Syrocokid vs Wineleopard…

July 29, 2014

Earlier this week I came across a very desirable Cast Iron Walker Corkscrew & Bell on eBay.  It has some fancy ornate decoration to both the handle and bell.

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Last time I had the chance to buy one of these was at the CCCC AGM in Michigan.  Obviously that deal never came to fruition and I haven’t found one yet.  I wasn’t about to miss out on this one!

Given that the listing had only been up for a few minutes, I decided to inquire if that seller would add a Buy It Now.  Anything is possible and with Peter’s Annual BIN Competition starting up this week, I figured it’d be good practice.  🙂

The seller responded quickly and was open to taking offers.  This is the tricky part…  Offer to low, the seller passes.  Offer too high, and the seller thinks to hold out.  I made my best guess as to what would make the seller happy.  3x opening bid.

The response was not exactly what I was expecting….  I already have an offer of $150.  Hmmmm….who could the other Binner be..?

The boys across the pond are sleeping, and Josef doesn’t BIN past 7pm….  WINELEOPARD!!

I immediately engaged RL via email and told him to “Back off!”  I didn’t think it’d scare him off, but I knew it had to be him.  Sure enough, “I was there before you were…  You back off”.

After a few brief exchanges I knew neither of us were standing down.  It was fair game and I was going up against the 2013 BIN Champ.  I began refreshing…  A few minutes later…  “This listing has ended”…  RAT!

Congratulations RL.  You may have beat me out on this one, but come Friday, August 1st, IT’S ON AND YOU’RE GOING DOWN THIS YEAR!


Allegan Antique Show

July 28, 2014

This past weekend I was lucky enough to score 3 days off in a row, so I decided to hit the road antiquing!  After a quick Google search, I discovered that there was an Antique Show in Allegan, Michigan.

Hmmm…  Barry Taylor’s neck of the woods….  Enemy territory (Barry’s my friend not an enemy, just building excitement)

YUP!  I’m going!  (went actually)

This was my first time going to the Allegan Antique Show, and it was great!  Loads of dealers and I did happen across a few corkscrews.

Almost immediately I came across a pair of Wood Patents.  One with the corkscrew and one without.  And of course both without the sliding opener piece.  It was reassuring that I would indeed at least find something worth buying at the show.  🙂


As I’m scouring through the next building I suddenly hear a familiar voice…

“So that’s why I’m not finding any corkscrews!”


Always fun to see a fellow collector out hunting antique corkscrews!  We exchanged a few stories and both decided to keep hunting as we’ll have more time to chat in 3 weeks at the ICCA and CCCC AGM.


Besides running into Barry, there were a few more highlights of the Allegan Antique Show to mention…  I did manage to find a couple corkscrews worth buying.  First up is a Fancy Handle Haff Patent!  Note the bulbous handle and metal end caps.  Barry mentioned that he saw this piece along with others in a booth, but decided to pass on it…

The other corkscrew that I bought was a Murphy Bell with Spike!  Nicely marked on the shaft R.Murphy Boston, but also marked on the bell…  YES!  On the under side of the bell it reads:  R. MURPHY HARVARD, MASS. PAT APRIL 23, 1901!!  Super rare find and hidden amongst a pile of Williamsons…!  Score!


Peter has been into the straight razors, and I saw this one for $5.  Couldn’t pass that up!  And the leg penknife is unusual?  You mostly see the shoe version of these.  I don’t recall seeing the full leg before?  Either way the price was right.  Happy Day!

JFO Wrap up + A visit to the Corkscrew Museum!

April 15, 2014

Saturday was the last day for the JFO Convention in Chapel Hill.  There was a buy & sell for the public to attend in the morning and then we took off to do some last minute antiquing.  I can honestly say there is no more corkscrews to be had in North Carolina!  It was a great week and I was able to pick up TONS of stuff!  Some to keep and plenty to sell.  Here is all the stuff acquired while at the JFO.  Check it out:

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Now Sunday was a special bonus.  We headed up to Smith Mountain Lake in Virgina to see Don Bull’s Corkscrew Museum!  It’s absolutely amazing to see!!!  Here are a few photos:

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One could spend the entire day there and still not see everything, although we tried our best.

After so many years of collecting corkscrews, you’re bound to have a few to sell.  Let’s just say he had more than a few boxes for us to pick through…


Within minutes I started tearing through the boxes to fill my own box.  There were some pretty good pieces to be had and bargain prices to boot.  After going through the bulk of it, Bull invited us to pick through a back room filled with more corkscrews!  This area was filled with a collection that he’s selling off for another collector.  Just amazing how much STUFF there was!  Here are the photos of what I picked up:

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Yes, this was absolutely awesome to have the opportunity to buy a lot of good corkscrews, but my favorite piece is that little ice pick known as the Paradise Patent.  This piece wasn’t found in the boxes, but in one of Bull’s drawers.  Josef scored the same piece the other day.  Bull was quite firm in saying “NO!” to many pieces we picked up, but when he asked “What would you offer?” I knew I had a chance!  I threw out a reasonable offer and the deal was done.  SCORE!

