You can't beat the buzz at Christies Corkscrew auction..

Sadly the auction on 2nd November 2004 was the first for a year, in the past Christies would host two corkscrews
sales at South Kensington, London, one in the Spring & the other late Autumn. . It seems that with more
corkscrews landing on Ebay or being placed directly, less corkscrews are finding their
way to Christies auction & given that there was just 120 lots in this sale it makes me wonder if maybe
the days of this important sale are numbered, I hope not.

The day before the sale, Monday 1st November, I met up with fellow
Corkscrewteer Chris Bristow to view the
goodies on offer. It was good to meet up with Chris again & between us we riffled through the various box lots
looking for some hidden jewels before we called half time & hopped over the road for a pub lunch & to catch up
on all the latest gossip. After a good feed we returned to Christies to check out some of the more desirable lots,
more to just hold them rather than to realistically bid for them.
There were quite a number of highly
desirable items, but again less than
normal, but still plenty to get any
corkscrew collector drawling.

One of the major lots at the sale was a
lovely example of  Edwin Cotterills
perpetual Corkscrew with a whopping
estimate of £400 - 600. I was
wondering if it was the same
corkscrew that I chased upto £500 at
a provisional general sale in
Andover...who knows.
Here's Chris dreaming about...
Lot 102, a Chudzikowski Double
Lever, Estimate £150 - 180. It
sold for £140 + commission
Christies staff hang on to the
Cotterill when they see me
eyeing it up
During our viewing we bumped into a few other collectors & dealers
including Wally (Fletcher Wallace). He overheard us talking about
visiting the Ardingly antique fair before zooming back to the start of
the Christies sale at 2.00 pm & quite easily talked us into giving him a
lift back to the sale. We both also took this opportunity to order up a
copy of Wally's book which he said he'd bring along for us.

After completing the viewing we agreed to meet up the following day
to firstly visit the Ardingly antique fair & then on to Christies to join in
with all the frenzied bidding.

ZZZZZZZZZzzzz, dreaming of Christies
Chris eyeing up another one....the
corkscrews not bad either!!!!
Cock-a-doodle-doo, its sale day. I'm up with the Larks to head to London to pick up Chris & drive to Ardingly
antique fair in West Sussex. We felt confident that the majority of collectors would miss the Ardingly fair & we'd fill
our boots with some bargain buys.

Now just stop for a while..........I've visited 100's of these fairs & not found a major item for little money & what does
Chris find?? A Royal Club for £150!!!!

I found a few pieces at good prices but all doubles to sell on, maybe next time for me then.

Then we all met up & drove back to London & after a book signing at a coffee bar with Wally we went into Christies
to take our seats & get set for the bidding war.

I opened up my account with Lot 13, which included a near perfect 10 tool bow corkscrew marked Arnold, 90A
Regents St.
I quickly added lot 15 which included some mechanical corkscrews for
resale & then swooped on Lot 43 which included a beautiful 19th
century sheath corkscrew accompanied by two wonderful peg &
worms. My next buy was Lot 55, a great group of mechanicals to
include the best Victor I'd ever seen, along with a Wulfruna, King,
Heeley Double Lever, Farrow & Jackson, Italian Open Frame, George
Willets Surprise & a Reissman.

All of these lots were driven over my original bid which I'd lined up but
I'm pleased I went a little extra to get them.

Chris was having a tougher time & ended shaking his head on most of
the lots he was after but his bid was good enough on Lot 59 to secure
a whole bunch of champagne taps which included a boxed Maws & he
also won a set of gay ladies legs..
Part of Lot 13, a wonderful nickel
plated 10 tool bow which now sits
proudly in my collection
My final win was lot 80, a box full of finger pulls & bows. I then watched
as some of the stars of the show went under the hammer, notably the
Serpent Thomason Variant made £380 & the Cotterill sold for £400 +
20% commission!!!

We concluded the day with a hard earned drink in the local boozer
with some fellow collectors where more great pieces came
out......Here's to the next sale........Cheers
Part of Lot 43, a wonderful sheath
corkscrew....I'm so happy