Corkscrews in London - 1997

May 17, 1997. Last night I returned from a week in London where corkscrew collectors from England, Italy, France, Germany, Norway, Australia, Japan, Canada and the United States had assembled to attend auctions at Christie's. The auctions were held on the 14th and 15th with over 700 lots up for grabs. For details of the social events and bidding frenzy, see Alf Erickson's Report. Here's what I brought home to add to my collection:

In the middle is an early 19th century English picnic corkscrew. The wood roundlet at top left is French. The brass mounting is marked LB PARIS DEPOSE. In my modest collection of Roundlets, I have a similar one with black wood handles. Top right is marked LUND'S PATENT SPHERICAL JOINT LONDON. Bottom left is an unmarked nicely machined nickel roundlet. Bottom right is marked BREVETTE S.G.D.G. PARIS TD. This French roundlet has a loose corkscrew that fits in the handle slot rather than the sliding and turning mechanism.
At top left is a polished steel travelling corkscrew. The elegantly detailed flat handle has a two finger grip and it threads into the steel sheath. The corkscrews at the bottom were part of a lot purchased. The black handle is looks more like the handle of a rubber stamp than a corkscrew! At top right is my favorite purchase of the trip. More on this cast iron pig at the bottom of this page...
These six nickel handle knives came as one lot. Three with cigar tools go in my Smoker's Corkscrews collection. On the left are a Schweppes Ginger Ale advertising knife, the Fulham Crown Corkworks advertising and a Watt's Patent. On the right are Registered Design No. 709835 (1924), Greenlees Brothers Whiskies advertising and Registered Design No. 750382 (1929). All are from cutleries in Sheffield, England.
Seeing old friends and running about London always presents opportunities for trades and other deals. Two more roundlets were added to my collection via deals with a German collector. At top is an attractively machined nickel roundlet. The tool case at bottom is unusual in that it has a bayonet fit. The key with snake design was found at Alfie's Antique Mall and the bird at Antiquarius. The Danish design boy came from a Norwegian collector.
Coming home from a trip can also be rewarding. Here's what the postman brought in my absence. A German cap lifter / corkscrew combination threads in to the funnel which nest two drinking vessels. Thanks to Dave Dakers I have added another "Bull" to my Bull Collection.. The silver mounted boar was made by Christophle. The ten tool champagne bottle with mother of pearl scales was made by Henry Sears. The bottle roundlet advertises Pepper Distillery in Lexington, Kentucky. In the top is a stanhope complete with picture of the factory! Not a bad welcome home!
The bidding battle for the pig went well beyond estimate and beyond my budgeted amount but I knew I could not go home without it. Even the folks at JFK customs enjoyed it after picking through my bag. The shank is marked GOBERG GESGESCH. Produced in Germany by Hugo Berger.

The best part of the trip?.....Seeing old friends. And here's how a lot of us felt: Man with Corkscrew


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©1997 Donald A. Bull