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.
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.
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)
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
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.