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by Peter Borrett
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7th January 2014
ICCA auction Buy It Now sale

Happy new year everyone! I hope you had a good Christmas & are all
set for another year of corkscrew hunting.

The ICCA new year buy it now sale went live from last Sunday afternoon
with around 300 pieces up for grabs, including a notable selection
listed byDon Bull which are part of the Carroll collection, a longs term (35
year) collector who is selling up.

I have to confess that I was checking quite regularly on Sunday, hoping
a reasonably priced top end piece might just come my way. Alas, there
was nothing for my collection, or anything at the top end I considered to
be fairly priced to buy as a dealer.

I have however bought 4 pieces: a sterling roundlet from Tommy, one of
those medicine spoons with advertising from Webby, a red devil from
Fred Kincaid & a miniature ladies legs corkscrew from the Wineleopard.

A few of the guys have been chatting about this latest sale, with
interesting points being raised.

At the time of typing, just 20 pieces off 300 have sold. Approximately 6%.
This is surely a disaster for the ICCA auction committee?

So why so few sales? I guess there are many reasons for this.

Some pieces are clearly priced way too high & can only really catch a big
fish or nothing. Noting Fotodeal has so far bought nothing. Some people
don't like set prices, considering a set price never to be a deal. Too
many corkscrews have been on offer via the www within a short space of
time, last Novembers ICCA auction, ebay 24/7/365, auctions, special
sales, websites, etc, etc. Too much choice - too many corkscrews =
corkscrew overkill! Many elderly collectors are now selling up, one after
another. Collection - collection - collection. Nothing much appears rare.
Ultimately, todays market is very different to the market of 2 or 3 years
ago, prices need to be lower to attract a buyer. Had this sale been 3
years ago, based on the prices I would of bought around 20-30 pieces.

I remember the heady days, or should I say nights of Italiancorkscrews,
selling most Sundays on ebay. Making fortunes from many pieces that in
todays market are commonplace. Those days are long gone.
7th January 2014
How bout a buy it now

It's Bintastic! Bigger, better, with
twists, turns & controversy & a T shirt
for the winner, which cost me a
whopping £16:04. Wow!

After considering the merits of the
standard cotton version for £9.50, I
decided the super soft deluxe t-shirt
had to be the option. It has passed
the committees quality control &
nipple tweak test. It is guaranteed to
fit the largest collector as a t-shirt or
the smallest collector as a night gown.

Stick the dates in your diary. August
& September 2014
8th January 2014
How do you plead?

I'm guilty your honour.

It seems my new years
resolution of being more
thoughtful about my Blog entries
in fear of upsetting the
corkscrew establishment has
gone a bit pear shaped. On the
first Blog of the year too. Oops!

It appears I'm in the dock for the
1. Suggesting that the current ICCA buy it now sale is a disaster. How do you plead? Guilty your honour.
2. Pointing out why the sale isn't generating many sales. How do you plead? Guilty your honour.
3. Suggesting the corkscrew market has declined in recent years. How do you plead? Guilty your honour.

I apparently should pledge a vow of silence or only be ICCA auction positive, out of respect for all that
the ICCA corkscrew auctions have done for me. This according to the law of Google the almighty.

As I can't afford a lawyer, I stand alone to defend my democratic right to "Say it as it is".
17th January 2014. Back!

Apologies for pulling the plug on my Blog for the last week or so, but being told I was dumb, guilty of being
an idiot & should be banned from the ICCA corkscrew auction, by a very prominent collector, who I greatly
admire, made me wonder if I should just give the Blog up.

Thanks to Webby & Robert for the support on their respective Blogs & to the many guys that took the time
to drop me an email to encourage me to get Blogging again. Some emails from very surprising quarters.

As one particular email said "Keep the English tradition of 'a stiff upper lip' and soldier on!

OK then I will.

17th January 2014
ICCAuctions or ICCA corkscrew auctions Buy It Now sale update

A collector just pointed out 172 corkscrews have sold on the ICCA corkscrew auctions Buy It Now site
since it was launched. This figure constitutes 23.65% sales of ICCA corkscrew auction Buy It Now
corkscrews listed. Pretty good!

The recent multiple listings, including Don Bull's Carroll collection listings have now returned sales of
15.5%, this, following around a two week period of being live on the ICCAuctions corkscrew site. Many are
still available, so this hopefully will rise further. The ICCA corkscrew auctions committee much be
heartened by these increased sales figures.

I would like to point out that I just give it warts & all & if that is a positive spin, then great. If it's negative,
then so be it. Please review my past Blogs about the ICCA corkscrew auctions & this will be evident.
17th January 2014
The house clearance guy

I guess most of us that collect corkscrews have
spread the net far & wide. I am no different.

About 7 or 8 years ago, I was contacted by a house
clearance guy with a Tangent lever, just the lever,
no worm. I bought it. A couple of years later, he
phoned describing a Safety bar screw, I said I could
give him £30 but it might be worth his while taking it
to auction. He was happy to accept my £30.

Yesterday, he phoned again & described a double
action corkscrew. I worked out he had some form of
Thomason. We agreed a price range based on
condition in hand.

He knocked on the door earlier today & after a
cuppa, I put the top of the agreed price range in his
hand & he placed a very nice Thomason in mine.

Happy days!
The piece I bought is the central one in the top picture. An interesting example with a plain barrel with no
machined banding, it was once silver plated. The barrel is the same diameter as the original Thomason to
the right but the top handle loop is slightly larger & elongated. My serpent Thomason, by Dowler also has
a plain barrel & was silver plated. It appears that all plated Thomason corkscrews possibly had plain
barrels to enable the plating to adhere to the barrel. Interesting!

If you clear houses & have a an old corkscrew you'd like to sell, please drop me a line.
17th January 2014
How About A Buy It Now 2014
The Prize Arrives

And what a prize. As suggested, it will indeed fit the largest collector as a snug T shirt or the smallest as a night
gown. Thanks to my daughter, Helix Henshall for modelling
20th January 2014
How About A Buy It Now Winter Training

So, a nice miniature ladies legs corkscrew showed up, late night on
ebay about a week ago. As it had only been listed for about 20 minutes
I did the decent thing & made the seller an offer. I guessed others
might be doing the same, so went in with a punchy $550.

I didn't get a quick reply & before too long there was a bid, so I pretty
much knew the chance of a BIN had gone. A couple of days later I did
get a reply saying that a few people were interested so she would let
the auction ride.

Last night my winning bid was $472. A $78 discount. Happy days
20th January 2014
The Crosby Pup Corkscrew Debate

Josef L'Africain has just set up a Facebook page
dedicated to the Crosby Pup corkscrew. This an
attempt to clarify who has one.

Most of us are aware of the story that Bing Crosby
had 50-60 of these corkscrew made to give as gifts to
friends & family. However, no concrete prove exists to
establish if this is true.

Some while ago I contacted the good people at to find out more & to see if any
records might exist. Unfortunately, the good
people weren't good enough to send me a reply :(

So fact or fiction? Interestingly, two variations exist.
One with the cap lifter back feet joined & a less
common example where the cap lifter is not joined.
Josef L'Africain also reports an example not stamped.
I'm not sure if that necessarily clarifies anything but
interesting none the less.
If you have a Crosby Pup & would like to be added to the list, you can contact Josef through the facebook link
above, or if you don't use Facebook, drop me a line @ & I'll get Josef to add you
to the list.
22nd January 2014
Bitter, sour grape

So, you get yourself a cracking deal,
managing a BIN on a rare corkscrew, only
because the seller is happy with your offer
& likely thinks you're a bit crazy for offering
so much. The next day when the seller had
agreed to mail the corkscrew, you receive
an email saying that the transaction is
cancelled & the reason, well his car was
broken into & the corkscrew, along with
other items had been stolen.

Really? Nah. The seller has been nobbled
by what's known in Buy It Now circles as a
bitter, sour grape spoiler.

Bitter, sour grape spoilers don't like it when
they miss out on a deal so they decide the
best thing to do is inform the seller that the
corkscrew was under-sold & suggest that
the seller would be better off reneging the
deal. Most times, sellers still complete the
transaction, sometimes however, they
decide to cancel the transaction with a lame

In reality, bitter, sour grape spoilers
probably wouldn't win the corkscrew if it
went full term, they just don't like seeing
anyone else win it cheaply.
I say a deal is a deal & why would anyone feel the
need to make a scene, cause upset, especially
when the seller is happy to sell at a price they are
delighted with. I guess the spoilers must take
satisfaction from it.

This has happened to me personally a number of

Scroll down to 29th, March to see another
unnecessary approach to an otherwise very happy
seller on
this link

On this occasion, it was a great deal The
Wineleopard struck last night on ebay for a
corkscrew for $500. I'm gutted for him. He bought it
fair & square. The seller would of been delighted
with the $500 until the email hit from the bitter, sour
grape spoiler.
2nd February 2014
Heeley for a nice pair of legs

I recently managed to strike a trade with a fellow collector
who contacted me wondering if I had a Heeley double lever
in original box for sale. As it happened I did. I explained it
was in the collection & I wasn't that keen to sell & maybe we
could work a trade instead for something that I wanted more
than the boxed Heeley. A few emails followed with pictures
attached showing a selection of trade bait.  

Amongst the pieces on offer was a fabulous looking ladies
legs corkscrew with three colours. Red/green/white,
unmarked. A straight swap was agreed.

The three colour legs corkscrews are quite hard to find & this
example will sit very nicely in the collection until someone
else asks if I have a three colour ladies legs for sale. :)

I previously owned a set with three colours which had
different colours on each leg. Really quirky.

Do you have any unusual ladies legs corkscrews that you
are looking to trade or sale? Anything on the for sale pages
could be used as trade bait or cash if you would prefer.

Always happy to buy or trade corkscrews.
2nd February 2014
ICCA Special Sale Review -
Bull, O'Leary, Luchsinger & Kincaid

Last night the hammer went down on 280 corkscrew lots in a
special ICCAuctions corkscrew auction. The sale included items offered
by Don Bull (for Carroll), Fred O'Leary, Paul Luchsinger & Fred Kincaid.

Majority of pieces seemed priced fairly high - looking for one bidder? A
few had monster prices looking for that monster fish & just a handful had
come buy me prices.

The bidding activity during the week was poor with very little action. I
would presume the sellers were probably a bit concerned.

So how did it go?

The first 16 lots got off to a poor start with only a silver bow corkscrew
selling. The auction soon picked up & as suspected, a single bid
was often enough to buy a piece. There was some strong bidding on a
number of good pieces. After the final corkscrew had completed
around 65% of the corkscrews had sold. Approximately 45% of the
corkscrews sold were to a single bid.

Bull's French cage corkscrew saw the highest price of the night, selling to
an American collector for the opening bid of $12,500. Most bids - 37!
Involving Tommy Campnell & Joe Young versus the one they call
"Fotodeal", whos constant counter bidding won a very unusual Jos.
Schlitz Brewery Advertising button corkscrew for around $1400. Other
notable pieces included, a 1905 patent direct pressure corkscrew by
Peter Robertson which sold for $7990 & a heart shaped 18th century
pocket corkscrew selling for $6500. The highest ticket priced corkscrew,
the Shrapnel failed to attract the opening bid price of $19000 & the
London Bridge corkscrew also didn't attract a bid, finishing $10,000
reserve not met.

