cultural background of the community,
having the opportunity to extend the trip beyond the weekend to visit friends and a place we might not otherwise
get to see. In other words, the AGM becomes the nucleus of our summer vacation". Fred goes on to say that
allowing members to pick & choose what activities they attend would open a big can of worms, yes, I'm sure it

Steven Webb recently resigned from the ICCA. He was informed that it was noted that he attended the CCCC
meeting in Cologne but didn't attend the ICCA meeting in Greece. Members were also informed of their
responsibilities, which in the ICCA means you have to attend one meeting every three years to sustain
membership. Steven felt uncertain whether he could comply with this requirement with the cost being a prohibitive

Here is my opinion. Firstly, a provision within the CCCC meeting for paid up members to attend for the day of the
buy sell & auction should be a given. It should be within the annual membership cost. Additional costs such as
meals & drinks should be covered by this member. I don't believe it would affect the numbers registering for the
full meeting in any way. More corkscrews to see. More bought, more sold, higher prices, happier sellers & buyers,
win, win, win. Offering an affordable option would definitely encourage newer collectors or collectors on a tighter
budget to attend, giving a flavour of the meet & who knows, maybe they'll enjoy the taste so much they
will want to
find some way to commit themselves next time & attend the whole event. The guys & girls that do the three day
stretch will always do the three day stretch, as Fred O'learly wrote "I want an experience" & plenty do. Richard
Stevenson confirmed just that when we discussed the topic about a month back on the phone.

As for Steven Webb feeling he should resign from the ICCA due to being uncertain whether he can attend a
meeting to conform to ICCA rules I just think that's incredible sad. I know of no one person more passionate then
Steven Webb within corkscrew collecting circles. The guy is incredibly enthusiastic, knowledgeable & has much to
offer. Surely these are the people that should be encouraged.

Am I talking nonsense here? Tell me.

I'm fully aware that Clubs offer some amazing benefits to the avid corkscrew collector & would recommend
collectors to get involved. I do feel that the two major corkscrew clubs out there could have rules that could be
more encouraging to collectors with limited budgets or with young family responsibilities.

What do you guys think?
15th September 2011
A sweet tap at a sweet price

Just picked up this great champagne tap at
auction via a phone bid. Pretty much hit my
number, but that's okay as my number wasn't
that high. It's a sought after French 1830
patent champagne tap by Gustave Deleuze.

Fully working, some light surface rust that
should clean nicely. Give me two dusters,
some elbow grease & a bottle of Goddard's
silver polish & I'll have it sparkling so much
that any passing Magpie will dive bomb the
windows to grab it.

I now have five taps in my collection. Cool
19th September 2011
The Committee have spoken

The 2011 corkscrew buy it now trophy committee were in
session late last night debating the merits of Robert
Leopardi's suspended point (see 14th September Blog). In a
fiery exchange, committee members were split, some saying
that the BIN would normally be worth way more than the $90 &
he was just unlucky, others saying it should be permanently
removed from the records, otherwise the competition would be
nothing more than a farce. A tense vote followed. I can reveal
that the committee have decided in Wineleopard's favour, his
point has therefore been reinstated & he gets back a share of
the lead.
19th September 2011
Three months later

It's right up near the top of my wish list & maybe,
just maybe I might be able to buy one shortly.

I was contacted ages ago by a lady saying she
thought she might have a Jones II corkscrew. She
listed dimensions which looked pretty much spot on.
I asked for pictures so I could confirm but heard
nothing. Two months later I followed up asking for
pictures once again. That was around a month
back. Today, around twelve photos arrived in my
inbox. They do say patience is a virtue.
I'll give it my best shot but It remains to be seen whether I'll be buying it. Fingers crossed. Will let you know.
19th September 2011
Hell of a Sunday afternoon

With less than two weeks remaining in the 2011 Corkscrew
Buy It Now challenge, now is the time to put the hard
refreshing graft in if you want a chance of winning the
magnificent trophy.

I have to confess that I've been checking ebay more
frequently than normal in the hope that a BIN appeared at the
right price or maybe, a good piece that was worth asking for a
BIN to be added.

