THE Robert Jones and Son second model corkscrew is perhaps the most desirable of all of the many Victorian patent corkscrews.

This Robert Jones and Son second model corkscrew took £11,000 at Moore Allen & Innocent in Cirencester.

Registered in 1842, two years after the Cheapside, Birmingham maker 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.

Only a dozen or so are known - including the example sold for a record £16,000 (plus 15 per cent buyer's premium) at Christie's South Kensington in 1998 - so there was understandable excitement in the collecting community when this find from a local house clearance appeared for sale at Moore Allen & Innocent auctioneers in Cirencester on December 10.

Drawn by the £300-500 estimate and the good condition of a new discovery that retained its original and distinctive rosewood handle, it was competed first in the room to £8000 and then by two of the seven telephone bidders to £11,000 (plus 15 per cent buyer's premium).

Keeping up with the Joneses is an expensive habit, but the inventor's first corkscrew model of 1840, with a narrower barrel and a single spike, can usually be bought for something closer to £1000.

By Roland Arkell