Confessions of a placomusophile

Huon Hooke has been collecting these colourful little souvenirs for many years. (Photo: Huon Hooke)

Forgive me, father, for I have sinned. I confess: I am a placomusophile.

Trivia item for the day: a collector of the little metal plaques that sit on top of Champagne corks is called a placomusophile, and the act of collecting them is placomusophilie. Thank you, Karen MacNeil of the WineSpeed website.

Some can be very colourful, some quite beautifully designed. Some even have a little story printed on their underside.

I’ve been collecting these colourful little souvenirs for many years and have jars of them, but I’ve yet to find a use for them.

On most cheap Aussie bubblies the plaque is plain silver, but Champagne being Champagne, they go the extra yard and decorate them. Most carry at least the name of the producer. Some can be very colourful, some quite beautifully designed. Some even have a little story printed on their underside.

The plaque – or cage plate – is more than decoration. It sits on the top of the cork and keeps the four legs of the wire cage (called a muselet) in position.

If anyone can think of a use, let me know. The best I can dream up is a champerphone. Remember the lagerphone? Bush bands used to rattle these as a kind of percussion instrument. They were made by loosely nailing beer bottle tops to a long stick. Banging the stick on the floor was a kind of Ocker tambourine. I’m sure Barry McKenzie had one.

4 thoughts on “Confessions of a placomusophile”

  1. ken gargett says:

    huon, a friend i met at veuve came to australia and stayed with me for a while many years ago. when she left, she gave me a pair of cufflinks – still have them (i’d wear them to the reunion if you could have made it). she took the caps from a couple of bottles of la grande dame – sadly, i did not get near the contents – and put a hard wax in them with the little clip thingee that goes through the holes in the cuffs. and whacko, a fantastic pair of cufflinks and a use for those caps. although one does need to be wary of wearing them at any function held by a rival house.

  2. Chuck Hayward says:

    I must also confess that I suffer from the same ailment but went cold turkey and tossed them all out a few years ago. My plan was to have them clasped onto a belt to wear at fizz tastings. Alas, another great idea never brought to fruition.

    If you walk the streets of Epernay, there are a few stores that have felt lined wood frames that you can store your capsules that are quite suitable for display.

  3. Paul Boothby says:

    Cricket boxes for leprechauns?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *