Corkscrews Online
2006  2007  2008  2009  2010  2011 Jan - June  2011 July - Dec   2012
by Peter Borrett
Please feel free to contribute if you have
something that could be of interest to others.
Check out this news
section for website
updates, corkscrew stories,
great finds, bargain finds,
latest Ebay listings, new
books, club news &
anything else related to
collecting corkscrews.

Sell them your corkscrews!

Drop me a line if you have any
corkscrews for sale
Corkscrew Central corkscrews for sale

Found a corkscrew & want to sell it?
Forget the Internet auction lottery.

For a top return, send a picture of
your corkscrew to:
Here I am all set for
corkscrew hunting.
2nd January 2013
Happy New Year!

I've made my New Year resolutions &
one is to get around more antique fairs.
Last year I managed a measly 8, that's
including a couple of trips to Portobello.
So this year, I've highlighted the dates of
the big Nationals & some reasonably
sized more local events in the hope of
attending. Of course best made plans
often go pear shaped, so I'll see what

Maybe I'll see you at one of the fairs.

I hope 2013 brings you health,
happiness & plenty of laughs.

All the best, Peter
Updated 2/1/13
50 corkscrews added to the corkscrews for sale catalogue
Corkscrews Online Corkscrews for sale
2nd January 2013
New Years Day Fair

Well my New year resolution started well. First
day of 2013 & I was on the road to Winchester
for an indoor antique fair at a leisure centre.
Around 100 or so stalls to see. Winchester is
about a 30 minute drive for me, so within pretty
easy reach.

On arrival I passed over my £2 entrance fee &
was soon amongst the stalls in the main hall.
Slowly but surely I carefully scanned every stall. I
can report very slim pickings. Nothing amazing,
nothing really nice, just a typical bunch of low
end pieces that I was happy to see pass me by.
Just as I was giving up hope I spotted a really
nice, early direct pull with a delicate archimedian
worm. It was priced at £12 & my offer of £10 was
happily accepted by a very cheery chap. The
stall holder's label read "Old Georgian
corkscrew, C1820". I think that's a really good
call, if anything it could be even earlier. That was
my one & only find but it made the trip a good

Next fair is on Saturday. I'll let you know if
anything great shows up.
9th January 2013
Dewars Whisky

Christopher Sykes, a long established antique
dealer specialising in corkscrew recently retired &
sold much of his stock at auction in Cirencester.
Last week I took a trip to the auction house to pick
up a couple of lots I was fortunate enough to win.
On route I called by a few antique centres. Mostly
fruitless, but In one multi dealer emporium, placed in
the corner of a tucked away cabinet I noticed a cork
stopper that looked familiar. On closer inspection I
saw Dewars Whisky advertising, a small corkscrew
by its side & a price tag of £8.50. Woop! A nice
piece at a nice price.

More finds like this please.
10th January 2013
Super, smashing, lovely, great!

Just struck a deal for a very nice Twigg patent

I was lucky to win a great example for my collection
during the last round of ICCA auctions & just like
buses, here comes another after a patient wait for
the first.

George Twigg was based in Birmingham, England.
He manufactured a multitude of products which
included corkscrews. He patented this corkscrew in
1867 in England & an American patent was also
awarded in 1868. Other variants exist, including a
desirable example known as "The Lifting Jack".
Twigg's corkscrew designs were marked ‘G.TWIGG’
If you have a Twigg corkscrew, I'd be delighted to buy it from you, so please drop me a line today.
14th January 2013
Collecting for 40 years

The phone rings & I'm speaking to a chap who lives in Austria, currently staying with his daughter out in
the sticks of Berkshire. He says he's been collecting corkscrews for 40 years & was ready to sell his
collection, he wondered if I would be interested. "Yes, of course". Within two hours he was sitting on my
couch & I was checking out his 40 years of finds.

An interesting mix with a few good ones! We quickly found a price that we were both happy with. :)
If you have a collection of corkscrews for sale, please drop me a line. Cash waiting for interesting
19th January 2013
Some time ago I thought it would be a good idea to build a site to sell the 100's of bottle
openers that I've accumulated during my 10 years of collecting corkscrews. I don't expect I'll
sell too many but you never know. Being snowed in gave me an excuse to get moving with
the project. More work to do, plenty to add, but a start. Check the link below.
26th January 2013
January has been a good month

I've had a good time collecting throughout January.
Have been lucky enough to buy a few really good
corkscrews, including this small collection that I just
agreed to purchase.

The razor collection is taking shape. Think I'm up to
around 60 or so. It's like turning back the clock to
when I started collecting corkscrews - the enthusiasm
level is off the scale. The problem is, I don't really
know what I'm doing - but isn't that part of the fun?

