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Two highlights from the corkscrew collection consigned to Henry Aldridge: an 1842 patent by Edwin Cotterill (estimate £2000-2500) and a late 17th century French folding corkscrew with gold inlay (estimate £3000-5000).

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Andrew Aldridge said: “We have researched other collections and sales but we can’t find anything on the same wavelength as this. Some items have not been seen in public since the 1970s and the entire collection is valued in six figures.”

The Wiltshire auction house will offer the collection across four to six sales so as not to “flood the market”, he added – the first 50 lots sold at its Collectors’ Items and Antiques auction on July 21.

The lots range from the more common Victorian types to rarer patent models and early examples. The collection also includes travelling set s and gent leman’s necessaires. The collector bought a number of pieces for his collection at Christie’s South Kensington’s biannual corkscrew auctions that were popular events for helixophiles in the 1990s.