The Ultimate Corkscrew Book

by Donald A. Bull

The Ultimate Corkscrew Book features:

  • 320 oversize (9" x 12") pages
  • Hardcover
  • 744 Color Photographs
  • 3746 Corkscrews and related items pictured
  • Price Guide
  • Published 1999

In the Foreword, corkscrew expert Ron MacLean states "This volume is the armchair guide to corkscrews. By perusing the 3600 illustrated and documented examples, it is possible to gain an understanding of the diversity and creativity that occurred in the past several hundred years. Perhaps this book should more correctly be named 'Everyman's Guide to Corkscrews' as it covers the entire range of this twisted hobby!

The wisdom contained within these covers is mind boggling in both depth and scope. Don Bull has succeeded in accurately cataloguing and illustrating a variety of objects so diverse that many lesser mortals would have seen the task as impossible. His text covers a broad variety, from items of quantity to those of quality, from the mundane to the exquisitely rare.

This text will open the eyes of every devotee, from the novice to the true addict. In the end it may even cause the odd collector to abandon the search as a hopeless pursuit, but for most of us it will revitalize our energy and provide the motivation to hunt with even more fanaticism!"

The Ultimate Corkscrew Book is divided into four parts. The categories, color photo counts, and object counts for each part are shown in the tables below.

Table of Contents

Part 1 - Eclectic Corkscrews

Category Color Photos Objects Pictured
Advertising 8 20
American Ideas 9 42
Art 11 92
Barscrews 20 24
Bows 11 125
Can Openers 9 61
Celluloid 5 37
Champagne Taps & Tools 11 60
Clough Affairs 1 9
Clough Stuff 9 99
Codd Pieces 2 10
Coffee Grinders 1 2
Finger Pulls 11 72
Flynut 7 22
Frame - Bearing 3 13
Frame-Columbus 3 12
Frame - Locking Handle 6 27
Frame - Open 10 26
Frame- Ornate 4 11
Frame - Simple 3 11
Funnels, Jiggers & Shakers 8 48
Health & Home 14 100
Lazy Tongs 5 23
Lever - Double 24 67
Lever - Single 5 13
Metal "T" Handles 4 28
Mid-Size 3 40
Miniatures 3 64
Needle 3 11
Peg &Worm 4 56
Picnic 15 137
Plastic 13 56
Pocket - Collapsing 2 8
Pocket - Folding 8 69
Pocket - Slide-Out 1 9
Prong Pullers & Retrievers 7 50
Rack & Pinion 6 20
Roundlets 25 200
Sardine Keys 2 11
Scissors, Grippers & Snippers 3 14
Sheath 6 19
Silver 12 60
Smokers' Tools 14 62
Springs 7 24
Stoppers & Toppers 5 17
Tableware 5 24
Thomason 4 12
Tools 12 47
Tusk, Bone & Horn 10 71
Tusk, Bone & Horn - Carvings 15 19
Waiter's Friends 16 29
Walker & Williamson 8 26
Wallmount 3 11
Whistles 1 7
Williamson's Opens Everything 7 49
Wood 15 100
Wood & Other Double Action 3 11
Just a Few More 12 38
Total 469 2587

Part 2 - Figural Corkscrews

Category Color Photos Objects Pictured
Anchors 2 12
Anri 11 51
Bottles 5 26
Brussel's Spout 10 28
Bulldogs 3 10
Bulls 4 31
Cats & Mice 6 18
Cellar Keys 5 28
Dogs 12 61
Feathered Friends 9 29
Fish 4 22
Golf 7 15
Hands & Feet 2 10
Horses 7 17
Jolly Old Topper 1 5
Kirby 11 26
People 16 56
Pigs 7 16
Pistols 1 6
Sailing 4 10
Serpent 3 1
Syroco 6 19
Wild Kingdom 8 26
A Few More Figurals 12 42
Total 156 565

Part 3 - Corkscrew Knives

Category Color Photos Objects Pictured
Advertising 5 59
Bottles 2 21
Canteen 8 31
Decorative 6 45
Gentleman's 4 49
Horseman's 1 12
Ivory, Bone & Horn 3 50
Korn's Patent 3 9
Legs 2 19
Mechanical 7 45
Miniature 2 34
Mother-of-Pearl 5 25
Shell Extractors 1 10
Stag 7 30
More Knives 11 38
Total 67 477

Part 4 - Miscellaneous

Category Color Photos Objects Pictured
(A Surprise Category) 8 16
Go-Withs 20 57
Taps, Sizers & Corkers 10 31
Not Corkscrews 7 23
Corkscrew Places 6 0
Roller Coasters 1 0
Corkscrew Trivia 0 0
Total 52 127


Jean Pierre Lanares, France: Well, nothing else to say than BRAVO, Bravo and thank you. I just want - with this mail - to let you know that I have received your chef d'oeuvre. Bravo encore, and thank you ever so much.