The one that got away (Unusual ladies legs), hasn't
definitely got away but, 2 months after the original
contact the deal is still not complete. The price has
gone up in stages over $150 from my first offer. Quite
funny really. I'd like these for the collection & I think
I'm close to finalising. Will let you know if a deal is

Bit slow I know, but I've just set up & aligned a
facebook page to my website Corkscrews Online. It's
pretty easy to post on facebook, far easier than on
my site, so I intend to use it for web updates, articles
& likely some Blog ramblings too. Please like my
facebook page so you can stay in touch with my
1st February 2013
An exhibition of unusual inventions

Oxford’s Museum of the History of Science is hosting
what they describe as “An exhibition of quirky patented
devices with unusual uses, from musical board games
to seemingly unbreakable padlocks.” It ends on the 10
March, and is free.

They come from the collection of good friend,
corkscrew collector & author extraordinaire, Fletcher
Wallis, who has curated the exhibition.

I'm sure Sir Edward Thomason will be smiling down at
his display of corkscrews, as shown in the picture.

If you can get to Oxford before the 10th March be sure
to visit.

For further details, check out the Museum of the history
of science website below.
1st February 2013
Amor - Carl Brewer folding corkscrew

Just agreed to buy this celluloid folding couple
corkscrew. Carl Brewer's Pat. 31 Nov. 1898,
Marked: Amor, DRGM 105497.

I've bought a few of these over the years but as yet, I
haven't bought one without damage. Well the chap looks
like a soldier & in this case I think he trod on a land
mine. He still has time for a kiss. Maybe he's a lover not
a fighter. You're rolling around on the floor with laughter
by now - NOT!

If you have one of these corkscrews in good, very good
or excellent condition, please get in touch. Cash waiting!
7th February 2013
Poor health forces sale

I've agreed to purchase a small collection of
corkscrews from a chap that is looking to help finance
a heart by-pass operation within the private sector. An
unusual champagne tap is the best piece, but there
are others that are also worth picking up.

I also received an email last night from a chap who has
a double folder signed READ - a great piece! He
explained that he was in remission from pancreatic
cancer & his wife was suffering from breast cancer &
he was looking to get the best possible price.
It puts life into perspective when you hear news like this.
8th February 2013
A Great Champagne Tap

I went to see the chap about the small corkscrew collection
for sale last night on route to band practice. Got my facts
wrong, as the chap is financing a stent operation. He had
a by-pass some 10 years ago & it seems some unblocking
is now required to one artery.

I picked up around 10 corkscrews & this tap. We were
both pleased. The champagne tap is a beauty & very
unusual. Anyone seen this one before?

Don't forget to check out my Corkscrews Online Facebook
page. I will be updating that page regularly. Like It & you
will be kept up to date.
12th February 2013
Nothin' Doing

Back in December I took a trip to South London to visit
a fellow collector's home to look through his large
collection of corkscrews for sale. Spent an enjoyable
couple of hours checking out the collection & looking
at some great pieces. Alas, couldn't buy the lot, but I
did make offers on a number of nice pieces, mostly for
more than the individual pieces asking prices. As the
collection was on offer for "all or nothing" it was
doubtful whether my offers would be accepted but it
wasn't immediately declined & I was told I'd be told I'd
get an answer by the end of January. As promised, I
got my answer, but sadly it was a no.
15th February 2013
Mini Meeting at Portobello Road tomorrow

I've packed my bag for tomorrow mornings trip to
Portobello Road. Enclosed is the unusual
champagne tap (see 8th Feb Blog), small French
piece for a collector that showed some interest. A
few good corkscrews that maybe I can sell? Razors
to show my razor friend. Note book, pen, some
cash, chocolate bar, camera, I think that's pretty
much it. Alarm is set for 6:00 a.m.!!!!!!!! Oooh er!

If you are in London & you see this in time - come
along. You'll find us in the café, downstairs in the
Admiral Vernon arcade at 9:00 a.m.  

I started collecting straight razors back in
November. I'm now up to 60+ pieces which includes
some great examples. I'm enjoying my new razor
collecting hobby, but just like the corkscrews, it is
one huge mine field. Knowledge certainly is KING &
right now I have a long way to go.

Check out the thumbnail pictures showing some of
my razors. What do you think? - ha ;)
London W.11
16th February 2013
Mini Meeting at Portobello Road - Report

Had a good laugh this morning with the corkscrew guys & girls
at the ABCDE Portobello Road mini meet.

Around 10 early birds attended including Lauri Lapila & his wife
who are currently on a London break from Finland. It was great
to meet you Lauri. It's terrific when you finally meet someone
who you've known via cyberspace for a while.

Corkscrews & champagne taps were handed around & a few
deals were done. Hey, Francois! Good buy, I went back to buy it
& it had gone. Good for you!

Richard brought along a similar champagne tap to the one I
bought recently. Bit nerdy I know, but very interesting noting the
difference between the two pieces. Mine having a steel shaft,
Richard's being all brass, but otherwise, both appeared pretty
much identical. Wally reckoned the pieces dated to around
1850, a little earlier than I thought, great!

