Information letter nr 12
31st march 2005



The « Collection privée Tire-bouchons » monthly newsletter gives information related to the website:  main updates, new links towards excellent corkscrew dedicated websites and on new items added to the collection.  You’ll find a complete index of the newsletters published since Nr 1 by clicking on the following link" Info letter ".

Reader’s corner…

 Polemic about the Hootch Owl (See article underneath).

Read the last newsletter

Nr 11 – February 2005

A new page…

Corkscrews are of course in close relationship with wine, could I even say that without wine there is no corkscrew, indeed yes; I have then added a page dedicated to wine lovers (see the page “liens” on the website)


Reader’s corner

A selection of the best auctions of the month

New links

The collection is growing up

A new page

The unusual object of the month


Corkscrew to identify…

Alain found a superb corkscrew that he cannot identify. Who will be able to help him to discover the name and the maker of this object?

About the website…

11 702 visits on the website as of March 2005, Thanks for your fidelity!

You are now a lot to know the address of the website because half of the visitors are using a direct access.  Thank you to all of the individuals who have referenced my website on their, as a matter of fact, 12% of the visits are realised through these indirect means, not bad at all!

A selection of the best auctions of the month (found on eBay)…

Very nice auctions took place this month with among others a superb Wealan that is quite rare on eBay and another superb corkscrew of a rare delicacy designed by Benjamin Law.

A Frederick A. Wealan corkscrew (patent Nr 2.642 of 1881) entirely made of steel, this very rare and searched after model is not very effective.  Important finger strength must be required to use it properly.  The auction reached

(24 270 FF)

Very nice and delicate English corkscrew patented by Benjamin Law’s in 1877 under Nr 308,524.  One side is marked “PLUME”, and the other wears his hallmark.  The auction reached

(5 208 FF)

All steel corkscrew with swivel-over collar marked GSETZLICH GESCHÜTZH.  The device unlocks automatically when the wider part of the asymmetrical neck of the frame gets in contact with the locking pin.  The auction reached

(14 201 FF)

Multi-tools bow corkscrew realised by Moore.  It comprises not less than nine tools.  A very nice item indeed.  The auction reached

(2 860 FF)

Lever corkscrew named Express or The Smart, patented by Hollweg Frères of Barmen (close to Solingen).  It is marked 70026 ENGL P 815 / 97 MADE IN GERMANY THE SMART and EXPRESS.  The auction reached

(2 676 FF)

Rack and pinion corkscrew designed by Batard, the handle is made of bone. It uses the Pérille’s system.  The auction reached

(2 681 FF)



Pocket multifunction corkscrew, it comprises a screw and a hole-puncher.  I have chosen this auction because this type of corkscrew, usually found with a bow shape, has in this case a lengthened shape.  The auction reached

(1 535 FF)

The auction reached

387,86 € (2 544 FF)


New links…

Every month I am trying to discover new websites related to corkscrews:  Auction, sale, collectors websites, or even single html pages.

  1. Wine explorers, Jean-Pierre wine-waiter and counsellor since long years, is conducting impassionate explorations in the wine area.  He travelled a lot throughout the French vineyards and is keeping close contact with the men elaborating wines and local products. Jean-Pierre has amongst his most satisfactory collaborations, the French Senat where he is teaching the art of tasting.
  2., most of the time, a bottle of wine is uncorked some while before serving… even more, sometimes it is poured in a decanter.  Nobody has then the opportunity to see the corkscrew.  When it is the very handy waiter’s friend that was offered by a furnisher (not very original though) we do not miss anything.  But sometimes, we are invited by friends who own a magnificent corkscrew …
  3. Corkscrew «Le dard », nowadays, the corkscrew is not turning anymore, it penetrates.  A faster and easier penetration: Inserting this corkscrew requires less strength than inserting a conventional screw;  as a matter of fact, all the effort that was produced by turning  the wrist is now produced by the arm or the weight of the body, and is limited to push in order to drive the nail in the cork.  What is changing is the penetration; the screw is replaced by a thin straight nail inserted through the cork…

Of course you can retrieve all these addresses in the rubric LIENS of the website “Collection privée Tire-bouchons”. Have a nice surf !

The collection is growing up …

Up to now, the amount of items presented is 191, four new items has been added. Come and see them…

Simple corkscrews

Mechanical corkscrews

Simply nothing new this month

n° 188 – Swiss corkscrew manufactured by Vossoultlery Co.

Lever corkscrews

Figural corkscrews

n° 190 – Italian corkscrew manufactured by Carlo Gemelli.

No new items

Multifunction corkscrews

Bar corkscrews

n° 189 – Cocktail jigger with corkscrew

n° 191 – Chip Chop, the indispensable tool of the American barman

Nothing new from this side


Who has an idea on the identity of this corkscrew?  At first sight, I would say it is English because of its rosewood turned handle. On the other hand, I have never seen something similar to the interface between the shank and the screw. What could be the utility of this disc?  Is it used to cut the wires, or does it penetrate into the cork to overcome adhesion between the cork and the bottleneck?

A wire cutter?

La polémique autour du Hootch owl…

 Following the remark brought to our attention by one of our readers concerning the last newsletter and this corkscrew, I have received new information.  I just let you discover it, and do not hesitate to react if you want to do so!

 “Even though I congratulate the reader of your newsletter for his keen interest in the way corkscrews are working, I just would like to comment his findings on the Hooch Owl:   If this corkscrew, as described in the book “Corkscrews” – Fred O’Leary (Pg 150), has indeed four different functions, none of them are recorded as being a nutcracker:


-         Corkscrew

-         Cap lifter

-         Bottle opener designed to open the “Grip screw caps” (what the reader think it is a nutcracker)

-         An ice tong (in fact, this option has been forgotten on most of the recent copies like the BOJ type that every one of us knows). Where is it?  When the corkscrew is in closed position, the curve of the levers has been designed in such a manner that both ends are coming underneath the cage, authorizing these extremities to be sufficiently close to each other to grip an ice cube !  Due to its weight, it is even possible that holding the corkscrew by the ring would create a lateral pressure that is sufficient to grip the ice cube properly – As I do not own one of these; it is only a supposition and the fruit of my observations! – (if a reader can experiment this, I would be grateful to know if it works!)


One more info that makes me say that one of the initial function of the Hooch Owl is not to be a nutcracker is the following:  On all types of nutcrackers I had the opportunity so see, the scratched parts were of the same size in a way that all size of nuts could be gripped without any risks of seeing them escaping and the extremities of the curves were touching each other.  Moreover, another thing pleading in favor of the grip screw cap opener is the following:  when the two levers are in up position, the two scratched parts are then facing each other, ensuring a maximum of efficacy.  A very last remark, if a nut is placed on one side of the corkscrew, the opposite lever will rise too, and if at this very moment it is still possible to handle the “nutcracker” with one hand (or you need enormous ones), when you crush the nut, you crush your fingers too!”

Patrick C., the 1st March 2005 

The unusual object of the month…

Every month I will try to dig up an unusual object … always in relationship with corkscrews.  This month it is cufflinks in shape of corkscrews. Absolutely to be wearied at the next CFTB congress! This object was sold 7,19 euros.


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Thanks for your attention… see you soon on Collection privée tire-bouchons.


Jean-Pierre LAMY


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