Hoffritz history?

Discussion in 'Shaving Brushes' started by letterk, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. letterk

    letterk Moderator Emeritus

    I picked up a vintage Hoffritz L10 shaving brush recently and have been extremely pleased with it. I've done a little goolging on Hoffritz but haven't found anything remotely interesting. I've read on the boards that they were probably made by Simpson, but that's all I've found. So what's the story with these brushes?
  2. Is it the same Hoffritz of Cutlery fame and an occassional Merkur Like Slant Razor? I noticed the brush..it is very handsome. If folks can get past the issue of sanitizing old brushes and razors, there really is some neat items out there.
  3. Dinder1

    Dinder1 Moderator Emeritus

    I would suspect that Simpson made these brushes as well.
    The Simpson brush below in best badger is listed as a C1
  4. letterk

    letterk Moderator Emeritus

    DJ, it certainly looks like the C1 handle, except for the color. The C1 is listed as 19mm, where mine measures 18mm. However, brush manufacturers are known to stretch the truth now and then. I'll have to measure the handle when I get home tonight. The hair looks a bit different, as the C1 in best shows three distinct bands, where mine is close to two bands. (On a side note, I'm coming to the conclusion from talking with brush manufacturers and other badger experts that there is no such thing as two-banded hair. It's just longer hair that is tied where the dark band ends.) The shape is also a little more bulbous than fan as shown in the Simpson brush.

    I'm sure Hoffritz rebranded other manufacturers as well, as I've seen some Hoffritz brushes on ebay that are certainly NOT Simpson made.
  5. Dinder1

    Dinder1 Moderator Emeritus

    Usually brushes that appear to be two banded are actually three banded towards the center of the knot. The bulb shape means that the outer hairs have been set lower in the bundle, therefore giving it the look of a two banded hair.
    The only brushes I have that are two banded all the way through are Rooney's in Finest, but even those I believe started as three banded hair.
  6. letterk

    letterk Moderator Emeritus

    Agreed about the shape affecting the appearance. Even so, the hair is in the Hoffritz appears (whiter tips and longer dark band) different than the C1. Not having a C1, I can't comment further than that.

    That's what I was trying to get at regarding the two-bands really being three-bands prior to being tied. You just said it more directly. :biggrin:
  7. Hoffritz, FWIW, still has a website, but I'm not sure it's really them.

    Hoffritz became International Cutlery, and they still sell shaving stuff, mostly Muhle Pinsel and Trumpers
  8. Oel


  9. Hoffritz ran what were probably the most well merchandised small stores in all of Manhattan. One look in the display window and you knew you were in for something special.

    The window dressers filled those tiny showcases with far more merchandise you thought was possible . . . yet did so in an artful and refined way. On any given day in any given store window, you could see hundreds of steak knives laid out pinwheel style . . . a graduated display of scissors, from the tiniest cuticle cutters to massive fabric shears . . . every Swiss Army Knife in current production . . . "slant" razors, handsome in their nickel cases lined with blue velvet. The window was just an orderly cascade of cutlery. If it cut, sliced or diced, Hoffritz had it.

    Inside, the stores had a European feel. No self service here. Just polite, informed clerks who knew their merchandise. The stores were tiny. The same merchandising aesthetic that governed the front display windows governed the showcases on the selling floor. LOTS of merchandise, neatly cataloged and easy to shop.

    In years past, Hoffritz had a store in Grand Central Terminal. While waiting for a train, that was one of my all-time favorite places to browse. I do miss those stores.
  10. I bought my first "good" shaving brush from Hoffritz in the early 1960s. The salesman told me that it was a Simpson Chubby 1, and I agree with him. I still have it, and it's NOT worn out! Because Gillette 3-piece razors became hard to find, I bought a Merkur Progress at the same time, followed by a slant. Hoffritz was a luxury store back then, but has gone out of business, and the name was sold....
  11. This link is a direct link to a translated page by Messer Hoffritz from the post above.
  12. ackvil

    ackvil Moderator Contributor

    I was told at one time that my Hoffrtiz brush was made by Rooney. $Hoffritz.jpg

    I have owned it for a very long time (1990s) and it still works great.
  13. WOW that brings back memories! Weren't most of the products--the sissors. smaller knives, etc.--laid out on a green velvet covered board?

    Even as a young kid I could linger at a Hoffritz display window...

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