Thank you Don & Bonnie for having us over!  Beautiful home, view, and collection!

It was an epic week of corkscrewing!  I was able to visit with many collectors, view a few collections, and buy some great items!  Here are my very favorites of the week!

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Can’t wait to attend next years JFO!!

Day 3 – JFO report

April 12, 2014

So far so good.  Going into Friday I could probably take home nothing else and still call this the BEST JFO Convention ever, but the corkscrew gods were not done giving yet.   🙂

Friday’s agenda consisted of antiquing and a Show & Tell at John Sanley’s home.  Now TWJ is really a Beer Opener collector, but lucky for us the beer companies also utilized corkscrews for advertising as well.  TWJ has got a fantastic and extensive collection.  If I could describe it in one word it would be SHINY!

As for the beer corkscrews he had, the bar mounts with advertising badges were quite nice.  But in one partictular case he had corkscrew that I was unaware he had…  It was an unusual Henshall type button corkscrew.  It did have some advertising for a brewery, but who cares?!  This piece was cool!  AND it was the very same type that I lost out to Fotodeal on back in January.  I pulled TYJ aside to make an offer he couldn’t refuse.  Hands shook, cash exchanged hands, and the corkscrew was now mine.  SCORE!

Beer Henshall

After the showing, me and Josef headed out to a few antique malls.  They’ve loads of antique malls down here in NC, with some quality stuff too, but unfortunately not a whole lot of corkscrews.  Good thing we’ve got our iPhone’s with us to check eBay!

A very uncommon folding bow type was ending today and Josef was keeping a timer for me so I could place a last minute bid.  With only minutes to go and the price at $79.00, I placed an aggressive bid.  High bidder at $90.99.  It wasn’t time to celebrate yet, as I had a hunch that there would probably be a sniper bid coming in at the last second from a likely suspect buyer, and I was right.  The price more than doubled and came within $3.50 of my cap!  Again the corkscrew gods were smiling down on me.  🙂


We finished out the night back in the common room.  Exchanging laughs, a few good stories, and showing off  the latest acquisitions.  Me and TWJ made a few last minute deals before calling it a night.  Definetly my version of GOOD FRIDAY!


Day 2 – JFO Report

April 11, 2014

Yesterday was a day to remember!  Josef and I had the opportunity to visit Paul Luchsinger’s home in Williamsburg, VA.  I know it’s not exactly close to Chapel Hill, but it’s certainly closer than driving from Chicago.  And who could pass up a private showing of a corkscrew collection?!

Upon arrival we were escorted to the “Screw Room” where the collection was displayed.  We were presented with drawer after drawer of all types of corkscrews.  Some I had, some I’d never seen before, and several I wanted.  Isn’t that how every viewing goes?  We did inquire about a few pieces to see if they were available, but unfortunately today was about showing and not selling.  You don’t know if you don’t ask right?

After the show and tell, we stayed around for a simple lunch together.  We continued to share stories and enjoyed each others company.  But it was after lunch when things got exciting….

We headed back to the “Screw Room” to revisit some of the pieces we had expressed interest in.  Now, not everything was going to be made available, but we were invited to make a few offers.  I had my eye on several pieces, but knowing that I might only have one or two chances, I had to choose wisely.  Let’s just say that the corkscrew gods were on my side.  Here are the two pieces I was able make a deal on:


First up is a Barnes Bow with cuff.  The bow is marked with the patent date and the cuff is marked Pat Apld For.  Second is a bakelite leg.  The very same piece Josef picked up a couple weeks ago!

Although these were my only tow acquisitions of the day, I’m beyond excited to add these two to the collection!

Bring on Day 3!!

Day 1 Report of the JFO

April 10, 2014

The day started around 9am in the common room.  John Stanley had already brought in a TON of boxes to pick through.  Mind you most of them are openers, but some are corkscrews…  Within minutes I started to rummage through the cases, boxes, and bags of stuff hoping to find some hidden treasures…

My first deal with John was for 8 Williamson Roundlets.  $100.  Mind you they are all Anheuser Busch, but with time they will do well.

Next I found myself deep in the Brass Opener box.  No corkscrews to be had here, but found several Negbaur pieces.  Some Angry Dogs, a Parrot, and even a Standing Pig!  Cool!

I could go on and on about all the small deals, knick kknacks and freebies (yes, bags of corkscrews for FREE) but I will fast forward to the good stuff…

Me and TWJ struck a trade deal for which I got a Crosby Pup and a very nice Faceted Peg & Worm Corkscrew and he got a McLean Patent Corkscrew and a Beer Wall Mount opener.


Amidst other deals with collectors came a few Flash Corkscrews that I didn’t have, some Free Corkscrew Books, and 4 more Busch Roundlets!  Anyone need one of these roundlets?!

Then came the big one…  One of the guys wheeled in a cart of boxes that John had been waiting several months for.  And there were to be a few good corkscrews inside…  We instantly swarmed around the table where John was going through goodies.  And goodies there were…

After some brief and quick.  Here are the few that I managed to score!