Antique Trader Gazette, England: A volume that really does live up to its title...This marvellously photographed book contains an enormous range of this "twisted" collecting area...presented in most user friendly way.

Danny Arensman, Netherlands: I am impressed of the content. Perfect pictures, very clear descriptions, a complete view of corkscrews from all over the world.

David and Elsa Bradshaw, England: We are impressed - on three accounts. First, the speed at which we received a copy of you book. Second, the superb quality of the production. Third, the excellence of the contents. If ever a book deserved the sub-title of 'THE Definitive Book on Corkscrews', this is it. Elsa wishes to ask the question: When can we expect Volume Two?

George Hoffman, North Carolina: The book is the greatest and I find much info to help while looking for new finds in the field. Found several that I did not see in the book.

Helgir Solheim, Norway: This really is a sincere and honest book about corkscrews. Here we can see and read about corkscrews old and new, common and rare. I particularly appreciated the chapters, which dealt with knives, what a fantastic documentation.

Chris Nelson, Kentucky: Your new book is appropriately titled! The photographs are stunning and the historical research and descriptions of the origin and value of the cork screws blow every other source of corkscrew information away! For what your book delivers, it is one of the greatest values of any book I have ever purchased.

Louis Douville, Canada: I bought it last week, and I can't put it down.

Lou Sutton, Virginia: The book is GREAT. I could hardly put it down to send you this note. Great pictures and the use of post cards and other non corkscrew items makes the book all the more enjoyable

Wayne Meadows, Canada: When I checked out the book reviews on your web site, I could not understand why so many normally rational collectors were paying you all of those obviously overblown compliments! I ordered it anyway, received it Thursday. Most of the book review comments on your web site are understatements.

Paul Luchsinger, Pennsylvania: The "Ultimate" is incredible - a new classic for corkscrew collectors.

Jean Grignon, Canada: Your new book on corkscrews is the best in this subject.

Robert Morton, Canada: It is a great piece of work.

Bob Bortfeld, California: Love your book.

Martin Jessen and Anne-Lise Koehler, Denmark: We have started to read your book - and what a pleasure - I think we need many hours to get every detail.

Mike Gordon, Connecticut: The GONE WITH THE WIND of corkscrew books

Mel Rodman, Massachusetts: I've been working hard recently to create a data base describing my collection, using the Kincaid/Minelli program, "Corkscrew Collection 98". Your new book (of which I'm a proud owner) really helps immensely. With Fred O'Leary's American patent specificity and the "Ultimate" book's wide range, the potential to describe specific items is almost perfect. Where else can one make that statement? Thanks for the enormous help.

Jack Bandy, Calfornia: It's a neat book. It's a very big book. It's a very heavy book.

Glenn Cardin, California: I have been thoroughly enjoying your terrific book. It is very comprehensive and without a doubt the best one out there. I have a number of corkscrews that I'd not seen before and they aren't in any of the other books. It has been a real treat to find them in your book with values assigned.

Christopher Sykes, England: I am delighted to let you know the "The Book" arrived this morning and it looks just WONDERFUL ~ Congratulations. Snow is falling thick and fast here in Woburn, so to open the package was like letting in a ray of sunshine!!

Maarten Van den Broeck, Belgium: Some days are great but some are even better. And then you have days on which the postman delivers you a book from Virginia. Congratulations with this collector's reference work, which is truly a delight.

Bruce Levinson, Missouri: Congratulations on the wonderful book. I am most impressed: great photos, the best variety and superb commentary. Enclosed is an order for another book I would like to give to a friend.

Ron MacLean, Canada: Thank you, your marvelous book just arrived. It is truly fantastic, I am certain it will take many, many hours (years perhaps) to completely peruse. With just a fast flip through I realize that I will have to add several hundred more items to my ever growing BID (Before I Depart) list! Again many thanks for such a superb publication. It is a must for anyone who is interested in corkscrews, even those remotely associated with corkscrews will have to purchase a copy.

Bob Brown, Georgia: It is a great book, and I am truly impressed with the quality of the photographs.

