Corkscrews Online
by Peter Borrett
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1st January 2012
Happy New Year!

Hope you had a great Christmas &
happy new year to one & all.

I've been having somewhat of a sort out
& have revamped the corkscrews for
sale section of Corkscrews Online.
There are seven new categories & over
300 new pieces added, so be sure to
check it out.

Good English classic corkscrews wanted
- Happy to trade anything in the
Updated 1/1/12
300 corkscrews added to the corkscrews for sale catalogue
Corkscrews Online Corkscrews for sale
13th January 2012
Good old Mr Goodall!

I recently purchased this BB lever from a chap in New
Zealand. It's been on quite a journey!

Henry Seward Bowles Goodall patented this English
single lever in 1889. It was sold in Goodall's 1893
catalogue at 8/ - per dozen wholesale, with extra
screws being sold at 3/ - per dozen.
Given that this lever design rarely surfaces it's fair to presume that it wasn't overly successful. It's interesting
comparing this design to Goodall's earlier Holborn lever, patented in 1885 which was marketed at the same
price within the exact same catalogue. The Holborn lever surfaces approximately 3-4 times a year on ebay, I
can't recall seeing the BB lever surface at all. Both Goodall's designs enable a more defined vertical extraction
of a cork but it appears that didn't hold much favour with the wholesalers who likely invested their cash on more
basic, cheaper levers, the like we all see regularly within the marketplace.

If you have a BB lever, also marked Pat No 13314, I'd be delighted to buy it from you. Please drop me an email
with a couple of pictures to
17th January 2012
Make-up for Borrett

The BBC came over yesterday to film a
feature about corkscrews for a forthcoming
new antiques series which will be shown
sometime in the Spring.

I chatted with presenter Mark Hill about
Henshall, Thomason, Heeley, ladies legs,
amongst others. Hopefully not too many gaffs.

They were a nice bunch, very courteous &
friendly, being especially lovely to my
daughter Holly who is studying both Drama &
Media studies for GCSE & was very
interested in proceedings. She was asking
loads of questions which they were very happy to answer.
They of course left my fee, a nice, fat BBC cheque for £1500. Very nice! Joking of course. We did manage three
bottles of vino though, the remains of a two Thomason & one Baker patent decorking.

I'll let you know when I get a date for the show so you can get your popcorn ready & prepare for a good laugh.
18th January 2012
Wait for the whistle

I visited the Sandown Park racecourse antique fair
yesterday. It's a fun fair to attend as the sellers can
only stall out when the organisers blow the entry
whistle for the public at 11:00 am prompt. If a seller
has a Jones II in a box you might just walk past at the
precise moment it's placed on their stall. We can
dream can't we?

Not a great deal to report, although I did buy a very
nice Stone's registered Twin corkscrew boasting a very
crisp lozenge. I picked up a couple of other borderline
corkscrews that I could of easily left behind. I did
however buy an interesting whistle with a cartridge
extractor that should make a few quid when I get
around to listing it on our favourite (or not so) Internet
site. Having circled the entire fair about ten times I
went off to meet up with Webby & Wally for a coffee.
We compared notes. Wally picked up a cased Maws
tap & one of those miniature spring frame corkscrews.
Webby scored a blank.

Long time corkscrew dealer Peter Carr had arranged
to meet Webby to show him a piece. It turned out to be
a sweet miniature bone handled corkscrew with some
lovely shank detail. Webby passed, I didn't.

Peter was quite excited about a piece he found at the
fair that he had never seen before in 20 years of
dealing corkscrews. He pulled out a half barrel Kings.
Quite funny. I bought one last year, on the back of a
photo & when it arrived I thought - way cool! I'd never
seen one before either. Picture ------>
My example has a Rodgers badge, a very nice bone side winder. Unfortunately the main handle has a broken
end. Peter's example had a regular steel side winder, no badge & was missing the end cap. I wonder it that
was a Rodgers too. I believe he'll be listing in on the ICCA auctions in the Spring. It'll be interesting seeing
what it makes.
Beware the Sharks & the Monsters on

Corkscrew collectors are getting stung by
unscrupulous sellers every week on eBay. Fakes,
reproductions & blatant marriages are

The time has come to fight back, name & shame
these rogue sellers & declare what eBay items are
dubious to help the corkscrew collecting

Corkscrew buyer beware on eBay
27th January 2012
Corkscrew buyer beware on ebay

I received a phone call earlier this week from an irate eBay seller who threatened legal action if I did not
remove his item from the
corkscrew buyer beware on eBay page. Wow, news travels fast. I explained that
I had seen the same piece on many occasions, it was definitely no more than 10 years old & his claim of
18th/19th century was way wide of the mark. He wouldn't compromise the listing in any way & I have
removed the item from the page.

This is what we are up against guys!

I'm going take some legal advise to see exactly how far I can push this issue as I don't want to give in to
these bully boys.

Stay tuned.
9th February 2012
6 months later

This very nice 2 pillar with dusting brush has just
been added to the collection. A great piece which
has been on the wants list for some time.

I received an email about six months ago from a
lady that inherited the corkscrew from her Father. I
made an offer, as did others but I heard nothing
more. Last week I received an email out of the blue
asking if I was still interested. A deal was very
quickly agreed & a Motorway service rendezvous
was arranged.
9th February 2012
One for Fotodeal & three for me

I've always liked folding bow corkscrews & have been
lucky to acquire some very nice ones over the years. I
recently struck a deal to buy four little crackers. Three
silver examples & a steel two tool example.

The silver examples are all English.

Top left, was hallmarked in 1893 at the Birmingham
assay office & was manufactured by silversmiths
Constantine & Floyd.
Alfred Constantine and William Henry Floyd initially had their business at Caroline Street, Birmingham. Marks were
registered at Birmingham, London and Chester. They moved their business in 1903 to 14, Regent Place,
Birmingham. The firm was incorporated as a limited liability company in 1901 under the style of Constantine &
Floyd Ltd. They opened a branch in 1903 at 45, Hatton Garden, London. Constantine & Floyd Ltd were eventually
absorbed in 1931 by H. Williamson Ltd.

Top right, is a very fine steel bow with stunning faceted detail, a superb cyphered wire helix. It has a hanging ring
so it could be attached, possible to a chatelaine. A very beautiful & delicate miniature which likely dates to around

Bottom left has a Birmingham hallmark which dates it to 1882. Maker mark "HW" is shown as unidentified. I did
discover a London silversmith Henry Wilkinson who used the mark "HW", so that is possible, although unlikely
given the geography.

Bottom right has a Birmingham hallmark for 1891, the makers mark "H. W. A." is another unknown silversmith.

Each bow is 1" or less, excluding the hanging rings.

It's not the first time that I've struggled to establish specific silversmiths despite reading very clear hallmarks.
However, I am an armchair researcher & only research using the power of Google. I guess as time goes on, more
information will be available on the WWW to fill the many gaps.

Good website resources for dating & researching silver are:
29th February 2012
Thomason badges

We all know that there are a myriad of different badges that
appear on Thomason corkscrews, and similarly there are many
claims that any one Thomason is much older than another. Whilst
it is often not possible to prove or disprove many of these claims,
there is one simple test which can apply to certain badges which
show the royal crest or coat of arms.

