Alf's Best Corkscrews of 1995
THESE are my most interesting corkscrew acquisitions of 1995. You can also view a larger, higher resolution (176Kb) copy of this photograph. In addition, another view of the six is available in a standard or high resolution (165Kb) format.
- My first item is a corkscrew combined with a conical cork splitter. The rosewood handle faintly reveals the name "T.BRADBURN" on one side and "PATENT" on the other side. The conical splitter is clearly stamped "BY ROYAL LETTERS PATENT". It is T.Bradburn's patent of 1834, no. 503. The length is 6 inches (15cm).
- The second corkscrew is what Watney describes as "a fancy version of Thomason's 1802 patent". The driving handle is of the same shape as the normal Thomason variant corkscrew. But, this variant of the patent has an extra extraction handle shaped as a serpent. The dusting brush is held in the serpent's mouth. The machine sports the Thomason coat of arms. The overall length is 7.25 inches (18.5cm).
- This Swedish ratchet corkscrew is based on Qvarnstrom's patent of 1893. The top of the honey colored handle is stamped with "JULIUS SLOOR PATENT STOCKHOLM". The speed worm protrudes two inches from the nickel plated shaft. When in its fully extended state the total length is 7.25 inches (18.5cm).
- The first piece on the second row is an ugly lever corkscrew marked ' "LE DESIRE" Bte S.G.D.G.'. It is complex device with a central lifting handle that is linked via crossed lever arms to the shank holding the helical worm. Marked on one side of each arm is the aforementioned name. It stems from the 1880s. Fully extended it measures 6.75 inches (17.2cm).
- This silver medicine spoon combined with a corkscrew came fitted in this hand stitched leather case. The convex side of the bowl of the spoon has a hallmark for Sheffield 1921. It also carries the maker's initials JD over WD. The handle of the spoon is hinged at two spots so that it can be folded entirely into the bowl. The silver half of the handle is impressed with "Rd No 54953" (for the year 1909). When extended it measures 5.25 inches; folded, it is but 2 inches long (13.4cm and 5.1cm).
[NOTE: In the June issue of the C.C.C.C. Quarterly Worme, Jane Wlochowski warned that at least one London dealer has been turning out fake spoon/corkscrew combinations. Any comments about this piece would be very welcome.]
- The final item, at first glance, appears to be just a handsome Henshall button type of corkscrew. It is not! It comes apart!! Through the barrel, just above the button, is a extractable steel pin which, when removed by pulling out, permits the button and the worm to be divorced from the handle and its baluster stem. The button can then be unscrewed from the shank of the worm. Probably, it was designed in this way so that damaged worms could be easily replaced. It measures 6 inches (15cm).