Yesterday, I was under strict orders from Ruthie to list my old
drum kit & a couple of guitars on ebay. I have a newer drum
kit & too many guitars, so I was a good boy & did what I was
told. Trying to make the listings eye catching, I was working
away on my computer for some time, occasionally looking in
on newly listed corkscrews. Talk about lucky boy, I somehow
managed to hit the button on a couple mega revised BINs :)
First, a Brummel for £100 & then a rare registered design
rams head can opener with corkscrew for £60. Both hit the
double up easily, so I'm now flying the Union Jack high with a
nice two point lead.
Thanks to those of you that responded
regarding my Blog,
Okay, lets get serious
published on the 14th, September. I'll update
with the views of fellow collectors in due
28th September 2011
Shine it up baby!

Back on the 26th August I Blogged about buying an unusual Thomason type corkscrew with what appeared to
be a fancy engraved barrel. The said corkscrew arrived a few days back & after a WD40 clean up I noticed a
glimmer of something shiny. A glimmer was all I needed to spend the next couple of hours polishing while
goggling the TV. There's something very satisfying when the grime comes off to reveal a silvery shine. Turns
out this Thomason was originally silver plated & has indeed got a very decorative barrel depicting leaves &
flowers. Most of the silver plate has gone, probably about 20% is left.

I've never seen anything like it! I've looked through the books, catalogues, even Screwbase & can't find
another. Anyone got a reference?
28th September 2011
Just 2 days left

Stoke up the coffee machine,
buy some cocktail sticks to prop
up your eyes & go for it!

Have been a number of BIN
claims since I last Blogged &
some points awarded.

Josef bought a wormless Ross
pig for a $25 BIN. The committee
say "An easy $50, buyers would
bid that or more based on an
easy fix". One point to Josef
then. Josef bought a beautiful
miniature bow with lovely
decoration - a $35 BIN. The call
"Great piece but too
borderline".  Josef also
purchased a mixed lot which
included a Korkmaster for a BIN
of $20. Unfortunately
Korkmasters typically don't hit
$50 these days so no point.

Robert managed 3 BINS in one
evening. First though, he bought
a Negbaur pig for $40,
considered to unlikely a double
up. Back to his three BINS in
one evening. Two great Anri bar
sets & a very cool Syroco
Pickwick. First the unusual
Bartender Anri set for a BIN
price of $45 was considered an
easy double up = 1 point. Next
the Anri bar set with the two
chaps standing by a fence - a
$35 BIN. The committee were
torn over this one, a tight call
indeed. It was decided that it
was unusual enough to make
the $70 needed. Another point.
Robert's final BIN was for a very
nice stained Syroco Pickwick for
$125. Maybe it would, maybe it
wouldn't?? However, Online
evidence of two Pickwick
corkscrews selling in one lot for
less than $200 means no point
will be awarded.
Finally, Roman bought a very nice four tool bow on a $70 BIN but nothing doing here
28th September 2011
I'm digging in for the Brits

Just picked up a cool collection of bar collectibles for a $24.99 BIN. Okay, maybe not that cool. I told the seller
that she can keep the Donkey with carriage, Scotsman, other decanter & golf clubs. The stained Waiter can
travel solo. A pretty straightforward double up which puts me back in the lead. Yeah!!!
29th September 2011
Point for Tommy!

He left it late but Tommy has come good. Late last night he found a BIN for a bone handle Henshall for AU $35. I
make that £22. Looks a pretty straightforward double up to me.

Robert has listed his Negbaur pig on a $80 BIN & his Pickwick for $300. The rule book says you can list them
back on ebay & if you get a double up a point will be awarded. So, if you want the trophy to stay in the US for
another year help the Wineleopard out & buy one or both.

Robert's Negbaur Pig     Robert's Pickwick

I can't see it happening though Robert. Looks like the trophy is heading to Blighty. Yeah!!!

Calling all Brits! Lets get ready to party
15th October 2011
£140 Peg & Worm Man

For as long as I can remember, a dealer who
attends various antique fairs such as
Ardingly, Shepton Mallet & Kempton has
offered a fairly regular peg & worm corkscrew
with faceted ends for £140. For some reason I
keep asking the price but for probably two
years the price has remained a firm £140.

Well today at Portobello market the peg &
worm was reduced to £120. So, at £20 off
every two years I reckon I should be able to
buy it in around 2020.
He did however have another corkscrew today, fresh goods to the market & all that. I asked, he
replied "£140". I pondered the £20 discount due in 2013, I didn't really, I just bought. I now own a
near mint, fully marked sterling 1888 Fairchild patent. Thanks Mr £140 Peg & Worm man!
Just like winning an Oscar, only better.