When the Hanoverian kings came to the throne of England, they
also retained their title to the Kingdom of Hanover. However, when
King William IV died in 1837 he left no male heir and the Crown of
England passed to his niece Victoria. As the title to the kingdom of
Hanover could only pass down a male line, the Hanoverian title
lapsed. Up until the death of William IV the Hanoverian connection
was shown by a central escutcheon superimposed in the middle of
the royal crest - after Victoria assumed the throne this was

If you look at the top right photo, the badge shows the central
escutcheon, definitely dating it to pre-1837. The lower example
has no escutcheon meaning it is post 1837.
2nd March 2012
Just in from Don Bull. Check out this link about a stolen silver corkscrew.

West Hampstead vicar tackles church collection box thief
3rd March 2012
Modern art

Are you a fan? Half a cow preserved in formaldehyde, a display of an
untidy room or how about three blank canvases?

A parcel arrived a couple of days back (I love parcels!). A good size
box, well sealed with brown tape. I opened it to find a big mail-lite
envelope as the top layer, then a large piece of bubble wrap to reveal
a corkscrew elaborately fixed to two layers of cardboard attached by
two pieces of cotton, with a cardboard protector for the handle.

This seller is an Art Master & probably doesn't even know it.

Realising I had something very special on my hands I framed it as
shown below & contacted the Tate Modern gallery in London. I
received a quick response from Art director Professor William
Burton-Smythe who was intrigued as to the composition & wanted
details of the significance of the ivory hidden handle, the two pieces of
cotton, the brush & worm.

I promptly replied to the Prof saying I was uncertain of the
significances as it was not my art work. However, seeing as modern
art is subjective & open to individual interpretation I suggested maybe
the handle was covered as some people would prefer to hide certain
elements of social history. The cotton, possibly a historic reminder of
the evil of slavery within the American cotton plantations. The brush
could be to sweep aside adversity & the worm likely related to the
many twists & turns of life.

Ha, ha. I'd love to know the significance of three blank canvases, lol.
7th April 2012
Sneaking through?

A Jones II sold a couple of days back at auction in
Somerset. It didn't appear on the auction searches
until a couple of days before the sale, furthermore,
the main Saleroom search engine didn't advertise
the sale at all. So had to be as cheap as chips,
right? No. Word gets around for such pieces & the
hammer price was in the normal region of multiple

Too rich for me. I'll wait for the one that sells for
£100 during the BIN contest in August :)
7th April 2012
A nice collection

I receive emails from time to time asking to value this
(a regular bow) & that (a Hercules type) & just
occasionally a nice piece surfaces :)

Today I received an email from a chap who wants to
sell a small corkscrew collection that his Father
assembled some time back. It was a nice surprise
when I opened the picture to see a steel Twigg, a 2
pillar Thomason, nice looking Thomason's, Henshall's,
etc. Apparently there are some boxes as well :)

As you would expect I swiftly followed up. More photos will be filling my inbox in the next couple of days. I wonder
what's in the boxes?
7th April 2012
Sound Mined

Apologies if you've been looking for some
interesting corkscrew related news via this
Blog over the last month. During my spare
time I've been practicing pretty hard for my
new band Sound Mined. So the corkscrews
have been on the back burner.

Fancy rocking out to some classics like
Hotel California, Sweet child of mine, Born
to be wild, etc, etc, etc?

Let me know & I'll keep you posted with gig

Would be great to see you!!
22nd April 2012
Spring time, ICCA auctions once again

As expected the ICCA auction site filled up with 1000+ corkscrews within 24 hours of
being open for listings & last night the first batch were sold. Buyers galore, including
many zero rated feedback newbies fought hard to add good corkscrews to their
collections. It appeared that prices were pretty good, especially with everyone's
favourite buyer (if you're a seller) Fotodeal joining the bidding party with his millions.

Hit of the night was Don Bull's iconic
Read's Coaxer reaching a World
record Internet price of $35,555.
Congratulations Don!

I wonder if the Jones II will beat that
when it ends next week. What do you
22nd April 2012
Let down by Peter's & Giulian's book

A couple of months back I bought a very unusual, small decorative folding
bow corkscrew from a major corkscrew collection that was being dispersed. It
the exact one shown in Ferd Peters & Bert Giulian's book, The History
of pocket corkscrews & penknives on page 101. I paid £200 which I thought
was fair enough given the fact it was shown in such a well thought of
publication written by two very experienced & knowledgeable collectors &
ICCA members. I thought I should be able to turn a profit.
I decided I'd sell on ebay & was pleased with the end price, around £100 profit. It was purchased by none other
than Ferd Peters. A week later I received an email from Ferd saying that he wanted to return it as the worm
appeared welded to the shaft. What! It's in your book Ferd, it has to be right, surely??  Ferd didn't feel the need to
apologies or take any responsibility for featuring this piece in his book, quite arrogant in my opinion, preferring to
request that I describe my items better. I refunded in full, even the postage cost.

So, I spent £200 on a piece of crap, a piece of crap shown in Peters & Giulian's book which made me believe it
was correct.

Shouldn't each piece within any reference book be vetted to avoid such problems?

I've subsequently been looking through this book at the unusual pieces trying to work out what's right & what's
wrong - ridiculous. Surely any excited collector, seeing a piece shown in one of the major reference books should
be totally confident the piece is correct.

I was thinking if the roles were reversed here, if I was the author & Ferd was the seller how I would of reacted to
finding the piece I showed in my book was wrong. I would of been very embarrassed & extremely apologetic,
knowing that the likelihood was he bought it on the back of my publication, in truth I would of likely kept it to avoid
any bad feeling. How about you?

Please learn from my misfortune. Be very wary buying anything a bit different, even if showcased in this major
reference book.
Ultimately it should always be buyer beware! £200 down the drain then. I'll sell the corkscrew on
ebay with a honest description with a penny start & take my medicine. Proceeds to St Margaret's Hospice, Yeovil.
1st May 2012
Like being savaged by a
wild beast

Say the under bidders...

ICCA auctions round, two, three, four
read Fotodeal, Fotodeal, Fotodeal.
I've not added up the 200+ auctions
he won in monetary terms but suspect
that his latest investment in rusty old
corkscrews could surpass $200,000.
Highlight of this second weekend of auctions was the Jones II & my sneaky feeling was proved right, a new Internet
World record price, marginally beating Don Bull's Read's Coaxer of the previous week by $1000. There were many
bruising battles, some of which I watched in astonishment rise into the thousands when I would of likely passed in
the low hundreds, or dare I say tens, lol. Corkscrews, like any antiques are subjective - one mans rubbish, another
man's gold - good job really or we would always be after exactly the same pieces.

The Jones battle was a sight to behold. Like a flash of light - STRIKE - snake bite, aaarrrgghhhhh! Deadly to most,
but not to the savage beast, his veins pump with antidote. The snake then decides to engage in conversation.
"Why do you have to own all the leaves in the Jungle?" "Because I can", says the savage beast who leans over &
locks his salivating jaws on the snakes head, blood spurts as the snake's head is ripped away from his beaten
body. The beast howls his delight, sending shock waves for all to hear throughout the Jungle.

Back to the real World. I wonder if the ICCA auctions decision to have a "Make an offer" option is such a good
thing. I received a few offers after the auction, four for one particular piece from different buyers. Two of these
offers were for much more than the final bid price. It appears that some buyers are choosing not to bid, preferring
to try & strike a deal post auction. What do you think?
Long term it will be really interesting to see how the ICCA auctions do
without Fotodeal. He is so important to the process & prices are definitely
falsely high with his presence. At this time he is showing no signs of
slacking off so it could be some time before we find out. What are your
thoughts on this Spring ICCA auctions sale? Share, share, share.
2nd May 2012
Archimedes Anyone?

