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It's been a while since I've found any really great ebay deals, but the past few weeks have left me with some decently priced rarities. Don't get me wrong, none of these are $50 Buy-It-Nows for a Syroco golden knight (valued around $2,500), but good values nonetheless. The first and most valuable is this Woodman's Patent mechanical corkscrew. It's marked on both sides of the handle with the patent and patent date. This mechanism sticks out among the 1000s of various methods to remove a cork from a bottle in that it has an unusually loose helix. As it turns out, the loop at the top of the corkscrew is locked into the hook on the handle so that the helix can be inserted into the cork; the rest is fairly straightforward. I was lucky enough to be the first person to see this listing with a reasonable Buy-It-Now price and quickly jumped on it. the most recent examples that have sold on ICCA auctions sold a little over a year ago for $1,200 & $950.
The next Ebay find is this Sterling silver roundlet corkscrew. It was very tarnished and I'm not even sure if the seller knew that it was Sterling, but I made an offer which was quickly accepted. After a lot of polishing, this is the result.
I was lucky enough to be the only bidder on this early American figural Shriners bar set. The U.S. created many great figural corkscrews in the early 1900's, this being one of them. It has a touch of Art Deco styling and is in excellent condition. I have owned 3 of these sets and they are fairly rare. I was around the age of 10 when we purchased our first example in an antique store for around the same price I paid for this example. At the time the antique store find was one of the best deals we had found in an antique store (around $40), and a few years later when I started dealing in vintage corkscrews (age 13-15) these sold pretty consistently for $250-300.
I've posted before about fossilized tusk corkscrews. I was fortunate enough to pick up this great tusk corkscrew produced by Walker in the early 1900's. I have another example of one of these corkscrews which graces our conference room at work. Considering how rare this material is and how few examples I've seen over the years, it's a great deal that I was able to snag this Ebay item for under $30. It's not perfect though, there are some cracks which follow the fossilized marrow portions of the tusk, but regardless this is a really cool piece which is hundreds of years old.
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.