Earlier this week I closed on a new home. I've owned homes before, but this will be my first homestead. Over the coming months, the home will be going through a complete renovation.
My parents and I spent most of Thanksgiving demoing my new home with a slight reprieve for lunch in the wine cellar with a lovely prosecco. I will post about the progress of the renovation, but it should take at least 3 months to complete. By the time it's done, I'll have more walls for corkscrews! This will be the 3rd building within walking distance to house our corkscrew collection.
What will probably appeal more to my fellow collectors is this phenomenal corkscrew which arrived this week. It's an early pistol knife with beautiful hand engraved Sterling silver scales and a corkscrew trigger. This will easily make my best six for 2018 and I doubt that I would ever sell it.
The lots that I won recently on ICCA auctions showed up this weekend, of which, some have already been put to good use by replacing some examples with less than visible advertising which were affixed to boards on the walls.
A few years ago we converted nearly all of the light bulbs in the house to LEDs, although there were a few holdouts which have taken longer to switch out. While I'm sure that this quote by former president John F. Kennedy doesn't apply in this situation, I can't help but be reminded of it. We hadn't switched out these lights "because they are easy, but because they are hard." The bulbs in question are two 4ft fluorescent bulbs located in the sole light fixture in the stairwell which houses 10 corkscrew display boards. This isn't the first time we've had to replace the bulbs in this fixture (which is around 20 feet high), but the fluorescents were growing dim and the time had finally come to assemble the homemade scaffolding and perform the precarious task of rewiring and replacing the antiquated fluorescents with LEDs. Fortunately the task was completed successfully with no injuries to us or the corkscrews and the LEDs are a very noticeable improvement.
More big news coming soon.
The end of sale # 26 was last weekend. I bought 2 modest lots and sold 4 of my 5 listings. There weren't too many lots which caught my fancy, but overall not a bad ending.
I was tasked with giving a presentation on corkscrews less than 24 hours before the presentation. The presentation was for a local neighborhood women's group of which there were around 2 dozen participating. I explained the various clubs and museums dedicated to corkscrews as well as their little known origins from gun tools. A powerpoint presentation probably would have been better, but as it was held here at our own little museum, there were no shortage of examples to pass around and show off.
I purchased the 2 Thomason corkscrews below from an auction a while back and they have finally made it to the collection. The one on the left, while nice, it rather common. The real one I was after was the one on the right which has an interesting inscription in the handle. It reads "Wildays Marlbro Arms Hotel". Who knows what kind of shenanigans led to the creation of this corkscrew which seems to have been a gift. My best guess would be that they had quite a memorable bachelor party, but either way it makes for a unique and interesting piece. Interestingly enough, it seems that the hotel in question is still in business and bills itself as a 15th century coaching inn. Thanks again to Peter Borrett for his help in acquiring these.
I have purchased several corkscrew collections over the years and could always use more. This group of 41 corkscrews is a fairly good find especially considering the entire lot cost less than $100. Some of the nicer examples include a Walker Hallboy patent, Walker stag horn corkscrew with silver end caps, Syroco bulldog, Henshall type button among others.
Stay tuned, I have some exciting new corkscrews arriving any day now.
Just a couple of new finds from England. A silver roundlet with floral engraving. The other is a Hollweg patent corkscrew which turned out to have advertising for Worthington Ales and is in excellent condition.
I posted recently about a new find which I had trouble confirming as being produced by R. Murphy Boston due to the lack of a marking. I asked the readers to chime in if they had any information and sure enough, this mystery is partially solved. Thank you Tommy Campnell for sending me the picture below of three R. Murphy Boston corkscrews from your collection. All three are signed R. Murphy Boston on the shanks. I think that it's now safe to say that my example in picture #2 was produced by R. Murphy Boston. The middle example of Tommy's is almost identical and even features the same Sterling silver swirl on the larger end cap.
The corkscrew that Robert Leopardi sold recently on ICCA still remains somewhat of a mystery. (picture #3) It's possible that the silverwork was done by Simon Bros while the corkscrew itself was produced by R. Murphy Boston, but the lack of markings makes it difficult to definitively confirm. As always, if anyone has any further information on this mystery, feel free to chime in.
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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