Some second chance corkscrews are already available on the ICCA
corkscrew website, the hammer falls on these next weekend at reduced
prices. Other unsold corkscrews have already found new homes,
snapped up by collectors on best offers. I bought three corkscrews myself
from Fred Kincaid including Benjamin Law's Plume corkscrew, I've always
wanted one of those. So the sales figures will continue to rise further
until next weeks sale is wrapped up.

Whatever happens next week it looks like the numbers stack up well to
consider this special sale a big success.

As usual there has been plenty of discussion about the ICCA corkscrew
auction's effect on the corkscrew market on Internet forums. Are there
too many sales? Market flooded? Prices falling? What's your view?

From a personal point of view I would of loved the level of excitement
heightened by low starts & no reserves. I would of been addicted to the
site if that was the case. I wonder if the ICCA corkscrew auctions will get
to that point? Difficult though within an environment when so many good
pieces are up for grabs (800+) &  good pieces could slip through cheaply.
That method of selling on ebay can be very successful.
2nd February 2014
Decanter Magazine

A couple of months ago Richard Stevenson, Daddy of the
British corkscrew club emailed wondering if I would be
interested being interviewed by Decanter magazine who
were writing a special feature article about corkscrews &
corkscrew collecting. Sure thing Richard. Thanks!

A couple of weeks later I was on the phone to a lady
answering away to her many questions. How I started
collecting, what I collected, thoughts on the market, where to
buy, best buy, etc, etc.

A few other collectors were also interviewed, Josef L'Africain
& the two Vinyard/Museum owners in Spain & Greece.

The article, in the March issue was out on the 1st Feb.
Funny how that works!

Decanter quote me as being a member of the ICCA. Don't
think so - Cheap of Chips is my preferred corkscrew
collecting club. Everything is free at the cheap as chips! My
lawyers have been contacted, I may sue for
misrepresentation, although I might accept a written apology
instead. As you can imagine, I'm pretty shook up by that
announcement. Otherwise, I've been quoted correctly & the
article is pretty good - considering they are editing views
from 4 different people.

The great news is the magazine quoted my website twice &
today I was able to buy a Wiers double concertina from a
reader who inherited it.

Thanks Richard & thanks Decanter magazine.
9th February 2014
Thanks Webby

I took a trip to visit my dear Mum in Somerset last
thursday & on route popped in to see Steven Webb
who lives about 20 minutes away.

Always good to see Webby! We put the World to right
over a couple of coffees & I got to see some pretty
spectacular corkscrews. We all missed a special one at
the last ICCA main auction - a small, delicate & very
beautiful steel 2 pillar corkscrew. Stunning!

I bought this nice 2 pillar from Webby. Not in the same
class as his ICCA purchase, but rather lovely all the
same. Thanks Webby!
9th February 2014
Corkscrews Online 10 point guide to
buying from The Wineleopard

1. Ask if he has any specific types of corkscrew. In this
case American fancy tusk/ivory/stags.

2. Check the picture & ask for clearer pictures of a couple
pieces that might be of interest.

3. Look at the new pictures which aren't the ones you

4. Send him a picture with added text which clearly shows
the ones you like.

5. Check out the clearer pictures of your choices.

6. Tell him you don't like one as it looks like it lost a points
decision to a T-Rex.

7. Let him know that you like the other piece & how much?

8. Ignore the fact he quotes a high price relating to unsold
ICCA pieces.

9. Make him a take it or leave it offer.

10. Send him some Paypal when he says "take it".
10th February 2014
ICCA Corkscrew Auctions Second Chance Auction

The final lot of the 94 second chance corkscrews in the ICCAuctions special
sale has just finished. 14 of the 94 found a buyer. None of the highest ticket
items attracted a bidder.

Fotodeal bid on just one piece but decided against the Shrapnel & London
Bridge corkscrews. He is definitely becoming more mainstream & thoughtful
about his purchases. Maybe the days of thinking of a price, doubling it,
adding you Mums age, adding 2 naughts & then multiplying by 4 with him in
mind have finally ended? Shame! Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.
I've requested a couple of condition reports & have already put a few good offers forward to ICCA sellers.
Hopefully, a few more corkscrews might just come my way. Will keep you posted.

Following my last ICCA Blog post on 2nd February, I was able to buy a nice early steel pocket corkscrew with
Freemason seal from Fred O'Leary, shown above. I'm a big fan of early steel pocket corkscrews & this is a great
addition to my collection. My first example with a seal attached.

So, back to the boring grind of checking ebay until the nest ICCA corkscrew auction in April.
13th February 2014
Today was a bad day, a bad day indeed

Today I took down a Blog relating to two multiple high end corkscrew fakers.

I feel sick!

These fakers are WITHOUT QUESTION making thousands of £'s/$'s of hard working collectors cash with
modified corkscrews & blatantly calling them old & original.

I contacted several very experienced corkscrew collectors, corkscrew book authors & some corkscrew
collecting friends for support, feeling strength in numbers was the only way forward. Despite many agreeing with
me, nobody wanted to be named on my Blog for fear of reprisals, libel actions, etc. Many chose not to reply &
silence is indeed golden. It says it all!

Except! I would like to thank Göran Nilsson, the only collector who was prepared to back the campaign.
We have a strategy meeting planned on 5th March. Code name "Screw the fakers". Oops, just given our
code name away! ;)

Last year I named & shamed a seller on my site for selling one of those brand new silver pockets on ebay (yes,
the one we see often on ebay, see below) as 18th century on a BIN for £200. Someone tipped him off, he
phoned me, was like mad man & said he'd get his lawyer on me if I didn't take it down. Who is right & who is
wrong? Of course, in fear of some lawyer causing me grief I took the post down & the guy sold it for £200. :(

Surely strength in numbers is the way to deal with these dishonest fakers & con men? But nobody wants to get
involved, preferring an easy life. Really?

The comment below represents many similar comments :(

Anonymous: I do think this piece is wrong, but I don't want to be involved in NAMING the
seller as disreputable.

We all know the moment you question anything clearly faked directly with the seller, the seller goes from
persistent faker to compulsive lier - to a point where he is in totally denial that he did anything wrong. Of course
he is safeguarding his reputation through his lies. It's a horrible World at times - isn't it?

So, what are we meant to do? Help???? Answers on a post card or maybe an email.
This is the modern silver corkscrew referred to in
this Blog. I'm not sure where it was made, possibly
the Far East. It is clearly modern. It weighs just 25
grammes, it measures 3 3/8" & it's marked on the
base "925 S".

The one I mentioned that was listed on ebay as
18th century had a replaced period worm to make it
look more legitimate. Shocking!

They often surface on ebay & advertised as old. Be
aware of dark/blackish patina, basically uncleaned

Look for this specific worm but also the possibility of
the piece having a period worm added. Be extra
observant & vigilant. If you are unsure, ask me & I'll
help. Don't be afraid to pass. If it looks to good to
be true, it often is.

So, you've bought a fake, thinking it right & then you realise it's wrong. You are then a carrier. You have spent
maybe $200, $500 or $2000 on something worth next to nothing. What do you do with the piece?
This now introduces a moral dilemma to you! Are you fair to the next person & prepared to lose a pile of money?
How good is your moral compass? What if - you are just naive & believe everything is right? Some people are.
When it comes to selling your collection & somebody knowledgeable who you trust tells you half of your stuff is
wrong - do you take it off the market???

It's unfair!

This is what happens because of the fakers!

What are we going to do about it??????? It seems nothing :(
17th February 2014
Safety Bid

I won a very nice lot at auction yesterday. The
lot included an early London rack & the
hammer price was just $325 + commission.

The night before I was chatting to corkscrew
collector extraordinaire - Mystery man.
Extraordinary defines mystery man well, he
puts extraordinary effort into his corkscrew
hunting & misses very little due to his search
endeavours. He deserves his luck!
Anyhow, we were chatting online about a couple of upcoming auctions. I mentioned this lot & said I would be
bidding. He then mentioned a couple of other lots in a different auction & asked if I could give him a free run. OK
Mystery man, I won't bid.

Turns out the two lots mystery man bid on, that I backed off, went to someone else, but it also turns out mystery
man was the under bidder on the lot I won. Mystery man! I thought we had an agreement? Of course, I was
wrong, mystery man never once said that he wouldn't bid on anything that interested me. I'll learn from that one -
make sure it cuts both ways!. What made me laugh was mystery man called his bid - a safety bid, to ensure that
a bid was definitely recorded by someone (him). It's likely that mystery man has a safety recorded in any auction,
anywhere, anytime. So make sure you place a safety bid too!


Send in a photo of a YOU with & a known CELEBRITY  
holding a vine root corkscrew. Doesn't matter who is holding it.

Once posted on this Blog you will receive 100 vine root points. :) Your
wonderful picture will also be posted on the Corkscrews Online
Vine Root
Celebrity Challenge page for all to admire. You will become a legend for as
long as you grace this planet. OK, maybe not. But it's all good fun!
Most points by the end of the year wins!

If you want to take part & don't have a vine root. Send £3 UK or £6 Worldwide by Paypal to & I'll send you one.

Make sure the vine root corkscrew can be clearly seen in the photograph.
Vine roots all set & ready to go

£3 UK
£6 Worldwide

Send cash via Paypal to:

Tommy Campnell + Britney Spears
+ Vine root corkscrew = 100 vine
root points & T C makes the

Send pictures of you with celeb & vine root to:

Absolutely gutted for Josef :(

He managed to get Miley
Cyrus to ride on his giant
vine root :p but in his
excitment forgot the rules.

Josef, you had to be in the
photo also. Sorry, but no
vine root points for you :(
Double Awesome!

Gavin Maddock + Duchess of Cambridge
+ Vine root corkscrew = 100 vine root
points & Gav makes the

Send pictures of you with celeb & vine root to:
23rd February 2014
Brand new folder sold on ebay for £451

Just noticed that this folding bow type corkscrew sold on ebay for £451 on
18th December 2013. Advertised as a mid IX century folding steel corkscrew
tire bouchon. It attracted 32 bids in a private auction.   

This is a new corkscrew. It has been darkened with patination fluid to make it
look old.

These corkscrews have often been sold on ebay as replica, new or
reproduction. Buyer beware when they are sold as old!

Don Bull's Weekly Screw, March 4th 2007, to find this & other new
corkscrews, so you are familiar when you see them on ebay or elsewhere.

Alas, the modern silver pocket strikes again. An ebay seller sold their
example for £184 on 19th January. Sold as "ANTIQUE VINTAGE SILVER
CORKSCREW". Another private auction! The corkscrew had clearly been
aged, dented & it sounds like the modern sterling mark has been scratched
away, as the seller reports no marks.

Check out ebay item 141172689042 another wrong piece. A marriage of
parts. Again - a private auction.

Private auction beware! Ebay protects buyers by only allowing feedback
scores as identity. Why do sellers feel they need a private auction?
28th February 2014
Today I picked up an email from long time antique dealer Jeremy Astfalck with a link to a Blog
he wrote about the modern silver pocket corkscrews.

Thank you Jeremy for spreading the word. If it helps one person it has been very worthwhile.