I got contacted a few days back by a guy with a small
collection who wondered if I would be interested in any.
Oooooh er I thought, didn't Fotodeal buy one of those
for the equivalent of a family saloon car a while back?
Quick check, yes he did. Unfortunately the seller
realised too but was the realistic type & accepted my

Looking forward to receiving this one!

3rd May update. The chap dropped off the Archimedes today. He bought
all 4 pieces for £40 in a charity shop. Still out there!
2nd May 2012
I'm on the box tonight

talking corkscrews...

8:00 p.m.

Tune in & have a good laugh
3rd May 2012
More make-up needed for Borrett

Sorry about the video quality, not technical enough to work out how to get a good

Shame the BBC decided to cut some key elements, eg explaining the Henshall
button & inscription, also an obvious wrong corkscrew in shot with Baker/Heeley
mix up. Did you spot my cock-up? Don't say which one, lol. However, pretty
pleased in terms of giving a flavour of corkscrew collecting to the general public.
10th May 2012
Mega Buy It Nows, Roads Trips, Double Wier, Fancy Thomasons & Tommy Burgers

Five months in & not a one buy it now has come my way. Would probably help if I looked a bit more frequently &
maybe occasionally asked the question. Late last night I received an email from Gavin Maddock wondering if I'd
snapped up the mega buy it now. Well, I hadn't checked ebay so not me. He said he saw the BIN on the listing but
wasn't brave enough to hit the button as it was priced £950. I checked to see what he was talking about, it turned
out to be an early coaxer type corkscrew bearing the mark of the Dublin cutler "Lamprey".
A lot of money, but a rare piece, so a nice deal for

It's official! The Webby camper van is being
prepared for yet another corkscrew road trip.
Webby & myself will be hitting the antique trail on
Saturday 9th, June on route to the ABCDE meeting
at Antonio Lopez's home in Loughborough on
Sunday, 10th June. If you're going to the meeting & fancy a night out in Loughborough the night before let us  
know! If it's half as good as the night before the Underwood meeting we'll all be in for a treat.
An unusual Thomason was sold at auction earlier today. In need of some TLC but boasting some beautiful floral
decoration. I'd worked out a hefty bid & thought I was in with a reasonable chance of acquiring it. I did manage to
get a number of bids away but I was soon brushed aside by the "I want it more" brigade. Hammer price £1800!
Well if you can't spend your
money on a fancy decorated
Thomason corkscrew why not go
visit corkscrew collector
extraodinaire Tommy Campnell
who will take you to the 122 bar
in Bainbridge Island for a Tommy
burger. I'm thinking a Tommy
burger could be around 7500
calories, but hey, I'd give it a go.
Here's what the 122 bar say about the Tommy burger "GREAT NEWS! We will be serving the infamous "Tommy
Burger" all day (while supplies last). Our famous 1/2 pound patty, stacked with hashbrowns, bacon, and a fried
egg. Open daily (@ 11am) for lunch & dinner."
Who's hungry?
I was informed about an unusual piece coming up at auction last week which turned
out to be a Wiers double. Not a mention on any of the auction search engines, so
surely I was going to win it for peanuts. In fact it was on the auction search engines
but the auctioneers had spelt corkscrew - corckscrew. Woop! As it turned out my
phone bid was met be fierce opposition from the room & my winning bid +
commission & postage was a bag full of money. Lol. If you have a good corckscrew
for sale be sure to get in touch. I buy korkscrews too!
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
June 8th 2012
Gone a bit quiet

Alas, I can't make the ABCDE meet this weekend, very
disappointing. Something unavoidable has come up that needs
my attention.

It's been pretty quiet on the corkscrew front for me during the
last couple of months. Music has been my priority during this
time & learning 50 odds songs for 3 different bands does take
some time & focus. I've looked in on ebay from time to time &
won a few auctions, but can't report any BINs, pretty rubbish
aren't I! I'll pick my game up in August!!!

I have bought a few pieces elsewhere, notably a Lady Wiers & a
celluloid pocket knife shown. Other deals are out there
hopefully waiting to be agreed, fingers crossed.
8th June 2012
Joseph Rodgers Henshall Variations

I picked up a Henshall type the other day on ebay, marked on the button for J. Rodgers & Sons, Sheffield, it had a
short worm & a replaced top nut so got it nice & cheap. On viewing a fairly fuzzy picture I presumed it had the
typical wooden handle. It arrived today & turns out to have an unusual brass turned handle which appears to be
original. The Rodgers Henshall turns up with various handles & a mini collection of Henshalls marked Rodgers is
definitely possible.

Founded in 1724, Joseph Rodgers & Sons was one of the largest cutlery manufacturers in Sheffield in the late
1800s. The company's famous star and Maltese cross mark was registered in 1764. By the end of the 1700s, they
had established a factory on Norfolk Street.

In 1887 the firm began to manufacture its own crucible and shear steel, culminating in the purchase of the Sheaf
Island Works in 1907. By the end of the 1800s Joseph Rodgers & Sons was certainly one of the largest cutlery
manufacturers in the world. However, the firm did not escape the decline in Sheffield's cutlery trade during the
early 1900s. Foreign competition, increasing mechanisation and the advent of stainless steel contributed to their
decline. The company underwent a number of takeovers during the 1900s. The rights to the name and cutlery
marks were bought most recently by the Egginton Group of Companies in Sheffield.
My recent ebay acquisition, brass turned
handle, short worm & all ;)
An unusual handle with a hunting
A simulated silver plated Stag design
Handle, with brush & a long foil cutter/champagne
If you have a corkscrew marked J. Rodgers & Sons, drop me a line, I'd
be happy to buy it from you.
It's been fair to say that I've been rather preoccupied over the
last couple of months to be too bothered about the corkscrews. I
committed to playing in 3 separate bands for a night of music at
the Jubilee pub in South West London. Learning 35 odd songs
was quite a task, I didn't realise at the time I said yes just what a
task it would be & the stress levels have been tested for sure.
Music is an emotive subject & the road to rock isn't necessarily a
smooth one.

I can report the gig was last Saturday night & all had a great
time. Fabulous in fact! Some pictures below & please check out
the video of out the amazing Sound Mined & the phenomenal
vocals of Ilse Van Der Linden >>>>>>>

Next Sound Mined gig, August 17th at the Barley Mow in
Shepperton. If you're in London be sure to come & see us.
Citizen's Band perform Sultans of Swing
Jumpin' Jack Flash
Broken Helix reform - cool beans!
18th June 2012
Back to the Real World
Just in case you think I've lost the plot, I can confirm I am still a corkscrew nerd & just picked up a
very nice Thomason variant to confirm my nerd status.
3rd July 2012
I'm still drawing a blank in terms of ebay buy it nows in 2012 but that will soon change when the
corkscrew buy it now challenge kicks in. I will actually pro-actively check ebay! Stick it in your
diary, August & September 2012. Simple rules: The BIN has to be worth a minimum of $50 &  
has to be worth twice the BIN price paid. As long as there is a corkscrew in the BIN it counts.
4th July 2012
Toasting fork corkscrews
Bell Corkscrews

For a while now I've watched seller AUFATMAN on ebay list brass flat back & double sided figural direct pulls &
I've been blown away by the different variations & the vast numbers that he seems to find. I've also been blown
away how some of these pretty simple pieces have made £200+ in private auctions (I hate private auctions).