Gavin brought his recent auction win - a very nice Gothic
Thomason along. I believe he had three offers! All in the right
range, but I think our Gav has decided the ICCA is the way
forward, so watch out for that one in April. Good luck Gav!

Barbara & Joan added the female touch & some well needed
glamour to the proceedings. Man, we definitely need that.

I collected an uncommon registered design champagne tap that
I bought from Barbara on the last ICCA sale & likewise, Jim
picked up a very nice 2 pillar Thomason & a good bone handled
Henshall with some fine shank detail & concave button.

Q: Who would make the best corkscrew Godfather
A: Wally or Bernard?

I'll get my people to talk to your people!

So, next mini meeting at Portobello, please come along & join in.
Maybe you'll buy something amazing. You'll definitely see some
good pieces & you'll meet people that absolutely share your
corkscrew collecting passion.
Don't mess with the corkscrew boys!
Q: What kind of bees produce milk?
A: Boobies
Good effort! Lauri Lapila, a Finnish
collector saw the meet advertised on
facebook & came along for a corkscrew fix.
19th February 2013
Spring sprung today at Ardingly

Alarm going off at 5:00 a.m. I don't think I'll ever get used to
that. Enough time to grab a coffee & fill a flask & I was on the
way to the Ardingly antique fair.

Two hours later I was amongst the stalls, mostly in the
process of being set up. As always my day dreaming
expectations were set sky high. Well you have to hope. What
would I uncover? A previously undiscovered patent, an
unusual peg & worm or maybe a fancy tap??

The weather was good for hunting. Cold, yes, but no rain &
as the early morning fog lifted a very strange golden round
object appeared in the sky. I asked a stall holder what he
though it was. He seemed a bit miffed but guessed it might be
the SUN - woop!! Nice to see you Mr Sun.

Back to the hunting. There were plenty of helixes to see but
alas they were attached to low budget pieces. I can't report
one significant find. :( I did however pick up about 8 pieces
that I can sell on my
catalogue of corkscrews for sale.

I bumped into a few corkscrew friends including more mafia
boys, Steve & Alex & the Godfather, aka Fletcher Wallis. The
woe stories nearly had me in tears, "what a waste of money",
"never coming here again", "this is the last bloody time I
waste my money at this shambles". In other words, see you
nest time guys!

In all seriousness, this is the largest antique fair in the South
of England & the best corkscrew any one of us corkscrew
chaps saw was a simple Thomason & that was seized up. It
appears that it is harder than ever to pick up decent
corkscrews at these fairs. Yes, anyone can get lucky &
stumble upon a good piece but in reality I think it is becoming
increasing more unlikely that will happen.

Highlight of the day = double egg, double bacon, sausage,
chips, bread & butter & two cups of tea with Wally & Webby.
21st February 2013
Sneaking through??

I was told about a couple of corkscrews up for auction
this week by an antique dealer. One being a pretty
desirable early Lund rack corkscrew. There was no
mention of the auction on the UK search sites so I
thought I might just get myself a bargain. I booked a
phone line & can report that I won them :) I can also
report that I didn't get myself a bargain :( However, I got
them at a price that will guarantee a profit :)

Thanks for the heads up antique dealer friend. I hope
to return the favour one day.
21st February 2013
An exhibition of unusual inventions
Take a trip before it's too late

Just a reminder that the Oxford’s Museum of the
History of Science is hosting what they describe as
“An exhibition of quirky patented devices with unusual
uses, from musical board games to seemingly
unbreakable padlocks.” It ends soon on the 10
March, and is free.

They come from the collection of good friend,
corkscrew collector & author extraordinaire, Fletcher
Wallis, who has curated the exhibition.
Richard Stevenson (pictured) recently took a trip & said he had an enjoyable time. He says:

"Today we visited the Oxford Museum of the History of Science for the first time and greatly enjoyed seeing
the excellent display of Thomason Corkscrews put together by Fletcher Wallis from his collection of Patented
Inventions.   The exhibition continues until 10th March.

Those of us who collect corkscrews are usually also interested in other metal wares including medical
instruments, navigation equipment, astronomical gear, microscopes, telescopes, clocks and locks and other
such items and they are are all here in abundance.  It is well worth a visit as is Oxford before all the tourists
arrive in the Spring.

If you have read the book "The Hare with the Amber Eyes" you will also be interested in the fabulous
collection of medical Netsuke which is situated close to the corkscrews."

For further details, check out the Museum of the history of science website below.

Be sure to like Corkscrews Online on facebook. I've been pretty active with updates, as it's very
easy to access. By liking the page you'll receive updates immediately via your facebook

Corkscrews Online on Facebook
March 5th 2013
DOG A DAY FOR 100 DAYS - Woof!

