Sales Report - MAY 2013

The 12th Sale at included a great range of high quality and interesting corkscrews.

We now have more than 850 registered members of whom 83 sold corkscrews in May and 109 were successful buyers. This wide spread of participants is very gratifying to the sponsors , ICCAuctions, who are always working to attract more corkscrew collectors.

While “fotodeal” (Ion Chirescu) again dominated the buying with 188 lots (36%) , most of those lots (127) were contested, leaving plenty of unsatisfied demand.


Wilhelm 1885 (#12459)
The May Sale featured two mechanicals which were the only known examples of their respective patents.

The Wilhelm 1885 US patent (#12459), which was bid up to $21,100, has a very distinctive (and no doubt expensive to make) adjustable frame to accommodate different bottle sizes. While not marked , the seller had thoughtfully researched the relevant US patents to confirm its authenticity. A great result for a piece found 20 years ago in a Los Angeles antique mall.

The Durand 1879 French patented rack and pinion (#12068) which sold for $18,500 is the only known version true to the patent drawing with the worm, shaft and rack all made from one piece of metal. A case of poor design resulting in commercial failure but a prized collectible.

In May, 10 other corkscrews of great variety sold for over $5,000: Two rare and decorative German pieces (#12380 and #12056) , two contrasting French and English single levers, both in great condition (#11718 and #12015), a hotly contested Gounevitch French patent (#11925) which reached $8030, a rare Chinnock (#11912) with UK and US patents which sold for $ 14,615, two other English classics (a Murray & Stalker double lever #11831 and Lund bottlegrips #12332) and two interesting and keenly contested old French shooting pieces (a gun tool #11721 and an attractive pistol #12139).

While this type of pistol is usually referred to as having a “corkscrew trigger”, the trigger is actually a gimlet not a corkscrew. The gimlet was used to screw into a door frame and the pistol would fire as a burglar alarm if the door was opened (see Peters & Giulian, Pocket Corkscrews & Pocketknives, pages 239-40).

French shooting piece (#12139)


Two rare sets of ladies legs attracted heavy bidding: one with “golden glitter” finish (#11895) reached $4406 and a miniature set (#12100) brought $3931.

Two very attractive Georgian silver picnics with inlaid (picque) ivory handles were well bid (#12257 for $2392 and #11994 for $1980)

Some of the best bidding duals involved quite mundane looking pieces where fotodeal faced concerted competition from local collectors. Fotodeal prevailed over two US collectors on US can openers (#11932) and a rare US wallmount (#11962) and held off a German collector on a German can opener (#11738 for $1100). But another determined German collector outlasted fotodeal on a simple sheathed Thurungian straight pull (#12207 for $915)

Golden Glitter Ladies Legs (#11895)

German Can Opener (#11738)


While the Sale objective is to get full market prices for sellers, there are always good buying opportunities.

Sometimes it is a multiple lot such as 3 quality self-pullers for $194 (#11957). Or it can be well known pieces which just slip through: a DRGM Express lever for $546 (#12348) or good Mumford prongs for only $135 (#12247). Or pieces which can be harder to value: a Frairy T-pull at $230 (#11957) or a very hard to find Brown US patent for $400 (#11834)

Condition is a big factor. For example the prices of the English pieces with copper wash finish will vary according to the amount of wash left. The May Sale featured 2 copper wash pieces in almost mint condition: the rare version of the Burgess & Fenton lever which reached $6700 ( #12015) was magnificent and Heeley’s classic Empire lever for $1640 (#12020) was great buying.

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