Dean Walters, California: I received your wonderful new book yesterday, and have been enjoying it since. It did turn out very nicely.

John & Martha Morris, Connecticut: I received your "book" today and was truly impressed. Very nice job!

Edward Wolffe, Georgia: Sent an award entitled "You done real good award" - in considerate and gratitude for efforts above and beyond I would like to thank Don Bull for slaving to put together The Ultimate Corkscrew Book, THE paradigm corkscrew book to end all corkscrew books.

Sandra Emme, Maryland: Book received today. Will open it later I know I won't want to put it down! Congratulations!

Carroll Johnson, Illinois: I thoroughly enjoyed it especially the knife part

John Bull, Connecticut (my son): My father always told me that someday I would inherit his corkscrews. I always said, "Why would I want all that junk?" After seeing this book, I might say, "I am not worthy of this collection." Truly an impressive book that I will proudly show off to everyone I can - unfortunately, no one wants to give it back. I am very proud that my Father put together such a wonderful book.

Bill Sell, Minnesota: The book arrived today in fine shape. It's quite a monumental work. Doesn't leave much for the rest of us to write about

Cindy Taylor, Massachusetts: Holy Toledo, WHAT A GREAT BOOK! Awesome photography! I'm thrilled with my purchase! What else can I say?

Jens Arnbjerg, Denmark: I have received the nice book - what a fantastic book to look and compare what I have and what I want to get.

Nick Hunt, Australia: The name says it all. It IS the Ultimate Corkscrew book. Very, very interesting and still seeing corkscrews that I haven't seen before, fantastic. You must have put in a lot of work in, over a long period. The whole corkscrew fraternity will be very grateful.

Larry Gralla, Nevada: Great book with wonderful photography.

Michael Williams, Canada: The book arrived and it looks great! I don't know what things are like in your area, but the availability of antique shows and corkscrews really goes down in the winter around here. Releasing your book at this time of year will really help me to maintain enthusiam for our twisted hobby during these lean times.

Michael Sharp, California: Corkscrew book in a box....It was great fun to get your corkscrews in a ups box!!!! I have lost a little sleep lately trying to digest the whole book. Fine reading and feast for the eyes.

Shirley Chesney, Texas: Received your book on Tuesday. It's GREAT! I especially like having price-ranges. I usually send all the corkscrews and books that I buy to my brother for his collection, but I think I will just keep this book for my own reference. You did a great job.

Lynne Balvin, California: What a beauty. This book is more than expected. I Wept with Joy when I received this book!

Ed Bystran, California: Your book arrived today and it's great.

Chris Van Name, New York: It is definitely the definitive source for corkscrews.

Don Minzenmayer, Texas: Your book arrived about dark last night. Haven't gotten anything done since. Great job. Love it !!!

John Cunnington, Australia: Congratulations on the great book that safely arrived to me yesterday. For me it is the most useful corkscrew book yet published!!!

Frank Ellis, England: It's all your fault that I was late for work. But then I guess I should not have sat enjoying myself reading my new book over breakfast. Well done - it is splendid. It will take me a while to get through it all, let alone absorb the details. A highlight this morning were the large Clough medicine bows with decorative imprinting - I've never seen them before.

John Cornell, Florida: Your book arrived yesterday and I could not put it down. You are to be congratulated for such a wonderful job of putting all the categories together, pricing the individual pieces, researching the backgrounds of the various types and patenting activities, etc. I believe I can speak for the other collectors in saying, "Thank you for making our lives richer with the knowledge you provided us with in this marvelous compilation of corkscrews and history." Reading it made my day; excuse me for now, I have to get back to reading The Ultimate Corkscrew Book.

Judee Korta, Minnesota: My husband received your wonderful book yesterday. I have not had a conversation and he has not looked at me since receiving it. I want you to know that this book may destroy my marriage!!!! The book is wonderful and everything you said it was going to be. I just wanted you to know how much we both (yes I looked at it and was hooked) enjoy it.

Richard Neumann, California: I came home yesterday and "THE BOOK" was here. I expected a good product from you - but this is GREAT. Well organized etc. Really a meaningful contribution to the field. Thanks.

Owen Paulson, Nebraska: I received your book on Tuesday. It'll be a great reference book for my existing collection and for future purchases. Thanks for taking the time and effort to make this book.

Skip Garrison, Florida: WOW!!! What a book. All Marge has seen of my head is the top after the book arrived.

John Stanley, North Carolina: Your book is truly an encyclopedia of corkscrew knowledge. Photographs are great and text is like a novel that you can't put down.

