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Sales Report - NOVEMBER 2012
In November the 10th sale at CollectorCorkscrews.com was a great success with a record number of lots sold. Four lots sold for over $20,000 each. Of the 963 corkscrew lots offered 599 were sold, a clearance rate of 62%.
CollectorCorkscrews.com now has over 800 registered participants of whom almost 200 participated as successful buyers or sellers in the recent auction. While the Romanian buyer with the screen name of “fotodeal” dominated the sale purchasing 222 pieces (37%) , there were 118 other buyers. This high participation is very gratifying because encouraging corkscrew collecting is the primary objective of the sponsors, ICCAuctions.
Some monumental corkscrews were sold in November.
One was a brass mechanical 1839 UK patented Shrapnel (lot #10357) which sold for $25,200. It was the invention of Henry Shrapnel, the son of General Henry Shrapnel who invented the exploding artillery shell . Perhaps the most prized of all corkscrews is the magnificent silver-gilt Shrapnel complete with embroidered bottle flaps, which was given by Shrapnel to Prince Albert in 1840 and is now in Queen Elizabeth’s collection. It is also pictured on the front page of Fletcher Wallis’ “British Corkscrew Patents.”
Other keenly contested items were two German corkscrews ,both with German patent markings but no known patents: a possibly unique German Columbus variation ( #10636) which ended at $21,600 and direct pressure lever with bottle grips (#10644) for $17,100. After spirited bidding by an American collector, both these and the Shrapnel were won by fotodeal.
Two US patents also sold for high prices, a rare White lever (#10649) for $25,000, and a possibly unique Chinnock with crank handle and cork ejector (#10634) for $20,000.
Fifteen corkscrews sold for more than $5,000. All were mechanical, and included a mix of British, German and American plus the interesting French ‘Le Cric” (#10699), which reached $7,142. The Le Cric is a rare “modern” corkscrew made in 1953 by LaSociete Infa. It is well designed, well-made and employs the same car jack principle that is used by the Spanish Puigpull waiters corkscrew now on the market for $25.
Two previously unrecorded variations of rare corkscrews sold for impressive prices: a German Archimedes with an unusual spring (#10486) went for $6,438 and an attractive English Newton Ratchet (#10323) in nickel and bone instead of the usual wood and brass sold for $5,087. A US Blake patent (#11096) with a typical wire worm reached a very respectable $8,000. In Sale 9 in May, a Blake with a rarer bladed worm had slipped through for “only” $5,000.
ICCAuctions’ objective is to encourage corkscrew collecting by providing a reliable market for a wide range of quality corkscrews at fair market prices. While the objective is not to provide bargains, there were many good buying opportunities in November. A few standouts were a fine Jones 1 (#10537) for $1,910, a Griswold easer (#11212) for $250, two Tucker levers (#10396 and #10971) each for $1,000,and two different Dico perpetuals (#11155 and #11158) for $168 and $145. And perhaps the $20,000 Chinnock noted above?
OTHER INTERESTING LOTS
Among the more unusual but eagerly sought-after lots were three patented or registered can openers; a German (#10589) for $425, an American (#10999) for $484 and an old English example (#10429) for $598.
Perhaps least imposing lot was the 1945 NZ patented Mason combination opener (#11204) with a rather pathetic worm which sold for $300 - a similar price to one sold in the May 2012 sale.
As in May , fotodeal dominated the Sale, but there were a few lots (#10771 and #10613) where he lost interest in the face of determined bidding. And he missed out on a most unusual 18th century folding corkscrew (#10521) which he bid for below the reserve. It sold after the auction.
IN THE NEWS
The success of our sales is starting to attract valuable publicity in both the general and collector media.
The New York Times on 8 November focused on the May sale results and reported that “fotodeal”, the Romanian collector Ion Chirescu, is planning to open his Corkscrew Museum in 2015 in Bucharest. Chirescu has also offered to host the 2015 meeting of the Canadian Corkscrew Collectors Club at the new museum.
The CollectorCorkscrews.com database of over 4,000 past sales, is now a valuable research tool and is becoming the benchmark for valuation. It remains open to all internet users and exposes many visitors to the fascination of collectible corkscrews.