Artful Accessory




A corkscrew worthy of a très cher bottle of wine.

Thank you for sending me an image of one of the most spectacular corkscrews that I have ever seen! The earliest corkscrews that we know of are from 17th-century England and were used first for opening bottles of beer and cider. The corkscrew most likely came from a tool called a "gun worm," which was used to remove bullets that did not fire from the barrel of muskets. In the late eighteenth century, the first patents were granted in England. Subsequently, many different styles of corkscrews were developed over the centuries. They are still being made and perfected upon today.

Most corkscrews are purely utilitarian, but many are embellished with ornamentation. Yours is basic in overall function, but is incredibly artistic. The handhold is attached to the steel helix (or worm) that screws into the cork. The basic function is that once the helix is embedded into the cork, using the handhold, and a bit of muscle, the cork is pulled out from the bottle.

The ivory handhold of yours is intricately carved, featuring a snake twisting around a tree trunk with sterling silver worms and sterling silver caps bearing a monogram of a previous owner. The detail of the serpent with each scale being rendered and the open work carving is amazing. In addition, this corkscrew is in an excellent state of preservation.

Your corkscrew dates to the late 19th century and I am surprised that it is not signed by the artist. With wine collecting on the rise, wine related items have also gained popularity with enthusiasts. If I was opening a bottle of Chateau Lafite Rothschild, I would want to use this opener!

I would estimate your corkscrew at $5,000.

Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Popular Articles

  1. The Power of Power
    Healthcare, Trump and the economy are all lower on NH’s wish list.
  2. 2018 It List
    If you wanted to host the ultimate cocktail party, these are the people you’d want to invite....
  3. Trail’s End Pond Hockey
    A rowdy band of adventurers sets out for a spirited game of ice hockey at zero degrees in the...
  4. The Pros and Cons of Legal Cannabis in NH
    All of our neighbors have legalized recreational cannabis to some degree. What does that mean for...
  5. The New Hood Museum of Art Revealed
    The Hood Museum at Dartmouth College in Hanover underwent a massive renovation and is ready to...
  6. Classic Yankee Recipes
    Ensuring that traditional New England dishes — pork pie, American chop suey, shepherd’s pie...
  7. Locally Made Food & Gift Ideas
    Give a gift that definitely won't be returned. Our Food Editor recommends everything from spreads...
  8. Decorate Your Home In White Christmas Style
    It’s time to deck the halls, and stylist Matthew Mead is dreaming of a White Christmas. Here...
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags