In vino veritas: the infinite forms of the corkscrew
in collaboration with the Food Museums
The protagonist of the second collateral exhibition is the small tool that has accompanied our lives for centuries: the corkscrew.
An everyday object first designed by Leonardo Da Vinci, who in the Codex Atlanticus, left us a series of sketches (1482 -1499). After all, the origins of the corkscrew go right back to the 15th century: according to a first hypothesis it would derive from the spiral tool used by soldiers to remove lead balls stuck in the barrels of muzzle-loading rifles. According to another hypothesis, the forerunner of the corkscrew would have been the barrel awl.
Instead, the first patent in history dates back to the late 18th century. Since then it was a succession of innovations and patents: at the beginning of the 19th century the so-called “butterfly” corkscrew was born; in 1828, in France, the “tap” corkscrew then, ten years later, the “double screw” corkscrew. For the first Italian patent we have to wait until 1864. Later came the “rack” or “pinion” corkscrews and the “crank” corkscrews, which resembled mini coffee grinders; the corkscrew we know best, “with side levers,” dates from the late 19th century.
Multipurpose, pocket, lever, simple mechanism, corkscrews took on a thousand shapes and connotations so that in the 1700s they not only uncorked bottles, but were used-in their jeweled version- by aristocratic women to open perfume bottles, sealed with corks.