It's clear that some of his offerings are genuine. But BUYER BEWARE!!! Aufatman regularly turns toasting forks
into corkscrews. Today he listed a Police helmet corkscrew, I know for a fact that this was originally a bell.

One of AUFATMAN'S regular customers, yes Fotodeal, clearly likes adding these unusual, ultra rare examples to
his collection, but Mr Fotodeal is being conned by this outrageous ebay faker.

I think we should all boycott AUFATMAN'S ebay auctions & spread the word to the corkscrew collecting
Fakers like AUFATMAN should be stopped!

Add SAMDADWOOD to the list of serial fakers, they regularly stick a worm on a random object & offer it up to
14th August 2012 - BACK FROM HOLIDAY!

Boy, hot, hot, hot! Back from a family holiday in Tunisia. 45 degrees of baking sun. 10 minutes of sun - jump in
the pool - swim to the bar - 10  minutes of sun - jump in the pool - etc, etc.

So back to the corkscrews & a distinct lack of much happening. Nothing much on ebay or at auction. It's all a bit

I did notice a Heeley Empire on ebay with an interesting question added to the listing. Watch out binners, it
appears there's a sniper out there who wants to shoot you, lol. Click on the thumbnail below.
14th August 2012

It's been a slow start to the 2012 Buy it now challenge. Very little appears to
of hit ebay of much note so the finely tuned Binner athletes have had a
frustrating time of things.

Stephen Paul reports that his diary has been totally cleared for the 2 months
of the contest, apart that is from attending his daughter's wedding. He said
that his wife is somewhat annoyed that he will be making his speech while
refreshing newly listed ebay Venezuela on his Iphone. Personally, I think
that's fair enough. ;)

Josef L'Africain has confirmed that his new dog with more names than the
combined US Olympic team, doesn't know how to sit, fetch or lie down but
does know how to hit the refresh on Internet Explorer. Nice one Philos!

Two claims have been forwarded. A celluloid advertising piece Binned by
Gavin Maddock for £20 & a Scandinavian Dolphin corkscrew signed Rostfritt
picked up by me for £13. I don't think either make the grade but as last year,
if a BIN is refused the Binner does have the option to whack it on ebay & if it
makes the minimum $50 with double the original investment, a point will be
awarded. I will be listing the Dolphin with multiple pictures & a suitable
description with superlatives galore in due course.

Get yourself involved. Send details of your BIN (Must normally be worth a
minimum of $50, BIN price must be half or less of the true value of the piece,
has to have a corkscrew in the lot).
19th August 2012

The buy it now action has hotted up, albeit slowly. Josef L'Africain was
pushing his luck when he offered up his miniature version Havell bow, a
$7.99 BIN for consideration. Not a common piece but very unlikely to hit
the required $50. I pounced on a £20 BIN for a Signit marked G. F Hipkins.
The Hipkins mark is quite uncommon on this piece but as I'm not certain it
will make the required double up I'll list it on ebay looking for the magic
£40. Josef did come good though, snapping up a mixed lot which included
a bullet corkscrew with hand for $22, an uncommon piece & definitely
worth $50. Graeme Nott picked up a nice looking sliding frame corkscrew
for £10, but borderline whether it would make the minimum BIN
requirement & in pounds & pence, that currently stands at £31.64. Maybe
worth listing on ebay to see? Finally, the Wineleopard struck late last night,
grabbing what looks like an eyeless carved Stag handled Croc for $49. In
my book definitely worth $100, despite the lack of eyes. Nice one Robert!!!

Keep the BINS rolling in guys.
19th August 2012
Ebay Shenanigans

Gavin Maddock gave a few of us a challenge to get some
creative questions published on a current ebay listing for a can
opener/corkscrew multi tool.

Always makes me laugh when sellers add every question
however ridiculous they may be. This seller obviously has a great
sense of humour though.

Read it from the bottom up.
OMG! The BIN committee have red flagged Wineleopard's claim. Saying - Alarm bells
are ringing.
ARIZONA seller!!!! Likely his next door neighbour or a family member.
Need a video from this seller under oath to confirm they do not know Robert before
the point can be reinstated. Please arrange Robert by 22th August 2012. Thanks!
The BIN committee would like to apologise unreservedly to Robert Leopardi, the
Wineleopard for doubting his integrity by suggesting that the item bought from his
home town Arizona could be from a friend or family member. Today, an email
disclaimer from the ebay seller in question arrived, which states he doesn't know
Robert Leopardi. See snap shot below.

The point has been reinstated.
ebay ebay sent this message to Peter Borrett (corkscrew_uk)

In a message dated 20/08/2012 19:45:40 GMT Daylight Time, ebay member razimus writes:
Hey Peter, a strange question. I don't know Robby Leopardi. Hope that helps. Best, Ryan Leopardi

In a message dated 20/08/2012 17:37:30 GMT Daylight Time, ebay member corkscrew_uk
Please can you clarify if you know Robert Leopardi? Sorry to ask but it is important information for a
competition. Regards, Peter
26th August 2012
Sunday night update

Well the dodgy BIN claims continue to come in or should I say desperate?

Gavin Maddock picked up an Anri drunk man bar set for £25 suggesting
this would be an easy double up. Don't think so Gav. I did actually see the
listing before you grabbed it ;)

Josef reckoned his $20 BIN for a steak joint corker was worth consideration
as he sold the same piece at the ICCA meeting last year in Greece for
$80. I say, the ICCA purchaser was either pissed or high on drugs at the
time. Josef also picked up an interesting multi tool which includes a
corkscrew on ebay UK for £15. I think on a good day this has some
millage, however, I reckon it's too borderline to award a point. Maybe worth
listing on ebay to see if it hits the required $50.
Robert negotiated with an ebay seller who listed an Austrian? Monkey as a $180 BIN. The seller agreed to let
Wineleopard take it for $80. Robert reckons it would be an easy double up. I think the fact the ebay seller
researched the piece, listed high based on the ICCA auction & didn't come close is a good enough reason to
say no. However, the ebay listing is an option, $160 & it gets a point.

Josef binned a Williamsburg brass open frame corkscrew for $18 & linked me the same piece selling on the ICCA
auctions for $100. These modern repros have sold for plenty more than $100 in the past but in reality they often
sell for way less than the required $50. Maybe another piece worth listing to see if it hits the mark.
Finally, my very persuasive email (how bout a buy it now for £40?) worked.
I bought a hard to find double ended Codd bottle opener corkscrew,
marked patent 7451. This is a fairly straight forward triple up. The only one
sold on the ICCA made just short of £300!

My low ball offers are being rejected regularly with sellers saying "I've just
been offered double that!". Funny! Keep the BINS coming in guys!
17th September 2012

With just a couple of weeks to go the Buy It Now competition is somewhat of a
damp squib. Very few BINS have been reported. Likely too many people are

Graeme Nott picked up a Clough double helix corkscrew for £15 but too
unlikely to make the required £35.

Josef sold the miniature size Havell bow (see 19th August) at the CCCC
meeting witnessed by Tommy Campnell for $50. It ticks the boxes, what with
the reliable confirmation from TC. A point has been awarded to the 2010

I picked up a small lot of corkscrews which included a bone miniature, three
tool bow & advertising medicine spoon for a £30 BIN. An easy double up, so
a point for me too.

