Not long ago I attended my first Catholic wedding. During the ceremony, the priest kept going to his various stashes of wine for a nip. There was a bottle stashed away in an ark, another in a cabinet on the wall, another under a table and more. He drank it and he never offered any to me. In the end he did share a little with the bride and groom. An Italian wine. I wondered what priests used for corkscrews. I assumed they had some religious significance. I set out to find some. Here they are:

A Monk from Syracuse Ornamental Company (Syroco). We have seen these many times before. They must have been very popular.

A picnic with celluloid sheath. The round part at the tip contains a stanhope. A religious shrine is pictured with the words: NA SA DE NURIA (Our Lady of Nuria), the patroness of the shepherds of the Pyrenees mountains. Nuria is located in the mountains of Catalunya, Spain. A cogwheel train constructed in 1917 leads to the sanctuary located at 2,001 meters at the foot of Puigmal. It is said that Saint Gil of Nimes did penance in the valley in the 7th century and left behind a statue of the Virgin Mary. A pilgrim found the statue in the 10th century and the shrine shone. Today, Nuria is more popular as a ski resort than a pilgrimage. How a souvenir corkscrew ended up in such a remote location, leaves a lot to the imagination. Were these Stanhoped picnics sold with different images at tourist locations throughout Europe? I have seen one other like this. It was a souvenir of Bürgenstock, Switzerland.

A rather ordinary looking wood roundlet. One half has a stanhope mounted across the end. In the stanhope it says "In Memory of Mount St. Bernard Abbey, Dublin." There are eight photographic views.

A beautifully carved ivory monk.

A knife with a photograph of the cathedral in Köln, Germany. Marked Köln A/RH, Dom Westseite. On the reverse is a photo of the theater and it is marked Neues Stadttheater. The master blade is marked with the letter "P" and two quarter moons on one side and Garantie Solingen on the other.

I have not been to a Synagogue for a wedding but I must guess that the Rabbi also has his hiding places for wine. He may well have used a corkscrew like this:

This came to me from the Czek Republic. Impressed into the end of the wood handle is a crude hand made metal plate with a Star of David on it. Where has this one been and who made it? Its history is now known only to the corkscrew.


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