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Corkscrew Collecting       
A corkscrew hungry collector will soon learn to spread
their net wide in search for the elusive (good)
corkscrew. However, with the power of the Internet,
any modern day want to be corkscrew collector can
simply boot up their computer, sit back with a cuppa in
one hand & a mouse under the other & find an array
of corkscrews on various Internet auction sites as well
as a number of specialist corkscrew websites.

Here's an overview of places to find corkscrews.

  • Ebay
  • Specialist corkscrew websites
  • Portobello Road + Specialist
  • Antique fairs
  • Other collectors
  • Auction
  • Boot sales
  • Charity shops

Over the last ten years I have spread a very wide net
in the attempt to find good pieces. Here are my
thoughts on where you should look...

Ebay. There's no question that you should sign up
to ebay, a great place to buy. Take your time & watch
a few pieces go through & study the prices & then just
go for it. Bid away & hopefully you'll win an auction or
two. It's easy, safe & secure. Sellers will want you to
be satisfied as you'll have to rate them & nobody
wants a bad rating. Do be careful though & inspect
pictures carefully, likewise, read the description with
care so you're certain what you're bidding on. For
more details about ebay, click on the ebay link on the
navigation bar to your left.

Specialist corkscrew websites. These
guys spend hours hunting for you. Often their prices
are lower than ebay, as auction fever often sees ebay
prices inflated beyond the market norm. Ultimately
specialist corkscrew websites offer a huge choice of
corkscrews in one catalogue at fair market prices &
described correctly. Multiple discounts are possible,
well worth asking. These guys have a reputation to
maintain & will want to build a rapport with you for
repeat business. They can put you in touch with
better pieces too. See the links page for specialist
websites such as
Corkscrew Central.
I make no excuses for putting Portobello Road together with specialist dealers as a category, the two go together,
most definitely hand in hand. Portobello road is located in the Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, Notting Hill
Country, in the Heart of London. Every Saturday morning, Portobello Road comes alive into the busiest antique
market in the World. Specialist dealers in every genre of antiques imaginable display their finest pieces &
collectors from around the World flock to buy them. Yes, there are specialist corkscrew dealers & yes, if you're
serious about obtaining good pieces for your collection then a trip to Portobello is a must. First, go & meet the
corkscrew dealers that have spent years building contacts, knowledge & will have definitely have some
corkscrews for you to buy. Then, explore the arcades, shops & outdoor pitches & enjoy the bustling atmosphere
before rewarding yourself for your antique hunting efforts with a coffee or crepe. Rewarding your efforts is
important. You are a hunter gatherer, corkscrews are your prey & being refreshed is a must!

Here are some places to visit & people to meet when you get to Portobello Road.
Where to find Corkscrews...
a guide by Peter Borrett
Portobello Road at & 7:30 a.m. A ghost Town.
Portobello Road at 11:00 a.m. Hardly room to
Admiral Vernon Antiques Arcade
141-149 Portobello Road

Fletcher Wallis (above)
Flecther (affectionately known as Wally)
wrote the book "British corkscrew patents
from 1795". He specialises in corkscrews &
Scientific instruments. If you can't see what
you're looking for ask. Wally has brown
boxes that often have corkscrew in them!
Drop Wally a line & tell him you're visiting.

James Layte (left)
James, like Wally specialises in Scientific
Instruments but has a good eye for a
corkscrew. He's a regular dealer on the TV
show "Dickinson's Real Deal".
Wally & James share a stand, downstairs, to the right of the staircase.
The Silver Fox Gallery Antiques Arcade

Ilya Emerson
Ilya Emerson specialises in corkscrews, Vienna bronzes & early steel. Ilya has a wonderful
display & always has a good stock of quality corkscrews. The Emerson family have been
dealing in corkscrews in London for over 30 years. Why not drop him a line & let him know
you're visiting.

You'll find Ilya pretty quickly on the right hand side.
Auctions. Corkscrews often surface at auction houses, whether in the UK or around the World. It's well worth
finding out where your local auction houses are, check out their auction calender & visit during their viewing window
& have a good look in the multi lots. Good pieces that are well advertised will always find the buyers at good prices. If
you go through the boxes of mixed lots you could well find a nice piece tucked away & get yourself a bargain.

Christies used to hold two corkscrew auction a year at their South Kensington location in London. Unfortunately they
stopped these sales back in 2006.

