Wednesday - 23 July 2014

At £10,600, another turn of the screw

27 April 2012Written by Roland Arkell

THE first corkscrew model designed by Robert Jones and Son of Cheapside, Birmingham in 1840, distinctive for a narrow barrel and a single spike, can usually be bought for around £1000.

However his short-lived second model corkscrew is perhaps the most desirable of all of the many Victorian patent corkscrews.

Registered in 1842, two years after Robert Jones issued his first corkscrew patent, it is distinguished by the two spikes partially concealed within a bronze barrel, designed to spear the cork, while the helix pulls it from the bottle. The last example reported in ATG sold for £11,000 (plus 15 per cent buyer's premium) at Moore Allen & Innocent of Cirencester in December 2010.

In 1998, when fewer examples were known, another sold for a record £16,000 (plus 15 per cent buyer's premium) at Christie's South Kensington.

Pleasing patina

Another Robert Jones and Son second model corkscrew emerged at Greenslade Taylor Hunt's (17.5% buyer's premium) Priory Saleroom in Taunton on April 5.

A good example, that retained its original rosewood handle and brush and a pleasing patina to the barrel, it was consigned during one of the firm's recent Friday valuation mornings by a Somerset vendor 'downsizing' prior to a house move.

It was secured by a West Country collector against stiff foreign telephone bidding and healthy commission book bids at £10,600.

This fortnightly sale included two other lots of particular merit.

An Indo-Portuguese mother-of-pearl bowl of the type commonly associated with the Gujarat regional of western India in 17th century sold at £4000 while a Chinese export 'tobacco leaf' pattern teapot and cover, c.1775 brought £2800.

Both pieces looked good speculative buys.

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