An Extremely Rare Victorian Mechanical Corkscrew

Maker: 
William Summers
Dated: 
1888
Dimensions: 
6 in, (15 cm)
Weight: 
0

The arched frame supported by a plain moulded ring at the bottom whilst the top holds the steel worm and screw thread, the latter fixed to a mushroom-shaped wing nut at the top and with an adjustable triple-handled wing nut below.

Price: 
4850 GBP

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Mechanical silver corkscrews from the 19th century are amongst the rarest forms of corkscrew to be found. Philos Blake of New Haven, Connecticut patented a design in 1860 which combined the use of 2 wing nuts, one fixed the other adjustable. This was not only used by the well known French maker Jacques Perille but an English version known as the “Victor” also became very popular. All these were loosely based on the earlier Farrow and Jackson type which had a single wing nut. The main point to bear in mind, however, is that whilst these forms are relatively common in metal, they are extremely rare in silver, furthermore we can date this example precisely to 1888.

The maker William Summers was formerly in a famous partnership with Charles Rawlings. Rawlings and Summers were famous for small silver, particularly finely engraved snuff boxes. The two men joined forces in about 1829 until Rawlings died in 1863. Summers carried on until his death in 1890 leaving an estate for the not inconsiderable sum of £18,820.