Send details of your BIN (Must normally be worth a minimum of $50, BIN price
must be half or less of the true value of the piece, has to have a corkscrew in
the lot).
17th September 2012
Lacking some class

The buy it now competition was recently renamed the Blag
it now contest by a British antique dealer, who said, I quote
"I see that the 'Blag it now' season is upon us again. The
cheery pursuit that involves trying to persuade e bay
sellers to end auctions early, and part with corkscrews for
half their value, or less, and then brag about one's ability
to have done so amongst other 'experts'. Classy."

Interestingly, only one person agreed amongst a facebook
forum of 114 corkscrew collectors. The rest of us were
probably too busy refreshing ebay to comment.

We've been down this road several times before. In 2009 a
poll on Corkscrews Online asked the question "Is asking
for a buy it now fair game?" 90% + were in favour of asking.
Some while back there was a very heated debate on the then active Yahoo CCCC forum with mixed views about
the ethics of asking for a BIN. An interesting debate indeed!

I think most people would agree that if you buy something at a fair/flea/boot/shop/etc worth £200 for £50 it's OK,
even though it's ridiculously cheap. However, some people are clearly of a mind set that doing the same within
the ebay market place having asked for a BIN is wrong. Personally, I think anything is fair game. If you make an
offer & the seller agrees then fair enough. I bought a £6k corkscrew for £600 once directly from a private seller.
That's what I negotiated. Was that wrong? I bought a £2k corkscrew from an antique shop for a ticket price of
£15. Guilty for not offering them more money? I picked a £6k corkscrew from an antique fair for £190. Maybe I
should of told the vendor they had a ridiculously rare British patent & I would give them £4k? I've picked up
some great BINS too for less than the typical value.

Is it just ebay when I've bought an item as a revised BIN when I'm out of order? Get it for cheap on ebay via a
revised BIN = bad boy. Get it for cheap at an antique fair = good boy. Get it for cheap flea market = good

As for bragging. Don't think that's any different to sharing a piece you picked up for nothing at a fair or
elsewhere. Just a bunch of guys, sharing a passion & having a laugh.

As for the clearly sarcastic definition of Classy. That goes without saying!

That's my view, what's yours????? I'd be interested to hear.
17th September 2012
Shepton Mallet Antique Fair

I've been pretty hopeless this year with the corkscrew
collecting. Don't think I've got to more than about 5 or
6 antique fairs. The trips to various antique shops
have been off the radar too. Portobello on Saturday?
Bed is too warm for that! Pretty much all my collecting
has been on the net in one way or another. Still, been
fortunate to buy a few nice pieces for the collection.

I took a trip to Somerset last week & visited the
Shepton Mallet antique fair. I didn't get in early so had
limited hopes of purchasing anything of note. I was
pleased though with the early birds left-overs, a small
collection with a few interesting pieces & all for cheap :)

Maybe I'll start making more of an effort, it was good
walking around anticipating a great find.
17th September 2012
submitted by Stephen Paul

Following the success of Sir Edward Thomason's design
for a mechanical corkscrew that was first patented in
1802 a number of modern replicas based on his design
have appeared. Inevitably they vary in quality and rarity
depending on the materials used and the economics of
the manufacturer - some are shoddy massed produced
items with little or no collectable value whilst others were
made in limited numbers and to fine tolerances which
are desirable to collectors. The most obvious corkscrew
that falls into this later category is the Vulcan which was
produced as a limited edition of just 500 in 1978, an
example of which is shown below - it also came in a
smart blue presentation box with supporting literature
which if still retained adds considerably to the value of
this corkscrew.

Another which seems to come up for sale less frequently
is marked on the gunmetal blued barrel " Metallifacture
Nottingham Coarse Cut Screws" and an example of this
is also shown below. A little research on the Internet
shows that Metallifacture was a small manufacturing
company that was established in the 1930s but has
since been bought up by a larger concern called Megal
and they still manufacture items like car jacks that utilise
coarse cut screw mechanisms. However, contact with
the company cannot shed any light as to when or how
many corkscrews of this type were made. It seems they
were made outside the corporate memory of anyone still working at the company which suggests they were
made in the immediate post war period, but that is just a guess. Judging by how many of these corkscrews
come up for sale it seems reasonable to assume that they were not produced on a commercial basis but
perhaps instead as trade samples given away in limited numbers to promote the company. This corkscrew gets
a mention in Screwbase as MTb200 but as is often the case, there is no more detail than the inscription.
Another appeared on the ICCA auction site on November 2009 but with a different handle which looks as if it
was a later replacement.

So the big question now becomes, does anyone know any more about this corkscrew?
19th September 2012

Congratulations Robert Leopardi who picked up a Hollweg on a BIN
for $19.99. They do typically make $50 or more, so a point for the

I picked up an unmarked Chinnock last week for £70. I had agreed
£40 with the seller but then other offers came in & the price went
up! I forgot to mention this in the last Blog. It's a long shot but I'll list
it on ebay tonight or tomorrow night on a 10 day auction along with
the Scandinavian Dolphin & Hipkins signit I previously picked up to
see if they make the required numbers to win a point.

Chinnock needs £140 for a point
Dolphin needs £30.82 for a point
G F Hipkins Signit needs £40 for a point

Still time to win!

Send details of your BIN to:
19th September 2012
Le Parfait

Not seen this variation of Le Parfait before & can only
find a reference in "Les tire-bouchon Francais" by
Gerard Bidault. Looks like this example was the very
first model, that is, if my French is up to scratch.

I bought it from a chap I bumped into at the Shepton
Mallet fair that I went to last week (see Blog). Quite
funny really. I was in the process of buying a French
Zig Zag when a chap stood next to me said that he had
a few corkscrews that he was looking to sell, asking if I
might be interested. Of course! I gave him my card,
thinking little more about it & then yesterday an email
arrives. Needless to say a deal was quickly agreed &
Le Parfait together with a couple of regular Flynuts are
on route.

Getting deals like this is what collecting is all about in
my view. Right place, right time, great stuff!
20th September 2012
10 years later

It's official! I've now been collecting
corkscrews for 10 years. Wow! That has
flown by.

Ten years back I could never of dreamed
that I'd get so caught up in this intriguing
hobby. From very modest beginnings,
picking up a piece here for a tenner,
another for a fiver, I have slowly but surely
amassed a nice collection. Some good
British patents, a few Frenchies, American &
German pieces too. Also, some small
themed collections within the collection such
as these lovely pocket corkscrews. I can
remember where I got each & every one!

I've made some great friends along the way
- thank you all for that.

I'll look forward to the next ten years of
collecting. Still plenty left on my wish list. You
can't beat the thrill of the chase.
21st September 2012

The Masked Mauler has been in touch
claiming a point for his $9.00 BUY IT NOW
Clough corkscrew. He was clearly in no hurry
to make the claim having bought the piece
during the middle of August. I think it's a good
shout, as this piece normally goes $50 or
more, so the Mauler get a point.

Just over a week left chaps. Get refreshing!

Send details of your BIN to:
21st September 2012
A Publican's Collection

I got a call a couple of days back from
a retired pub landlord who wondered if
I would be in interested in a small
collection, around 70 or so corkscrews
that he acquired over 40 years while
running his pub. Always interested! He
said that there were a few lever types,
other information was sketchy.

