The Virtual Corkscrew Museum's Daily Newspaper

Thursday, May 29, 2003

News Index

Chasing Cherubs

Hillsboro, New Hampshire - In 1977 the late Robert Nugent included a "Cherubs" corkscrew in the publication of his "Best Six" corkscrews. Robert sold his collection in 1995 to Alf Erickson, Joe Paradi, and Don Bull. When the three divided up the collection, the Cherubs went to Don's collection where it remains to this date.

A second Cherubs was sold at Sotheby's Auction House in London on this day in 1985. It was a record price at the time fetching £4,620. At that time the dollar was trading very high and was almost at par with the British pound. Sotheby's promoted their subsequent auction with a postcard picturing the Cherubs with this description:

A Cherubs was offered in the May 1999 semi-annual corkscrew sale at Christie's in London. It was described as "A fine large ormolu* figural corkscrew, with sliding frame, the handle formed as two putti, harvesting grapes, the pillars as two putti caryatids, one holding a central barrel, the other pouring a glass of wine, centre worm." The description also referred to the 1985 Sotheby's catalog cover. It may have been the same one but the owner had since shined it up. It brought £4,620. At that time the pound was worth $1.60 translating the selling price to $7392.

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*Ormolu - finish used on metal to imitate gold. It is employed chiefly for furniture mountings. The term originally applied to a coating of ground gold and was extended to alloys of copper and zinc. Ormolu mountings were characteristic of 18th-century furniture and attained their highest artistic and technical development in France, especially in the work of Charles Cressent, Pierre Gouthière, and Jacques Caffieri. Ormolu was produced on a large scale in England, with Matthew Boulton the chief manufacturer. Workmanship deteriorated in the 19th cent. ... The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001.

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©2003 Don Bull, Editor


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