A rare corkscrew has been sold at auction in the Cotswolds for a head-spinning £11,000.
Collectors went round the twist when the Robert Jones and Son Patent corkscrew – in brass with a rosewood handle, bearing a Victorian kite mark, and one of only 10 ever made – went under the hammer at Moore Allen & Innocent auctioneers in Cirencester on Friday (December10).
Two bidders in the room sent the sale price spiraling past its £300 to £500 estimate to £8,000, and collectors on the telephone lines pushed the finally tally to £11,000 when the hammer fell.
The antique generated considerable interest from helixophiles – the official name for corkscrew collectors – after it was listed for sale in the company’s online auction catalogue.
Although it was the most surprising hammer price achieved at the final Selected Antiques Sale of 2010, it was not the highest price achieved.
That honour went to a Regency wooden daybed in the Eygpto-Classical manner, which romped past its £8,000 to £12,000 to achieve a £23,000 hammer price.
Other big guns at the sale included a 1919 model of a First World War tank, measuring 32cm long and cast in 83.5 ounces of silver, which made £6,000 against a £2,000 to £3,000 estimate, an exhibition quality Victorian walnut cheval mirror, which was once featured on the Antiques Roadshow, which sold for £2,700, and a jug and two beakers by Doulton Lambeth, decorated with pictures of lions by the renowned artist Hannah Barlow, which sold for £1,800.
Meanwhile, an early 20th century rhinoceros horn knob kerry – an African fighting club – made £6,200 while similar knob kerries with wooden handles achieved around £100 to £150.
And proving the maxim that there’s cash in the attic, a collection of toys from the 1930s to 1960s made good prices, notably a boxed example of the ever-popular circa 1965 Corgi 261 Special Agent 007 James Bond Aston Martin DB5, which sold for £150 against a £50 to £80 estimate, and a boxed Corgi Avengers gift set (circa 1966) containing John Steed and his vintage Bentley, and Emma Peel’s Lotus Elan S2, which made £145 against an estimate of £80 to £120.
For more about buying and selling at auction log on to www.mooreallen.co.uk