Corkscrew Private Collection, the largest corkscrews collection in the world, was inaugurated in 2015 in Bucharest and homologated in the same year by the Guinness Book of Records.
Now the exhibition comprises over 25,000 individual pieces, without duplicates, gathered during over more than a decade of passion, dedication and team work assembled by someone hypnotized by the diversity and ingenuity of the corkscrews. Thus, people have been documented and found that diversity of the corkscrews is much bigger than they could have imagined.
Each corkscrew in this collection represents a separate category and each is different from others. From the hall entrance to the exit can be noticed the evolution of this accessory from its starts in the seventeenth century and can be admired both ancient and modern exemplary.
Shapes, materials and stories are fascinating for anyone interested to discover and admire them. The oldest corkscrew in this collection, considering the age of the material, is made of debris recovered from the old bridge of London which was demolished in 1831.
Next to these other exceptional specimens are the first patented corkscrews, along with original, rare or even unique designs.
THE CORKSCREWS HISTORY
It is almost impossible the understanding of the corkscrews emergence and evolution in history. What we do know is that ancient wine was in great honor, being consumed and so treasured by the Greeks and Romans. Wine was kept in special clay pots in amphorae, which were sealed in different ways.
In the Middle Ages the wine was produced for an immediate consumption thus there wasn’t any need for the bottle to be sealed very tightly. The cork was used and had a tapered shape, its superior part couldn’t enter the bottle neck, being removed just with the fingers.
THE XVII-XVIII CENTURIES
It is only between the XVII – XVIII centuries that the wine maturation was discovered and making place among the habits of those who produced it. It took a change in shape of the bottle, as well as a new method of sealing it to ensure appropriate ageing and a safe transport - it might had happened that on the way the wine to be watered, thus what reached the destination it wasn’t always what was bought.
If until then one could unseal a bottle using only the fingers, from that moment on the bottle shape changed and had a longer neck, uniform, the cork becoming cylindrical. The cork could enter completely the bottle neck so it required a special tool to open the wine bottles. In the same period, the cork was also used to seal beer and cider bottles (until the invention of the crown cap), perfumes, essences or even drugs.
In the XVII and XVIII century, the access to wine was somewhat reserved to the rich while the poor were consuming cider or beer. Therefore much of the corkscrews from that time were made in silver, with a seal, very nicely decorated, gilded and with precious stones inlays, representing true works of art.
THE CORKSCREWS EVOLUTION
It is assumed that the corkscrew has evolved from a tool used to remove the fragments remaining in the weapons pipes. The accessory had two coils that enveloped the blocked pieces and then removed them.
Another hypothesis for the invention of the corkscrew is centered on the tools that had a small loop at the end and a handle of the simplest form, "T", Gimlet. This was used in multiple purposes, including the unsealing the wine bottles of the time when the corks were not fully inserted into the bottle. The tool screwing by side in the cork was allowing the user to press on the bottle neck and pull the cork easier.
The first patent issued for a corkscrew dates from 1795. In UK, the priest Samuel Henshall has created the first patented tool for unsealing the bottles of wine, in collaboration with the So-Ho factories. After that, there was an explosion of patents and inventions and very fast, just seven years after the first certification, Edward Thomason invented the mechanism considered by many collectors to be the most effective and most interesting. This has two screws of different orientations so that once the coil is inserted into the cork and the first screw reaches the end of the race, the continued rotation of the handle in a clockwise manner causes the second screw to climb and with it the cork comes out.
The simplest corkscrews are the ones that remove the cork by pulling it, without any kind of mechanism which facilitates the extraction or assists the user.
But this is only an appearance because some are very beautifully crafted and decorated. Another category of pieces that works after the same direct pulling principle is represented by figurative corkscrews, under the form of animals, objects and people.
Some are created by artists and their design makes the corkscrew to be more than a figure.
CONTACT FOR VISITING THE COLLECTION:
+40 741 011 531
The reservations must be made with at least 24 h before the visits, and we encourage the visits of groups of 5-20 persons.
All the visits are possible with the owner’s agreement!
Photo: Alina Iancu