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How to date a vintage Straight Razor

How to date a vintage Straight Razor

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As many things have evolved over the decades, so have the tools man has shaved with. Specifically, the designs of Straight Razors have changed quite drastically, and have become much more efficient than in “the beginning” …


In and before the 1800’s, the blade and handle started out as wedge, without a “tang” and often without the monkey tail. The scales (then referred to as the “handle”), were made of wood, horn, bone, ivory and tortoise…over the next 30 years, the straight razor advancements included, blades started to be “hollow ground”, a start of a “shoulder” appeared, the handles became slightly curved, flutting (AKA jimping) was first seen. But perhaps the coolest change, was the introduction of the “Monarch”. The Monarch was an identifying mark, kind of link putting your name on a paper. This Monarch included a few letters and symbols that identified exactly who’s razor it was. An example would be G (picture of a crown) R = This Monarch indicated this was King George lll’s razor.

1830-1880
Up to this point, Straight Razors were mainly made from “Cast Steel”. But that was now being replaced by Silver Steel (known as “the new steel”). Tang’s started to elongate. Barber notches, photo etchings, artwork on the spine, and Company Branding started showing the pride of these units.

1870-1900
As the straight razor continued to evolve, they were now mainly “hollow ground” , displacing the earlier “wedge” styles. Processes of “photo etching” on the blade face and scales became popular, manufactures now creating “works of art”, quite beautiful – appeasing this new found love of the straight razor.

1900-
Straight razors became so popular, that many Knife Manufactures added them to their product lines. Seemingly becoming a status symbol of fine art, many US manufactures lost out to the Europeans due to the beauty of design. Buyers felt the fancier, the better. As a side note: this is also about the time replaceable razors came onto the scene…

 

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Comments

Edward Garcia - April 2, 2021

I am looking for some info on a straight razor that came from my Grandfather. It came in a dark Navy color razor case (leather/cardboard)? On the case is punched what I believe reads “Leesha Bros” then underneath that “New-York”. Also “No. 756”. On the upper section (removable to get to the razor) is “English Steel” and “Germany”. The blade is a Rounded, Full
Hollow blade with the letters : “Y i L i N” stamped onto the tang, with a fancy rectangular border around the letters. The monkey tail seems long and the handle (rounded end) is of a light brown wood. There are no other markings on the razor or it’s case. If you can help with some information on this or where else I can look, I would be very grateful. Thank you.

Randy Chambers - April 2, 2021

Dear Sir where is the Best place to sale antique German Razors Thank You Randy chambers

Gordon Cleine - April 2, 2021

Hello, I have been gifted my grandfather’s straight razor and cannot find any information about it on the net. The markings on it are. A. Schuttlhoffer & (something)
Wald-Solingen
Germany
1448
With New Zealand
Highest Class etched on the blade
The handle looks like bone or ivory with 2 hobbie horses crossed on it. Curved and rounded ends. The blade is hollow ground to the back edge. Any info would be appreciated, thank you for your time.

Adam Thompson - April 2, 2021

I was interested in getting info on 3 wade &Butcher Sheffield blades. And possibly proper scale material. I need to post some pictures.

Crystal Sharp Burnette - April 2, 2021

I have an ivory handle straight razor made by union razor cutlery company union city Georgia. It has Zartina on the front of the handle. How do I find out how old it is? Or if it is worth anything.

John - April 2, 2021

My barber gave me a straight razor, said it was made in1942.
Has a 12 on it, and also the letters AGI. Also a word that I think is warranti.
Does it have any value? Thanks

Robert - April 3, 2021

I Was Given an Old Straight razor Made By W.T Stanipukt Made In Sheffield England Still Has Original box.. On The Handle It Has ( The Original Gentleman’s Razor Can’t Find Any Info About Maker The Blade Says Mark Granted A-D1894 Any Info Be Helpful…

shave edge - April 3, 2021

Hope You Like it! Shave Edge

Barbara Jean Alvidrez - January 8, 2020

My straight razor has a leather handle

Ray Scharfenberger - January 8, 2020

I found a old Razer it’s got a name can’t make out. Shipmates shupaco is this right?

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