Help me build a data base of what dog corkscrews are out there. I want to
add a different dog corkscrew a day for a 100 days, starting today March,
5th, 2013 to a new web page.

Every dog has to be different.

Without your help I can't get 100.

Don't let me fail miserably, send in pictures of your dog corkscrews to & I'll add them to the page.

For every dog I add to the page I'll give £1.00 to St Margaret's Hospice in
Yeovil. So please help me raise £100 for a wonderful cause & make an
interesting webpage & reference point for corkscrew collectors everywhere.

Day one - A Black Syroco German Shephard corkscrew. An American
corkscrew from the mid 1900's made by The

Check out the webpage below
21st March 2013
All a bit quiet

It still feels like Winter here in the UK, flipping freezing cold. Come on sunshine, come on heat, I want to get
these thermal socks off my feet.

Apologies for the distinct lack of recent corkscrew news. I have been otherwise engaged with work, family,
music & sport. Even the razors have dried up a bit lately & probably for the first time in 10+ years of collecting
I don't have a single ebay snipe set. I guess I'm detoxing, getting collecting toxins out of my system.
I'm still checking ebay but can report my 2013 Buy It Now total = zero. Makes me
laugh when I read other corkscrew Blogs where a deal once or twice a week
seems the norm. Little chance of that when you look in once a day I guess.

I think a good corkscrew might be coming my way, all a bit hush, hush at the
moment, but if I get it I will Blog it.

Thanks to everyone who has sent me pictures of their dog corkscrews. Please
keep sending them in to:
23rd March 2013
Ahoy there shipmates!

The sea mist cleared to find
the SS Jolly Barman had
capsized with all crew lost.

Clearly bargains are still out
there in ebayland. Everyone
else forgot to bid & my 99p
won it for me.
29th March 2013
Happy Days! :) which turn a bit sad :(

Check out a recent arrival, a stunning, very early, 19th century
steel 4 pillar Thomason corkscrew.

It was offered to me by a house clearing chap who kept all the
corkscrews he ever found, building a small collection over
several years. This was by far his best piece & my offer was
snapped up in a micro second. Happy days! :)

I posted a picture of this new arrival on my new(ish) Corkscrews
Online Facebook page & within a day the phone rang, it was
another collector who had a tip off from yet another collector
that I bought it. The corkscrew grapevine works quick, eh? He
informed me that he had agreed the purchase for this piece. It
appears I unwittingly gazumped him. When we shared what we
offered for the corkscrew I understood why the chap took my
offer so quickly - double money!
Next day I received a nasty email from the seller saying he was told by another collector that it was worth
fortunes. I measured a response, enquiring who this "other collector" was. It saddened me to hear that this
"other collector" was none other than the "other collector" who offered half what I paid for it. No, no, no!!! He
was over the moon with my bundles of cash "other collector" & now he's down on himself. Don't make the guy
feel bad, especially if you offered half - that's just not cricket Sir.
Corkscrews Online Dog Pound
100 dogs in 100 days
Keep sending in pictures of your dogs to:
April 10th 2013
Website update & all set for the ICCA Auctions

Just added 90 new items to my catalogue of corkscrews for sale please take a look. Free shipping on
anything until the end of April 2013 - quote news when you order.

I'm ready to go with 40 listings for the ICCA auctions. Got some good stuff lined up :P
Listing start this Friday, 12th, so be quick if you want to sell anything as it can fill up within a day.

Keep the dogs coming!
April 16th 2013
ICCA starts Friday

I listed my 40 auction on the ICCA auctions website which opens up for
bidders this coming Friday, 19th April.

Having had a preview of the listings I can report that only about 20 of my
listings are now unique. Two of this, three of that & four of something
else is commonplace. Tough when you're trying to sell something that
under normal circumstance you might consider to be fairly uncommon,
scarce or dare I say rare turn up in multiples, but such is the success of
the ICCA auctions, that's just the way it is.

I've listed  a near mint Cotterill - there is another :( I've listed a superb
Lady Wier - one of 4 or 5. There's around 3 Heeley Empires, etc, etc.
To be honest I have no idea how the ICCA committee can sort this
problem out. If you do, then drop the ICCA chaps an email.
April 16th 2013
Just off to music and....

So last thursday evening was band practice & I was hoping to leave at around
5:30 p.m. to grab an all you can eat Chinese on route. I'd been starving myself all
day so I could stuff the food just like Homer Simpson. Band practice nights I
always indulge in bad food, it's like a ritual.

At around 5:20 I looked in on ebay US & top of the new listing was a sought after
French piece - listed at $19.99, no reserve. I pinged the seller an offer & waited.
Fortunately the seller responded quickly saying "Are you for real?", I said, "Yes,
please add the buy now". The problem was the seller didn't know how to do it. A
couple of emails crossed & then I sat tight wondering if a bid would land before
they worked out how to add that buy now button. Time passed. By 6:10 p.m. I was
pretty much in Big Mac on the run & have to leave - NOW - territory, when I
refreshed to see that magic blue button. Yeah!!