I've put some pages together on my site to help spread the word further. A mini site, very
much a work in progress, called
Corkscrew Beware. I have also set up a Facebook group for
collectors to join & share information. Please join - click the Facebook link --------->
Please get involved.Join the discussion. Post pictures. Help new collectors. We will never stop the fakers & rogue
sellers, but by spreading the word we can make it harder for them.
3rd March 2014
Autumnal Kings

I received an email a couple of days back from a guy in
Louisiana looking to sell his corkscrew. He attached a few
pictures which had references ebay 001, 002, etc - o oh.  
I opened them to see an Autumnal fruits corkscrew but
not the regular Thomason, a Kings pattern.

It didn't take long to work a deal that worked for us both &
the corkscrew is now on the way to me, via Tommy in
Chicago. Nice to keep it away from our 2nd favourite
auction site & the one they call "Fotodeal".

Has any one seen a Kings pattern corkscrew with
Autumnal fruit decoration before? I can't find a reference

A lone Wolf? Please drop me a line if you can have any
6th March 2014
A Lund at Serrell Auctions

A couple of weeks back an interesting English corkscrew
appeared on the auction search engines. A Thomas Lund 1838
patent with springs, but not in the normal form with a rack &
pinion mechanism, instead this one was a Thomason design.
Wow! Never seen the like.

I sent an email off requesting high resolution pictures showing
every conceivable angle & asked for a full condition report. To
be fair to Serrell auctions they responded with approximately 15
very clear high resolution pictures & a comprehensive condition
report that left no stone unturned. They probably realised they
were on to something good with the number of enquiries.

I booked a phone line & for the last few days have been mulling
over my maximum bid.

Today was auction day!

The phone rang with a voice soon saying "6 lots to go Mr
Borrett", "OK, great, thanks". The heart rate was increasing
(120 bpm) as I heard the auctioneer getting closer to the magic
number - 290. "OK, here we go, I'll let the floor bid before I
come to you", "OK, thanks" (135 bpm). "£2200, do you want to
bid?", "Um, OK, yes, thanks", "£2600?",(148 bpm) "Yes please",
"£3000?", "er, um, OK, yes please", "3400?", (167 bpm) "um,
er, oooh, yes please". I think you get the picture. I was soon all
out but stayed on the phone to hear two heavy weights go toe
to toe - hammer price a whopping £8500! Add the auctioneers
commission = £10000! Woweee!

I wonder who they were? Mr X & Mr XX I guess.

It just proves that good corkscrews very rarely sneak through in
an auction environment. To be honest, I can't recall a really
good corkscrew ever sneaking through.

To be fair my heart might of blown up if I carried on bidding! ;o
11th March 2014
Corkscrew Beware!

Last week Göran Nilsson, a very passionate Swedish
corkscrew collector visited my home to discuss the
Corkscrew Beware project. Like me, Göran feels very
strongly about the extent of fakes, forgeries & seller
deception currently plaguing our marketplace. It was
a pleasure to meet Göran. We will now be working
very closely to develop a plan of attack to make it
harder for fakers & rogue sellers to operate.

Corkscrew Beware Facebook page now has 100
collectors & it's great to see many discussions on the
merits of ebay corkscrews. We are all learning!
I have just contacted all the corkscrew website owners I could think of requesting a direct link for the Corkscrew
Beware guide. I hope they will oblige so we can spread the word further. The more people that join the
campaign to STOP THE FAKERS the better.

Please, please get involved.
Join the Facebook group

If you would like to write an article or get involved with the Corkscrew Beware guide, please drop me a line.

Barry Squires with Reese

To quote Barry "I have attached a photo of me with
Reese Witherspoon and a vine root corkscrew as a
possible entry for the challenge.

Actually, I should have said that it's me with my
grandson Reece with a spoon ....slightly different so
I am guessing that this might not quite count!!!

Barry, this is brilliant. You absolutely deserve 100 vine root points & a place, with Reece in the  Hall of fame.

Send a picture of you, celebrity & vine root to:

21st March 2014
A silver Wilson for the collection

I recently won a silver roundlet corkscrew on ebay. It's
hallmarked for 1877 & was made by William Wright and
Frederick Davis who had their work shops in Oxford
Street, London from the early 1860.

It has a double helix corkscrew based around British
patent 858, by James Edward Wilson, 3 Mar 1877. I'm
unsure whether the shank carries the "S. PAT" mark or
if it is stamped with the bell symbol trademark.

Interestingly, I have seen around 4 silver English
roundlet double helix corkscrews over the years & each
& every one has carried a hallmark for 1877. Does
anyone have a double helix silver roundlet corkscrew
with hallmarks for a later date? I'd be interested to know.
Seems rather strange that I haven't noted other date
marks for this type of piece. A one year wonder?

I have a nice mini collection of Wilson type corkscrews
as shown in the top photograph. All but the roundlet,
top right & the large direct pull, middle row, far left, are
marked. This silver piece is a welcome addition. I'm still
hunting for a few other variants of this type of
corkscrew, so if you have a different example, not shown
in the above photograph & are interested in selling or
fancy trading, please drop me a line.
21st March 2014
Corkscrew Beware! Update.

At the time of writing 107 collectors are part of the Facebook Corkscrew Beware group. If you
are not already involved - please join the active discussions.

A new article section of
Corkscrew Beware is up. I have added an excellent piece by Göran
Nilsson on Fitter that he wrote for Facebook, to ensure it stays on the radar. If you have an
article in mind that you would like to share, please send it to me & I will publish it for you.

I contacted all the major corkscrew websites for a link exchange to Corkscrew Beware, to help spread the word
further. I can report that Gavin Maddock of Era Corkscrews & Göran Nilsson of Vintage Corkscrew Centre have
already linked - thank you both very much. I also have the promise of a link from both Tommy Campnell and
Josef L'Africain. Thank you guys. Hopefully other sites will follow too.

Corkscrew Beware is about helping corkscrew collectors become fake aware & reducing the amount of fakes &
seller deception within our marketplace. Please support it!

11th April 2014
Silver Wilson Update

In reply to my Blog about silver Wilson double helix corkscrew only
being found with a hallmark for 1877, Richard Stevenson sent in
details of an example hallmarked with date marks for 1884.

Richard purchased this corkscrew (shown in the top picture) from Don
Bull who said it was made by a silversmith called Purnell.

Richard says there is no S. Pat mark due to the small size of helix.

The bottom picture shows a fancy design with gilding that sold on
ebay a few months ago. It sold to Fotodeal for around £750. It was
hallmarked for 1877. Nice piece, lucky him.

As Richard has a different variation with a later hallmark, I would still
be interested to find out if anyone can report the Wilson with the
shank design shown in the bottom photo, in silver with a different date
mark than 1877???

11th April 2014
Searching for Winston Churchill

I have quite a large collection of celluloid type direct pull figural
corkscrews, including animals, birds & some famous people. For quite
a while I've been on the hunt for a good example of a Winston
Churchill celluloid corkscrew. Winston is part of a set of this type of
corkscrew that includes Roosevelt, Macmillan & Edward VIII.

I've seen a few Churchill corkscrews come & go over the years on
ebay, including some good examples. I've been the dreaded under
bidder a few times. Gggrrrrrrr!

I was pleased to recently receive an email offering me a good example
at a fair price, so delighted to finally add Winston to the collection.

This particular piece was part of a Winston Churchill exhibition at
Bletchley Park, near Milton Keynes, England. Bletchley park is
synonymous with the WWII code breakers that played such a key role
in the Allies victory. "The enigma code".

According to The Express, the trustees at Bletchley park feel that the
Churchill exhibition is not relevant & all Churchill exhibits will be
removed & the space used instead to tell the stories of the people
who worked at the intelligence-gathering station during the war.

Churchill once described workers at the intelligence-gathering station
near Milton Keynes, Bucks., as “the geese that laid the golden eggs –
but never cackled” such was their importance.
11/4 So my PC exploded & spent 2 whole weeks in the computer Hospital. Was kind of
weird not having my trusty friend on hand, but also quite refreshing detoxing. Back just in
time to get some listings prepared for the forthcoming ICCA Spring sale. Looking forward
to seeing what's on offer this time.
Check out my band Sound Mined - find us on Facebook A like would be most appreciated!!! :)
12th April 2014
£4.99 Ebay Wulfruna, Really?

Just won it after a 7 day auction, total of £7.79 including P+P.

Maybe a freaky cheap price but it doesn't overly surprise me.
Auction prices have been plummeting over the last few
years. Yes, there have been a few peaks too during that
time, noting several Heeley A1's that recently sold for £100+
but the reality is, the low/mid end of the auction market is
really struggling. Talking of Heeley A1's, five years ago I was
buying them regularly on ebay for £65, last year I was still
sniping them & often winning them at £45. Today, I don't
even snipe them.
The higher end of the market has also slumped. Royal Clubs, Thomason Variants & alike have typical dropped in
price by 25% or more.

The reality is the likes of ebay, ICCA auctions as well as auction houses, plus the fact of many collectors selling
up has shown that so the vast majority of good antique corkscrews are readily available.

Of course we have seen some high prices over the last few years on pieces that many of us would say are
available. That is the nature of auctions & it will always be the case. If only we knew when auction fever would
happen - we'd all be rich! We also are collecting in the Fotodeal era & he has been relentless with his
purchasing. Goodness only knows what will happen when he's had his fill???

Got a view to share?
14th April 2014
Oh, what a beauty! I've not seen one as
lovely as that before

This corkscrew appeared on the WWW late last night & lucky for me I
was in the right place at the right time to snap it up.

It's a super early English 2 pillar with a very unusual handle
terminating with an ivory dusting brush holder. It has a loop top. The
top loop could in fact be stretched & possibly was more of an oval
design when manufactured, This corkscrew looks delicate, fine &
totally original.

I've had a look through the various corkscrew reference books &
can't find another example. However, I'm aware of a collector who has
a similar design that incorporates a ratchet mechanism.

I can't wait to see it!

Anyone out there got a similar example?
16th April 2014
Nothing doing at the South of England's premier
antique fair

Yesterday I was up with the Larks to visit the Ardingly antique fair in
Sussex. A swift coffee & I was on my way.

The journey didn't get off to the greatest start with the slip road closed on
the Motorway junction, meaning a 10 mile detour & 15 minutes added to
the arrival time. Gggrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

I arrived at 7:20 & managed to get an early ticket to find myself amongst
the stalls by 7:30. I had 1 1/2 hours of hunting before the main gates
opened at 9:00 prompt. Head down for some serious hunting. I quickly
found a cased champagne tap, a French olive wood Club corkscrew & a
small roundlet corkscrew marked "Brevette, Paris" all very cheap but not
particularly exciting. Then followed a long period of finding nothing worth
enquiring about. It was soon 9:00 & the stampede of hundreds of buyers
was underway. The search continued & by the end of the day I had only
added a fairly simple direct pull with cork grabbing teeth & a registered
cat figural corkscrew. Slim pickings indeed. I didn't see anything better
than a Thomason throughout the day. You'd think with 2000 stalls to
check out better rewards awaited. Of course, plenty of other early birds
were also there potentially looking for corkscrews, so maybe someone
found something amazing.

After the fair I met up with Wally & we headed off to Peckish Café in
Haywards Heath. We ordered up a full English with bread & butter & mug
of tea & found a suitable table. Wally presented me with a book with a
covering letter. I was emotional as my application had finally been
approved & I had been accepted into "The International Correspondence
of Pie Funnel Collectors" Also known as "Pie Fun". At last! The book was
the definitive  guide to pie funnels. I have to be careful what I say as law 7
of Pie Fun states "The society is a secret society, communication with
anybody not a member about the society, is strictly forbidden."

