At the end of the 17th century, vintners discovered that wine matured better if it was taken from the cask and stored in a glass bottle sealed with a cork. Ever since a great deal of ingenuity has gone into devising the best way of removing the cork.
The earliest surviving corkscrews date from the beginning of the 18th century. They have a very short worm with a circular or ovoid handle. In many of them the worm can be folded back into the handle. By the end of the 18th century, the familiar T-shaped corkscrew had become the standard.
In 1795, Reverend Samuel Henshell added a metal button between the worm and shaft. This gripped the cork and turned it in the neck of the bottle, making it easier to remove. Henshell’s “Button Screw” began a flood of new inventions with over 400 designs being registered or patented in the 19th century.
Most 19th century corkscrews were fitted with a small brush and many also had a small ring at the top from which the corkscrew was hung for storage.
“Ladies’ corkscrews” for opening perfume bottles were popular during the Victorian and Edwardian periods. These usually had a silver worm and were part of a matching set of implements for the dressing case.
After the amazing ingenuity of the 19th century, the basic T-shaped corkscrew returned to popularity during the early 20th century with the main innovation being in decoration. Animal shapes with the worm being the animal’s tail were the most popular. In the 1920’s stylised art deco animal shapes were popular with chrome plating becoming fashionable in the 1930s.
Corkscrews available now
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2 Vintage Corkscrew Horn Handle Bottle Opener
on May 21, 2019 at 10:41 am
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VINTAGE JAPAN Teak Stainless Mid Century BAR UTENSIL SET Corkscrew Tongs Swizle
on May 20, 2019 at 7:16 am
AU $10.50End Date: Wednesday Jun-19-2019 17:16:49 ESTBuy It Now for only: AU $10.50Buy It Now | Add to watch list […]
Vintage Cork Screws 2
on May 20, 2019 at 7:10 am
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VINTAGE JAPANESE STAINLESS STEEL & TEAK 4PCE BAR UTENSIL SET Corkscrew Tongs etc
on May 19, 2019 at 11:10 am
AU $10.00 (0 Bids)End Date: Wednesday May-29-2019 21:10:23 ESTBid now | Add to watch list […]
Antique Rogar Champion Table Top Cast Iron Cork Screw Wine Bottle Opener #209
on May 19, 2019 at 9:49 am
AU $27.00 (6 Bids)End Date: Sunday May-26-2019 19:49:14 ESTBid now | Add to watch list […]