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My parents and I recently spent around two and a half weeks on vacation in Romania. We had a wonderful time visiting museums, eating at the finest restaurants and of course drinking wine. But for the purposes of this blog, I will try to keep the content focused on corkscrews. We chose to visit Romania mainly to visit the Museum of Romanian Records; the largest corkscrew collection and museum in the world. The museum is currently only open to visitors by appointment, but is planning to open to the public later this year. Fortunately, it was easy for us to procure a reservation to view the collection before being opened to the public since we had rare corkscrews in hand to deliver. At the time of our visit, the museum was being renovated to include the newer collections which include vintage cameras and Romanian stamps. I know I said that I would try to keep this post to corkscrews, but I should note that we started our guided tour with the antique iron collection. I have no interest in ever purchasing an antique iron unless it is in a lot with a rare corkscrew, but the sheer magnitude of the collection of irons is awe inspiring which really makes it easy to appreciate the diversity of an item which I knew little about prior to visiting the museum.
In the picture above, you can see some of the rarest examples in the collection.
Perfume corkscrews abound in their endless variations. You can even see some corkscrews which use to belong to me in this picture as well as several of the proceeding pictures.
As I said, the collection of vintage corkscrews has the Guinness Book of World records for being the largest in the world and the few pictures above don't do it justice. You will have to visit for yourself and I promise that you won't regret it.
Normally I try to acquire some corkscrews while I'm on vacation and this was no exception. I went to antique stores and flea markets to no avail; there were few if any corkscrews to be found in Romania. Despite the abundance of corkscrews that can be found in the museum, it was like trying to find water in the Sahara Desert. Despite the lack of corkscrews, I was able to (via the internet) acquire a multitude of corkscrews while I was in Romania.
The packages above were waiting when we arrived back in Dallas; not all corkscrews, but the majority of them were. As you can tell, Ebay remains an excellent source of vintage corkscrews; the rest of my sources I will try to keep a secret.
Not a bad haul for two and a half weeks. Many common pieces, but several worth noting include the set of ladies legs in the center, pieces including a boars tusk with Sterling end cap, a bone handled with Henshall type button, a stained version of the Syrocco butler, a Sterling boot (missing the corkscrew, but fairly common to replace), two cutlery sets with folding forks and corkscrews, as well as a number of folding bows and others. Probably the most notable find is the Sterling roundlet located just left of the center.
This Sterling roundlet is fairly basic except for the addition of a folding latch whose only purpose is to cover the hole meant for the corkscrew. I've seen several hundred variations of Sterling roundlets, but never with anything like this.
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.