I'd like to thank....
My family for their support & patience
strong coffee for keeping me awake
my ISP, the broadband worked great guys!
my super fast Intel processor
Holly for the use of her laptop on demand
All the great ebay sellers for offering the BINs
& of course, the Wineleopard for running me so close & all my
fellow ebay Binner friends for taking part
See you in August/September 2012 for more ebay buy it now mayhem.
19th October 2011
Josef, you've created a Monster

The revised buy it now on ebay at one time was somewhat of a mystery.
One day you'd see a good piece on ebay & the next it was sold, all quite
puzzling. That was until an email arrived from the one & only Josef "the
binner" L'Africain, boasting about his latest conquest.

Today, we've gone buy it now bonkers! Just seen this listing on ebay with
5 BIN requests on one day.

Q:  Hi 7redhens, I've been collecting these leg corkscrews for many years.
Yours appear to be a manufacturing error, since the celluloid scales got
too hot, and started to get wavy. I would like to buy these very much. If I
offered you $400, would you sell them to me? Best regards Robert
A:   Thank You for the information and offer but it's going to go for the
total days.
Q:  I'd like to ship this item to my friend for his birthday. Do you mind shipping to the UK for me? If you put a buy
it now on this corkscrew, I can pay you immediately.  Oct-17-11
A:   Yes I will ship to the UK and I will not put a buy it now on it Thank You for asking  

Q:  hi, theese [sic] seem to make 250-300 bucks on a good ebay day. Can I buy this one right away for 300 as I
need a set quickly, too quickly to bid. Please let me know asap. Thanks! Oct-17-11
A:   No thanks It will run the full time listed

Q:  How about 200 dollars? Oct-17-11
A:   No Thank YOu

Q:  Hi, would you do a 250.00 Buy It Now? Thx! Oct-17-11
A:   No Thank You, It will run the full time.
19th October 2011
ICCA Auction time

It's coming up to that time of year again. Time for the
ICCA auctions.

I've got 40 auctions lined up, including some great
pieces. The best of the lot is my Cherub frame, it's a
stunning piece, of museum quality but as my focus is
based on English corkscrews I decided I'd list it.

What are you listing? Free ads here, just let me know
& I'll spread the word.

No doubt our tongues will be hitting the floor when it
opens for business on 29th October.
19th October 2011
Staffordshire Pocket

A lovely South Staffordshire enamel
pocket corkscrew sold earlier today
at Bonhams auctioneers in London.

Thought to date from 1790, it's a
similar piece to the one shown in
Watney & Babbidge's book -
Corkscrews for collectors on page 17.

If you have a similar corkscrew I'd be
delighted to buy it from you.
19th October 2011
Oh My! :)

The ebay binners didn't
succeed this week when a rare
corkscrew came online. The
seller deciding (quite bravely)
to go the distance. No doubt
he's smiling now. A couple of
snipe bids in the final seconds
took the piece over $10k -

Makes me realise just how
lucky I was earlier this year
when I found a near perfect
example at Ardingly.
19th October 2011
It's a World Record!

I was asked the other day if I knew of the most expensive corkscrew ever sold. Well, I'm not absolutely certain but I have a
pretty good idea, so I answered accordingly. I broke my answer down to record prices at UK auction, ebay, the ICCA auctions
& a mystery private deal that I'm aware of.

World record auction price - An English early to mid 18th century silver pocket corkscrew with Royal provenance sold for
£18400 at Christies, South Kensington, London, at the Watney collection in May 1997. Engraved on the handle, "E*H, 1st
Nov 1743" the sheath engraved with later monogram and presentation inscription, A.R., for Alexandra Regina, From The
Queen Jan 1910, it was sold with a fitted velvet lined fish skin case.

World record ebay price - A Schrapnel patent mechanical corkscrew complete with the original leather lined frame to fit the
neck of the bottle. It sold for just over £10,000 to a Spanish collector in 2005.

World record ICCA auction price - In 2008, Don Bull sold an exceptional gold & agate pocket corkscrew to an Italian collector
for $21,000.

World record private deal?? - £23,000 changed hands in 2010 for a rare English mechanical.

If you know different, drop me a line & I'll update.

Watney collection silver pocket sold
for £18400
A Schrapnel holds the ebay
World record price
Yes, it is exceptional. The
ICCA auctions World
record stands at $21000
Maybe the true individual World
record price for a corkscrew?
21st October 2011
Corkscrew tattoo anyone?

