August 27, 2007

Wade & Butcher day

Rooney small style 1 brush
Trumper's Rose shaving soap
Hand American strop
Wade & Butcher 8/8 razor "The Celebrated Hollow Ground Razor for Barber's Use"
Pinaud Clubman aftershave


Continuing yesterday's Rule Brittania theme is the justly famous W&B "Celebrated".  Wade & Butcher was by far the most prolific of the Sheffield razor manufacturers, and were exported throughout the British empire and the U.S.A.  Their razors marked "Celebrated" are fairly collectible today, as they were W&B's finest razors made at the peak of that company's existence.  There were at least four different W&B "Celebrated" razors that I am aware of:  The "Celebrated Hollow Ground Razor for Barber's Use" (pictured), the "Celebrated Hollow Ground Razor for Gentleman's Use" which is similar-loooking but much more hollow ground, the "Celebrated Razor for Barber's Use" which was a wedge-style razor, and the "Celebrated India Steel Razor".  These razors were made in a variety of sizes; I've seen them as small as 5/8ths of an inch and as large as 10/8ths of an inch.  This particular example is 1" even, and was probably the most common size in the "Barber's Use" model lines.  It shows the grinding ribs of a double hollow ground razor, but these are very shallow - in profile it's nearly a wedge, and this makes the razor very heavy.  This style of large, heavy wedgy razor is commonly nicknamed "meatchopper" or simply "chopper", due to its similarity to a meat cleaver.

The original razor would have had wooden or vulcanized rubber scales, but this razor has been fitted with some very attractive Giraffe Bone scales by Robert Williams.  Although the giraffe bone scales are heavy, they actually help improve the balance of the razor when shaving, making it feel lighter and more maneuverable than the original trim.


This razor would have probably been made in the 1860's - earlier razors were the wedge type grind, and later razors were much more hollow ground.  In the detail photo to the right you can just see the Victoria Cross on the blade underneath the word "use".

The brown rectangle below the soap bowl in the top photo is a barber's hone.  This one is a Dubl Duck combination hone; the brown side is the fine-grit side, and the other side is a light-gray coarse-grit side.  This razor needed a bit of a touch-up before shaving so I gave it about 20 laps on the brown side before shaving, and that seemed to do the trick.

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