So, it took me around 3 1/2 months but I finally have a 2013 ebay buy it now. A
good one too!
April 16th 2013

It's fair to say I have a hobby or two. Squash, collecting corkscrews
& razors, refereeing & not least music. Right now, music is top of
the list.

A while back one of the bands I play in, Sound Mined, decided to
arrange a professional recording session. Unfortunately due to
some personal issues a couple of band members couldn't make
the date. Instead of cancelling, the three of us that could make it
got together with talented guitarist David Hackman to make it a

Sunday night we had our one & only practice & Monday morning
we were in the studio laying down the tracks.

We managed to get good takes on three songs, a couple of
covers & one that I wrote called "I'll never let you go". Given it's the
first time we've ever played together we are delighted with the

Check out the recordings


BIAD are  
Boz (that's me) - vocals, guitar & bass
Ilse - vocals & percussion
Andrew - drums
David - guitar & bass

There's every chance the four of us will record again in a couple
of months time. Bookmark the page & stay tuned.
April  18th 2013

Was just checking the regular
chaps Blogs - that's Josef, Tommy
& Robert, to see what was
occurring. You should too - links

Sounds like Josef & Tommy had a
blast at the JFO convention with
some good purchases & tasty
trades. Nice one boys!

Tommy posted a picture of the
trading day at the meet. Always
envious when I see pics like that.
Tables with corkscrews to buy -
slurp! I could just make out Josef in
the distance. He certainly looked
preoccupied. At first, I thought he
might be either counting his cash or
maybe cleaning an opener.

Thanks to my picture clarity
enhancing software I can reveal the
truth. Yes, Josef was refreshing
ebay newly listed.

Oh Josef - what are you like?
Sorry Josef, couldn't resist that one.

Josef L'Africain's Blog -
Corkscrewing around
Tommy Campnell's Blog - Corkscrewing on the Island
Robert Leopardi's Blog - The Wineleopard on the road
April 18th 2013
Thanks to The Beatles

I received an email about a week ago from a chap interesting in selling his legs
corkscrew. A plated example that he inherited from his Father.

Based on the plate wear I offered $300. A few days later he replied, saying that
he'd seen that the same piece had sold on the ICCA auctions website for $2200.
Another one bites the dust then. He asked if I could up my offer. I went back
explaining that the iCCA auction result was a freak & offered an extra $50, so $350
total. I explained that I would totally understand him declining my offer. Last night
he replied saying that as I was a musician & Beatles fan we should have deal.

Turns out he play the alto saxophone in a Mummers String Band. A group of 64
musicians that work and create a 4 minute 30 second routine to present to judges
on Jan 1st of every year in Philadelphia, Pa. This year was his 51st parade.
The theme was Imagine & they played Beatles music. They came in 6th place from 17 bands.

Check out this
YOUTUBE LINK it's awesome!
Don't forget to check out the Corkscrews Online Facebook page. Like the page to be kept updated. I've
been sharing many great pieces from my personal collection over the last couple of months. Plenty
more to come.
April 25th 2013
Weather set fine @ Ardingly

Took a trip to the Ardingly antique fair on tuesday. The weather
was good & as early as 8:00 a.m. I was down to one fleece - by
9:00 - a T shirt. In fact, the weather was pretty much perfect for
strolling around the many hundreds of stalls.

There were many additional casual pitches which gave me a
good feeling that something half decent might just surface.
Unfortunately, the early signs were not very promising, very
slim pickings. My early morning find - a Hercules type with an
advertising badge.

After around an hour I'd found nothing else but I bumped into
Webby who had picked up an interesting removable worm
corkscrew with a registration number. I'd never seen it before,
nor had Webby. We both were aware of the piece being
mentioned in Elllis & Ellis, registered design book. A great find!
Nice one Webby!

We went our separate ways. In the main hall I found a good
three tool bow & a couple of figural corkscrews, back outside I
picked up a Heeley A1, before finding my bargain of the day, a
Wiers concertina for £20. I saw a few Thomasons, all too
pricey, that was about it.

I met up with Fletcher Wallis to compare notes over a cuppa.
He found a ornately decorated pocket corkscrew which he later
sold to me. That was it for him in terms of corkscrews. However,
he bought a number Scientific instrument pieces which he
seemed pretty pleased about.

Around an hour later, after a final recce, Webby, Wally &
myself were in Peckish cafe to compare woe stories, although
on this occasion, the woe stories were a bit more upbeat.
Makes a change!

