If you've read my blog before then you're probably use to me being unable to find any decent corkscrews in antique stores and coming back home empty handed save for the corkscrews which were acquired online during my trip. Fortunately, on this trip I was able to find a few corkscrews in an antique mall as well as some decent internet finds. Not all of the corkscrews that I found in the antique malls were winners (see photo below of a $2 corkscrew handle missing the screw).
In my last post, I talked about this interesting corkscrew that I had acquired at auction. When I purchased it, it was so tarnished that I didn't even realize that it was ebony as well as silver until it had arrived. Up until then, I had not seen another example, and upon researching, I still hadn't found another example. That was until soon after another one showed up at a different auction house, but this example features two knives built into the handle. So I did the most rational thing that I could do, which was to buy it at any cost. I was able to find a similar corkscrew (same shank, helix, and knives, but different handle) in a friend's collection which was marked Gorham. Let me know if you have seen one of these beauties or if you're lucky enough to have one in your collection.
I was lucky enough to win a few lots from a few different auction houses lately which had some good finds as well as some best six contenders including a handsome double boars tusk corkscrew, stag horn corkscrew with carved dog head, boars tusk with a carved dog chasing a wild boar, an interesting Sterling silver and ebony T handle as well as some others.
Not everything that I purchase is a corkscrew. Oftentimes you have to purchase some bycatch (as I like to call it) in order to get that one rare corkscrew which happens to be in the lot.
I've had some pretty good finds this past month or so. I guess that we should talk about the elephant in the room first. The large oversized "art display" corkscrew I won at a non-Ebay auction for a very reasonable price. It looks to be artist made. The end cap is not Sterling, but does have some decoration which would be found on similar corkscrews. The horn seems to be cow horn and the helix is not sharpened, so I can't actually be used for opening any really large bottles. I have a small collection of oversized display corkscrews at my office, but this one is twice the size of any of those corkscrews, so I have yet to figure out where to put this thing. Other corkscrews include an unusual gold gilt/washed Clough twisted wire corkscrew, a rare non-worm cork puller, a Sterling silver single leg corkscrew, English sheathed corkscrew as well as an English T handle with cork grippers. Lastly is a nice stag handled corkscrew which was given as a trophy for men's double rowing dated 1900.
After a trip to the post office, tracking down my neighborhood postman, and waiting around at home a few days (that's the last time I request a signature), I finally received this beauty. By the look and feel of it, I don't believe that it has ever been used.
If you collect enough corkscrews then you're bound to end up with a couple that are missing their original glass eyes. I have three such corkscrews which have been laying around for a while waiting to be repaired. I finally got around to restoring them and here are the results. If any fellow collectors are wondering how I was able to restore these: Years ago, I was able to find a seller on Ebay who sold glass doll eyes. It's been years since I've checked if these are still available since I stocked up on a few sets years ago. Hope this information helps you bring some eyes back to your corkscrew collection.
This one will definitely be making my best 6 for 2023, and its already making a couple of waves through the corkscrew collecting community. The corkscrew: a beautiful English T pull with cork grips and brush....obviously I'm kidding. Although the English corkscrew with the cork grips is a nice addition, the real reason for the high hammer price was for the single lever corkscrew on the right. I have only been able to find one other example which was sold about 10 years ago for a little over $17k and now resides in the museum in Romania. This example looks pristine and will be a welcome addition to the collection.
One day I was contacted by a man in Canada who said that he dealt with estates and that he found an interesting corkscrew, and interesting it was. Nestled inside an antique red case was a beautiful Sterling silver figural corkscrew with a sheath and bladed helix with the handle in the form of some kind of big cat. The dealer was already chatting with other collectors and had a few offers, of which, I was willing to beat. It wasn't cheap, but I can't resist a custom piece with a case. One theory was that this piece was made for a doctor. The corkscrew would be used to open medicine bottles and the funnel would be used for measuring out medicines. If you have any more information on this corkscrew then send me a message, but this one is sure to make it to my best 6 for 2023.
I'm constantly adding new corkscrews to my collection. Any new finds as well as articles which may be of interest to corkscrew collectors will be posted here.
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