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Travertine Marble Brush and Razor Set

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This is not the usual “brush review”. The three-piece travertine marble brush and razor set pictured above is not for sale and I don’t know where one can be bought. There is no manufacturer’s name on any of the three pieces which suggests to me it is probably an artisan’s work. Knowing that many of you in the Badger and Blade community are avid collectors with great knowledge of and interest in anything to do with wet shaving, especially razors and brushes, I am writing this review simply to share these pictures and some information about what I think is a magnificent curiosity.

I purchased this set in 1988 from Niemen Marcus on sale at half price for $125 (“on sale” is the only way I will purchase anything from “Needless Markup”). I knew nothing about wet shaving, and had never spent so much money on any personal luxury item, let alone one I didn't even know how to use! But the set was so handsome that I had to have it . . . many of you know that feeling!

Until last year, this was my one and only brush and razor. I probably shaved with it more than 6,000 times. With its overstuffed, super badger knot, the brush always lathered beautifully with both soaps and creams. It stands almost 5” (126 mm) high including the knot and handle. The holder is a little shy of 1” wide so I would estimate the knot size as 23 mm. The handle is made of real travertine marble, not that lightweight, fake composite material, and is solid not hollow. Although I have not put it on a scale, my guess is that it weighs twice as much as a composite, metal or wood brush of comparable size.

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During the 20+ years I have owned the brush, Shavemac has re-knotted it twice. About a year ago, I began to think it needed to be re-knotted again because it was not lathering up to its usual high standard. Shortly thereafter the knot fell off. At about the same time, I had become dissatisfied with the twin razor that is part of the set and started to explore DE shaving. After much “soul-searching”, I retired this set and purchased several other brushes and DE razors.

As you can see from the pictures, the brush is in very bad condition now, dried out and misshapen from being stored disrespectfully in a drawer. I am now considering having it re-knotted after all for sentimental reasons.

I have always been curious as to who made this set. Nieman Marcus was not helpful when I contacted them about ten years ago. If any of you have some ideas, let me know.

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Very nice. Is that a twist-off fastener for the knot?
View attachment 83203 View attachment 83204

This is not the usual “brush review”. The three-piece travertine marble brush and razor set pictured above is not for sale and I don’t know where one can be bought. There is no manufacturer’s name on any of the three pieces which suggests to me it is probably an artisan’s work. Knowing that many of you in the Badger and Blade community are avid collectors with great knowledge of and interest in anything to do with wet shaving, especially razors and brushes, I am writing this review simply to share these pictures and some information about what I think is a magnificent curiosity.

I purchased this set in 1988 from Niemen Marcus on sale at half price for $125 (“on sale” is the only way I will purchase anything from “Needless Markup”). I knew nothing about wet shaving, and had never spent so much money on any personal luxury item, let alone one I didn't even know how to use! But the set was so handsome that I had to have it . . . many of you know that feeling!

Until last year, this was my one and only brush and razor. I probably shaved with it more than 6,000 times. With its overstuffed, super badger knot, the brush always lathered beautifully with both soaps and creams. It stands almost 5” (126 mm) high including the knot and handle. The holder is a little shy of 1” wide so I would estimate the knot size as 23 mm. The handle is made of real travertine marble, not that lightweight, fake composite material, and is solid not hollow. Although I have not put it on a scale, my guess is that it weighs twice as much as a composite, metal or wood brush of comparable size.

View attachment 83205 View attachment 83206

During the 20+ years I have owned the brush, Shavemac has re-knotted it twice. About a year ago, I began to think it needed to be re-knotted again because it was not lathering up to its usual high standard. Shortly thereafter the knot fell off. At about the same time, I had become dissatisfied with the twin razor that is part of the set and started to explore DE shaving. After much “soul-searching”, I retired this set and purchased several other brushes and DE razors.

As you can see from the pictures, the brush is in very bad condition now, dried out and misshapen from being stored disrespectfully in a drawer. I am now considering having it re-knotted after all for sentimental reasons.

I have always been curious as to who made this set. Nieman Marcus was not helpful when I contacted them about ten years ago. If any of you have some ideas, let me know.

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