Corkscrews Down Under

In 1966 I was on my way to Australia thumbing my way from Germany, through Europe and across Asia. I got as far as the Middle East and ended up broke in Israel. Thirty-one years later I finally made it to Australia - I had to come out of retirement for a couple of weeks and conduct a seminar but, alas, I arrived. I took a detour to the South Island of New Zealand on the way. I had been corresponding with an accumulator there for two years about a lot of corkscrews in his possession and I took this opportunity to see him and the collection. What corkscrews can be found in New Zealand? I arrived in New Zealand on November 12. Here are a few I brought home:

  • The Heeley's A-1 Patent Double Lever on the left is unusual in that the back of the butterfly handle is marked W.E. JOHNSON & CO., LIVERPOOL.
  • Second is an unmarked Nickel Plated Brass Farrow & Jackson type.
  • The folding winged corkscrew with cap lifter (4th from left) I already had in unmarked, marked DREKO and with Molson Ale advertising. This one had advertising all over - the cap lifter says "Bols, Holland, Geneva" and the wings say "Bols Dry Gin, Bols Liqueurs."
  • Second from the right is a very unusual folding bow. The worm folds into an elongated chamber with slot for the shank widening out to space for the worm. A backspring extends the length of the chamber.
  • One can never have enough brass two finger direct pulls, right? Here are an oriental man sitting, a Dartmoor Pixie, a deer and a bear on log.
  • The nickel plated brass fish is an interesting catch.
  • I once had one of these copper wash cast poodles but he ran away from home to be replaced by this New Zealand breed.
  • My wooden cat ran away too.
  • The point for the champagne tap is accessed by unthreading the round knob on the end of the handle. The point fits loosely into the square drive at the base and drops into the bottle after the worm is threaded through the cork. Liquid can be poured of and the point retrieved when empty.
  • Two picnic screws with bullet shaped sheaths. One is a hand that drips the sheath as a handle and it is marked D.R.G.M. 99881 which is a German Patent of 1898 issued to Pfeffer and Weber.
  • The celluloid handle direct pull is a nice "souvenir" of New Zealand because the shank is marked FLETCHER HUMPHREYS & CO., LTD., WINE MERCHANTS, CHRISTCHURCH.
  • The prong puller is the "Magic Cork Extractor" 1892 American Patent issued to Lucian Mumford. This version has the harder-to-find square retainer for the prongs. Unfortunately, it is pitted rendering the markings only slightly visible.
  • The red sheath picnic is marked with English Registered Design #762001 (1931).
  • The picnic to the left of the red sheath is marked with Registered Design #731702 (1927) with advertising: "Robert Brown Ltd., Glasgow, Four Crown Scotch Whisky."
  • The champagne knife is marked on the blade G. DOWLER'S PATENT.
  • Both sizes of two finger pulls with cap lifter at right are marked with Registered Design #713438 (1925). The largest also has advertising - "Maling & Co., Ltd."
  • The steel picnic is a pleasure to hold.
  • At top left is a combo tool with corkscrew, screwdriver, cap lifter, knife sharpener and glass cutter. The stamping is folded to protect the folding worm and carries advertising - "H. Brooks & Co., (Bishopgate) Ltd., for all your glass requirements."
  • The knife below is another New Zealand "Souvenir" with advertising for "A & T Inglis Ltd., Dunedin, the Popular Store for Men." Dunedin is where I got the corkscrews.
  • The can opener is marked THE BRITISH PAT. 11360.
  • The multi-tool under the can opener has cap lifter, can opener, foil cutter and corkscrew. It is marked TURYSTA, MADE IN POLAND, URZ PAT. NO.. 13817, P.R.L It is much more substantial than most corkscrews I have seen from Poland.
  • The modern corkscrew, stopper, cap lifter combination is marked EMIDE. To move the corkscrew perpendicular to the "handle, the knob is turned to back off a thread and retaining point.
  • The knife at top right is marked JOHN WATTS, SHEFFIELD and has advertising for "Laidlaw's Premier Scotch Whisky."
  • The large combination tool is Registered Design No. 689051 (1922).
  • At lower right is a Roundlet Tool Kit complete with leather case. The leather case that holds the barrel and the four tools in five slots has seen better days. The mint condition barrel is marked BREVETE S.G.D.G., PARIS, T.D. This is Benoit Thinet's French Patent No. 100395 of August 10, 1874. Tools are worm, awl, screwdriver and button hook.
  • At top left wire goes through handle comes down to two cork grabbing points above worm.
  • 2nd - a very French handle with dog teeth on shaft above worm.
  • 3rd - marked KHAWRI 1943. The only "Khawri" I can find on the WWW is a cutlery manufacturer in Wazirabad, Pakistan.
  • 4th - Fancy shaft with dog teeth.
  • 5th - marked J. GAMBLE on square shaft.
  • 6th - C. Hull's Presto (without the Presto) marked on shaft C HULL'S PATENT.
  • Signet type at bottom left is marked R. JONES.
  • Codd Bottle opener is marked LOCKWOOD.
  • The collection had about 80 of these black cow horn handle types with spike. Although English made, most seem to turn up Down Under. Markings on these five include EYE WITNESS, SHEFFIELD; A. M. DICKINSON, SHEFFIELD; FEDERATION; JOHNSON and JOHN MARSHALL.

  • On November 15, I flew to Australia for the "business end" of the trip. On the Friday following the seminar I had the pleasure of joining five Australian collectors for lunch at the Bistro Moncur in Woollahra. Attending the lunch were John Allen, Robin Brampton, John Cunnington, Nicholas Hunt and Ian Hunter. All shared corkscrew tales and brought corkscrews for "show 'n tell." Robin came with a supply of Tea Towels (right) from the Pipers Brook Vineyard in Tasmania. The Towels were designed and printed in Tasmania.
  • My "pickings" from Australia were slim (see below).
  • The carved wooden woman with a toothache is unusual in that the collar of her coat is formed to create a two finger pull.
  • In a brief visit to John Cunnington's "The Art of Food and Wine" shop, I purchased the cork puller which is marked MESTRE, BTE SGDG. This is Eugene Adrien Mestre's French Patent No. 99986 granted October 14, 1874.
  • The Bull can opener is marked J. RODGERS 7 SONS, SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND. I had only seen these with metal handles in the past. This was purchased in one of the many antique shops I visited with Ian Hunter.
  • On Saturday, Nicholas Hunt took me to the Hunter Valley for a Vineyard tour. Here I picked up my souvenir "The Flavour of Australia" waiter's friend and a Pulltaps. We also had a sighting of a Bradnock's Magic Twist at a winery which was according to the owner "not for sale!"

  • Just to add a little more weight to my luggage, I picked up these odds and ends.
  • A folding cap lifter marked WITH COMPLIMENTS OF C-W&S, MADE IN ENGLAND.
  • Bottle shaped knife with advertising for "Cameron & Saunders, Guiness's Foreign Stout."
  • An Anri cork with a head inside a head lifted by moving a lever on the back.
  • A shoe horn cap lifter advertising D.B. LAGER, WAITEMAIA.
  • Brass figural elephant cap lifter.
  • Two Noyes Universal Patents in excellent condition.
  • A golf ball corkscrew with cap lifter sheath.
  • and...a Souvenir of New Zealand.

Two questions:
1. When Australians come to America, do they go UP OVER?
2. Do you have any questions, comments or elaborations on this page?


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©1997 Donald A. Bull