I took a trip out to the beautiful West
Sussex Countryside earlier today, via
the regular antique shops on route. On
arrival at his Cottage I received a warm
welcome & was taken to his garden
where a covered table full of
corkscrews was ready for inspection..

While looking over the collection we had a good chat. He actually took on the pub from his Father, who had a
few corkscrews already, he continued to collect & picked up the odd piece here & there & quite a few were gifts
from friends & family.

He had no idea what the corkscrews were worth or what he wanted. He'd either sell them to me or send them to
Toovey's, his local auctioneers depending on my offer. The ball was in my court. Ooooooh er, what to offer,
what to offer??? hhhmmmm :/ There's a few good pieces within the collection, but some condition issues
detracted. After pondering for a while I made an offer. Poker face followed. I explained how I got to my price.
Poker face followed. I offered another £50. Poker face followed. He then explained that his wife had paid quite
a lot of money for the two bar screws, a Safety & Yankee 1. I said that he could keep them. Poker face gone.
He said that he would ring his wife to see if she was happy to accept. He was gone for 10  minutes! An anxious
wait. He came back - OK we have a deal!!! Yeah!

If you have a collection of corkscrews for sale - I'd be interested. Drop me a line & I'll get back quickly.
23rd September 2012
Kupper Bier

I bought this German folding corkscrew with bell
advertising Kupper Bier at auction the other day in
Australia. It's WilheIm Von zur Gathen od Solingen,
Germany registered design, no D. R. G. M. 35052
from 31st December, 1894.

There is a similar variation of this German corkscrew
which is marked "D. R. G. M. 35052". If you have this
piece & are looking to sell, I'd be interested, so please
get in touch.
24th September 2012
Great corkscrew display at auction

Around a month ago I noticed a couple of large
corkscrew display lots being sold at auction in
Philadelphia, USA. Not regular type displays with
maybe the odd good piece amongst lesser
pieces, both displays had 4 sets of legs,
Thomasons, some with unusual badges, Kings,
multi bows, etc. Very nice indeed!

I did a little homework, requesting additional
pictures, establishing general condition &
shipping costs & then signed up to bid live.

The auction was on Saturday & in a fiercely
contested bidding war I managed to win one of
the two lots. As you would expect - for my
maximum number!

The lot I won contains a nice Thomason with four
windows, a couple of good Kings, various
Thomasons. I'm particularly pleased with two of
the ladies legs corkscrews. One Mother of pearl
example & another very unusual ladies legs with
glittered celluloid. Definite keepers!

If you have a small display of corkscrews for sale
or maybe a collection of corkscrews. Please get in
touch today. It will be great to hear from you!
Cash is waiting for interesting pieces.
24th September 2012

Josef L'Africain, the 2010 champ has only gone &
taken the lead in the buy it now comp.

He picked up this devil for $44.95. Some paint loss but
fair enough as a double up in my book.

Nice one Josef!  

With just about one week to go - can
anybody catch him?
30th September 2012

Congratulations to Josef L'Africain, the 2010 champ
who managed a Buy It Now on a German spring
corkscrew. An unusual variant with an internal spring
mechanism with claws that hold the cork. A snip at
55 Euros.

Awesome job Josef! Definitely a point - I'll update the
graph immediately.
1st October 2012

Just doing some final accounting before ANNOUNCING THE
2012 CHAMP.

Forgot to metion that I picked up a Chinnock last week for a £40
BIN. An easy double up.

I did also list three pieces that I picked up on buy it nows earlier
in the contest. I declared these pieces too borderline to award
points at the time but took the second chance option looking to
make the required numbers to achieve points.The auctions  
finished on Saturday. The G. F. Hipkins Signit didn't fair so well. However, the Chinnock bought for £70 sold for
£190! The signed Scandinavian Dolphin which I picked up for £13, needed to make £35, it made £41!

So, that adds up to another 3 points for me!

Great to keep the trophy in the
UK for the second year running.

See you again in August &
September 2013
4th October 2012
Apologies for the confusion

I've just pulled the plug on some corkscrews that
I listed on ebay using a different user name.
Various buyers contacted me showing concern
that these pieces were not being sold on my
loxwoodfc ebay account & that the seller was
using my name as a reference for reassurance.
The fact a number of people showed concern
was enough for me to just call time. Last thing I
needed was anxious bidders not bidding.

I was holding these corkscrews back for the
ICCA auctions in November but when I received
an offer to list up to 5 auctions for free including
the final hammer fee on an alternative ebay
account I thought I'd go for it, especially when
the ebay fees are 10% + :o

All these pieces are still available for sale. If you
are interested in any please drop me a line.
8th October 2012
A suitcase full of corkscrews
I received a call last week from a lady who said she
found a case full of corkscrews & bottle openers when
clearing out an estate & wondered if I might be
interested in taking a look. Of course I jumped at the

Last Friday, on route to a Sound Mined gig at
Kingston I swung by to check it out. Entering the
house I soon found all the pieces placed on a large
cloth on the sitting room floor. After a 30 second scan
I realised that pickings were very slim. The best
pieces being Coney's King, an oversize ornate double
lever & half a Georgian picnic, a loop handle one
minus the sheath.

I explained my findings & suggested she would be
better off listing on ebay or just putting the complete
contents into a local auction. She didn't want to do
either & said just give us your best price. I made an
offer which was accepted.

If you have found a case of old corkscrews please
drop me a line - cash waiting for old corkscrews
8th October 2012
Rusty old multi bow corkscrew

I picked up a very rusty old multi bow corkscrew a couple of
weeks back on our favouriite Internet auction site. I had offered a
buy it now price of £150 which was declined but I won it for £155.
How about that!

I was keen to buy as it's earlier than the typical variations that
turn up. Note the different hinge. This example likely dates to
around 1830-50.

I'm not normally the type to go crazy for sub standard pieces in
terms of condition but when pieces turn up that are typically
quite scarce I reckon you have to be a bit more flexible.

I decided I'd treat it as a restoration project & following a few
hours of rust removal & some work on the patina I reckon it looks
pretty good. In fact, it looks even better in the hand than in the
photograph. A real shame about the broken tool which was likely
a button hook but these earlier variants don't often turn up

Dating these multi tool bow corkscrews can be tricky to say the
least. Previously I Blogged about the company Holtzapffel. Often
folding multi bows surface stamped with the Holtzapffel name &
also carry the retail address which in Holtzapffels case changed
a number of times over a 100 year + history. This making dating
a specific example within a date range fairly straightforward.  
However, when unmarked you can only relate to similar
examples that have a known date line (like Holtzapffel) or if
you're lucky compare it with the same design within a dated
trade catalogue.

It's fair to say that even the most knowledgeable corkscrew
collectors with years of experience can only give an approximate
date based on these findings.

Below a page taken from Charles Hull's trade catalogue, circa
1865. Note the later variation hinge on the 16 tool example.
My recent ebay purchase. Rusty, part
broken but an earlier variation.
A little TLC & it's looking way better
Fairly commonly found hinge. Mid to late
19th century design
Most common multi bow corkscrew hinge.
Mid 19th century & beyond.
10th October 2012
Collection in

I was asked if I would be interested,
or if I knew somebody that would be
interested in purchasing a complete
corkscrew collection in Pheonix,
Arizona. Yes, of course! Please send

The photos arrived today. Amongst
the collection is a very nice Kings, a
Syroco Monk, a Barnes, some good
sterling roundlets, along with some
other notable pieces.
I sent back a ball park value for the complete collection & will wait & see if of interest.

