Sales Report - May 2012

The 9th ICCAuction© sale in May 2012 was a great success with a record number of lots sold and a great range of corkscrews sold including some of the very highest quality.

In total 557 lots were sold by 87 sellers to 137 successful bidders.

The highlights of the sale were the new records for the highest price paid for a corkscrew not just on ICCAuction©s but in any public sale.

On Day 1 Don Bull's Read's Coaxer (lot 7176) reached $35,555. This is a monumental corkscrew which has never before appeared in a public sale, a unique design with a great provenance as Don explained in his listing.

Read's Coaxer

The record lasted 1 day. On Day 2 a very fine example of the famous Jones 2 English registration (lot 7327) reached $36,780 after spirited bidding. The Jones 2 is not as rare as the Coaxer and perhaps 10 good examples are known to exist in private collections. It is however a beautiful and marvelously designed piece, and is perhaps the corkscrew most prized by collectors.

Jones 2

Most sale watchers will be aware that both these great corkscrews, and many others, were won by "fotodeal", who has been dominating both ICCAuction©s and Ebay corkscrew auctions recently. Over the past few years fotodeal has been building a huge collection for a museum which we understand may be the focal point of future hotel development in Romania. An exciting prospect!

While fotodeal dominated the Sale and no doubt boosted prices somewhat, disappointed buyers will be encouraged that he only needs one of each piece. Sellers will realize that for every corkscrew fotodeal wins there is an unsuccessful bidder prepared to pay only a few dollars less. It was notable that bidding for the Jones 2 was already over $30,000 before fotodeal entered the bidding.

While the Jones 2 and the Coaxer naturally grabbed the spotlight there were in total 108 pieces, from 36 sellers, which sold for in excess of $1000 each, 16 of them for more $5000 each.

Classic British pieces were prominent over $5000 including three much sought after Lund bottlegrips. There were 2 continental pistol combinations, several 18th century French pieces including two cages but less German mechanicals than in previous Sales.

Swedish Double Helix

One lot which no doubt surprised many was a simple but extremely rare Swedish double helix (# 7629) which sold for almost $11,000. Like the Swedish Samuelsen which established the previous ICCAuction© record in sale 8 (# 6074), this piece had a German registration, a feature which attracts many collectors.

A great good news story was the Philos Blake,a famous early US patent (#7473). While most sellers are established collectors or dealers, this was a recent one-off find in a US thrift store. The seller had some help in identifying the piece, in particular in verifying that the unusual bladed worm (it's usually wire) was legitimate. It sold for $5,000 which was on the low side but a great return on the $39 purchase price!

As always the May sale provided many opportunities to fill holes in collections with quality pieces at sensible prices. With every sale, the records of prior sales are becoming an increasingly valuable data base . This now enables buyers to value many quite difficult to find corkscrews such as a Griswold ,a Tucker lever or a Traifor with some confidence. Simple instructions on searching past sales are set out at the end of this report

While the top end will attract the headline attention, interesting pieces appeared at all price points. There were super rare pieces at lower prices like the rams head can opener, (#7129) which may not appear again on ICCAuction©s , a hard to find to screw-top opener (#7704) which was very well bought for $348, and some unusual combination pieces (#7974 and #7939) where fotodeal was outlasted by a dedicated US patent enthusiast .

While there are way too many keen and knowledgeable collectors watching for any massive bargains to slip through there were numerous very good buys. A few others to check : A fully marked Hagenaur tennis player (#7060) for $600 . A good Mumford cork extractor (#7488) for $185, a Joop cork extractor (#7400) for $275, A German Diamant (#7963) for $155. Perhaps the standout buy of Sale 9 was a French Dordat lever (#8055) for less than $1000.

As the Auction has expanded, with more listings and more bidding, the capacity of the system has been under pressure. To prevent the system slowing down in the peak bidding periods the Sale administrators are investing in more server capacity and will continue to modify the Sale process to improve Sale efficiency. One important objective is to improve clearance rates without imposing a listing fee. All prices are expressed in US$.

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