Featured C. Von Eigen Ivory-Scaled Straight Razor (Ca. 1910)

Discussion in 'Antique Discussion' started by Shangas, Jun 16, 2019.

  1. Shangas

    Shangas Underage Antiques Collector and Historian

    Not bad for $10.00, huh? It's a wedge blade, with a barber's notch on the end.

    ivoryrazor01.jpg ivoryrazor02.jpg ivoryrazor03.jpg ivoryrazor05.jpg ivoryrazor06.jpg ivoryrazor04.jpg

    Last photo, with my other two ivory razors:

  2. silverthwait

    silverthwait Well-Known Member

    OK, I'll bite: what does the barber need to notch? (She said, nervously)
  3. judy

    judy Well-Known Member

    I'm so glad you asked........I want to know also!!:cat:
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  4. silverthwait

    silverthwait Well-Known Member

    Shangas has gone to ask the barber...
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  5. Shangas

    Shangas Underage Antiques Collector and Historian

    The barber says that the notch is there to help him open the razor before shaving customers, although I've heard all other kinds of reasons for its existence.
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  6. Jivvy

    Jivvy the research is my favorite

    The notch has been a discussion in the Jivvy household. Years ago. Just asked Mr. Jivvy where he came down on the subject and he said he came to the conclusion that while there are multiple theories, there is no conclusive evidence as to the real "why" of the notch.
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  7. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    At the risk of sounding like we're holding a seder: How does a 'wedge blade' differ from all other kinds of blade? Is it meant to do the same job of shaving, except smoother, faster, some improvement over regular blades? Or was it used for some particular aspect of barbering, shaping mutton chop whiskers, let's say. They all seem to open with the same thumb-operated lever. Can't imagine it required 2 hands.

    This just in. Asked a man who thought purpose of notch was obvious: it's to allow the blade to get at areas like the upper lip where you have to get around the bottom edge of the nose & the philtrum.
    Jivvy likes this.
  8. Jivvy

    Jivvy the research is my favorite

    WARNING: Straight Razor Can Of Worms HAS BEEN OPENED.


    This, I believe, is the "wedge blade" vs "hollow ground blade" debate.

    No offense intended to the OP (as Mr. Jivvy is also a straight razor guy and the fact that these words mean anything to me means I have had discussions on the topic), but the level of aficionado right way/wrong way in the Straight Razor World is staggering.

    Staggering. :wideyed:
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  9. Hollyblue

    Hollyblue Well-Known Member

    You started this, pages of opinion's …… https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=wedge+blade"+vs+"hollow+ground+blade+razor
  10. Jivvy

    Jivvy the research is my favorite

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  11. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    Oh no, no, no. Bronwen only asked some innocent questions & relayed one man's opinion.

    On another contentious topic, this does not look like ivory to me. That flame pattern is just not consistent with any ivory I have seen. Would expect more yellowing, maybe some staining, if held in the hand every day & used around shaving soap & water. Celluloid would have been a better choice.
    Jivvy likes this.
  12. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    OK, the 1897 Sears Roebuck catalogue lists an assortment of razors, most with black rubber handles, one with an ivory handle (made by Farragut) & several with Celluloid. The 2 fanciest ones are Celluloid. There's a little B&W illustration for each. A few are shown that have the notch, most do not. In the only place where this is described in words they are designated as 'hollow point' & 'square point'. They can be medium or finely hollow ground, but no other kind of grinding is mentioned. Only a handful are not specified as one or the other.

    Doesn't do anything to settle the question of why the hollow point. Another piece of knowledge once so common it went without saying, now mystifying a bunch of very smart knowledgeable people. The ivory handled razor was $1.75, as were two of the Celluloid handled razors. The other Celluloid handled razor was the most expensive offered, at $2.
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  13. Shangas

    Shangas Underage Antiques Collector and Historian

    Celluloid scales, in my experience, are MUCH thicker. And this has features and inconsistencies on it that you don't find on celluloid.
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  14. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    I admit it does not look like what I am used to seeing in Celluloid when it is being used to mimic ivory. Not because the scales (are you using this word for the shapes I described as flame?) are not thick enough, because I'm not used to seeing 'grain' that shape at all. This is what I generally see:


    The one above was a rarity among search results for Celluloid handled razors. Most had either a raised, impressed design, or one that was painted on. You have the advantage in being able to see it in a way we cannot & to handle it, feel its weight & any surface texture, so if you're confident it is ivory, I'm good. Just thought appearance raised some question & matter should be explored.

    Now, what's the difference between wedge & hollow? I failed to achieve enlightenment from the Sears catalogue. :)
  15. Jivvy

    Jivvy the research is my favorite


    BTW, I suspect you are conflating two issues.

    ISSUE 1: "hollow point" (aka barber's notch, round point) vs "square point" is a reference to the shape of the end of the blade.

    ISSUE 2: "hollow ground" vs "wedge" is the grind of the blade. A diagram stolen from wikipedia (there are zillions of variations, go ahead and ask about them, Troublemaker):

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  16. Phaik Hooi

    Phaik Hooi Well-Known Member

  17. Jivvy

    Jivvy the research is my favorite

    Facial hair, not required. Mr. Jivvy shaves his head with a straight razor.

    Be sure to let us know how it goes. :woot:
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  18. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    No, I'm not:

    This is what I wanted to know.

    Do you have a cat?
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  19. Shangas

    Shangas Underage Antiques Collector and Historian

    HAHA!! Cat! Oh god...
    Bronwen likes this.
  20. Jivvy

    Jivvy the research is my favorite

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