After some "Pie Fun" fun Wally & I worked a deal for a rather nice Dutch silver pocket corkscrew. My first with a
Cow. It has some indistinct hallmarks. The worm is a little different & I note a very similar example sold on the
ICCA auctions by Barbara Ellis, same worm & a similar theme.

So, not the best fair, but good weather, fried food & the company of Wally certainly made it a great day out.
19th April 2014
Narrow Barrel Thomason
Corkscrew Variations

About 7 or 8 years ago I bought a lovely narrow
barrel Thomason corkscrew from Fletcher Wallis.
It's shown in his book "British Corkscrew Patents
from 1795". Definitely one of my most prized
corkscrews. It's pictured on the right hand side of
the top picture.

Last week I was lucky to buy a different variation of
Thomason's narrow barrel corkscrew design on
ebay. It arrived today.

It's really different from the example that I bought
from Wally. It has a longer, slimmer barrel, a small,
less concave button which has no decoration
underneath. The handle has a plate, finial &
hanging ring. The markings are also slightly
different. The new arrival is marked "Thomasons
Patent Ne Plus Ultra", the example I bought from
Wally is marked Thomson P Ne Plus Ultra".

Oooh Geeky interesting!

With Thomason declaring he manufactured
140,000 corkscrews during the 14 years of the
patent protection I guess it is no surprise of the
many slight variations we find. I have a few original
Thomason variants with minor differences such as
different top handles & slight barrel design

Back to the narrow barrel design. It's interesting to
Steven Webb's excellent article that
considers which of the Thomason corkscrews is
the earliest. Steven, pictures a narrow barrel
corkscrew made by Thomas Read. It is marked
"Thomas Read Makers, Improved Coaxer".The
design is very similar to the example that I bought
from Wally but with less ribbed detail to the barrel.
Steven suggests that Thomason was likely
manufacturing the narrow barrel form prior to
the 1802 patent date. The reasoning, Thomas
Read died in 1803 when the narrow barrel
corkscrews were already in production & therefore,
Thomason narrow barrel corkscrews were likely
being manufactured at that time too.

Oh to get in a time machine to find out more. Check out my Sir Edward Thomason tribute song where I had a
time travelling dream. If you could go back in time to visit a corkscrew maker for one day, who would you visit?
Likely Josef would visit the Frary factory, Robert, the Hagenaeur factory, Leon, would go see a Dutch silversmith
of note & obvioulsy Tommy would head straight for the Beanie Babies factory ;)
ICCA corkscrew auctions is underway. Hip hip hooray
- hip hip hooray!

If you win one of my auctions I'll send you a free yummy Mars Bar.
Just email saying "Send me the choc Pete" & I will :)
20th April 2014
How About A Buy It Now Spring Training

My recent track record of getting deals on ebay isn't particularly
impressive. I'm more inclined to search newly listed & add something
to the snipe list rather than ask for a deal & very few corkscrews are
ever listed with a BIN price that is worth taking. The truth is there are
plenty of guys that put a hefty shift in to checking newly listed
frequently, so the odds of getting deals is pretty low.

Every now & again I'll check a set snipe to find it's already been sold
as a BIN or it has been taken off ebay, saying it's no longer available
for sale. Makes me smile :) Pirates!!!! Lol.

A couple of days ago I checked the addictive auction site & top of
the newly listed was a Beau Brummell corkscrew. The earliest of
roundlet corkscrews, named after the famous English dandy, who in
the late 19th century was both friends of the Prince of Wales &
considered an authority on all matters of dress & etiquette. It was
listed at a Buy Now price of £15:00 :)

OK, panic stations, time to try & buy it quicker than anyone else.

I've missed deals like this by seconds on a few occasions, so the
heart rate was on overdrive, in fact my heart felt like it was just
about to jump through my chest. Of course the Internet speed
seemed all so slow but fortunately for me I completed checkout &
the deal was done. YES!!

Getting these deals is like a mega adrenaline rush. More please!!!!

After I paid I checked back over the listing. It says it's marked on the
base. Interesting, as very few Brummell corkscrew are marked.
Looking forward to getting this one in the hand.

Long live the Buy It Now!
27th April 2014
Well I didn't see that coming

Weekend number one done & dusted at the Spring 2014 ICCA
corkscrew auctions. A very interesting weekend of auctions it was

As usual the ICCA corkscrew auction website attracted plenty of
interest from eager sellers from around the World, who between
them listed more than 900 corkscrew lots, including some truly
wonderful individual pieces. A high percentage of the corkscrews
were listed with a mid to high price with no reserve, maybe looking
for one bid? Others were listed with reserves, with only a handful
listed with a low come & get me price.

As per usual it was the "kids in the candy shop" scenario for me.
What to try & buy? I was checking, double checking & then
checking some more. I marked a number of potential targets.

Saturday night I won a few auctions. A mixed lot from Webby, a
Jones with cork grips from Bob, a cased Champagne wire cutter with
corkscrew & a double helix from Gav & a couple of Syrocos from
Jose. I was happy. However, it was interesting to note that the
action was slow to say the least. Most of the corkscrews that sold
went for a single bid & only a few lots generated much competitive
interest. Approximately 45% of the lots sold, which I guess the ICCA
chaps will be fairly content with.

Sunday night was very much like a Ghost Town on the ICCA
auction site. The Internet corkscrew forums were in shock with the
lack of active bidders. I bought two Wiers doubles in one night. It
remains to be seen if I got a couple of bargains or if in fact I've
overpaid. I also won a very nice narrow barrel type Thomason from
Don Bull, that one will sit nicely with the other two (19th April Blog)
as a mini collection. I can report that only 18% of the corkscrew lots
sold. This must be a major concern to the ICCA corkscrew
administrators & to be honest the rest of us to. I certainly didn't see
that coming.

My Sunday sales were disappointing. I sold just 3 of my 8 items, all
to a single bid. No auction fever for me :( None of the three were
expensive, just fairly priced to sell. 38% sold, bucking the trend :)

Some reckon that the buyers just weren't around this weekend. I
think the buyers were around but mostly watching the auctions
& being extremely selective. Fotodeal entered into a few head to
heads but was more noted by his absence. That museum I guess is
close to being full now. It appears he was more inclined to zap an
offer off post auction than have a bid. Who can blame him? That
option has been made available. If there are no bids, why not just
wait for the auction to end & try your luck at a lower amount???
Makes sense.

I've made a number of offers. It remains to be seen if any will be
accepted but I know that I've been gazumped on a few already.

Next weekend will be interesting. More of the same? Fingers
crossed for some more active buyers as the bulk of my listings go
under the hammer, including the ultra rare Coney corkscrew.

So, what's your view on this latest ICCauction sale? Please drop me a line. Some of the guys I've chatted to are
very down about it. Is this the first signs of a mega slump? We all know that prices have been declining, but I
don't think any of us expected such a poor showing at the Worlds premier corkscrew auction sale.

I'm sure the ICCA corkscrew auction team will be thinking hard about the way forward. Time will tell what they
come up with.
2nd May 2014
Oh Screwbase - you just cost me a negative feedback!!!

Some while ago I Blogged about the ICCA corkscrew auction administrators
pulling one of my listings (a couple of sales back) for a cartridge extractor with
cork puller. Screwbase, reference NhN020.

I made the point in the Blog that it was depicted in Screwbase, which is 14
years of work from the most knowledgeable & avid collectors in the World &
that if an item is depicted in this comprehensive database collectors should be
able to purchase examples in absolute confidence. I was basically having a go at Screwbase as I bought one to
sell only to find out I had wasted my money.

Don Bull got in touch & was concerned that I was being overly negative about the Screwbase software & that
these people deserved more praise & credit for all the work they had put into the project. He asked me if I would
remove the Blog. I also received an email from another experienced collector who will remain anonymous, who
gave me half a dozen reasons why I was an idiot. He didn't seem to grasp the fact that I don't want to spend or
find out other collectors have spent £50, £100 or £1000 on something that is fake, wrong, a marriage, a new piece
advertised as antique or anything that is wrongly referenced as a legitimate antique or collectable in a prominent
corkscrew reference book or corkscrew database software. I let him have his rant at me without replying.

I pondered if I should in fact remove the Blog to be fair to the guys that do work incredibly hard to produce these
reference guides. Don Bull struck a nerve. I decided I would.

I realise my Blogging style doesn't sit well with everyone, but all I'm tyring to do is say it as it is. In this particular
case, I spent good money on something I thought was legitimate due to the Screwbase reference. If my bad luck
can help someone else avoid the same, then it is worth talking about it.

Trouble is I sold another example back in 2009 on the same ICCA corkscrew auction site. The ICCA corkscrew
auction administrators didn't have a problem with it back then. It sold for £150! I sold it to Maurice Dancer, an
ICCA member himself. Well 5 years later, Maurice just left me my first ICCA auction negative feedback for this
specific piece. Shown below. Hand delivered to him at the London CCCC by a friend to save him the postage & 5
years later the negative comes in. Cheers Maurice!

Well, the negative isn't for me, it's for Screwbase. I bought it wrongly, Maurice bought it wrongly, Maurice
pings me some red negative feedback flagging Screwbase to screw my ICCA corkscrew auction seller rating.

All very disappointing!

Please take care when purchasing. Screwbase & the many corkscrew reference books are fabulous & mostly
correct. However, a reference in Screwbase or a notable corkscrew publication doesn't necessarily mean an item
is authentic.

Oh & please get behind
Corkscrew Beware!!! It is a great way to learn about fakes & items of concern. If we can
discuss a piece to realise it is either wrong or right that has to be a good thing.
2nd May 2014
Japanned Thomasons

Please take a look at an article I've written on Corkscrew Beware about my theory
relating to Japanned Thomasons.

If you have a view that you would like to share about this Thomason variation,
please drop me a line & I will share it with the corkscrew collecting community.
17th May 2014
Portobello Road
Corkscrew Meeting

Gigged last night in West London. Bed at 2:00 a.m. Alarm goes off 6:20 a.m.
OMG! Coffee!!! Then off to the Portobello Road corkscrew meeting in a very
Zombiefied state :/

It's been a while since my last Portobello trip, so good to catch up with the
Brit collectors. Soon found Fletcher Wallis at his new stall. A quick rifle
through a few corkscrews boxes where I found a very nice silver Brumell.
Great piece! One to ponder on for sure.

Before long Richard Stevenson arrived, followed by Webby with boy wonder,
currently ranked no 2 in the UK, cycling superstar son "Jack Webb".
Followed by Barbara Ellis. A quick catch up & we were heading to the café at
the Admiral Vernon arcade.

At the café we met up with Jim, Francois, Bernard & a new collector, yes - a
new collector called Greg Byers. A lovely chap from NZ who lives now in
the UK. Turns out Greg contacted me some while ago about some taps on
my site. Yes, Greg, I remember.

Corkscrews & champagne taps were being passed around. Richard had
about 5 variations of the Alexander tap. Yes, Richard is truly a geeky tap
guy. Wally had his servant (Webby) bring his boxes of corkscrews along
which included plenty of notable pieces. A couple of very nice Thomasons
were also being shown off & Francois had a smashing pair of very early 2
pillar corkscrews. Barbara had brought along a Tangent lever that I bought
from her on the ICCAuctions site. An unusual example with a leather bottle
collar. My first example with the leather.

