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Rack and pinion

More commonly called “rack and pinion”, these corkscrews are quite rare and very much searched after by collectors.

It is in Italy that the oldest models made of a small “T” handle operating a rack can be found. The handle is turning as a small key, like the one used on toys to set the spring, to ease the extraction of the cork.
The first specimens have a flat rack that will later be replaced with a round shaft with coaxial rings.

"Sorts of racks"
From left to right :
1. Flat rack ready to get a notched wheel on which
the extracting handle is affixed.
2. Cylindrical sunken axis receiving a flat rack in which a
liaison shaft between the handle and the screw is placed.
3. Round and whole rack with coaxial rings.

The English specimens called “King’s screw” are dating from the first half of the XX century. They usually had an open barrel with two or four pillars, that was later replaced with a closed brass barrel sometime decorated with a crest representing the lion and the unicorn with the motto “NE PLUS ULTRA” or “DIEU ET MON DROIT”.

It is to notice that these barrels are similar to the barrels of the English corkscrews model Thomason (see double screws).

An extremely rare and superb model, made of an open barrel with two pillars was patented by Thomas Lund, from London, in 1835. This model has the particularity to have metal leafs at the very bottom of the barrel. The purpose of these leafs is to grip the bottle neck to ensure stability of the whole lot when inserting the worm or removing the cork.

"Bottle gript"
From left to right :
1. Bottom of the Lund’s Patent London Rack with
steel leafs that allows the corkscrew to grip the bottle neck.
2. Bottom of the London J.D. Patent, which is more common in Belgium
(see J.D. Patent model without bottle grip)

It is to notice that a model marked “London J.D. Patent” exists. It is strangely similar to the Lund’s model (the barrel can have or not steel leafs), and is more easy to find in Belgium (see picture). I have no information concerning the date of this patent.

From the second half of the XIX century and beginning of the XX century, manufacturers were realizing less luxurious corkscrews, which were also less expensive. In order to reduce prices, they decided then to go back to open barrels with two pillars, and it is in France that this type of corkscrew was mostly manufactured, more particularly by the French manufacture “Pérille”.

In April 1876, Jacques Pérille from Paris patented a rack and pinion corkscrew which was characterized by its small size (see picture). The so called “Crémaillère” was manufactured by Pérille in 1928.

It is quite difficult to enumerate all rack and pinion models, but this is also true for all rubrics. If you are interested in more information, I can only suggest that you click on the rubric biography.


Editeur : Nigiro
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