This Corkscrew is a variation of Reverend Samuel Henshall’s Patent. It appears he lodged the first patent for a Corkscrew in 1795. Professor Henshall, an Oxford academic in the field of Anglo-Saxon, died in 1807, and is buried in the chancel of the 700-year-old church.
Mathew Boulton, who worked on early steam-engine design with James Watt, manufactured the corkscrew for Professor Henshall in one of his factories. A circular cap at the base of the worm (i.e. screw) prevents it from going too deep into the cork, and also forces the cork to turn, thus breaking any seal it has formed with the bottle neck. Professor Henshall boasted that it would have the power to extract “the hardest, tightest, or most decayed Cork”, and would rapidly supersede its rivals.
This Corkscrew is a most wonderful example because its turned wooden handle is made of hard wearing Indian rosewood and has acquired the most wonderful aged Patina which is shiny but evenly distributed, and translucent, giving one a good clear site of the beautifully grained and figured wood lying just under its surface. Which is quite interesting as this corkscrew could be nearly 200 years old.
The whole thing is beautifully made. Detailed in every way. Most of the details being purely created for decorative purposes. The English made tapered wire steel Helix is well formed having its tip being re-sharpened, but only to a limited degree. There are traces of black paint all over its metal parts. The ‘hanging’ ring and brush are absent. In all a lovely collectors item which if required could easily continue to do the job it was made for.
Size. Indian Rosewood handle 10cm long and 22mm dia. at its middle. The Corkscrew is 12.5cm long from the tip of the Helix to the top of the Rosewood handle, not including the washer and hanging ring post. Allow an extra 8mm for these. The solid steel circular Shaft to the top of the circular cap is 42mm long. The cap is 3mm thick and 30mm dia. Which leaves the Helix shaft and coil to be 58mm in length.
The Helix is 4.3 x pitch turns.
Condition is very good to excellent. Its aged patination being very good overall to excellent on the Indian Rosewood handle.
Postage / Shipping. Will be Royal Mail –International Tracked and signed for, $24
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Antiques & Fine Art from Britain. 47 years experience.
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