The one & only Wineleopard lives a couple of hours away & I'm sure he'll happily take a drive to view &
secure the deal, so fingers crossed.
Within the collection is an unusual Bull corkscrew. I'm not sure if it's a
marriage or original. It has menacing eyes that follow you around the
room. Moooooo - keep out of my field! Very cool!

Stay tuned - I'll let you know if a deal is struck here

I'm always looking to purchase corkscrew collections. If you have
one, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Cash waiting for interesting corkscrews!
1st November 2012
ICCA auctions start tomorrow

It's ICCA auction time once again. Twenty web pages of corkscrews are lined up & ready for the bidders.
The auctions are open for bidders from 2nd November - tomorrow.

I've got around 35 corkscrew auctions. You can follow my auctions via this link from 2nd November.
ICCA auction for Peter Borrett

I've set up a web page with thumbnails of all my items, including some additional photographs.
You'll find the page here
2nd November 2012
Legs Arrive! Wolf Whistle :p

Back on the 24th of September I Blogged about a large
auction lot that I won in Philadelphia. Not exactly close to
home & in truth the cost, with shipping, etc, was much more
than I bargained for.

However, by the time I've sold the other corkscrews these
two amazing & very rare ladies legs corkscrew will have cost
me pretty much nothing. Makes all the hassle more than

If you have a set of ladies legs corkscrew I'd be interested
for sure. Send a couple of clear pictures to
2nd November 2012
ICCA ramblings....

Lets be honest, there aren't many truly rare corkscrews out
there & the ICCA auctions has proved that...

Just been looking over the ICCA auction offerings & I'm
seeing great pieces galore. With many supposedly scarce,
rare or ultra rare corkscrews a plenty. Bit like the Valentin
Rasch I listed, see picture. One realised £2350 at Christies
in 2002, another achieving $4000 on a previous ICCA sale
in May 2011. This round of  ICCA auctions sees more than
10 different listings for one form or another of a Rasch
corkscrew. Suddenly $4000 is looking more like $1500
reserve not met, as anyone that was desperate to own one,
partly based on the rarity re-evaluates what they are
prepared to pay. Likely not as much as they would with just
one or two examples on show. Of course, the collector can
now be super choosy too. Any condition issues will pretty
much rule a piece out.

The Rasch multiples are at the extreme end of multiple
listings this time around on the ICCA auctions site but there
are plenty of other doubles, triples, quads or more identical
listings up for grabs.

Is this twice annual Internet sale effectively going to
devalue classic great pieces as it has shown them to be
available & not rare, scarce or even that hard to find? Let
me know your view. Personally, I'm becoming increasing
patient when I'm buying now & that's partly because the
ICCA auctions has made me realise just how available a lot
of great corkscrews really are.
So what's rare? Not much in reality. I would
say if you've never seen a piece or maybe
seen just one or two over ten years, that
defines rare.

In the case of my current ICCA auctions
listings, I reckon I have 2 rare corkscrews on
offer, everything else is very collectible but
definitely not rare.I doubt there is more than
about 30 rare pieces in the complete sale.

Anyway, will be exciting watching Fotodeal
spend some more petty cash.

Always great to hear your thoughts. Get
yourself involved, drop me a line today with
your ICCA ramblings.
We need to ensure new corkscrew collectors are enthused to protect the longevity of our hobby

9th November 2012
Value depreciates $4800 in 20 minutes

How about that! A Saturday night packed with bangers, sparklers &
Catherine wheels, in other words, ICCA first round fireworks!

There seems to be no hold up in the bidding of Ion Chirescu, aka
Fotodeal. I presume he was out wining & dining some classy Romanian
chick while his back room corkscrew buying machine bought pretty much
every decent corkscrew not currently shown on the IPAD Fotodeal
corkscrew database.

Barbara Ellis's auctions were first up & the Fotodeal team liked her
listings  - winning a total of 13 of the 20 lots. Not one person was able to
outbid Fotodeal on Barbara's pieces (or any other seller for that matter)
despite some good attempts. The Ellis Henshall type corkscrew with
autumnal fruit decoration on the shank sold particularly well. I bid on
Barbara's silver pocket, the ebonised one, but gave up pretty quickly,
thinking what's the point, he'll just keep going. I did that later in the
auctions too when a set of horses legs came up. The moment he bid I
knew I wouldn't win :( bit like a kick in the teeth.

The Fotodeal machine kept on rolling throughout the night, picking up
many lesser pieces before another good piece came along to spend
some big buck on. Soon my pieces were up for grabs & as suspected my
not so rare Rasch corkscrew ended $1500 reserve not met. Shame the
reserve was a mere £1500, no money for this piece, but we all know the
ICCA is like kids in a sweetie shop - too many good pieces & spoilt for
choice. Unfortunately for me Fotodeal bought one of these Rasch
corkscrews on ebay a couple of weeks back for over £3k, so I guessed my
piece wouldn't interest him. I was pleased with what I sold - I made a few
quid which will buy a few nice pieces for the collection as & when they

Jose Barella will be pleased with the $8700 achieved for his Bradnock's
Magic Twist. A total of 63 bids were registered, mostly between Goran
Nilsson, user name look46antiq & Fotodeal (from $3500 upwards) before
Goran stopped bidding. I think Goran will be rather pleased though as he
won the second Magic Twist of the evening uncontested by Fotodeal for
$3900. I suspect Milt Becker, the seller of the second example will be
scratching his head about how his piece can lose $4800 of value within 20

The biggest number of the evening was for an unusual Columbus
corkscrew offered by Milt Becker. Did Jose Barella really think he was
going to win it? Maybe, he was looking to cause team Fotodeal some
financial pain? That's not possible Jose. Fifty four bids later, hammer
price $21600 (£13500). Well, if Milt was baffled as to how his Bradnock
Magic Twist can be worth nearly $5000 less than the same piece sold 20
minutes earlier he would surely be more than delighted with the return for
this piece.

The Fotodeal machine dominated this first ICCA auctions sale. I suggest
that if you have good pieces & you want to cash in - sell now. When the
Fotodeal revolution finally ends prices will surely be drastically reduced.
10th November 2012
The Fotodeal Office Bidding
Department Revealed

How is it possible to bid on 20 current online auctions
consecutively without one ever slipping through the net? Well,
it's far from easy, off to the fridge for a beer & chat to the Mrs
& before you know it you've missed out. To make it work you
need a team of disciplined individuals looking out for your
interests. I went undercover & managed to sneak out a snap shot of team Fotodeals office workers bidding
on the ICCA auction & ebay. He's got a crack team of 200!!

It's no wonder I've yet to outbid him, regardless of how I bid, late, early, last few seconds, etc.

Tonights round of ICCA auctions was just like last nights. Fotodeal, Fotodeal, Fotodeal. Win after win after
win. Nobody took him off any of the high end pieces & he was bold enough to be the only bidder on Milt
Becker's unique Chinnock at $20,000 & White's Patent lever at $25,000. Just mind blowing! $45k (£28k)

I could sense the expletives filling the air around the World as corkscrew enthusiasts who have chased
special pieces for years ran into the Fotodeal rollercoaster.

I did however win a couple of pieces where Fotodeal didn't bid - a Fluted narrow barrel mechanical & Syroco
Indian. I sold one more piece, a Jones Kings rack, interestingly for about £60 less than a similar example I
sold recently on ebay.