Great to catch up on all the corkscrew news. Of course the current market
was discussed, the ICCA corkscrew sale, pieces sold at auction, etc, etc.
The mood was enthusiastic & positive. Great!

Mini meet done, I headed off with Richard & Jim to Ilya Emmerson's stall @
The Silver Fox arcade. Good to catch up with Ilya, I think it's been over a
year since I last saw him. Way too long! He had some nice pieces in the
display cabinets & a few boxes to rummage through too. I was able to buy a
good number of pieces from him. A couple to keep, including a cracking
Henshall type & a few to move on.

If you get the chance, take a trip to Portobello Road. Make absolutely sure
you get to see Fletcher Wallis & Ilya Emmerson's stalls. That's where you'll
find the good stuff! :p

Check out Jim's Gothic Thomason - thumbnailed for you. What a beauty!

Tell us a joke Webby! >>>>>>>

<<<<OK. Why do women rub their eyes
when they get up in the morning?

They don't have balls to scratch.
29th May 2014
The Jones Arrives!

What anticipation. I've been a bit like
an expectant Father over the last
couple of days waiting for the baby to

Today was delivery day. A box within
a box. Yes! Nice touch. The second
box revealed a bubble wrapped
corkscrew bundle of joy. I could see
the darkness of the hair, I mean
handle through the translucent
packaging. Here goes. Push! OK,
more like a cesarean section.

Tears of joy. "It's a boy! No, it's a
Jones! Wow! Ruthie, it's amazing!!"
"Is it?" "Yes!"

The Jones has been number one on
my wants list for as long as I can
remember. I've watched as a couple
have sold for mega money at auction
& then witnessed Fotodeal buy a very
good example on the ICCA auction.

Well, I'm so pleased I went for this
piece & was lucky enough to win it. It's
an absolute beauty & very hard to
fault. The badge is crisp & finely
detailed, as are the lozenge & maker
marks on the reverse. The decoration
at the top & bottom of the barrel is
equally in great shape. Mechanically
it's perfect with no slipping, stickiness
or catching. The worm & spikes are
super sharp & the handle is chip free.
One happy boy!

To think 12 years ago I was walking
around boot sales spending 50p here
& a £1 there is quite something.
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
29th May 2014
Talking of auctions...

I recently stumbled across a small collection of corkscrews up for auction in
Canada that had my tongue hitting the floor. Twenty or so lots which
included a Lady Wier, Baker Patent, Troko Prong folder, a rare wall mount
& (drum roll) a Murray & Stalker +++++

After pulling my tongue back in place I digested the auction info & picked
up the phone. Canada rates 1/2p a minute with
these guys. The auctioneer
was super helpful & even spent time dropping a few names of corkscrew
collectors that he knew. Apparently the corkscrews were found in a cellar of
a house being cleared. He was happy to pack & post anywhere at cost &
commission on top would be just 10%. Credit card payment fine with no
surcharge. Cool beans - a buyer friendly auction site.

I checked out the Canadian dollar exchanges & worked out some bids for
the more desirable pieces & pinged it to the auctioneer. I had a good
feeling about this auction. It wasn't well advertised, so maybe I'd get super
lucky & win some great pieces for next to nothing?

The auction was last Saturday. I can report that I won the Murray & Stalker
:) I won the wall mount :) & I won the Baker :) It appears I was the under
bidder on the Lady Wiers & German Hollweg Prong.  

As usual others discovered the auction. Nothing new there. Nonetheless,
I'm absolutely delighted with my purchases. All are great deals. I've been
after a Murray & Stalker for some while, so that is a very welcome addition
to the collection. Happy days!!!

I'm off to find another collection in the black hole that is the WWW.
5th June 2014
A visit from the 2013 BIN
champ, Wineleopard

Yesterday I had the great pleasure of welcoming the
2013 Buy It Now champion, Wineleopard to my home,
with his wife, Marie-France & niece, Claudia.

After a trip to a nice Country pub for a spot of lunch &
real ale, it was back home for an afternoon of games.

Of course Winelopeard couldn't put down the amazing
BIN trophy. Not surprising really - it is one hell of a
trophy! Just look at his smile!

I can report that Wineleopard won the prized Mars Bar
challenge round of Qwirkle & in tandem with my wife
Ruthie he won two games of Rummikub out of three. I
can also report that I won nothing :(

It turns out that Wineleopard was the under bidder on
the Murray & Stalker, Baker & Wall mount in the
Canadian auction Blogged above. I'm happy to take
those wins instead! ;)

Robert, It was great to see you & your family!
5th June 2014

Just received a circular email from the ICCA auction guys with a report of the May 2014 auction. It makes for
interesting reading & basically confirms what we all know that the market has gone quite flat.

They state that 444 of 949 lots sold = 44% (Nov 2013 54% sold)
102 sellers (Nov 2013 116 sellers)
57 buyers (Nov 2013 80 buyers)

They have decided to scrap the "Make an offer" for the next sale in October, instead reverting back to the
second chance system.

They mention that Ion Chirescu was still very active but it was clear that he now has most of the classic
collectible pieces. In fact, I calculated that Ion Chirecscu won 123 lots in this last auction, 28% of what sold. Still
an amazing amount considering he is definitely now very selective.


I've spoken to a number of collectors about the ICCA auctions. The majority feel that the ICCA auctions have
over evolved. From what started as a simple online auction twice a year to help corkscrew collectors buy & sell  
has evolved into two large annual auctions, additional special sales & an ongoing buy now sale.

One of the major reasons that the market has declined is the shear number of corkscrews now available on the
web. It's felt by many that if the ICCA auction site limited itself to no more than 500 lots, twice a year, with no
special sales, or ongoing buy now sales & absolutely no second chances, or offers post auction, it might
just stimulate a stagnant market back to life.

As one collector said "Fewer, smaller ICCA sales would surely generate a fiercely competitive environment."

Instead, a recent email revealed that another special sale will take place in January/February 2015, as follows:
Sale 17 will be a one day sale of approximately 250 items. It will be open for bidding on January 24, 2015 and
all items will close on February 1 with a Second Chance sale on February 8.

Come on ICCA auctions. Your concept is great & you've done an awesome job but it's time to strip back the
special sales & reduce the limits on the main sales & help get our market back on track.

Do you agree? Add your voice to the poll.
Should ICCA auctions reduce the amount of corkscrews for sale to help stimulate the market? free polls 
21st June 2014
Corkscrew Beware!

Ebay Ebay Ebay Ebay Ebay Ebay Ebay Ebay Ebay Ebay

Smokin' deals & expensive fakes.

I took a look last night at corkscrews sold on ebay UK using the highest first option. Sadly one
particular Italian seller was very prominent with over 10 fake corkscrews sold for a total over £3000.
Very, very disappointing!!!

We need to spread the word, fight the fight & make the corkscrew community aware of fakers like
this Italian parasite.

Join the
Corkscrew Beware Facebook group & add your voice to the discussion. So far In the
Corkscrew Beware group we have been able to establish fakes, marriages, new corkscrews sold as
old, authenticate good pieces through knowledge & also highlight fraudulent listings. That has to be
good - right?

OK, lets go shopping based on recent sold listings on ebay UK...
Choice one. You can buy an 18th century Brummel for £511 or you can buy a made up fake bow
described as 19th century for £711? Yes, it sold for £711.
Choice two. You can buy a faked silver perfume corkscrew for £430 or an authentic Butler
concertina corkscrew for £410? Don't be fooled by these perfume corkscrews. Many ebay sellers
replace various implements with a corkscrew to enhance prices. Sad but true.
Choice three. An original signed "Singleton" 18th century bow corkscrew for £214 or a crude hand
made fake folder, designed to deceive for £227.
22nd June 2014
Completing the set

Yesterday, on route to my nephews gig in South London I took a detour to go & see a corkscrew collection. I
saw a vast array of good pieces & was able to buy three corkscrews which included one I'd be chasing for
some time. Pictured far left above - Twiggs lifting jack corkscrew. It's a great example & very nicely marked on
the three columns. The lifting jack is the hardest Twigg corkscrew to find & I think I've only seen about 3 or 4 in
my 12 years of collecting. Really pleased with this one & it completes the Twigg set. A nice mini collection within
a collection.
22nd June 2014
New collectors

On 12th April, I Blogged about a Wulfruna corkscrew that I
picked up on ebay for £4.99, a total of £7.79 with postage
costs. I guess I should of been delighted to grab such a
bargain. Instead I was concerned that it sold so cheaply. It
might not be the most desirable of corkscrews but £4.99 -
really!! Why weren't others bidding?

Last night I sold the same Wulfruna corkscrew back on ebay &
can report that it went for £151. Two collectors slugged it out
with the under bidder placing a bid of £150.

It just shows that some new collectors are out there & ready to
compete hard for pieces. I sold some other corkscrews too & I
was satisfied with the returns.

I've listed another batch of corkscrews on ebay. They were all
listed with a 10p starting price with free shipping, to hopefully
encourage bidders. This latest bunch end next Sunday, 29th
June from about 7:00 pm UK time. The exception being a
stunning Thomas Lund Queens patent which I have listed at a
Buy Now price.

You can find my ebay listings below
loxwoodfc on ebay
25th June 2014
The Cat that got the cream

Just picked up an email from Richard Stevenson
reporting that he met up today with Peter Davidson
(pictured) at  Mallams the auctioneers in Oxford for the
sale of the late Penelope Mansell-Jones collection of
corkscrews. Around 20 lots were sold which included an
orginal Henshall corkscrew amongst other notables.

Richard reports that prices were generally in
accordance with the quoted estimates.

Peter won a very nicely engraved 18th century double
folder after a hard faught bidding battle. He does indeed
look pleased with himself. Good for you Peter.
~Collection of antique corkscrews for sale~
Buy it now prices (via Paypal) with Free Worldwide S+H

Just added to Corkscrews Online
Please take a look
12th July 2014
ABCDE Meeting @ Bishops Lydeard Mill

Earlier today a small group of British corkscrew collectors met at the
Bishops Lydeard Mill in Taunton, Somerset.

I travelled down the day before to spend time with my Mum who only lives
about 40 minutes away from Taunton. It was also local for Webby, so he
called around in the morning & we went off together. Of course we had a
right good natter on route about anything & everything corkscrew. I was
also keen for an update on Webby's son, Jack who is currently one of the
UK's best junior cyclists. Sounds like he is doing incredibly well.

Soon we arrived. Those present at the meeting: Richard with Catherine,
Paul with Catherine, John with Carole & Webby with me ;) Oh & new
collectors Bob & Herbert. Good to see you guys.

This working Mill & rural life museum is owned & ran by Charlie & Yvonne
Back & it's clear they are devoted to making the experience a fabulous
one. You can view the workings of the Mill & explore a vast number of
fascinating rooms showcasing the rural & social history of Blighty. Much is
inter-active too. I really enjoyed the visit & especially liked the display of
early transportation which include a restored Model T car, a Boneshaker
bicycle from the 1860's & a Penny Farthing too, amongst the many others
on view.

The Mill have a small collection of corkscrews displayed that they partly
purchased from a past Woolley & Wallis sale. Richard introduced himself
at the auction, stayed in touch & then fairly recently arrange for this get

After a comprehensive tour of the impressive Mill we were soon pulling out
corkscrews during a nice lunch supplied by Yvonne in the Dusty Miller tea
rooms. The theme of the day was corkscrew combinations. I pulled out a
multi tool bow, as did Richard, Webby & John (possibly) but Paul showed
us what combinations are all about with about 20 different examples. Good
job Paul!

