The Virtual Corkscrew Museum's Weekly Newspaper

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Number 529

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News Archive

In the July 6 issue, we said we weren't going to report on anymore fake, fraud, or fantasy corkscrew whistles. Sorry but we couldn't help report on this seller from Northern Virginia who is a collector of whistles as well as a creator of new whistles.

The genuine corkscrew below was sold on the eBay auction website on May 8, 2008 for $16.86. The corkscrew was accurately described as: Antique brass corkscrew. Has a brass handle and steel corkscrew marked [A]TW BOSTON. The brass handle is hollow and has some patina on the inside. Corkscrew end is 4.5". Brass handle 4" long. Overall in very good condition.

This is the legitimate seller's photo of the mark:

The buyer of the corkscrew was eBay I.D. h8newcars.

On June 8, 2008 h8newcars, now acting as a seller, sold this "corkscrew whistle" on eBay for $146.94. It was simply described as " corkscrew whistle for good home!" There was no representation that it is old but a potential bidder could certainly get a misleading impression from the photos.

The seller's photo of the mark:

Another view:

The seller has recently purchased brass fittings and brass lamp finials on eBay. Are there more fake whistles coming?

Watch h8newcars sales for these parts in whistles!

It was nice to see that this whistle collector seller bought one of those fake conductor ticket punch corkscrew whistles from the Hungarian seller. Ah, justice! Will he attempt to resell it?

So now we can add Woodbridge, Virginia to the fake whistle corkscrew watch list which includes Argentina and Hungary!

Editor's note: There are many legitimate corkscrew whistles. See the issues of January 14, 2007 and January 21, 2007.

Editor's note: Avner Strauss, the buyer of the ATW BOSTON corkscrew featured in this article, calls this a case of "plain fraud". He wrote to James Buttridge (H8newcars) about the tomfoolery:

(Link to corkscrew purchase noted) "Here is the item You sold me BEFORE YOU MODIFIED it into a whistle. And let's face it , you got caught, please don't " Beat around the Bush ", and Just send 146.94 USD Refund. If You want I will send it back to you after payment is here. I think you have a lot to lose if this becomes public and I would like to save you the inconvenience."

He received this response:

"How well you typed and express your self all of the sudden. The add says corkscrew whistle there were lots of bids and states AS IS SO ASK QUESTIONS, only a rookie would know that this didnt come like this. I have 100% feedback with no complaints. As a good jesture i will refund you half and you can keep it.. Maybe you need to do some more research on corkscrew whistles?. your friend Jimmy ps, i dont care if you tell this whistle was modifyed" (spelling as written by the seller - interesting "jesture" instead of "gesture"!

The buyer got a $75.00 partial refund. There is no mention of "as is so ask questions" on the sale page. There were 12 bids with a total of 7 bidders. All but two of the seven bidders bid under $80.

Left: Jimmy's June 14 purchase for $44.88
Right: Jimmy's modified Converse Cork Puller
See A Conversation with Converse

Another Jimmy Fake purchased by Avner for $59.88
See more fakes

Sappo - 1933

Click here to enlarge comic

But does it have a whistle? The Sappo comic strip was created by Elzie C. Segar (1894-1938). Segar is better known for his creation of Popeye.

The Timid Soul - 1951

Maybe if it had a whistle Mr. Casper Milquetoast would be interested! Harold Tucker Webster (1885-1953) created Casper in 1924 for the New York World newspaper.

Bringing up Father - 1962

Click here to enlarge comic

And how about a whistle for this one? Bringing Up Father was created by George McManus and it ran in newspapers from 1913 until 2000. The two main characters are Maggie and Jiggs.

Editor's Note: You will find a few more combination tools that are candidates for whistle additions in the May 4 issue.

Corkscrew Factory - 1961

Where is it? Argentina? Hungary? California? Woodbridge, Virginia?

Al Jaffee's "Tall Tales" appeared in newspapers from 1957 until 1963.

Where Are They?

Last week we asked where the above "Corkscrew" is. Reader Josef L'Africain was the first to respond with "1919 Washington Ave Houston, TX 77007". Josef won a one year free subscription to The Weekly Screw! A close second was reader Alf Erickson. Alf won a free lunch at the Corkscrew the next time we meet in Houston!

Where is it?

Sal Robinson submitted this photo after a trip last week. She said "The sign didn't tempt us in."

Where is it?

Reader Robert Fraser says "The corkscrew is made of a large piece of actual driftwood with a steel worm."

News Index

©2008 Don Bull, Editor


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