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George Butler "Shakespeare" No. 3 Straight Razor

1870's full hollow, Dutch point of high carbon steel

Item Description

William Butler commenced manufacturing straight razors in the early 1760's at Trinity Street, Sheffield. By 1810 his sons James and George were running the business when it was the largest employer in the trade between 1810 and 1814. George Butler and James Butler died in 1833 and 1843 respectively. The firm was taken over by the twins William Henry Andrew and Albert George Andrew. The Butler firm acquired the "ART" trademark in 1861.

The Butler firm incorporated in the 1890's. However, after the WWII it had difficulty in adapting to the mass-market and was eventually liquidated in 1952.

The George Butler "Shakespeare" No. 3 has the following particulars:

  1. As these straight razors are individually hand made, there will be some variations in measurements between razors.
Year of manufacture = 1870 (approx.)
Blade material = high cardon steel (Sheffield)
Steel hardness = about 58 RHC
Edge length = 71mm
Blade width = 17.5mm (11/16)
Blade thickness = TBA at top of bevel
Grind = full hollow

Point = Dutch (round)
Stabiliser = Single
Mass = 46g
Smile = <1.0mm
Jimps = top of shank (course) and bottom of shank (fine)
Tang length (opened 270°) = 24mm
Balance = 14mm from pivot pin towards blade when opened 180°
Spine thickness = TBA
Bevel angle = TBA
Scales = Natural ivory (others may be different)
Scales width at pivot pin = TBA
Spacer = Wedge of lead
Pins = brass (2)


Scale thickness (max.) = TBA
Overall length = 166mm closed and 253mm open 180°.
Overall height = TBA closed
Face markings are as shown. There are no back markings.

The quote is from Shakespeare's "Love's Labour's Lost", Act 5, Scene 2.

Shank markings on face side:


Shank markings on back side:

No. 3​

Latest reviews

A very good vintage
Pros: Easy to hone
True ivory scales
Well balanced
Cons: Not enough of them on the market
Care needed to be taken with the ivory scales
Narrow scales gap to accept the blade's edge
The missing (TBA) bits from the overview:

Blade thickness = 0.17mm at top of bevel
Spine thickness = 5.12mm
Bevel angle = 16.2°
Scale width at pivot pin = 12.7mm
Scale thickness = 7.4mm near pivot pin
Overall closed height = 24mm

This SR was in remarkable condition for its 150yo age. I was fortunate that the blade has seen very little use/wear.

As received, the bevel was properly set so I just did a few light laps on a 12k stone followed by a full diamond pasted balsa strop progression before shaving. That first shave was good but not up to my desired standard.

After each of the next few shaves, I put this SR through another full diamond pasted balsa strop progression. By the fourth shave, I was happy.

The ivory scales are thin like most ivory scales. The blade centres well when closing but care needs to be taken that you are not putting any bend in the scales or the edge will catch on 5he top inside edge of the scales.

I am now very happy with this SR. I would shave with it more often but then my other SR's would get jealous.
3.00 star(s)
Lasting Edge
4.00 star(s)
5.00 star(s)
Easy to Sharpen
4.00 star(s)
Easy to Maintain
5.00 star(s)
Shaving Smoothness
5.00 star(s)

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