Who doesn't like a nice bar screw? Patented on June 15th, 1895, the Daisy is an excellent bar mounted corkscrew. This one is in fairly good condition with some minor rust and chrome loss. It will make a nice addition to the bar screw collection.
Perfume corkscrews were common in the 19th century, particularly in England. These small corkscrews often came as part of a toiletry set and were used to remove the small corks which sealed many perfume bottles during that time. There are many variations and they can often be found monogrammed or personalized in some way. Below are some new acquisitions. The one on the left is encrusted with some sort of jewel; something which isn't seen very often. The set on the right is engraved with a family crest of a crane and a griffin.
It's also common for larger toiletry sets to contain perfume corkscrews. This one below is fairly large and contains several items. The corkscrew is located in a secret compartment which is released by pressing a small button. It is a folding corkscrew with a faceted handle. These types of corkscrews are normally much larger, but this is a unique perfume example. The owner's name is engraved in some of the items; William Roe. After a little research, I was able to identify the original owner. According to Wikipedia: "William Roe was an Anglican Archdeacon in Ireland in the second half of the nineteenth century. Roe was educated at Trinity College, Dublin. He was Archdeacon of Kilmacduagh from 1859 until his death on February 16, 1882."
This seems to be the owner since this set was made in Dublin and is hallmarked for 1845.
I've finally finished the 1st of 3 planned corkscrew displays in my office at work. This marks our 27th corkscrew display board and the 2nd located at our office. Pictures of all of our corkscrew displays can be found Here.
One of the most common questions that I get is "Where do you find all of these corkscrews?" to which I reply mainly online. When my parents started the collection over 30 years ago, they would find the majority of what made up our collection in antique stores, but it has become more difficult to find corkscrews in antique stores with the advent of the internet and websites like Ebay. I was visiting Houston for a few days and had some free time to search through some antique stores, here's what I found.
The picture above and below were both taken in an antique mall in Houston. Both of the corkscrews above are decent pieces, but at $350 & $155 they are way overpriced. The corkscrew below is a rare piece which I would have happily paid the $197 asking price if it was in good condition. It is a Williamsons stag horn corkscrew carved into an alligator grabbing a man sitting on a log. Unfortunately the corkscrew was in poor condition; missing the tail, the bell on the shank, as well as the man's head, hands, and legs.
On our way back to Dallas, we stopped at 3 more antique stores and eventually found 2 corkscrews worth purchasing. They're nothing special, but for $8 at least we're not leaving empty handed.
PS, for those wondering, that's the Sam Houston statue in the background.
Every now and then a corkscrew turns up which is collectable solely because of its former owner. Celebrity owned corkscrews often sell for a premium and the most recent celebrity owned corkscrew to come up for auction was no acception. Burt Reynolds, the actor who was most well known for his role in the movie Smokey and the Bandit, died last year. His estate was auctioned off last week and it included a corkscrew. The corkscrew itself is a brass bar mounted Vintner corkscrew. We have a Vintner in the collection and use it almost daily for opening wine. These are great corkscrews and very reliable so I decided to place some low bids, but as you can see, the price shot up way past the estimate.
In case you're wondering, the late actor did own a Smokey and the Bandit Trans Am which ended up bringing the most money in the auction selling for a cool $300,000.
Still no new corkscrews to report. Many collectors were in Norway for the ICCA meeting and now in the UK for the annual CCCC club meeting. You would think that now would be the perfect time to snag some corkscrews while many of the other serious collectors are distracted, but unfortunately I've been pretty distracted lately. Last week a major storm blew through Dallas hitting our neighborhood hard with hail, 71 mph winds which damaged and/or downed nearly half of the trees in the neighborhood, and ultimately left 300,000 homes without power for days. Several of my trees were severely damaged and we lost power for about 48 hours only to get it back an hour before we had to leave for a 3 day tax seminar in San Antonio. Now that the seminar is over, we've made our way to Austin for a few days of vacation and while I doubt that I'll find any corkscrews here, hopefully there will be some new arrivals once I get back to Dallas.
I recently purchased a phenomenal corkscrew which is currently in route from a UK auction house. It's sure to make my best six for the year, but I'll post more about it once it arrives. In the meantime, I've had no other acquisitions. I narrowly lost an auction this morning for a silver roundlet that belonged to Lord Alexander Paget. Hopefully I'll win the next auction for a Lord's corkscrew.
Our collection consists of a large variety of both corkscrews and wine antiques. Some recent purchases are probably some of the largest items as well as some of the smallest items in the collection. The large item below is an antique commercial corking machine. Named La Parfaite, or The Perfect in english; It has 2 clamps to affix it to a table top. Next is a beautifully faceted all steel corkscrew with gripping teeth and a small German perfume corkscrew. Another recent acquisition is pictured below; it's a small bottle shaped knife and corkscrew with inlaid grapevines.
As per usual I haven't done a good job of keeping this blog up to date, but to be fair, I've been pretty busy. I should be moving into my new house in a couple of days. Nearly all of the major work is complete and now my focus has been towels, sheets, silverware, blinds, etc. There will be a new page added to the website soon to showcase the 3rd cellar. I'm still trying to figure out which racks to use, so that may take a few more months, but until then the wine wall is installed and stocked.
The furniture has finally been uncovered. The barstools below were assembled this morning.
Anyway, on to the corkscrews. If you saw one of my previous posts then you know that I've found relatively few corkscrews from January through April. Not a good start to the year, but I'm glad to announce that my fortunes have improved as I've added some great pieces to the collection.
A nice mix of corkscrews with some great carved pieces, a rare Crosby pup, a figural erotic corkscrew, etc. More interesting items arriving soon...
I know what you're thinking....isn't this a little late? If you were a member of the CCCC then you would have seen this well in advance, but if you aren't a member then you're in luck. Membership is only $25 and affords you access to the largest corkscrew collecting club with information only available to members as well as access to members only events and auctions. https://corkscrewclub.org/ But fortunately for you, I'm happy to share this content with non-members, so enjoy.
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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