An amazing corkscrew just sold at an auction in the UK on November 26th. It was an 1839 Osborne Corkscrew. No, not by Ozzy, but by an English patentee Charles Osborne.
It’s a brilliant piece consisting of a 3 bow spring frame. Eye catching as it is, there are two versions! The first has a threaded shaft with claw & paw ratchet mechanism and the second has a rotating shank. And can you believe that an example of each recently surfaced!! For years it was thought the only example was photographed in Fletcher Wallis’ book on British Patents.
The variation with the ratchet mechanism sold at a UK Auction house for a Record Breaking sale of £40,000!! Yes, that’s POUNDS! Add on the auction house premium and tax and the buyer actually paid nearly £50,000!!! Just over $78,000!! (And no, this was not purchased by Fotodeal)
Another unique aspect to this exact piece is that it’s made from iron of the Old London Bridge! J. Ovenston of London designed corkscrews out of the exact iron salvaged from the original London Bridge pilings! Check out Don Bull’s article on London Bridge Corkscrews! Amazing!!
P.S. The ratchet mechanism did not work properly on this piece! The claw & paw did not engage. Maybe they just need a little WD-40 oil?
Gavin Maddock who owns eracorkscrews.com drove to the auction house and took a video of this corkscrew just before the auction. Thanks Gav!
The second version of this corkscrew was just sold this past week on ebay.fr for a whopping $27,971 and you can check it out here! There are no markings claiming it was made of iron from the London Bridge, but clearly an Osborne Bow Spring Frame corkscrew!