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Overall it was a very exciting day and plenty of pieces for everyone!  I definitely think I did well and will be listing many pieces on the Auction, BUYNOW, and ebay in coming weeks.  Here’s a group photo of everything I got today:


Today we will be driving out to Paul Luchsinger’s home for a meet and greet.  Hopefully hit a few Antique Malls along the way and then back to the common room for more buying!

Will keep you all posted, so stay tuned!


A week off and JFO

April 9, 2014

I am off work this week and doing some serious corkscrewing and meeting up with Josef!  Yippee!!  There will be lots of antiquing (hopefully finding corkscrews as well), Buying & Selling at the JFO Convention in Chapel Hill, NC. (probably more buying than selling), and a few viewings are scheduled of some corkscrew collections (again hopefully more buying!).

Monday and Tuesday were both travel / antiquing days for me.  I’ve got my care in the shop this week, so I’m racking up the miles on the rental car!  The JFO is in Chapel Hill, NC. and we’re going to 2 collector’s homes in Virgina, so Thank You Enterprise Rent-a-Car!  🙂

If you’re reading this now, you obviously know that Monday and Tuesday are history.  I hit a fair amount of antique malls along the way and picked up one good piece.  It’s an Anri Bar Set w/ dancing ballerina.  It’s a little rough as the ballerina doesn’t dance, but considering it was 20% off and a set that I’ve never seen before, I’m quite happy.


Me and Josef meet up last night and enjoyed brick oven pizza at Brixx restaurant.  Good pizza and great company!  We’ve got a full week planned and it’s just starting!

Today’s agenda:  JFO Buy and Sell!

Stay tuned…

Addicted to variants…

March 29, 2014

The Syroco Corkscrew collection is nearly complete.  I own every figural example to have been in the production line.  I’m still working on acquiring a few more known Paint Variations of the corkscrews, and still very excited when I see the occasional “end of shift / workers concept” piece.

But there are also Syroco Corkscrew “Go-With” pieces…!

Bottle openers, cigar racks, tie racks, door stops, cast molds, original carvings, clothing brushes, thermometers, clocks, wall plaques, and probably a few more that escape my memory…  All of which feature the same figurine that was produced as a corkscrew.  Not every corkscrew collector gets giddy over such “go-with” items as I do, but I simply cannot help myself!  LOVE IT!!

Here is the latest addition to the Syroco “Go-With” Collection!  A Yellow Syroco Clown Clock!!

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I’ve never seen a Yellow Syroco Clown before, but SUPER EXCITED add this piece to the collection!!

Here are a few other Syroco Clown’s known to exist:

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I have the Purple / Green Clock variation in the collection already.  Would like to find a White, Yellow/Green, and the Walnut Stained versions.  Anyone have an example of these that they are willing to part with?  Email me with photos at

Sterling Napier! For about 5 minutes…

March 29, 2014

Peter’s annual Buy-It-Now contest isn’t scheduled to start until August, but to keep my mouse finger sharp, I’m always looking for a good BIN.  Just the other day one was posted with a lovely Sterling Silver corkscrew.  It was a Napier Sterling Holleg pocket corkscrew!

It was a very reasonable BIN price, and the option for a BEST OFFER too.  “Or Best Offer”?  Hmmm….  I’m always up to make an offer as you never know what will be accepted, but I didn’t want to miss out either.  I opted to pay full asking price…  SCORE!  🙂

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Within 5 minutes of completing my PayPal Payment, I started to receive messages regarding this piece.  Even got an offer to buy it right away!  After a few quick exchanges, a deal was struck.  I guess I made the right decision to pull the trigger fast on the BIN!

Unfortunately the Napier was only in the collection for about 5 minutes….  The hunt continues…


Stumped on the Z corkscrew

March 22, 2014

At any given time I have around 40-200 on my Watch List.  Not that I’m bidding on or can actually afford them all, but it’s good to keep a pulse on the market.  And for pieces you know little about, you can watch the bidding numbers, try and figure out Who is bidding, or see if might just slip through.  One can never know exactly who’s watching what and who’s got a sniper bid waiting for the final seconds, but the Watch list has always been one of my favorite tools…

Well, one particular piece that was on the Watch List was a “Vintage Z folding Metal Pocket Bottle Opener & Corkscrew Military?”.  I’ve never seen this corkscrew before, but it certainly was intriguing.  Bidding was slow and low, but started to climb on the final day.  I started to get an itch about this piece…  I decided to place a somewhat aggressive sniper bid and let it go.  Within the final minute of the listing, there were 6  bids, but it was I who remained on top!  SCORE!!

Now if I can just figure out what I had won….

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In looking at the bidder list I could identify a few people.  JL and DB to name a couple.  I contacted Josef first and he’s never seen this piece before, and being that he was the under bidder, I felt a bit better about my win.  Sorry J!

I then turned to Don Bull.  He said that he also had the same exact piece, and that his was Silver.  His had only the same Z marking and that there was no other known information to share.  Oh!  Except that he’s never seen another example!  🙂

I’ve sent off photos and auction links to a few other collectors.  Maybe someone will know about this unusual folder.  If any of my readers do, please hit me up at