Corkscrew Collecting

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One of the few corkscrews to be known as collectible
outside of corkscrew collecting circles are the ladies legs
corkscrews. These colourful, quirky pocket corkscrews
were primarily made from Celluloid, a durable synthetic

They originate from Germany. Registered as a design in
January 1894, registration number 21718, by Steinfield &
Reimer, although it is recorded that they were
manufactured in Germany before the registered date &
as early as the 1880's. Ladies legs corkscrews were
manufactured up until to the 1920's.

Interestingly, in January 1893 Ladies legs corkscrews
were also registered in the UK by F. W. Ostermann of
East London, no 206442. A ladies legs corkscrew has so
far not been found with a British registration number

Trade ads for ladies legs corkscrews, advertised "Ballet
corkscrews" or "Can-can corkscrews", probably in the
later example for the bright, vibrant colours of the stripy

There are a vast number of variations of colours, type &
makers marks, more later. For now, the basic variations
which are most often found.
Buster Bernstein, a prominent Swedish corkscrew collector researched the ladies legs corkscrew variations & by
the year 2000, he had recorded 78 variations of colours & 23 different marks on the shaft. Marks that you might
Ladies Legs Corkscrews...
There are two known sizes, 2 5/8" & 1 7/8".
The smaller ladies legs corkscrews are
harder to find.
celluloid scales & are either full stripy
stockings, half stocking/half flesh or plain flesh.
The most commonly found variants have The
most commonly found colours are pink/white,
blue/white, green/white.

"Cracks to the
celluloid detract.
Pay extra for
Ladies legs corkscrews were also manufactured in steel with nickel plated scales & in brass. There is also a rare
celluloid variation with the toes pointing inwards. Others were made using Mother of Pearl, sometimes with celluloid.
Some of the colour variations with stripy stockings. From left to right,
Blue & white, light blue & white, pink & white & brown & cream
Three variation of green stripy stockings. From
left to right, green & cream, green & white with
a larger amount of stripes & green & green.
Three variations revealing some flesh. Note the
three different tones of flesh. It's not fading, the
flesh was manufactured in a number of different
shades. Also, the last two examples show the
typical bladed worm used & the wire helix. It's
thought that the wire helix was used for ladies
legs corkscrews that were exported to the UK.
Some of the colour
combinations for full
stockings known are

  • Blue & white
  • Pink & white
  • Green & white
  • Green & light green
  • Black & white
  • Orange & yellow
  • Brown & cream
Another pair of both little &
large, this time in green & cream
find include: Registered Germany, E. Reimer, Gesetzlich Geschutzt, Jahn &
Co 1873, Henry Boker, SRD, Graef & Schmidt, W. H. Morley & Sons, Graef
& Schmidt made in Germany, Hugo koller Solingen, D. Peres Germany.

Steinfeld & Reimer manufactured vast numbers of ladies legs corkscrews
over many years. They produced for distributors too & stamped the shanks
with their respective company marks. W. H. Morley & Sons & Henry Boker
were two such distributors, neither manufactured legs, they bought in from
Steinfeld & Reimer to sell on to retail outlets.

Ladies legs corkscrews with advertising are quite uncommon but both the
celluloid ladies legs corkscrews & the nickel plated legs cork screws can be
found with various advertising running down, one or both legs. The nickel
plated version shown below would of no doubt been produced as one of a
number but very few survive today.
"The number of
stripes can
vary, from as
few as 11 to as
many as 22".
Back to the antique Ladies legs corkscrews
~ Here are some of the many variations ~

In the 1970's Ladies legs corkscrews were made
once more, again in Germany. Not to the same high
standards as the antique examples, but still quirky,
colourful & reasonably practical as a corkscrew for
someone on the move. They are quite collectible in

Later still is another boxed ladies legs corkscrew that
originate from the Republic of China & are marked
on the box "A pocket corkscrew for Gentlemen". The
quality is a step down from the 1970's production,
being pretty poor.
~ From left to right ~
Original high quality ladies legs, an example from the
1970's & the most recent legs that originate from China.
The Can Can corkscrew with the original box.
These were manufactured in a variety of finishes
& colours during the 1970's
A poor quality recent ladies legs corkscrew, marketed as the Can-Can corkscrew & produced in the
Republic of China.
  1. Any chips or cracks to the
  2. Is the celluloid lifting from the
    base metal?
  3. Is the hinge action firm?
  4. Any rust? Surface can be
    cleaned off, more serious
    rust will leave an
    undesirable pitted finish.
  5. Is the worm/helix full length?
  6. Are all the rivets original?
  7. Is the alignment straight &
If you have a ladies legs corkscrew,
with stockings, half stockings & flesh or
all flesh & would like to sell them to a
keen collector for a great price. Please
drop me a line. Cash waiting
It will be great to hear from you!
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