Next Ardingly is on 18th June. Why not come along? Maybe
you'll find yourself a rare corkscrew. Join us after you've
finished hunting at Peckish cafe for double bacon, double egg,
sausage, chips, bread, butter & a nice mug of tea. :)
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
April 29th 2013
ICCA - Spring 2013 - Seconds out - round 1 & 2

That time of year again when corkscrew collectors from around the
World salivate over vast numbers of amazing antique & vintage
corkscrews for sale on the ICCA auction website.

No surprise really that Ion Chirescu, aka Fotodeal won a number of
great corkscrews, once again leaving the under bidders pretty
frustrated but sellers very happy.

This auction saw a noticeable change in auction structures, with the
majority of sellers mostly preferring to sell their corkscrews at a set
price with no reserve. Likely this was due to the last auction where it
worked particularly well for some sellers. The ICCA chaps also
seemed pretty keen for sellers to adopt this approach, maybe
thinking that reserves just put people off from bidding, whereas a
transparent price means the bidders know that if they bid they
definitely can win.

It seemed that maybe more corkscrews than normal didn't sell.
Possibly by the time the sellers re-list or offer the pieces to
watchers/buyers & or, when buyers make offers for the unsold
pieces, that won't be the case. I guess we will have to wait & see.

A few highlights of the first two sales. A miniature black & white set of
ladies legs sold for £2550. Woweee! A painted Syroco Clown made
$1500. A good Burgess & Fenton sold for $6700. A French express
single lever sold for 2500 Euros.

I was pleased with my sales, but quite a few of my corkscrews were
left unsold. Some British classics that I listed such as a Heeley
Empire, Lady Wier, Baker & others were one of about 4 or 5, so no
surprise that they didn't find a new home. I'll rethink my listing
strategy next time to try & avoid the duplicate situation. Tricky
though, as finding totally unique corkscrews isn't that easy as you all

I only won one lot, 3 magic type partial pullers from the Ellis
collection. I've made a few offers, which so far nobody has accepted.

I attempted to buy a few other pieces but ran into Fotodeal, so
decided I'd find something else to do rather than waste my time
bidding. I noted one drawn out bidding war. Two warriors wielding
axes had a bloody battle. Shielding blows & surviving deep gashed
wounds & lacerations for around 1 1/2 hours until Lancerlot, I mean
Fotodeal's lethal ($5700) blow prevailed. Both buyers were running
the clock down to nothing each time, I guess hoping that the other
would get bored, make coffee, grab beer or just forget to bid.

Tommy took Fotodeal on for a Wallmount piece listed by Josef, but
alas came up empty. At least he gave it a good go. Unlucky T.

Round 3 & 4 next week. My golden glitter legs come up - have to be
worth £15k don't they? ;)
April 29th 2013
Box arrives & it's razor heaven

Today a box packed tight with razors & corkscrews
arrived from the US. Just love it when a box full of great
pieces needs opening & this box, which contained
about 40 different pieces was a good fix for sure.
About  half an hour of pulling apart bubble wrap, paper
& other packaging to reveal some great pieces worth of
a fix.

A good friend sends me a box now of again containing
my US purchases. Thanks! Thanks! Thanks! I do the
same for his UK purchases - so good for us both. He
included a razor gift within the box - thanks mate! Will
treasure that one.

In amongst the many razors were a few good
corkscrews, including the French piece I picked up a
couple of weeks back on an ebay buy it now, a nice
multi tool bow, a Columbus roundlet, a Williamson
Power Cone & more.

Check out the razors, really interesting the number of
different designs & quite affordable too, although a few
of this type of razor can sell for several thousand. It's
all about knowing which ones & right now I'm still
Hi, I'm Humphrey & I collect old corkscrews

I think I'm the only UK based corkscrew collecting cat

If you have any antique corkscrews for sale please
send pictures to my dad Peter
I'd like to buy them from you

May 3rd 2013
A collection for Humphrey

How about that! No soon as Humphrey the
corkscrew collecting cat advertised that he was
looking for corkscrews an email arrives asking
whether he would be interested in a collection.

"Dear Humphrey, I noticed your ad asking for
antique corkscrews & thought this collection might
be of interest. Dad was an enthusiastic corkscrew
collector & his favourite pet cat "Felix" was the
spitting image of you, so it somehow seems right to
offer them to you. Pictures attached. Please let me
know if these corkscrews are of interest. Best,

Humphrey pawed through the various photographs
& decided it's right up his alley. He has requested
higher resolution pictures.

At this stage there doesn't appear to be any cat
figural corkscrews which obviously are Humphreys
favourite type. He does however like Dutch &
English pocket silver corkscrews, Thomasons, US
patents & fancy bows & roundlets. So there are
plenty of good pieces to keep him happy.

So, paws crossed on this one.
May 8th 2013
ICCA rounds 3 & 4

Another great weekend of ICCA corkscrew auctions
over then, with many happy buyers & sellers. A
familiar name dominated the purchasing, yes,
Fotodeal, picking up many great pieces.