Philly Rains, Arkansas: It is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.

Joel Goodman, Massachusetts: Is it a book or the Bible? Congratulations Don! I have just quickly thumbed through it and commend you on an excellent effort

Fred Kincaid, Vermont: Well about 20 minutes ago UPS dropped it off -WONDERFUL!! Jackie liked pages 206 and 207. I may know everything when I finish with this one.

Per Reichborn, Connecticut: We thank you for that beautiful book. I had no idea it was in such a grand impressive format. Quite a piece of work. Congratulations.

Herb Danziger, Michigan: What a great job you did. And several days later he writes: I am still looking forward to looking at your book in detail. So far I can't get it out of Camille's (Herb's wife) hands. She is reading every word and appears to find it fascinating.*

Donald Squair, Pennsylvania: It is a snowy day here in Bethlehem, PA but it has been considerably lightened up by receipt of your heavy, well illustrated Corkscrew Book. It is a masterful piece.

Christian Daniel, North Carolina: WOW!!!

Here is a review from the September 1999 issue of Knife World:

"Those of you who enjoyed Clyde Show's feature on corkscrew knives in the July issue probably recall Clyde's references to longtime corkscrew collector Don Bull and his new book entitled The Ultimate Corkscrew Book. We finally got a copy in our grubby little hands the other day, and promptly ran to the sink to avoid smudging this beautiful volume. Ultimate may seem a strong phrase if you have not yet seen a copy, but once you have, I think you'll find it hard to disagree. This is a heck of a book.

With over 3700 corkscrews and more than 500 corkscrew knives, Bull's book covers the entire range of corkscrews and related accessories, and does it with beautiful photographs in glowing color. As far as the knives go, most of them are centered in the knife chapter while others are scattered throughout the book as they fit into other categories. Specifically, the knife chapter is divided into sections covering Advertising - Bottles - Canteen & Picnic - Decorative- Gentlemen's - Horseman's - Ivory, Bone & Horn - Legs - Mechanical - Miniature - Mother of Pearl - Shell Extractors - and Stag knives, as well as a final section entitled 'Just a few more knives.'

This book has more corkscrew knives - and information and history and values - than you can shake a stick at. If that sort of things interests you, then I suggest you save your pennies and pick up a copy."

*Now that she let Herb have the book, here's what Camille Danziger wrote:

The Ultimate Corkscrew Book certainly lived up to its title. If only we had such a wonderful reference tool along the way in our common pursuit.

In our house, I get to read any corkscrew related material (best 6's, newsletters, and books) before Herb otherwise they get filed away and I never see them again. The only condition is that I wear white gloves when reading the books. Herb has this hand cream phobia. I read your book cover to cover and averaged around 30 pages a day (Herb was getting pretty anxious although I shared and discussed any new bit of information which happened often). The whole reading has been a joy. I learned so much especially the fact that I knew so little. Take the Viking Ship - I had no idea there were so many variations. I loved that you gave instructions on "how to use" some of these corkscrews. I loved that you acknowledged Herb four times. I loved that you signed our book. I loved all your acquisition stories especially your Sperry consignment story. My heart was racing with you too....I loved your use of your postcard collection to add color and interest. I loved that your wit came through time and time again. The cat and mice standoff for example. What fun!!! I love that when I find a corkscrew for Herb that I will have a source of information that will tell me if I "did good" while I wait to give it to him for his birthday etc.

We are now buying corkscrews that we would have passed up last weekend. Yesterday, at a flea market I made Herb buy an African Pisser.

Congratulations on a job well done!!!!!!

A review by Will Anderson, ECBA newsletter, Spring 1999.

When I first laid eyes on Don Bull's The Ultimate Corkscrew Book, I said "Wow". And when I opened it and started flipping through it, I said "Double wow".

This is a book that's 9 1/4" x 12 1/4" (you may have to build an addition on to your coffee table just to hold it!), contains 318 pages, is full-color throughout, well designed, hardbound, and is printed on the finest glossy paper. More importantly, though, is the tremendous amount of research that Don, a longtime ECBA member, has obviously put into the writing. This is not just another catalogue-with-prices! This is the history of the vast subject of corkscrews. I, personally, also very much like the way in which "go-withs" (sheet music covers, period advertisements, labels, and artwork) are interpersed throughout the entire book.

To sum it up: If you have any interest at all in corkscrews and their colorful history, then this is a book you will, indeed, find to be the ultimate.


The Virtual Corkscrew Museum