This chap was photographed walking the streets of
Milan with an unusual eye catching tattoo. Very

Adding to the list of people with some corkscrew body
art. I know that Jim Edgar has a Henshall tattooed on
his right shoulder, opposite a lovely dragonfly on his
left shoulder. I had a 2 pillar Thomason tattooed on
my arse last year. God it hurt! Rumour has it that
Tommy has a blue Ross pig tattooed on the end of his
@!*?. Makes your eyes water just thinking about it!
27th October 2011
The Grapefruit Dead - Live
Halloween Extravaganza

I'll miss the big launch of the ICCA on Saturday. I'm otherwise
engaged playing with my band "The Grapefruit Dead" at a
Halloween gig party.

I'm off to the fancy dress shop tomorrow to splash some cash on
an outfit. I'm thinking I'll either go as the Dealer of Death to the
left there, or maybe The Gothic Count on the right.

Our set is 12 songs long, around 40 minutes. I sing one, play
bass on one, drum on 3 & play guitar on the others. Should be a
blast! 3 other bands, fancy lights, smoke machine, mega watt
PA (silly loud) + add beer - my sort of night!

Happy Halloween!
3rd November 2011
One stylish picnic

I got very carried away a week or
so ago when a nice looking picnic
came up at auction. I'd signed up
to bid online & as always had a
figure in mind to bid. Cut to the
chase - sale day. When the
hammer came down my bid was
the highest & at about £200 more
than I'd planned. Yes, a very bad
case of auction fever.
I suppose if you're going to get a dose of auction fever, get it when it's a piece out of the ordinary. This very
stylish two finger pocket corkscrew is more detailed than previous examples that I've seen. The threads are great
& the worm is full length, extending pretty much to the base of the sheath. Probably dates to around 1790 or
thereabouts, it's also signed. A great addition to the collection!

I'm off for some self control therapy!
12th November 2011
Predictable I know, but....
Seconds out ICCA round one

Prior to this round of the ICCA auctions
the corkscrew rumour mongers have
been wondering if Fotodeal's bubble
might be close to bursting, as after all if
you've bought 10,000+ pieces in a
couple of years, surely there can't be too
many left on the list? Well, it appears
there are plenty left on Fotodeal's list as
tonight his winning bids were like a
knockout blow, followed by another
knockout blow to corkscrew collectors
from around the World who for a couple
of weeks now have been studying the
photos, checking references, looking up
past auction prices & carefully working
out their bidding budgets.

Guys, it's a no contest!

I could sense the frustration as many well
known collectors couldn't get their hefty
bids to stick. I had a couple of brushes
with Fotodeal myself but resigned myself
pretty quickly to my under bidder fate.

Mike Tyson v Barry from the Chuckle
Brothers pretty much sums things up.
Tense, traumatic, nerve racking? Yes, for
the under bidder. A day in the park for
Fotodeal - hammer $30000
A bidding war Fotodeal lost. Wow! Bert
Giulian spent a cool $12500 on this
fancy picnic
This battle went on for ages - 56 bids ages.
Fotodeal prevailed for a tidy $17000
Hey, I won a corkscrew. An unusual
Kings from the Frank Ellis collection.
Thankfully Fotodeal didn't like the look
of this one. Phew!
25th November 2011
See you at Portobello

Captain Richard Stevenson has called a mini ABCDE
meeting at Portobello Road, next Saturday, the 3rd of
December. If you're in London you absolutely must come
along & meet up. The plan is to hit the Cafe, downstairs in
the Admiral Vernon Arcade at 9:00 a.m. prompt. Private
Borrett & Private Webb are definitely going, likely others
too. All welcome - hope to see you there!

For information about Portobello Road, what dealers to see
& how to get there, follow this link.

Antique hunting at Portobello Road
The Admiral Vernon Arcade is the large white building shown
in the photo with multiple canopies, the Cafe is downstairs.
5th December 2011

A few hardcore corkscrew collectors met up on Saturday
for the mini meet at Portobello Road antique market in the
heart of London. I have to say social jolly aside it was well
worth the trip as plenty of corkscrews were waiting for us.
As always Ilya Emerson had some top quality pieces
available, whats more Wally had all his brown boxes full of
corkscrews emptied on his sales counter & many other
traders had good pieces on display. I would recommend
you visit sometime soon.  

