This is a story a wrote a while back, but the idea of collecting of antique corkscrews are still one of my passions. To date I have one, and it was purchased a few years ago at an antique shop on Magazine Street in New Orleans.
The above corkscrews are for sale at Lucullus Antiques in New Orleans.
There is something magical for me about corkscrews from New Orleans in the 1800's; I always wonder whose hands and how many hands have graced the corkscrew. The idea of the civility involved around meals taken with wine is very comforting to me. I wonder who opened the wine, was it a servant of the man of the manor or creole cottage?
Being a person born and raised in New Orleans I love to study the history of customs in New Orleans. Being an African American, this history has pain and pleasure. This idea of pleasure and pain is conveyed in a movie that I just recently watched entitled, The Feast of All Saints by famed New Orleans writer Anne Rice. This was a very thought provoking movie about the secret societies of New Orleans as it relates to race.
The people of New Orleans are a people of grace, civility, frolic, food and wine. We love to have a great time. It does not matter if you have a fortune or a few cents; we just love a good time and we love to entertain.
So, the gift of an antique corkscrew for an oenophile would be a lesson in history and a special gift that can be used if it is in good condition and the worm is still good.
Antique corkscrews can be an affordable hobby. You can expect to pay about $45.00 an upwards to the hundreds or even thousands to purchase corkscrews from a reputable antiques dealer. The prices vary due to the styling and condition of the corkscrews. I think that antique dealers are the best source to get the factual time period or circa of your corkscrew and its place of origin. Some corkscrews have the estate that the corkscrew came from written on its tag.
Well, I hope that this makes you want to start an antique corkscrew collection.