Thursday, March 1, 2012


And other shaving stuff.
 In the early 1960’s I inherited a straight razor. Nothing special, but it was a fine instrument. When I saw another at a flea market I bought it. Soon I had several and found myself looking for them. My interest widened to any shaving memoribilia including blades, safety razors of all types, barbers bottles, advertising posters, sharpeners etc.
I soon learned not to tell friends what I was collecting because people laughed when I told them. It was not until I found a book on shaving artifacts that I realized there were other people in the world that had the same affliction. During the following years my collection took over one room in our house and included a big old barber’s chair.
When I was on business travel in various parts of the world and had some spare time I haunted antique stores in search of more treasures. My good friend Mike started buying razors for me, but soon found that he enjoyed the pursuit so much that he started his own extensive collection.
After retirement, I decided it was time to let others enjoy my collection and started selling piece by piece on Ebay. My first sale was a Marvel Safety Razor set that originally sold for .15 cents, and for which I paid under a dollar. I was more than a little shocked when it was bought by a collector for a big price.
I could ramble on all day and fill many pages on the delights of the search, the thrill of acquisition, the joy of ownership, and the pride in displaying, but I will not.
I have had thousands of pieces in my collection, and if you are thinking of the plain black handled straight razor that your grandfathers used – think again when you look at these few pictures. They are a tiny representation of the many finely crafted and elegantly styled straight razors that were prized by men of earlier generations, and many of which are still being used today by men who want the ritual and the wonderful shave only available by using one of these instruments.
As a footnote I would add that the variety and complexity of safety razors is equally interesting. If interested, google Roy Ritchie and Ron Stewart’s book “straight razor collecting”. One section contains pictures of some of my razors!
                                             Beautiful example of early 1900s ivory handled
This one, believe it or not, is late 1700's or very early 1800's with silver inlays and real tortoise shell handle
                                                 Another early 1900s with a snake handle
              Quite rare, this shotgun handled razor from the early 1900s is highly sought by collectors
                          A gorgeous ivory handled set with silver pins inlaid is from approximately 1840.
This is an example of a later razor, likely 1920s or 30s with art deco handle and beautifully shaped blade