Food & Drink

This Corkscrew Costs More Than $20,000

On September 14, Christie’s will host its fourth annual Out of the Ordinary sale, featuring a raft of unusual (and pricey) goods. Among them this year will be a corkscrew prototype created by artist Rob Higgs in 2006.

The device is made from three hundred pieces of scrap metal, including pieces from drills, wrenches, cannon balls and clocks—all dipped in bronze. After inserting both a bottle of wine and a wine glass, the operator turns the handle and the contraption not only uncorks the bottle, but pours a full glass of wine. The process takes a little more than two minutes from start to finish—roughly four times longer than it takes to use a waiter’s friend.

Of course Higgs didn’t create this unwieldy gadget for its efficiency. He sees it more as a piece of social commentary. He told The Drinks Business that the “completely excessive” work is a “statement on the over industrialized society we live in with all the bells and whistles.”

Since its creation, Higgs has sold multiple replicas of the device and it has appeared on television shows like Stephen Fry’s Gadget Man.

Altogether, the finished product weighs about half a ton and is expected to sell for between 15,000 and 25,000 GBP (about $19,500 to $32,500 USD).