Corkscrew Collecting

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have a few, your collection of antique or vintage cork

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What's rare? What's scarce? What's common?

Well, if you take a trip to ebay right now you'll find plenty
of so called rare corkscrews, some very rare corkscrews
& some incredibly rare corkscrews.

STOP! Lets start again. If you take a trip to ebay right
now you'll find many corkscrews in various forms but the
chance of finding anything very rare, is, well, quite

In truth very few corkscrews are rare.

Creative descriptions on ebay are common place, after
all, sellers are looking to maximise their return & to be
fair to them, in the majority of cases they would have no
real idea - hence the creative descriptions.

Unfortunately, many experienced corkscrew sellers  use
the term "rare" when they have sold that same piece on
many occasions. Naughty, naughty!

To be valuable*, there are three important factors, rarity,
desirability & condition. If a piece ticks all three boxes
then the collectors will swoop like a flock of Vultures.
However, if a corkscrew is truly both rare & desirable the
price will still hold up well even if the condition is less
than perfect.

There are some very rare corkscrews out there to find
that just don't have the desirability factor & therefore
don't get corkscrew collectors salivating & can be picked
up quite cheaply. See case study.

Okay, here's the case study followed by the rarity guide
which is based on English corkscrews. Not an exact
Science but it will give you an idea.
Case study
To the left is a very nice
Thomason corkscrew with a
Dowler patent badge. One of
1000's of Thomason
corkscrews that exist today.

To the right is the only known
example of an English
registered design Codd

Q. Which is worth more?
A. The Thomason
1 Extremely common - 500
Basic Cellerman, four finger pulls, three finger pulls, basic direct pulls
2 Fairly common - 150-250
Terrior dog, standard Henshall types, The Surprise
3 Turn up quite frequently - 100-150
Heeley A1, Wiers concertina, Wiers Pullezi, Armstrong concertina, Basic
Thomasons, Lund lever, basic London rack, Farrow & Jacskon type brass
mechanical, Magic Lever
4 Be patient, one will show up soon - 50-100
Plant's Wulfruna, Silver pocket, Kings corkscrews, Perkins Codd, The
Victor, Tangent Lever
5 Quite hard to find - 25-50
Plan't Magic, named London rack, The King
6 Hard to find - 10
Milestone Lund Lever, standard 2 Pillar, Lund Spherical Joint, Lund barrel rack
7 Quite scarce - 3-5
Royal Club, Baker patent, The Empire, Gothic Thomason, Fruiting Vines
Thomason, Mabson
8 Scarce - 2
Twigg steel, Twigg swivel catch, Double Wiers, lady Wiers,  Dray direct pull,
original Henshall, Jones I
9 Rare - 1
Loach, Twigg lifting Jack, Twigg 3 pillars, Maud II, Hipkins Lever rack, Lund Barrel
Queens patent
10 Extremely rare - 0, maybe 1 every 5 years or more
Bradford, Serpent Thomason, Cotterill, Murray & Stalker, Jones II, Chinnock snail
Lets do it.
Lets open
up one
big can of
This rarity guide is based on selected English corkscrews & on how
many examples will surface in one year.
There are many other English corkscrews that could be added to the above guide. Maybe you can fit your own
pieces in the various slots. As I said, not an exact Science but I don't think it's far off the mark.

That can of worms throws up all sort of problems & dilemmas for  the corkscrew collector as I'm sure it does for a
collector of anything. With some patience & by keeping a keen eye on what appears on the open market you can
get a good feel for the rarity of any given piece & over time a good idea of values.

*I mentioned earlier about there being three important factors to making something valuable. There's a forth factor
- Uneducated, deep pocket buyers, that just have to buy it. Such buyers can make anything valuable even if it's
common place. Sellers love such buyers!!!

Finally, what about that Codd corkscrew shown in the case study, where does that fit & what's it worth? It fits in
section 10 - extremely rare, but alas, despite being the only known example of a previously unrecorded English
registered design corkscrew it's worth little more than £200.
Corkscrew Rarity Guide...
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