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Antique Corkscrews

Corkscrews

When opening wine, reaching for a corkscrew is second nature to most of us, but give a thought to our pre 18th century forebears who had no such bottle openers.

It wasn’t until 1795 that the Rev Samuel Henshall first patented the first direct pull corkscrew. This one action led seven years later to the first mechanical corkscrew to be patented by George Thomason.  This one patent subsequently opened the flood gates for inventive designs and patents by names such as Heeley, Lund, King’s Patent, Twigg, Farrow & Jackson and Cotterill.  Single lever, double lever, rack and pinion, zig-zag, rabbit, spring coil and twin column corkscrews were adopted by the wine drinking public. During the 20th century another development happened in the form of advertising corkscrews as wine drinking became more common amongst the masses and everyone had a double lever corkscrew in their kitchen drawer.

Now in the 21st century, despite many wineries adopting screw caps, corkscrews seem even more popular. Many people now collect antique corkscrews or vintage corkscrews, fascinated not only by their often slightly Heath Robinson construction but by the fact that they can actually use an antique corkscrew in their everyday life. So next time you’re buying a gift for a wine drinking friend why buy the ubiquitous Alessi Anna G double lever corkscrew or a mass-produced Waiter’s Friend when you can opt for a 200 year old Thomason Patent Corkscrew with bone handle and solid bronze body.  After all, why would you even ask the question “How do I open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew?” when every gentleman should have a silver cased travelling corkscrew at all times.


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Hardwood and Brass Henshall Type Corkscrew c1860

Hardwood and Brass Henshall Type Corkscrew c1860

Hardwood and Brass Henshall Type Corkscrew c1860

£65.00

Hardwood and Brass Henshall Type Corkscrew c1860

Hardwood and Brass Henshall Type Corkscrew c1860

This fine quality example has a turned brass shank above a 6cm steel worm. The torpedo shape of the turned hardwood handle makes it particularly comfortable in the hand.

£75.00

Bone Handled Thomason Type King's Corkscrew c1820

Bone Handled Thomason Type King's Corkscrew c1820

Bone handled Thomason type King's corkscrew c1820 Based on the original Thomason patent corkscrew, the King's type has a rack and pinion mechanism rather than a secondary screw. This example has a steel turning handle and full length steel worm. A very

£220.00

The Lund Patent Single Lever Corkscrew c1855 - Lever Only

The Lund Patent Single Lever Corkscrew c1855 - Lever Only

The Lund Patent Single Lever Corkscrew c1855 Part of a two piece corkscrew, this lever mechanism was patented by William Lund and William Hipkins in 1855. This is an early example and bears the royal coat of arms on one side and 'Sold by the patentee, 2

£50.00

Mid Twentieth Century Double Lever Corkscrew, Possibly Italian c1950

Mid Twentieth Century Double Lever Corkscrew, Possibly Italian c1950

Probably Italian in origin, this heavy weight nickel plated example of the now ubiquitous double lever design has age related wear to it's surfaces and works very well. The worm is 6cm long.

£65.00

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