Corkscrew Collecting

Very happy to buy your antique corkscrew or if you
have a few, your collection of antique or vintage cork

Top prices paid!

Send a picture or two to:
Nobody knows for certain when the first corkscrew was
made although it's thought that it was sometime during
the mid 17th century & was likely to of been in England.

Early bottles & containers like
this Onion design shown had
loose fitting corks which
protruded above the bottle top
& were easy to extract by hand
or a basic implement.

As the bottle design changed
for ease of horizontal storage a
tighter design cork was required
& so the corkscrew as a
commonly used extractor was

The corkscrew worm design is
believed to derived from early
Gun tools which had a worm,
either single or double in
design. This tool would of been
to draw a bullet or assist in
cleaning the gun barrel.
Early corkscrews were likely to
be simple T shaped direct pull
types but as demand increased
more interesting designs
evolved with mechanical

The first corkscrew patent was
awarded to The Reverend
Samuel Henshall, of Oxford,
England in 1795. His idea was
to incorporate a button between
the shank & the worm. Its
purpose was to compress &
turn the cork once the worm
was fully inserted, thus breaking
the bond that might exist
between the cork & bottle.

The next important design was patented by Sir Edward
Thomason in 1802. His ingenious corkscrew mechanism
boasted both male & female threads. By inserting the
worm into the cork & then continually turning the handle
clockwise the cork is extracted in quick & easy time. See
the Thomason section for more details of this fantastic
corkscrew which is still manufactured today.
Hundreds of British designs, some registered, others patented have been subsequently produced in the following
200 years of Sir Edward Thomason's patent. As you can imagine, some good, some bad & some decidedly awful
& pretty hopeless at removing a cork.

The British, French, Germans, Italians & Americans have been quite prolific in design & manufacturer. Between
these Countries there are several hundred recorded pieces, many of which are covered on this site The Dutch are renowned for quality silver pocket corkscrews. Scandinavian
Countries are well known for producing many very nice figural type corkscrews, primarily in pewter. Other
Countries have manufactured corkscrews too but no great design comes to mind that should be included within
this website. Maybe someone can email me & put me right.

What about the history of the corkscrew collector? I'm sure people collected corkscrews many years ago but in
recent times, post the 1970's, the hobby has become increasingly popular. The advent of a variety of well written
& very informative books on the subject have opened eyes to the shear diversity of what was made & what
potentially is out there to find. In recent times more & more collectors have joined the growing ranks of corkscrew
hunters. The Internet revolution has no doubt made it much easier to find & purchase corkscrews & collectors
from all around the World now have a relaxed & familiar environment to find additions to their collection by gazing
at a computer screen in their own homes.  We never had it so good!

A corkscrew collector is known a "Helixophile". I don't personally like the name, I prefer to just be told I'm screwy -
which is certainly true!
Sir Edward Thomason, his patent drawing for his 1802 patent & his factory at Church St, Birmingham
"Another toast
Gentlemen, this one to
the screwy lot that call
themselves corkscrew

"People collect

"Yes sir, they do & how
they collect them!"
I hope you enjoy browsing

Feel free to drop me a line if
you have anything to add or if
you'd just like to say "Hi".

Mr Corkscrew
It will be great to hear from you!
It's all about Antique & Vintage Corkscrews

& Buying

Send pictures of your
corkscrew or corkscrews
to receive a current
valuation with the
compliments of
Collecting dot com.

Value my corkscrew

Happy to buy
Cash waiting for
interesting pieces or
complete corkscrew