Corkscrews found at an Antiques Fair.

Posted: 07/18/2012

Corkscrews found at UK Antique Fairs this year have been few and far between to date for me. The year started well, however the weather has been the wosrt I can remember in my 48 years!! This summer has been a complete wash out, more and more rain seems to keep falling.

The weather effects collectors negatively. Sellers who set up their stalls on outside pitches keep their collectables covered over when the rain falls, thus buyers can't see what's on offer for them to buy. Both sellers and buyers tend to stay at home in the bad weather so often there are few sellers and little to find. Stallholders at the summer fairs seem downbeat, business is reported to be slow at best.

All this sounds very negative but you can get lucky as I did yesterday. The sun made an appearence at the Ardingly Antiques Fair in the South of England.

A visit to this fair is a big deal for me, I need to get out of bed at 4am!! I then travel by car around 160 miles to arrive at the fair, obviously at considerable cost. Early entry costs  £20 and usually I find very little, if anything at all.

This visit was a little different as I did make two good finds both were at the tail end of the day, when I had almost given up hope.

The fair was busy with plenty of sellers and buyers milling around. The window of opportunity always seems small at these places, you get into the fair at about 7am when none of the sellers have unpacked their gear, walk around for about 40 minutes when you find little or nothing. Then for the following 30 minutes you feel your chance has come, usually you again find little or nothing, suddenly you feel your chance has gone, if there was anything to be found someone else has found it!! It's all over!! Wow I am negative!!

The usual suspects were mostly present, fortunately it was my turn to strike it lucky. In a large cowshed type building, lying on a table among a few lesser corkscrews I saw a Thomason Patent, on closer inspection I spotted it was of the very earliest type with early bone handle secured with the original square top plate or washer fitted flush with the top of the handle. The handle had nice tightly turned ring decoration too. The price was reasonable so I snapped it up!!






After a further 20 minutes of searching my second find appeared, a stunning Henshall Patent, a beauty, marked clearly on the button, with full length worm and a perfect Rosewood handle. Unfortunately for me this piece never came cheap, the seller knew what he had. These days good corkscrews in good condition don't come cheap, if you want them you just have to pay the money!!






If you wait for bargains you can amass a great collection but it will take a very long time, you may find some rare pieces but your collection will be a small one.

As far as I am concerned this Ardingly Antiques Fair was a good one but I am sure not all the corkscrew collectors present thought so.

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