Highlight of this weekend was one of the final lots,
Robert Leopardi's US Wilhelm patent. It sold for a
mighty $21,100. Nice one Robert! I sold a very rare
glittery celluloid legs corkscrew for close to £3k.
Gavin sold his very nice silver pocket for £1550.

A number of pieces remained unsold. Will be
interested to see when all the second chances &
making offers have come & gone how the sale has
faired. I've sold about half of what I listed with a few
pieces still available on the second chance auction.
Pretty good, as I did have a number of auctions which
were one of 5 or 6 & were unlikely to sell.
The ICCA auction chaps will no doubt be number crunching & looking at percentages for this, that & the other. It
surely remains as a resounding success. Congratulations guys! A job very well done. I'm sure all corkscrewy
people would echo that. I guess the problems start when Fotodeal stops. As they say, "Make hay while the sun
May 8th 2013
Pheonix collection lands

A while back Robert & myself agreed to purchase a
good collection based in Pheonix, Arizona. Last
weekend Robert completed the deal & ever since he
has been busy photographing & cataloguing. Very
impressively I may add.

Tonight, we spent 1 hour 16 minutes on the phone.
Your pick - my pick & so on. I could hear his pain,
when my next pick was next on his list & he could hear
my sighs, when his pick was my next pick.
By the time we got to the vine roots, we both had a very nice pile of goodies. We are both very pleased.

If you have a collection of corkscrews for sale & want to make enthusiastic corkscrew collectors very happy
please get in touch today. Complete collections bought - cash waiting!
May 13th 2013
Road trip to the
Shepton Mallet fair

Last Friday I took a trip to
Somerset - destination, the
Shepton Mallet antique fair. I
thought I'd visit all the major
antique centres on route.

First stop Hungerford - nothing
doing. At the next stop in
Malborough I spotted a nice
American sterling walker bell type
corkscrew & after some
negotiations, a deal was done.

It makes a change finding
something. :)
I can report that I didn't buy a single piece at the Shepton Mallet fair. Pretty shocking really, as I'm looking for
corkscrews, Anri, razors & more. Just shows that there are no guarantees even at the major antique fairs.
May 18th 2013
Over Analyse?

I guess I've been pretty lucky since I started collecting
corkscrews in terms of buying fakes, marriages, etc. To my
knowledge, I've only been caught a couple of times on expensive
pieces - my skeptical, analytical approach has served me pretty
well. Unfortunately, we all get caught out from time to time, the
nature of the Beast I guess, it's a very collectible field, which
means it's rife for fakers to operate.

Ebay is a mine field of fakes & weird marriage concoctions. I
avoid figurals generally unless I find a reference, I rarely buy any
Austrian pieces due to the number of copies. Anything else that
looks remotely dodgy I just avoid, even if it appears that others
are convinced it's OK. The guilty until proved innocent method
has no doubt saved me plenty of grief & money & if that has
meant I've lost out on a few good pieces, that's fine by me.

I find it pretty sad that many of these quite obvious fakes sell so
well. Our Romanian friend buys many of these "unique pieces" &
when someone chases him up, a unusual piece with a soldered
worm can fetch several hundred £'s $s or Euros.
My approach definitely talks me out of pieces. This week there are 3 corkscrews listed as one lot on ebay.
Pretty low starting price with no reason to believe the seller has done anything other than just list 3 old
corkscrews. One piece is an interesting folding bow type corkscrew with a carriage key & a jar opener design.
On closer examination it appears to have a thread above the worm, maybe for a sheath? However, it looks too
tight at the top of the bow frame to fit with a sheath attached. Why is there no reference for this piece? Rare
or made up? If so, what else could it be? The worm being so clean is concerning. If there was a sheath you
could understand why the worm was so clean but there isn't, so shouldn't it be more in keeping with the patina.
Shame you can't reach in the computer screen & grab a piece to examine it. So, I've probably talked myself
out of bidding on an interesting piece which could well be absolutely fine. Shame we have to even consider
such things.

What do you think about this piece or just the whole issue in general?
June 18th 2013
Riley Picnic

Last year Robert Leopardi picked up a very cool  
early English picnic corkscrew, a decorative
example, stamped Riley. It's very unusual to find
one of these early picnics marked with a maker, so
I have to say I was quite envious & attempted on a
couple of occasions to make a trade, without
success. When Robert published his best six last
year & the Riley picnic was selected, well that was
pretty much that. Not a lot of point pursuing it

Last week I noticed that the exact same corkscrew
was up for auction, together with a few Henshall
types at Mallams in Oxfordshire. I requested
addition pictures & set up to bid online. I can
report that I won the piece after some super quick
fire mouse clicking bids - I just kept clicking :o

Delighted with this piece. I have a number of really
good early English iron & steel picnics & this great
Riley example will enhance the collection for sure.

