Are you in to trading corkscrews?

Here's the story of how a trade took place between Howard Luterman and me (Don Bull):

On October 22 I was in the Philadelphia area for an auction with Pat Capozzoli and Luterman. After the auction, Luterman took us to his house to view his latest corkscrew finds. He had a number of wonderful corkscrews on his desk in his home office. He moaned that he had little space left to display them. We then went out for dinner.

After dinner, we spent several hours looking at Howard's corkscrews including his many worldwide patented pieces. He then complained to his wife, Sheila, that he had run out of space for new finds and would need to claim some more space in the house. She retorted that he could find room in the existing display cabinets. He objected and --- she belted him* --- he landed flat on his back looking up at me.

Writhing in pain he mumbled a few unintelligible words while gasping for air. I bent closer and I heard him say "Bull, please, please trade your Tucker corkscrew to me for several of my corkscrews so I will have more room." He was referring to my rare early Tucker with three finger holes like the patent drawing - quite possibly the only one in existence. I said I would consider it.

Here is Luterman begging for the Tucker at right.

(Pictured with The Luterman Cane)

I spent the night at Luterman's and while he and Sheila were sleeping, I prowled about the house making a wish list! The next morning Luterman reiterated his desire to own the Tucker and to free up some space. He also reminded me of his interest in an Indian for his growing collection of Syroco figures. I left without making a commitment and unsure that I could actually part with these fine pieces.

I spent two sleepless nights remembering the pain Luterman felt and I knew I needed to help him in his plight.

I made a list of some crummy little corkscrews that I would be willing to take off his hands in exchange for the Tucker and one of my two Indians (on the left). I told him how sorry I felt that he needed to make space for more recent finds.

In several emails back and forth Luterman continued to beg and plead for the pieces but, at the same time, was reluctant to part with a few somewhat ordinary pieces. Finally a deal was struck on Sunday. We agreed that I would get the corkscrews shown below in the trade. Boxes were packed by each of us and mailed on Monday.

The deal was done.

I needed to make space for these:
  • An unmarked roundlet tool case containing worm, screwdriver, awl and punch. The hammer (icebreaker) threads into one end of the roundlet.
  • A steel alligator waiter's friend marked GERMANY and GESETLICH GESCHUTZT. I had traded this to Luterman some time ago. It visited his house for awhile.
  • The cast crow has advertising on the back side: "The Old Crow Distillery, Frankfort, Kentucky." The opener is marked PAUL A. HENCKELS, GERMANY. I had not seen another one since I saw in Dean Walters Catalog No. 1 of April, 1986
  • The cast mermaid is marked on the neckstand COMPLIMENTS CHARLES STAEBLER, 257 BEAUBIEN ST., DETROIT, MICH., DAVIS 'IMPROVED' PAT'D JULY 14 91, OTHER PATS. PNDG.
  • A roundlet with stag handles and silver (marked Sterling) end caps.
  • An unmarked 18th century silver barrel with double fold corkscrew.

*Added to make the story more colorful!

Luterman Trade I
Luterman Trade II
Luterman Trade III
Luterman Trade IV

email: corkscrew@bullworks.net

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