Antique Store Finds

Discussion in 'General Straight Razor Talk' started by jabomano, Sep 10, 2010.

  1. Went to the local antique shop today and found these. The blades look darker than they really are because of the lighting outside this evening. Three probably need re-scaled but the metal looks really nice. Here's the sweetness of this deal...the J.Elliot (#1 photo) cost me $11, the J. Rodgers and Chatillon (#2 and #3 photo) cost me $15 each and the beat up J.R. Torrey (#4 photo) cost me $1 (and it will for sure refurbish up to a new looking razor, with new scales of course.

    Can anybody tell me anything about the Chatillon (made in Germany.)

    And I'm thinking the two white scales are Ivory...what do you all think?

    Thanks for looking.

    Last edited: Sep 10, 2010
  2. Nice! The last one is actually my favorite! I'd love to find one like that, congratulations!
  3. Wow nice find!
  4. Real nice finds I have never been able to find anything but rolls razors in antique shops, so well done
  5. I would kill something...probably an elephant...for ivory!! I love that razor on the bottom left. If those are actual ivory scales, I'd love it!!
  6. The first one looks like bone (see how porous it is? That's bone). The second MAY be ivory, but I dunno... Not experienced enough

  7. I could be wrong but I believe both white scales are bone... Ivory if it was very old at all and that would have to be if it was made anytime before the ban on Ivory products (I believe that was in the 1930s) would be very yellowed almost a custard color. it would also have a slight texture to it almost like a wood grain.

    If you have a UV light you can check these... if it Ivory then it will be very bright and flourescent
  8. The international ban on Ivory was in the 1980s. I know what real ivory feels like; my piano-teacher had this antique German piano, complete with ivory keys...the feel of real ivory...oh my. It's not something you can reproduce in factories. I'd love to own just ONE practical item made of ivory. A straight-razor sounds like a good start.

  9. I was referring to the US ban on Ivory which I sure was started long before the international ban. However I could be wrong on the date that it was started here in the USA.

    The point was that Ivory that is more than a few years old yellows and as you said it has a feel like nothing you have ever felt before or will feel again.

    Also if this was real Ivory, it would require some form of documentation showing that it was manufactured prior to the US ban which was long before the international ban. if there is no documentation the seller and the buyer could face stiff fines and or jail time for it.
  10. My apologies, I wasn't aware that there was an American ban as well. You're quite right, ivory does yellow slightly as time goes by (that's why ivory piano-keys turn yellow) and it does have that wonderful, soft, grainy, smooth feel to it. *Droolz*

    Unfortunately, real ivory costs a damn fortune, and antique ivory is even more expensive. And like you say, you require all the legal paperwork to go with it.

    By the way, is it true that if you expose ivory to sunlight, it eventually gets bleached back to its original creamy whiteness?

  11. I would think that is why it turned yellow to begin with.... sunlight :tongue_sm

  12. Maybe in theory. In practice, no. I've bought tons of Ivory razors locally and on eBay. I've NEVER seen any preban documentation. However, both those razors look bone to me. (Though I'm not 100% sure.) I like the patterning on the one in the 3rd pic down by the pin at the toe end. How about a closeup?
    Ivory scales aren't too hard to find. I've gotten LOTS of ones with major splits or minor chips that don't affect the razor for well under $50 on eBay. I've picked up a few fancy ones for $50-200. There are three main things that make Ivory fetch the big bucks on a razor.

    1. Carving
    2. Pinning
    3. Scrimshaw
    and Inlay work (to a lesser extent).

    In my collection right now I have...

    Geo Erbo
    Gold Dollar (Rescale obviously)
    Comfort (minor chip)
    Unknown 2" razor
    Fred Dolle
    Henri Martin (simple carve)
    Secret razor (Until it's ready for a SOTD unveiling)
    Geo (scrimshaw)

    I've also got a couple more I'm currently restoring.

    And I don't specifically seek it out, these are just the razors I've gotten through my razor collecting.

    A big mistake people use is the whole "Pores = bone" thing. Ivory has pores too. I believe more pores mean it's from closer to the bark, but that's just a guess. Bone tends to be cut thicker, but not always. The feel is the main difference. Ivory feels waxy to me, like it was just polished, all the time. Bone feels a bit lighter and more hollow, also.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2010

  13. you can see how often I have the good fortune to find something like Ivory scales .... NEVER .. and with my luck if I did find it I would also find an outrageous price to go with it :mad3:

    Anyway thank you Slice for the very useful info. I have always read and been told that there must be documentation to go with the Ivory. But as you have pointed out this is seldom the case.
  14. I thought the sunlight would bleach the ivory white again, or at least that's what someone told me. Maybe they were wrong. Oh to have an ivory razor. Or a polished bone one that looks similar. I wonder what those things go for...
  15. I know that the Joseph Rodgers straight is bone but still am not sure of the Chatillon. The texture is much waxier than the bone and not near as many pores.
    Has anybody heard of the Chatillon straights?

  16. No sunlight won't make yellowed ivory white again.

    From what I understand of the ivory ban, there is still a lot of ivory being traded from legal sources, like that which comes from animals that die natural deaths. But as far as items that were crafted from ivory and are in the country, you can buy and sell them all you want without paperwork. You just can't go around selling raw ivory without proof that it came from a legal source (ie. not poached).

    I tried to sell a high-end pool cue on eBay that has ivory inlays. For all I know that ivory came from Walrus tusks, but that didn't stop eBay from deleting my auction and still charging me the listing fees. Either way, the builder of the cue certainly didn't buy poached ivory. Cue builders either buy legal ivory and pass along the expense or they use any of several ivory substitutes. They're not going to risk going to jail for an extra c-note here and there.

    Funny thing is, I can pull up 5 cues on eBay at any given time all of which have ivory inlays.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2010

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