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
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.
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
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.