Please consider & then vote in the Fotodeal poll.
Who's fed up now with Fotodeal?
Get out of here - I love this guy!
I'm worried about our market due to his irresponsible bidding
See Results
11th November 2012
OMG 5:00 a.m.

This morning I woke from my warm, comfy
bed at 5:00 a.m. OMG! I sat on the edge of
the bed in a Zombie type daze for a few
seconds before getting up, grabbing
COFFEE & heading off to the Kempton
Park antique fair.

It's been a while since I've been to
kempton. I've been way too lazy! I'd
arranged a couple of meetings & was
hopeful there would be a few pieces to find too.

On arrival a coffee, milk, two sugars was waiting in hand from rendevouz number one. We shared a laugh &
a joke about the ICCA auction, the incredible Fotodeal before working a few deals.

Before long it was 6:30 & the gates were open. I was soon amongst the stalls. It was good to catch up with
some of the chaps. It seems finds have been slim in recent times, nobody reporting anything spectacular.
Head down & hunting, I found a miniature bottle topper corkscrew & a monkey figural in the main building
before heading outside. I soon discovered a decorative razor & a large Stag handle Columbus type
corkscrew before I struck it lucky picking up a cheap Mermaid in pretty reasonable shape too. Within five
minutes I spotted a simple but rather nice silver capped direct pull - "A score will buy that mate".

Rendevouz two was pretty weird, no corkscrews to see but a tablet with pictures of a collection to view. My
memory stick added 1.3gigs of pictures which I'll digest before making an offer.

Message to brain - get out of bed & go twice a month!
11th November 2012
A record news page day - thanks!

Google rankings are working well for my site & that's partly due to you the corkscrew collectors clicking on
the various pages I've set up. This Blog type news page had the biggest hit for some time yesterday with
148 unique page views - awesome!! Thanks guys - your support is fabulous. I hope you enjoy reading my
often tongue in cheek musings.

Don't forget - if you have something corkscrew related that you would like to share I would be delighted to
publish it for you on my website. Juts drop me a line. Regards, Peter
23rd November 2012

I recently picked up a hallmarked silver Lund patent
spherical joint roundlet corkscrew. The hallmark dates it
to the last quarter of the 19th century. A pretty rare piece.

It's not surprising hallmarked examples don't surface
regularly as in 1859 Lund retailed them for 15 & 17
shillings respectfully, some 3 to 4 times dearer than
nickel plated examples.

Extract of Lund's advert below, taken from 1859 Ironmonger &
metal trades advertiser journal.

23rd November 2012

More from the ICCA Auctions

Well, this Sunday sees the final round of corkscrews being sold on the ICCA
auctions site with approximately 120 second chance lots. I've not been
number crunching but I would suggest that this latest sale has probably
broken past records in all departments, ie, number of lots sold, percentage of
lots sold, highest sales value, etc, etc. It looks like the make an offer both
ways, via buyers & sellers has worked well with many additional deals shown
on the completed auctions tab post the original hammer falling.

Fotodeal has of course dominated the sale, winning pretty much everything
on his shopping list. Plenty of other corkscrews were sold elsewhere. I won a
good Twigg, one that I'd be chasing for a while, a decorative sliding frame & a
Jones I, along with a number of other pieces. Overall, I was really pleased with
what I picked up.

What was interesting during last weekends auctions was the bidding patterns.
Some very good pieces that you would expect to be fiercely fought over
lacked the fight. In a few cases, Fotodeal bid, nobody else competed & the
item was left unsold - reserve not met. I noted that in some instances these
items were quickly sold, post auction for more than double the reserve not
met price to buyers that did not bid in the first place. Nice moves guys!
Effectively buyers are now strategizing to win pieces post auction instead of
getting involved in a bidding war that I guess they thought they couldn't win.

The next ICCA auction sale in the Spring will be really interesting. Will more
sellers be listing at very high starting prices without a reserve like Milt Becker
& Fred Kinkaid looking for one bid to max out? Will buyers just forget it when
Fotodeal bids hoping that he doesn't hit the reserve so they can make an
offer to the seller & stand more of a chance of buying a desired piece? We'll
just have to wait & see.

The Fotodeal poll (see Blog, 10th Novemeber) looks done now & the votes
are divided. Pretty much as I thought it would be. One thing is for sure - we will
all remember the name Fotodeal when we're sat in our rocking chairs some
time from now.

If you have a view about the ICCA auctions I'd love to hear it.

Drop me a line
24th November 2012
Charles Hull Patent Presto Corkscrew

Last week a Charles Hull Presto corkscrew was sold at auction in Somerset. A nickel plated version with a
bone handle. The worm looked a little short - otherwise a nice piece. I left a commission bid & finished as
the under bidder.

As luck would have it I picked one up yesterday on the web for a fair price.
According to Ferd Peter's book - Mechanical
Corkscrews, the patent for this corkscrew was never
found, although similar corkscrew designs were
patented in America (Van Gieson C1867 & Bussey
C1868), the former was produced in Charles Hull's
Birmingham factory.

The vast majority of examples of the Charles Hull
corkscrew that surface have a wooden handle with a
brass tubing. The bone handled example with nickel
plating shows a variation & Fletcher Wallis reports
having previously seen gilded fancy versions too.

Have you got one of these fancy versions? I'd love to
see one.

The Charles Hull trade
advert below reads:
The old & tiresome process of drawing Corks by the
ordinary Corkscrew is entirely obviated in the
Construction and novel action of the “Presto
Corkscrew”. Its superiority will at once be seen and its
use understood by the following instructions, viz: Pull
the screw A out to its full extent, & then insert the point
of the worm into the Centre of the Cork, & by a slight
pressure (without turning the hand) it will immediately
penetrate the Cork, this being effected, then proceed
to draw it. To remove the Cork from the worm
raise the Button B and slightly pull the Cork, which will instantly be released.
29th December 2012
Happy New Year!

Apologies for the lack of recent corkscrew
news. I've been preoccupied with a new type
of collectible. Razors! Not too sure what I'm
doing really, but that's definitely part of the
fun. I'm buying pieces at the lower end of the
market & I think I've bought about 20 so far.
Thought I'd find a few other things that I
could look out for when out & about at the
antique fairs.

Here are my best six razors for 2012 :)
Peter Borrett
BEST SIX for 2012
~Miniature folding bow corkscrews~

Designed to open perfume, ink & medicine bottles

I've always been a big fan of folding bow corkscrews. The simple design, enabling safety in
the pocket has stood the test of time. In one form or another these tactile corkscrews have
been manufactured for over 200 years. I've been fortunate to find some great folding bows
since I started collecting & here, as my best six for 2012, are six beautiful miniatures.
It appears that all the miniature bows in my best six are English. Circa 1800-1890. The
designs show three variation of hinges, the grooved & rounded examples being the earlier.

Left Picture
~Top first, from left to right ~
1. Steel bow with long hanging loop for fixing to a chatelaine. Measures 1 1/2"
2. A similar steel example, this time with a small loop for fixing to a chatelaine. Measures 1 1/2"
3. More common steel bow, boasting nice faceted decoration. Measures 1 1/8".
4. A super two tool example, corkscrew & button hook with a loop for a chatelaine. Measures 1 5/8".
5. Silver plated miniature bow corkscrew with ribbed decoration. Measures 1 3/8".
6. Silver example with Birmingham hallmarks which date it to 1882. Measures 1".

Right Picture
Shows the variation of hanging loop