I have been remiss in posting on this blog and have instead been using Facebook and Instagram as public venues. Time to get back to the blog…..
I tend to go off on tangents as a collector. For the last several months I have been buying carved bone figural pieces. I used to buy them and keep them for a while and then flip them, then I started really liking them…. I got an awesome one over the weekend. It’s an old Walker Patent with a Sterling end cap, but what makes it special is the carving of the monkey holding the bottle of sparkling wine with his hands and the cork with his tail. I paid more for this guy than I usually do, but i think it was worth it.
I have been on a bit of a role in regards to these guys. I have even given them a drawer to themselves in the Map Case. Most of these corkscrews date back from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century. The artists are very creative. Here are a few others for you to enjoy….
This is an intricately carved horn of a monkey sitting in a tree. He is missing one glass eye, but otherwise in great condition. He is gigantic.
Here are two carved bone corkscrews . The one on the right, the elephant was a birthday present from my wife about 20 year’s ago. It is missing the back sterling end cap and has a chip on the other ear, but I will never get rid of it.
The dog was a recent purchase that slipped through the cracks in an auction because they never identified it as a corkscrew. I found it by chance. Got a great deal on it. It’s in perfect condition.
The corkscrew on the right is beautiful. It has a Cougar’s head. The corkscrew on the left is a carving of a monk drinking a mug. Too cool.
Here is a closer view…
Next, I have a really historical piece. It is not carved. It has a copper end cap that is engraved with the following:
THE SAINT NICHOLAS SOCIETY OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK
“The Saint Nicholas Society of the City of New York was founded by Washington Irving and others, as an organization to commemorate the history and heritage of New York, and to promote good fellowship among the members. The first meeting was a dinner held on February 14, 1835 at Washington Hall, a popular dining and meeting locale in the 1830s, at the southeast corner of the intersection of Broadway and Reade Street. At that meeting 31 gentlemen signed the constitution of the Society. On February 28, the first members were elected, a total of 275.”
It is the piece on the left. I found this corkscrew at an estate sale in Tucson. I also happen to have been able to identify the Family the piece came from.
The piece on the right is another simple horn corkscrew with a great sterling cap and tail.
Next below… a slight departure:
The two pieces above are both interesting. The double headed Elephant is not of natural material. It looks like a bakelite or early plastic. It’s very cool. I had to have it. The deer on the right is extremely well carved and in perfect condition.
Now, Alligators and Crocodiles have been favorites of the early carvers for a long time. I believe both of these come from Florida. The piece on the left is carved on a horn and is pretty common. The piece on the right is carved from orangewood supposedly by the local Indians.
These next two are just gorgeous . The piece on the left is simple, but elegant. It has a wonderful decorative shank and beautiful Sterling End Caps. I bought it on Etsy for 20.00. It was so dirty and tarnished that it was hard to see how lovely it would become. The piece on the right is magnificent. The decorative sterling overlay has a few flaws, but overall it is in great condition. It could be my favorite piece.
Next, there are two pieces that are obviously American. The piece on the left has a beautiful Mahogany handle with what look like silver end caps. Unfortunately, no markings at all. The piece on the right has a Robert Murphy type button, but alas, is also unsigned. It does have a hallmark for Simon Bros. in Philadelphia.
To round out the collection, here are two simple pieces that I like quite a bit….
Many of these corkscrews have hallmarks on the sterling end caps so it is easier to date and identify them. I hope everyone enjoyed the pictures. These corkscrews take me back to a simpler time.