Another form of auction is Internet based.
The ICCA auctions. This is a corkscrew specific Internet auction held twice
a year. It was the brain child of the ICCA, an International corkscrew club. With ebay becoming a hot bed of fakes,
poorly described pieces & increasingly expensive for sellers, the ICCA started their very own auctions, where twice a
year sellers could list corkscrews with a minimum value of $100. The auctions have been a fantastic success! The
fees are set lower, the listing are vetted so no fakes are listed & the audience is huge. It's a great place to buy & sell.
Check the ICCA auctions website to find out when their next auction is scheduled.
The Gallery

Mac Jordan
Mac has been dealing in corkscrews for many years & notes over 20 examples that he
sold to Frank Ellis that appear in the Corkscrews, British registered Design book. Mac
normally has a variety of corkscrews for sale.

Mac is located in one of the corner stalls inside The Gallery.
Boot sales & Charity shops Easy to bunch these two together. You'll be very lucky indeed to find anything
of note at either a car boot sale or a charity shop. I've heard stories of great finds in such places but it is highly
unlikely. When I first started to collect corkscrews I probably visited around 50 car boots over a year. I found one
corkscrew for £10 that was worth about £50, otherwise nothing. I still keep going in charity shops if I pass but have
found nothing at all.
Henry Gregory
82, Portobello Road
Normally has a few corkscrews in a glass cabinet
on the left hand side next to the sales counter.
I hope this guide to finding corkscrews has been helpful to you.

I'm very happy to trade corkscrews with you. Drop me a line & tell
me what you're looking for & maybe we can work a deal.

Good hunting!

Meter parking available but limited

Notting Hill Gate: Central, Circle & District
(ref C4 on map)

Ladbroke Grove: Hammersmith & City
(ref C3 on map)

Buses: 7, 12, 23, 27, 28, 31, 70, 94, 328

Click on the tube map below to plan your journey
Other Corkscrew Collectors. Other collectors quite often have duplicate corkscrews to sell & trading
corkscrews is commonplace amongst collectors. To meet up with other collectors your best bet is to join a club &
before you know it, you'll be at a meeting chatting away with like minded people & corkscrews will appear from
pockets, bags, boxes or even arranged on a table. The British club, ABCDE, meet up a couple of times a year & the
Canadian corkscrew collecting Club, which despite its name is the largest Worldwide club have an annual meeting
where a multitude of corkscrews can be found. More details can be found at the
corkscrew collecting club section.
  • Wear clothes to
    suit the weather &
    a comfortable pair
    of shoes
  • Arrive early to beat
    the crowds - you''ll
    have more chance
    of a good find
  • Ensure you visit the
    main dealers
  • I'd recommend a
    slow & steady
Here are some links to the various organisers of the larger fairs. Maybe I'll bump into you at one!

International Antique and Collectors Fairs IACF organise some of the largest antique fairs in the UK, such as:
Newark, Ardingly, Shepton Mallet, Newbury & others. Newark is known as being the largest such event in Europe &
can attract as many as 4000 stalls. Your legs will definitely be aching by the end of the day!

Arthur Swallow Organiser of the massive antique show at Lincoln, as well as others.

Kempton Park Antique Fair The popular London antique fair held every second & last Tuesday of each month.
Don't forget, in December it's just on the second Tuesday.

You've probably seen some of these large antique fairs while watching TV programmes like Bargain Hunt amongst
others. Just in case you haven't, this video by IACF will give you a taste of your day out.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to get there
  • Wear the right clothes for the weather
  • Take a torch during the Winter months
  • Plan your route around the fair - it's very
    easy to get lost at the big ones!
  • Haggle, haggle, haggle!
  • Stay hydrated
  • Have fun & keep smiling
antique fairs are being held & visit. However, finding good corkscrews at a small
antique fair is like finding a needle in haystack, but you never know & you'll less
likely to be in competition with other corkscrew collectors. In truth though, you're
better off visiting the larger fairs, such as Newark, Lincoln, Ardingly &
Peterborough. You'll definitely see some corkscrews at these bigger fairs. If you
live in & around London then Kempton Park is worth a trip. Kempton has an
antique fair twice a month, the 2nd & last Tuesday with the exception of December
when it is just held on the 2nd Tuesday.
Keep smiling & have a great day!

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