More sandwiches! :p

Various other corkscrews came out during lunch. Webby had brought
along his Jones II & I'd brought my one. Interesting comparing notes. His is
long & thin & mine is short & stubby. Oooh er Matron :) I wonder how many
other variations are out there?  

More cake :p

Paul brought along a bag of corkscrews for sale but alas I don't think a
single deal was done. Sign of the times? Think so. Maybe some of his
pieces will be heading to ebay sometime soon.

More tea :p

There was plenty of chat about the corkscrew market, as you would
expect. Similar views pretty much about the sheer numbers of corkscrews
that have been available with this collection, that one, etc, multiple
auctions & sales just flooding the market.

More cake :p

After exploring the beautiful gardens we were soon saying our goodbyes &
on our way. A good trip, educational & as always, a pleasure to catch up
with the corkscrew crowd.

Cheers once again to Richard for organising an enjoyable ABCDE
meeting & Charlie & Yvonne for their hospitality.
The gang outside the Mill
Webby & Richard take a closer look
The Carpenters workshop. Check
out the apprentice!
The Mill's corkscrew collection.
Nice multi bow Webby
Yours too Richard
Marked, Arnold, cool
Ya, a German one John
New collector "Bob"
That's the way Paul! :)
New collector "Herbert"
22nd July 2014
How About A Buy It Now - Aug & Sep 2014
The year of the Gav?

With less than two weeks to go until the start of the fifth year of the How
About A Buy It Now competition, reports of various training camps have
come to light.

Current champion, Robert "Wineleopard" Leopardi was secretly filmed
performing 50 finger tip push ups. Impressive Robert! 2011 & 2012
champ, Peter Borrett has been spotted playing team squash, cycling
distances of over 30 miles & pushing his body to extremes with brutal
spinning sessions. Of course, no Buy It Now competition would be the
same without Josef L'Africain. Josef, has been pounding out the miles,
serious miles, marathon miles. Respect! So, there is no question that
the past champs will be super fit & once again up for the fight.

Some rumblings have been heard in recent weeks from just North East
of London from a little known guy called Gavin Maddock. Gavin has
showed some pre competition form, with a few BINS that would of
surely made points had they come during the competition period.

A paparazzi snout emailed Corkscrews Online a couple of pictures of
Gavin in his specially adapted Ebay refreshing chair. To be quite
honest, we were absolutely shocked. I'm sure you are too. Yes, it
appears Gavin has a foot mouse clicker & interactive glasses that allow
him to watch TV with his left eye & constantly refresh ebay newly listed
with his right eye. Surely a rule breach. Must check.

Gavin said he preferred to focus on diet rather than any worthless
fitness campaign. "Winning the BIN contest is all about staying awake,
not being fit. I'll stay awake 20 from 24 with my high calorie/cafeen diet.
I reckon my daily intake of 8 kebabs, 3 burgers, 16 packets of crisps,
around 20 choc bars & 18 litres of Coca Cola will easily win it for me".

Big talk, eh? It remains to be seen if Gav will be proved right.
Who will win How About A Buy It Now 2014 free polls 
28th July 2014
Wineleopard's Pre Competition Training

Just in from 2013 champion Robert Leopardi

"Check out the attached decorative Walker that I bought on a BIN
tonight. It was an epic pre- BIN Contest Warm-Up.

I asked for a Buy It Now for 75.00. The seller came back and said she
needed to think about it. About 20 minutes passed by and I asked her
what she was going to do. She said another person also offered her a
Buy It Now. I sent back another offer for 150.00.

Just as I was clicking the send button, an email came through from
Tommy saying to back off, he was calling Dibs. I told him "No Way" .

A few more tense minutes passed and I sent an email to the seller and
asked what she was going to do.
The seller then sends me a message that she will change it to a Buy It Now momentarily. I start refreshing. I
ended up the winning bidder! Pretty exciting stuff! I can't wait till August 1st!!! Tommy and I laughed about it for
20 minutes on the phone afterwards."

Good job Robert! True champions will never be denied.

The BIN has to be worth a minimum of $50 - £30 - 35 Euros with a value typically/normally twice the BIN price paid.
2. As long as there is a corkscrew in the BIN it counts.
3. Any BIN that is not considered (by the committee) to meet the criteria can become a point if the Binner sells it
on ebay & achieves the required numbers.

! Rule change ! Section 67, paragraph 23, line 4. If a Binner decides to sell an item that achieved a point back
on ebay, the point will be deducted if it does not achieve the required double up.
28th July 2014
Inside Tracks

A year on, Corkscrews Online caught up with 2013 How
About A Buy It Now champion, Robert "Wineleopard"

CO. Robert, good to see you looking so well. What have you
been up to this last year?

R. Thanks! It's been a whirlwind of a year. I never imagined  
how winning the Buy Now comp would change my life so
dramatically. I've been doing a multitude of media work. I
have some exciting news - I'm the new face of Gorilla
aftershave. Ads will be appearing soon in India & Peru. It will
hopefully go mainstream thereafter.
CO, Wow! Gorilla aftershave, phenomenal. What has been the year highlight?

R. I guess it was being introduced to Pope Francis at the Vatican just a couple of months ago. I was quite
amazed he even knew who I was. He said he'd avidly followed the competition & backed me 100 Euros at 25/1 &
had a nice little earner.

CO. Can you make in 2 in 2?

R. Hell yeah! The first ones the hardest. I fancy myself strongly to win it again.

CO. If you don't win, could Gavin?

R. Who?

CO. Thank you Robert!
5th August 2014

The 2014 How about a buy it now competition has got off to a slow start.

I picked up a rather nice German sterling roundlet for $88. A nice deal but too tight
to award a point. I'll be listing it at some point looking for the desired double up.

A few of the guys: Josef, Leon & myself have picked up some pieces on "Best
Offer". The trouble with best offer deals, the price does not show up in the ebay
ended listings. The only people that know the price is the buyer & seller. Of course
screenshots could be used to confirm the deal, but that just complicates what is a
very simplistic set of rules.

20th August 2014
How About A Buy It Now - Update

After a pretty sluggish start, the 2014 How About A Buy It Now competition
has heated up. A number of claims have been forwarded, points awarded,
here's the latest news..

2013 champion Robert Leopardi forwarded three claims. Claim 1. A Peapod
pocket folder, a $129.99 BIN. Great deal for sure but deemed not a definite
double up. Likewise for claim 2, a Kisply concertina that he bought on a $35
BIN. They more often than not make around $50, so no point. Claim 3, a
celluloid waiters corkscrew for just $3, after consideration the committee felt
this was typically worth $50, so Robert get a point. Nice one Robert!

Tommy Campnell picked up a Turkey foot folder for $30. Past sales only show
$100+ results so a point for Tommy!

I've gone from a daily ebay check to being all over it like a rash. I picked up a
peg & worm on a $7.99 BIN. Great deal but worth $50 in the current
marketplace? Questionable. I'll go for a relist on that one looking for the
magic number. I'll also do the relist for a Magic lever that I picked up on a £10
BIN & a very nice machined roundlet with cartouche that I bought on a £15

So, late last Thursday night I refreshed ebay US & there it was "Vintage Rare
Syroco Wood Corkscrew Knight Medieval". No gallery picture in the listing but
a Buy It Now button for $200 or bid $100. Panic stations! Despite fumbling my
way on the keyboard I secured the deal. A $200 Golden Knight!!!! Woop
woop! Point for me. It was sat there for 9 minutes before I was lucky enough
to be the first to see it.

A few days ago I bought a celluloid Clown corkscrew for $20 Australian. An
unusual variant & an easy $50+++. Another point :p

Send your BIN claims to:
26th August 2014
How About A Buy It Now - Update

2013 champion Robert Leopardi, as you would expect has been burning
the midnight oil. Two claims: A Chief pocket folder & a Syroco Bulldog. The
Chief folder was a $34.99 BIN. No question a great deal. It's unfortunately
missing the hanging ring which detracts & it is deemed just too tight to be a
guaranteed double up. Likewise for the Syroco Bulldog, another great buy
at just $25, but worth $50? A year ago, yes, but in todays market the
committee can't be certain.

Gavin, he from North of London with the specially adapted ebay refreshing
chair has also forwarded 2 BIN claims. Claim one is for two English brass
pistol corkscrews, a £20 BIN. They pretty much always make £20+ each, so
a point has been awarded. His other BIN is for a very nice English
hallmarked 1941 silver corkscrew & bottle opener cased set for £80. No
doubt he will, as he says "Sell it for £200 on his website", but it is not
considered a definite typical double up. Maybe Gavin will try listing on ebay
looking for the magic figure?

Finally, Graeme Nott grabbed a £40 BIN for a rare Scandinavian Elephant
pewter figural corkscrew. The only previously recorded example sold on
the ICCA auction site after 12 bids for $425/£250. Point for Graeme.

Send your BIN claims to:
29th August 2014

It's been quite a while since I've added a really good
English corkscrew to the collection. Two months ago,
when I picked up the lifting jack Twigg corkscrew. Two
months is quite a wait when you collect.

Today a very nice ivory calendar picnic corkscrew was
up for grabs at auction. I'd received a condition report &
seen additional pictures. A phone line was booked.

Despite my best efforts & pushing my bid a few hundred
quid more than I planned I finished up the under bidder.

If you have an ivory pocket corkscrew with a calendar
on the sheath please drop me a line. Cash waiting with
no fees or fuss.
29th August 2014

I find buying from fellow collectors difficult. Often the
moment I show any interest in a piece, the price is
aligned to the most expensive example ever sold. We
can thank the ICCA auctions for having all these high
prices at our Google fingertips.

Frequently when I enquire I don't even get a price.
Instead "Make me an offer", which is never going to be
enough. Normally my offers are right on the money, but
despite this, the selling collectors often think they would
surely get more from auction. That theory has been
proved wrong on many occasions.

Worse still, neither of the above, instead it feels like I'm
dealing with a small Leprechaun who is bamboozling me
with some weird Irish riddle. Lol.

It probably doesn't help that many collectors see me as
a dealer rather than a collector. Basically thinking
whatever I offer will be a low ball. Actually I'm a collector
that has to deal to collect. I just do it on a larger scale to
give me more chance of collecting the better gear. :p

Some light relief!!!! I asked Tommy about a very nice
carved Walker that he recently picked up. I have a good
collection of this type. Tommy pinged me straight back
with a price. Deal done. Perfect! A fair price for Tommy
& a nice piece for me.
Tommy & I have done quite a few straightforward deals now. Being fair to each other works very well.
7th September 2014
Below the belt shenanigans - Yes, time for a How
About A Buy It Now update

Lets start with 2013 champion Robert Leopardi. The good news - Robert
relisted the Chief pocket corkscrew & it hit the required double up. So a  
point for Robert. He also managed a BIN for a French mid size with a
decorative handle for $35. The pictures aren't the best which didn't help
the committee when they were debating its merits. In a close vote, it was
decided this piece wasn't worthy of a point.