Really pleased with the unusual Kings rack (ICCA auctions
win) that I picked up from Barbara Ellis. Barbara was busy
pulling out packages from her bag & passing them to
various collectors. Yes, I got yours Tommy! Richard &
Francois brought a few very nice pieces along to show &
tell, I particularly liked a fancy bow that Francois found at
Kempton for a pittance. I managed to strike a good deal
with Gav on a nice 2 pillar & was really pleased with the
various other pieces I picked up, shown above right. I also
picked up a fancy Coney pocket corkscrew from Wally
which is not shown.

Special mention to Phil Trent who has a taken out a pitch
at Portobello for the Winter months. Phil has been trading
corkscrews for many years. Internet users will know him as
Windhorse on ebay & the ICCA. You'll find Phil in The
Gallery & you'll definitely find some corkscrews on his
stand. Look for a chap impeccably dressed.

So the moral of the story - when Captain Richard
Stevenson calls a mini meet at Portobello - come along,
get yourself involved & go find some great corkscrews.
The Fletcher Wallis Emporium
A days hunting at Portobello
Top first, left to right: Unusual Kings, an ICCA win that I
picked up from Barbara, 2 pillar bought from Gav, good Dutch
silver pocket found on a random stall, brass Austrian horn
found on a random stall, unusual heart bow & peg bought
from Ilya, early 2 pillar & unusual Hipkins Signit bought  from
Wally & a horn handled Diamant purchased from Phil Trent
The one & only super Gav! We struck a deal for his 2 pillar.
5th December 2011
Beaten to the button

"It's just not cricket" said the Colonel.

Unfortunately Stephen Paul has been beaten to the button
on his last two buy it nows requests, the latest being a two
pillar which appeared on ebay US Sunday night. While he
was patiently waiting for the sellers response to his
suggested $150 BIN, the seller was busy adding the magic
button to the listing. Before Stephen knew it someone else
had taken his prize. Nooooooo!

I said I'd try & work out which one of the 10 likely ebay
bandits, I mean chaps got it. Didn't take me long. Nice grab

I managed my own buy it now on Sunday when I picked up a
celluloid Alligator from an antique store in Maine. I got lucky
as the store decided to accept my $300 all in offer rather than adding a heftier price tag & placing it in a glass
cabinet. It looks pretty tired but it's complete & very nicely marked for D. Peres Germany.
22nd December 2011
Happy Christmas one & all!

It's been a cracking collecting year. Back in February I wrote a most wanted list & in 10 months I've
been able to tick off 16 pieces, notably, a Hootch Owl, Chinnock with snail faces, Cotterill, Newton
Ratchet & Loach.

During 2011 I've picked up some small mini collections too. I've gone from none to six different
variations of Satr celluloid horse legs, including a couple of rare variants. I've also added some great
silver pockets to an ever growing collection. Probably my personal favourite mini collection within my
collection this year is for some great early double folder corkscrews, I love the early steel pieces &
have decided that six of the best will be my best 6 for 2011.

I hope you've had a great year too & good hunting during 2012!
Peter Borrett
BEST SIX for 2011
~Double folder corkscrews~

Double folding corkscrews were first manufactured during the late 18th century. Designed with
simple function but with a certain style & elegance. Two hinges enable the corkscrew to fold out to
form a T handle & then fold down for safety in the pocket. These corkscrew always have pipe
tamper ends.

Double folding corkscrews were produced in Ireland by notable makers such as Dublin Cutlers
Richard Singleton & Thomas Read but also in England by makers such as W. Pardoe, I. Best &
Riley, amongst others.

It appears that they were produced up until 1880, this is when they were last seen in a trade
~from left to right & top to bottom~
1. Finely engraved example, engraved detail shown in top picture below.
2, Example with very unusual worm. Marked I. Best.
3. Very decorative example with both ribbed & faceted decoration, as shown in bottom picture below.
4. Oversize example marked W. Pardoe.
5. Burnished steel example by the famous Irish, Dublin Cutler Thomas Read, marked "READ".
6. A miniature example.
I. Best manufactured
double folder corkscrews in
the midlands of England
Thomas Read, Dublin
W. Pardoe,
Wolverhampton, England
Right, unusual cyphered
worm. Thicker with train
line type ridges for strength

Getting close now. Put Saturday, 29th October in your diary for the start of the Autumn ICCA auctions. I've
thumb nailed my 40 auctions below, some cracking pieces. From Saturday, 29th, you can go directly to my ICCA
auction sales here
Peter Borrett ICCA auction listings

Good luck with your buying & selling!