John Riley was listed in a 1770 Wolverhampton
directory as a corkscrew maker.
June 18th 2013

Yes, time for Ardingly! Woop!

Bed at 1:30 a.m. - up at 5:20 a.m.
OMG - zombie state. Make coffee -
jump in car - meet up with Webby
& @ 7:20 a.m.= you have reached
your destination.

As always, high hopes, dreams of
great finds, boxes full of original
Henshalls still wrapped in the
original tissue paper.

The reality.....

It was a bad day. In fact a pretty
desparate day. After 3 hours of
hunting I found just a small
perfume corkscrew & saw nothing
better than an over-priced
Thomason. I have to admit I kind
of lost all hope of finding anything
worthwhile & started taking
random photos of weird &
wonderful objects for sale. Maybe I
should start collecting Coldstream
Guards!!! Then I noticed a statue
of a dog, then I started asking
people if I could take a photo of
their dogs. I went from corkscrew
collecting can't find a bloody thing
depression to having a laugh.

Earlier in the day, I passed a small
collection of corkscrews which
included a nice nickel plated
example of George Willet's 1884
patent Surprise. I keep telling
myself not to buy this type of piece
as I have so many, but as pickings
were so slim, when I later still saw
it on the guys stall, I asked how
much, the guy said "a couple of
quid", "OK, I'll have it". Can't argue
with £2:00 for that.

Last piece of the day was a nicely
marked German spring cage.

Hunting over & I met up with Wally
& Webby to compare notes. None
of us had done particularly well.
Webby found a Thomason at a fair
price, Wally a multi tool bow. That
was it. Three grumpy groaners,
grumpily groaned for a while - you
know how it goes.

Was in a rush so didn't even get a
fry up after :(

Next Ardingly - July 23rd. Maybe I'll
find that boxed Henshall then, or
maybe I'll decide dreaming of
great finds is a better idea & stay
in my nice warm bed instead.
June 25th 2013
What a cracker

This cracking early bow arrived in the post
today. It has a really unusual tapered auger
type worm. I've not seen this example
before, or anything like it for that matter.

Nothing in the pocket corkscrew book

Anyone out the there got a similar example?
June 26th 2013
The eBay 10% discount saga

Last week an ebay discount voucher appeared in my
email inbox. Valid to 28th June & with a maximum
discount of £100. Nice!

I started to look at higher value ebay items with the 10%
voucher in mind & then set about setting some snipes.

I came up short, but not by much, on Jim Edgar's very
nice Thomason with a single bunch of grapes & was the
under bidder on a Gothic Thomason. Next stop Goran's
Queens Lund but alas, he pulled the auction before the

I started to realise that it's not particularly easy saving
yourself 10% on a big ticket item. Back to the listings &
find something else.
I have quite a passion for silver pocket corkscrews & have watched Richard Craven list a good number of
beautiful pieces over the last few months. He had repeatedly listed a stunning English example bearing the
mark for Daniel Field but the ebaying public had passed it by. I contacted Richard explaining the 10%
voucher & asked if he could update the listing with a buy it now as the timescale of the voucher didn't allow
me use it at the end of the auction. He was happy to oblige, however, complications arose with ebay &
cutting a long story short, Richard & I have agreed a private deal on this piece.

So, I still needed to use my voucher. I looked through my snipe list & found an Eclipse bar screw, listed at a
first bid of £149 or a buy now at £249. Actually not unreasonable as a BIN. However, I contacted the seller &
explained the voucher predicament, saying it expired before the end of their auction & asked if they could  
compromise their buy now price to £190. They came back & agreed, saying that they had amended the BIN
price. I snapped it up & at checkout punched in my voucher number. Phew, finally!
June 28th 2013
Isle of Mann corkscrews

There were quite a few corkscrews for sale at
auction this week. A number of multi lots at
Gardiner Houlgate in Bath - I forgot to bid on
those. Then there was a hidden Holborn lever in a
box of bits & pieces at an auction in Sussex -
forgot to bid on that. Pretty rubbish aren't I?
Fortunately, I didn't forget to bid yesterday at an
auction on the Isle of Mann. My modest £200 bid
was good enough to win this pretty good mixed lot.
June 29th 2013
How not to sell  on ebay

It's not like the first time this has ever happened on ebay. A seller
who realises they have something of note so decides to list the
item at a high starting price.

It's also not the first time an ebay seller lists the item with one
lousy picture & a title & description that barely uses more than a
dozen words. Thanks Mr seller, really helpful - Not!

It wasn't me that asked, but a buyer who obviously feels pretty
much the same asked this question:

Hi... is the tip of the corkscrew complete and all there? Perhaps if
you had some better photos it would help

& the sellers answer - Yes. Nothing wrong with it.

Given the lack of effort marketing the corkscrew this seller can be
pretty pleased with the end result $1250.
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