I picked up an original Chinnock corkscrew, very nicely stamped with the
patent date on the handle for $50. All past examples have sold for more
than $100, so a point for me. :)

Josef is absolutely certain his Valezina corkscrew marked "Norm Thomson"
that he bought for a $18.95 BIN is easily worth $50. In fact he has
supposedly already sold it to someone this weekend. Maybe Norm
Thomson might pay $50, or possibly someone deluded. No point for Josef.

Back to Robert, AKA the Wineleopard. An Amor couple hit ebay last week. I
saw it early & pinged the HAABIN question to the seller. I patiently
refreshed. After about 10 minutes a bid was placed. Damn! Turns out it
was Wineleopard. Gggggrrrrr. He did it again today with a tri colour set of
legs. After some mild torture on the Facebook rack he confessed that if he
sees a piece but can't hang around to try & work a deal he's putting in a
blocking bid. Nasty, dirty tactics from the 2013 champ.  

Send your BIN claims to:
18th September 2014
Committee Meltdown - How About A Buy It Now Update

OK, time to start updating more frequently as we approach the last couple of weeks of the How About A Buy It
Now comp.

In no particular order, here are the claims received since the last update. Oh & some continued arguments on
denied points.

Robert "Whineleopard" Leopardi was far from happy when his mid size with embossed decoration was denied a
point. He started to moan, groan & cry like a girl. It was agreed that if he could get enough support from a small
group of collectors known as "The Corkscrewteers" then the committee would revisit the claim. Also on the
understanding that he wouldn't use any more underhand blocking tactics (see 7th Sep Blog). At the time of typing
he has managed to get some support (3 votes to 1) but not all votes have been counted (3 votes remain).
Effectively, this point is in the balance & might or might not be awarded depending on the votes & the fair play on

Next, Tommy Campnell picked up a cocktail spoon with corkscrew from Don Bull for a $30 BIN. Tommy says it's a
Walker & Orr patent spoon. Can't say I know too much about this piece but I checked past ICCA results. It
appears that a Walker & Orr patent spoon is marked Pat'd & has a different type of worm, unlike the example that
Tommy purchased. However, it's clearly a Walker & Orr type, referencing a past Blog by Josef L'Africain. The
committee decision was - point for Tommy!

Josef L'Africain who has be conspicuous by his absence bought a Empire State building corkscrew for $24.99. A
great buy. I would presume 100's if not 1000's would of sold back in the day as souvenirs, however, I can't recall
seeing an example before. I think this is a pretty straight forward $50. A point for Josef!

Graeme bought a Deco dog corkscrew with an enamel Ireland plaque for £15. He quoted a past ebay sale of £77
when he forwarded the claim. Unfortunately the £77 is thought to be far from a typical price & it's also thought
that this piece wouldn't make the required £35. No point.

A couple of further claims from Tommy. First, a Farrow & Jackson signed simple direct pull for £20. Thought not
guaranteed to make the £40 double up, so no point. He also bought a Nylin multi tool for $74.99. After some
digging around the committee found that the last 9 of these sold for an average of $186. BIN point for Tommy!

Graeme bought the Hagenauer Sailor that has been floating around on ebay over the last month. He worked a
BIN with the seller for £160. A nice deal! However, it can't be considered to be typically worth £320.

Robert picked up a four tool folding bow with a carriage key for $75. Once again, a nice buy. Worth $150? Very
questionable. No point.
Finally, Robert got himself a $55 BIN for a John Hasselbring sterling
frame corkscrew. In his words "An easy double up". Nothing is an easy
double up in todays market Robert, but it's thought this one would
make it. Point for Whiney.

Wowzer - it's a three way tie. Plenty of time left. Don't forget the re-list
option on ebay for anything that has been refused a point.

Send your claims to
How About A Buy It Now - Tale of the tape

Corkscrews Online gives you the tale of the tape on the current 3 way leaders.
Robert Leopardi
Tucson, Arizona - USA

Age 58
Championships = 1 (2013)
Career total BIN points = 20
Biggest Fotodeal sale $21000
Other collections - Empty wine
Tommy Campnell
Chicago, Illinois - USA

Age 37
Championships = zero
Career total BIN points = 9
Biggest Fotodeal sale $150
Other collections - Beanie Babies
Peter Borrett
Silchester, Berkshire - England

Age 49
Championships = 2 (2011 & 2012)
Career total BIN points = 16
Biggest Fotodeal sale $15000
Other collections - Razors
24th September 2014
Just a week to go!!!!!
How About A Buy It Now Update

First, apologies to Wineleopard. I forgot that he doubled up on his Kis Ply
corkscrew. Bought for $35 & sold back on ebay for $70. See 20th August Blog.
Point for Robert!

Josef L'Africain picked up a vintage boxed Penfold golf ball corkscrew on a £14.95
BIN. These Penfold golf balls are actually pretty collectable, but it is not
considered collectable enough to typically pay £35 for, so no point. Josef also
picked up an unusual folding bow corkscrew with cap lifter which he believes is a
rare Scandinavian piece. There is no conclusive evidence to clarify or any clarity
as a price guide either. As it cost 66 Euros, it is considered highly unlikely that it
would double up at 132 Euros.

Tommy picked up a Williamson bottle roundlet corkscrew, advertising Anheuser
Busch for $19.99. He was quick to point out that he has personally sold two
identical examples himself back on ebay at $59.99 a piece. He puts a good case
forward. However! The $59.99 is down to his good selling. Typically these bottle
roundlets sell for much less that the $50 required. Of course if Tommy decides to
put this particular piece on ebay & gets the double up - a point will come his way.

Back to Wineleopard who had all his collecting dreams come true when he got a
BIN for a desirable (high on his wants list) Davis mermaid corkscrew. BIN price
$495. Nice deal Robert. He has of course been lobbying for the merits of a point.
Mostly based on one rogue example that sold on the ICCA for $1500. The reality,
there is no guarantee this piece would hit the $1k mark, this in the humble opinion
of the Corkscrews Online How About A Buy It Now committee. So, no point.

So, the latest update gives the 2013 champion, Robert Leopardi a one point
advantage going into the final week.

Send your BINS to
28th September 2014
Just two days to go - How About A Buy It
Now Update

First, Josef got a Perpetual on a £12 BIN. A pretty straightforward £30. Point
for Josef.

It wouldn't be an update without something coming in from Wineleopard. He
picked up a very unusual Anri barman barset on ebay US for $69.99. He sure
works fast - he has already sold this set for Euros 200. Point to Wineleopard!

I relisted 5 corkscrews on ebay to try & get the required numbers. The
auctions finished tonight. Two auctions didn't come close. However, I can
report that the peg & worm that I bought for $7.95 sold for £38 - one point to
me. The machined roundlet with cartouche that I bought for £15,
made £32.13 - another point to me.

OK, so the sterling silver roundlet that I bought for $88, well that made
£103.99. At the time I bought this piece the exhange rate was 1.7 dollars to
the pound, effectively that meant I needed to get a selling price of £103.52 -
which I achieved. However, todays exchange rate is 1.63 which means the
piece would of needed to sell for £107.97. As I want any points I get to be
"squeaky clean", I've decided to put this point forward to the Blog readers to
decide. The poll will last until end of the competition. You decide!

Just two days to go & still all to play for.

Send your BINS to
Should Peter get a point for the silver roundlet? free polls

29th September 2014
It's down to the wire
How About A Buy It Now Update

Josef picked up a Ross pig for $85. Seems pretty tight to me as a double
up. However, how can I argue with pretty much all the ICCA listing having
a higher typical value than the $170 required. In fact the average price for
a Ross pig on the ICCA site is $241. Point for Josef.

Great news for Robert. His embossed mid size received a bid on ebay,
apparently from Tommy, for $75. That gives him the required double up &
gets him a point.

One day left & Wineleopard leads.

Send your BINS to
30th September 2014
How About A Buy It Now Update

I forgot about a pretty cool American direct pull corkscrew with foil
cutter & brush (missing) that I picked up for a $24.99 BIN a
couple of weeks back. I've checked some past sales & note quite
a few that have sold in the $100 -150 range. Looking good :p I
then checked with Wineleopard who said they go for around $30
- not so good. However, Tommy took up my offer to buy it from
me on a quick & easy deal for $50. Point for me. Happy days!

All square with just around two hours to go.

Send your BINS to
30th September 2014
How About A Buy It Now Update

A week ago Wineleopard sent an email to the committee asking for the point
request for the four tool bow to be revisited. He said that it was signed B. B.
Wells which wasn't first reported.

Unbelievably they agree & have awarded Wineleopard a point - Quite frankly
I'm in shock!!!

1 1/2 hours to go & Wineleopard leads by one.

Send your BINS to
Midnight. Peter wins the vote - point for Peter.
It's a tie!

Congratulations Robert Leopardi & yours truly,
Peter Borrett - the joint 2014 champions.

This will be the last How About a Buy It Now
competition. It has had its day. Thanks to
everyone who got involved over the years. It has
been a good laugh.
2nd October 2014
James Heeley Plated Corkscrews

I recently spotted a Heeley Kings rack coming up at
auction, an unusual example which was nickel plated. I
couldn't recall ever seeing a plated Kings rack by
Heeley before, so I was delighted when my modest bid
was good enough to win it.

James Heeley manufactured a large number of different
corkscrews for over 60 years, which included the five
Marshall Wier concertinas, the Baker & improved A1
double levers, as well as Thomasons & Kings racks &
pocket designs. Old Heeley trade catalogues show that
there was a surcharge for nickel plated examples,
hence why we don't see them as frequently as the
copper painted examples.
Has anybody else got a nickel plated Heeley Kings or Thomason? I'd be interested to find out.
8th October 2014
American Single Lever Corkscrew

I was contacted a few days back by a guy looking to sell an unusual single
lever corkscrew & wondered if I might be interested before he listed on a well
known Internet auction site. We exchanged a few emails & I made an offer
which turned out to be pretty much what he was going to set the buy now
price at. He was happy to sell it to me directly :)

This piece is shown in Ferd Peter's excellent Mechanical Corkscrews
reference book, on page 167, where Ferd calls it a typical American single
lever. It has a very unusual wire cutter directly in front of the handle & it's
marked "PAT AP'D FOR". I don't know much more about the piece but from
it's appearance it could probably double up as a implement of torture!

Anybody else know more about this piece?
5th November 2014
Robert Jones II

Back in July, on a balmy Summers day, a few British corkscrew
collectors met up for a get together at Bishops Lydeard Mill in
Somerset. As always it was great to catch up with the guys to
share recent finds & gossip.

On that day both Steven Webb & myself brought along our
Robert Jones II corkscrews to compare & share with the
group. Really interesting noting just how different the two
pieces were. Webby's example long & thin & mine short &
stubby - oooh er Matron! Seriously though, from the slight
variation of handles, different barrel shapes & size, right down
to the worm type - very different indeed. Both examples boast
the original badges - Webby's one often seen on Jones
Thomason's & mine a very elaborate & fancy one.

How many Jones II did the Jones factory manufacture? Well,
we don't know. However it's fair to say that a good quantity
would of been manufactured as a number of different
variations have been found over the years & it would make no
sense if each variation wasn't produced in a fairly large batch.
The Jones II isn't the rarest of corkscrews & that is probably why Steven has decided to sell his example on the
current ICCA auction site - his focus being British & the rarest of the rare. However, it's really sad that his example
might well be leaving these shores sometime soon. As far as I'm aware only 3 recorded examples are known in
the UK - Steven's, mine & an example in the Victoria & Albert Museum.

