Corkscrews

from the collection of Tom Staley, Micanopy, Florida


Some of the world's finest souvenirs came from Florida during the late 1800's and early 1900's. Florida was called the American Riviera, and people came from all over the world to see the incredible rivers, springs, and beaches. The corkscrews from this period are some of the very finest of the souvenirs that were available.

The following are some of the carved alligator corkscrews in my personal collection.

Two of my favorites are these boar tusk carved alligator (or crocodile?) corkscrews that I got in 1999 at the Canadian Corkscrew Collectors Club meeting in Saumur, France. I have had a number of carved alligator corkscrews in my collection, but these are the first examples with turned shanks and buttons. Both corkscrews, but particularly the one on the right, may be examples of European manufacture.
These are two interesting French corkscrews I picked up in France. The one on the left is an example of an ornate grapevine handle in silver plate, probably from about 1850. The one on the right is Jule Brang's 1878 French patent, in an ornate version.
This alligator was carved on a piece of orangewood. It is set onto a Williamson 1897 patent shank and bell.
This polychrome alligator is carved on a short piece of ivory and capped with sterling silver. Mounted on an 1897 Williamson shank.
A large polychrome alligator on a piece of deer antler, or "buckhorn" as it was advertised by one curio shop.
This alligator has a greenish patina and is carved into an African boar tusk, with a sterling cap on one end.
A cast metal alligator, probably from Japan. It was likely sold in Florida after the carved alligators were no longer being made. Several variations have turned up.

I'm always interested in buying carved alligator corkscrews for my collection. You can contact me

Two of my favorite corkscrew information sources:

Don Bull/What's New, and

Joe Paradi's website .

Visit our antique shop at Staley's Generally Dry Goods