Antique Corkscrews


2015-06-26 11:15:54


Antique corkscrews are original tools used to pull a cork out of a bottle.

Brief history and description

The origins of the corkscrew can be traced back to as far back as the 1660s (although it was originally known as a "steel worm"), but became mass-produced during the 1800s, and can be made from a variety of different materials, such as wood, gold, silver, bronze, enamel, ivory, metal or even animal bone.

Corkscrews which were crafted in 18th century Britain often featured helix designs of worms, and were generally copper-toned over steel. By the 18th century in England and Ireland handles were often designed with depictions of animals.

Guide for collectors

Collectors prefer antique corkscrews with animal horn handles, as well as items which were designed by Sir Edward Thomason in the early 1800s. Miniature 20th century corkscrews which were made for women, or more specifically, tools which were designed to remove corks from perfume bottles, are the most sought after among collectors and sell for very high prices at auctions.

Restoration should only be done by a professional.

For more information visit the Corkscrew Centre for Antique Corkscrews' official website or Corkscrews Online's official website. The Virtual Corkscrew Museum also has more than 13,000 photos of collectible corkscrews.


Uniques & Antiques, Inc. in Aston, Pennsylvania sold an antique English sterling corkscrew (4.5" x 1.5") for $475 in September of 2010.

Dirk Soulis Auctions in Lone Jack, Missouri sold an antique ivory tusk handled corkscrew (8" x 6.5") with a sterling cap for $190 in December of 2009.

Philip Weiss Auctions in Oceanside, New York sold an antique pair of horn-handled corkscrews with a metal base (8" in length) for $130 in January of 2009.

Tom Harris Auctions in Marshalltown, Iowa sold an ivory tooth corkscrew (4" x 3.5") for $30 in December of 2004.

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