I might count my savings & try & keep Webby's Jones II in Blighty - watch this space! :p
5th November 2014
Beau Brummell
I was lucky to recently pick up this stunning silver
early roundlet corkscrew from the Fletcher Wallis.

Known amongst corkscrew collectors as a
Brummell - this piece which dates to around 1790
would of originally been part of a chatelaine. Note
the hanging ring. It's wonderfully proportioned,
boasts a firm hinge action & a full length worm.

This piece will sit nicely in my collection with a
named brass example that I bought from Barbara
Ellis via the ICCA auction site a few years back.

If you ever get to London, be sure to visit
Portobello Road antique market & find Fletcher
Wallis & Ilya Emmerson. They have all the good
stuff! Tell them I sent you.
Have been busy gigging lately with my band Sound Mined. Picture from our last gig - a
Halloween & Fireworks party for the West Middlesex Motorcycle Club. You can find
Mined on Facebook. Check us out!
7th November 2014

Bell Mystery Solved - well, kind

I noticed that corkscrew Blogger extraordinarie,
Josef L'Africain found a bell shaped corkscrew &
asked for more information.

Irony! The day I read his Blog I'd been out for
the evening & on route to music practice I called
in to see a friend who presented me with the
exact same piece as a gift. Wowzer! Thank you
Renzo - very kind of you..

I can report that my bell has a clapper which is
missing on Josef's example. The chime
resonates. Good weight to the piece which
appears to be made from some form of base
metal & covered with a gold coloured plating. It's
clearly stamped, just under the cap lifter
"Brevette S. D. G. D" & "Made in France". It has
the feel of the 1960's to me.
10th November 2014
ABCDE Meeting at Underwood Wines

Yesterday a hardy group of British corkscrew collectors met up in the delightful City of Warwick at the Underwood
Wine Warehouse for the Autumn meeting of the ABCDE. Theme for the day would be "The most unusual
corkscrew", a bottle of champagne was up for grabs. I had high hopes - more later.

On arrival a very warm welcome awaited by our host Tim & hostess Claire. No surprise that a glass of sparkling
wine was soon in hand. Time to catch up with corkscrew news, finds etc & a work a couple of deals.

Tim has a fine collection of "Underwood" corkscrews. He put them out on display. Impressive! It appears that
Underwood were selling corkscrew over quite a lengthy period - noting some very early & much later pieces.
Wonderful Warwick - ABCDE Host city
Your host - Tim Underwood
Early doors & Collectors hit the bottle
fortunately Tim has stock :p
Paul & Richard find the corkscrew
Lunch is served!

After exploring the Wine Warehouse & looking over a multitude of corkscrews lunch was ready to be served.
Lasagna, salad + more = tasty. Thanks! More wine! Thanks!

Over lunch I had a chance to see the draft copy of Roy Payne's brass figural book. A very large reference book,
packed solid with pictures & information. Looks like no end of hours have gone into that work.

Soon a cake appeared, laced with alcohol, Gin, for Tim's Birthday just gone. That went down very nicely.
It was now time for the judges (non collectors) to decide who had brought
along the most unusual corkscrew. I preface by saying, we were all asked
to bring along our most unusual corkscrew, which I did. I didn't realise you
could bring 20 as some of the more experienced collectors did.
#notfairandverynaughty. The judging seemed quite drawn out & I noticed a
particular gentleman repeatedly approaching the judging area. Something
was clearly very wrong. Check out the video to find out who won.

On everyone's lips was the CCCC meeting in Bucuresti & it seemed that all
at the meeting were going along & pretty excited about it. Thoughts turned
to what might be in the goody bag. Richard Stevenson thought it could be a
figural T type depicting Ion Chirescu recreating the form of Christ the
redeemer. Paul Hodges was more inclined to think it would be a 22 carat
gold corkscrew which said FOTODEAL, worth about £1500, just enough to
cover the complete cost of the trip. Anyway, I've made a decision - I'm
going. I agree it's a can't miss meeting. The museum is clearly going to be
mighty spectacular. If Tim & Jim are up for it - I am too. Rumours of a road
trip are right up my street. Now to convince Webby & Wally to go too.
Tim's Birthday cake - laced with Gin
The nobbled judges compare bribe
offers. Richard offered the most.
Richard & Catherine all smiles after
winning the most unusual corkscrew
Peter wins 1st prize for the 3rd year
running in apple bobbing comp &
picks up a boxed Indus tap

During the meeting I was able to buy not one but two Rotary Eclipse bar screws for fair prices & a Holborn Lever
corkscrew for Josef! Yes Josef, I found one for you! Other deals were done too.

Based on Tim's recommendations I picked up a couple of cases of wine. It appeared that much of the group took
the opportunity to re-stock their wine reserves too as many boxes were being loaded into car boots.

Soon we were saying our good byes. Another great meeting. Thanks Tim & Claire for looking after us so well.
Thanks Richard too, for all your hard work keeping the group going so well.
26th November 2014
It's A New World Record!

Last week a very interesting corkscrew appeared on Ebay France. I have to admit I didn't see it at first as my
current ebay searching is pretty much limited to the UK & US, but thanks to the chatty Internet forums I was made

The corkscrew in question was a very rare example of Charles Osbourne's British patent, number 8139 which
was awarded on 1st January 1839. Effectively the patent is based on Osbourne's application of the coiled springs.
The ebay example was exact to the original patent drawing. Reference, Wallis, British Corkscrew Patents From
1795, page 21 & 22.
Most interestingly this corkscrew was stamped around the button
"Soho Patent, By Her Majesties Royal Patent". Some letters being
indistinct. Pretty conclusive proof that this piece was manufactured
at Mathew Boulton, Soho Manufactory in Birmingham. Previously

Worryingly the French seller had a zero rating & Internet rumours
were also spreading that he wouldn't accept a secure Paypal
payment & worse still, that he would not register the parcel.
Sounded like it could be some form of weird scam. However,
when I contacted him he said Paypal was fine & he would send
the corkscrew in the most secure way available.

I presume the seller was inundated with questions & later in the
week he added some additional clear images to the listing.

No doubt he was delighted when in the last hour the listing was bid
up to €6000 & he probably was close to passing out when the final
seconds ticked away to reveal a winning bid of an amazing
€22,410 = $27,800 = £17,742.

This transaction has subsequently been completed & mutual good
feedback left.

Have you heard of the term "Just like London Buses?"
Quite unbelievably, on the night the Osbourne sold on ebay I received a phone call from a fellow collector who
told me that another Osbourne had just come up on an Internet search engine to be sold at auction in Colchester,
Essex in a weeks time. Wowzer! Quite incredible!!!!!

The corkscrew at auction is the second known example of an Osbourne patent made from the remains of the old
London bridge, which was dismantled in 1831. The springs inscribed accordingly. This version has a double
action & a ratchet, making it a bit sexier than the ebay example. However, the auction house reported the ratchet
mechanism didn't work.
So, today was auction day. I didn't go - a couple of friends did. I
nearly fell of my chair when I heard from one of them that the
corkscrew sold for a quite incredible, quite phenomenal, quite
unbelievable £40,000 + auctioneers commission @ 20%, a total of
£50,000 = $78,390 = €63,155

Honk your horn out loud for a New World Record!!!!!!

Apparently the room took it up to £27,000.00 & beyond that two
phone bidders slugged it out before one dropped out at

So why is there such a difference in price between the two
examples? A reputable auction house, a more interesting design &
the London Bridge connection I presume. Add two collectors that
have pockets deeper than Atlantis & a must have attitude & you
get a quite incredible result.

So if you have a weird corkscrew with springs, made from scrap
iron from some old London bridge & want to make a corkscrew
collector very happy, please drop me a line. :p
26th November 2014
ICCA Corkscrew Auction

The latest ICCA auction sale finished last Sunday. Three consecutive weeks of sales with a whopping 967
corkscrews up for grabs. Approximately 45% of all corkscrews sold. A couple of large ticket items sold to
Fotodeal, who once again was pretty active. However, bidding was generally tentative & lacked the thrills & spills
of past ICCA auctions. There was a distinct lack of interest in the second chance sale - a total of 202 second
chance offerings & only 22 sold. I'm not sure on the turnover for the ICCA but I'm pretty sure it's well down on
past sales.

From what clearly started as a great concept has turned into corkscrew auction overkill. Change needs to
happen to rejuvenate these auctions & increase the activity levels.

Peter Borrett's 5 point guide to improving the ICCAuctions

1. Limit each sale to 500 lots = less choice leading to increased competition.
2. No pre listing to selective specific sellers = fairer to the whole corkscrew collecting community.
3. Reduce duplicates to a maximum of two, based on a first come first served basis. = will avoid the farce that is
5 of the same piece available that we have seen several times.
4. Pull all price references from past sales = sellers being more realistic on reserve prices instead of looking to
recreate the highest price previously achieved through ICCA Google guidance.
5. No more - make an offer or second chance offers = Buyers will then likely bid more actively in the first instance.

Am I talking rubbish or sense? Have you a view? Drop me a line. As always, I'll be delighted to hear from you.
16th December 2014
Tri Colour Legs

There have been quite a few decent corkscrews up for grabs recently,
especially at auction. I lined up bids for two ornate Thomasons & a very
stylish silver pocket, amongst others, but my numbers fell short each
time. Encouraging signs for sellers, not so for bargain hunters ;)

I did pick up a very nice half flesh ladies legs corkscrew with tri-colour,
black, green & white stockings. They were listed online for a "more than
I'd like to pay price". However, I made an offer that was acceptable. A
nice set for the collection.

Other than the ladies legs corkscrew it's been slim pickings for me. A few
ebay deals at the low end, that's about it!

However, a couple of other collectors I know have had a bit more luck.
One bought a Lund with bottle grips in very nice condition for $300!
Another, an original Henshall for £20! Happy days! :)

On another note, I've updated my website to include Paypal buttons for
every corkscrew. With over 800 pieces for sale, it was a long grind, but
worth it. It's easier than ever now to buy from
please take a look.
16th December 2014
Antonio's Corkscrew Postcards
Long time corkscrew collector, Antonio Lopez has a real
passion for collecting postcards that depict a corkscrew.
I've just added a web page to Corkscrews Online that
offers some of Antonio's wonderful postcards for sale.

Please take a look
Antonio's Corkscrew Postcards
Peter Borrett
BEST SIX for 2014
~A year of outstanding British mechanical corkscrews~

My best six have all been found during 2014 & represent 6 fabulous British mechanical corkscrews.

From left to right
1. The only recorded example of a narrow rack Kingscrew corkscrew with Autumnal fruit decoration.
2. Murray & Stalker, a space age looking double lever corkscrew, a scarce British patent from 1894.
3. A scarce Van Gieson corkscrew in frame form, marked "Patent".
4. A very rare British single action 2 pillar corkscrew with ivory dusting brush holder.
5. Twigg's lifting jack corkscrew, a British patent form 1867. Marked on the three pillar "G. Twigg's Patent".
Finally, number six - a stunning Robert Jones II corkscrew - a registered design from 1842.

6. The Robert Jones II corkscrew has been number one on my wish list for a number of years. I've previously
bid on a couple unsuccessfully. I was therefore delighted when I was lucky enough to win this superb example
at auction earlier this year.

I sold a number of vine root corkscrews to own this great British corkscrew. :)
Good hunting everyone in 2015!