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Box opening: MIRABILIA - the epitome of Italian vintage razoring

Northstonehill

Contributor
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Super happy about reeling in this Italian 1930s Mirabilia solid comb razor. The Mirabilia is one of the most sought after Italian vintages by the European razor cognoscenti and they only rarely pop up for sale.

This 3-piece art deco beauty arrived yesterday from Northern Italy as part of a pack sale with 4 other razors. It is nickel plated brass, measures just under 11 cm from head to toe and weighs in at respectable 73 grams.

Wonderful art deco style, great balance and seemingly almost no blade gap when all tightened up. After a solid clean-up and Flitz treatment the condition is very good, super great shine and only a couple of brassed spots to the topcap and baseplate.

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The MIRABILIA history
A very knowledgable Italian member of B&B (@andy71) kindly provided me with the following wonderful information and photos on the background of the Mirabilia razor.

The Mirabilias were produced by a company named I.T.A.L.I.A. (better known as LAMA ITALIA) based in the Piemonte region and founded in 1926. The acronym I.T.A.L.I.A. stood for Industria Torinese Articoli Laminati In Acciaio (Industry in Turin for Steel Laminate Articles (goods)). The company was probably the most well-known Italian blades manufacturer of the period.

Even if ITALIA was just an acronym they always used a strong patriotic spirit in their advertising. It is probably easy to understand why as this was the 1920-30s where fascism was prevalent and the regime stressed autarchy and strong nationalism.

As far as is known today the Mirabilia solid bar model was made in nickel plated brass and it also came in an open comb version with a different handle. On top the company even made a bakelite model called the B3.

The most plausible date for the beginning of the production of the closed comb razor was 1933 and the razor came in a cardboard shipper which is extremely rare to find today. Only a few examples are known to exist of the case, one of which is part of a museum collection in Milan.

Andy also supplied me with these wonderful photos to show the fascinating shaving brand.

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The shave?
Inaugural shave up tomorrow here at the Nortstonehill headquarters: I have planned a truly international shave as this Italian beauty will be joined by my lovely new Simpsons Duke 3 synthetic bristle, menthol-spiked MWF and a fresh Israeli Personna blade :001_wub:
 
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Super happy about reeling in this Italian 1930s Mirabilia solid comb razor. The Mirabilia is one of the most sought after Italian vintages by the European razor cognoscenti and they only rarely pop up for sale.

This 3-piece art deco beauty arrived yesterday from Northern Italy as part of a pack sale with 4 other razors. It is nickel plated brass, measures just under 11 cm from head to toe and weighs in at respectable 73 grams.

Wonderful art deco style, great balance and seemingly almost no blade gap when all tightened up. After a solid clean-up and Flitz treatment the condition is very good, super great shine and only a couple of brassed spots to the topcap and baseplate.

View attachment 1094479 View attachment 1094480

The MIRABILIA history
A very knowledgable Italian member of B&B (@andy71) kindly provided me with the following wonderful information and photos on the background of the Mirabilia razor.

The Mirabilias were produced by a company named I.T.A.L.I.A. (better known as LAMA ITALIA) based in the Piemonte region and founded in 1926. The acronym I.T.A.L.I.A. stood for Industria Torinese Articoli Laminati In Acciaio (Industry in Turin for Steel Laminate Articles (goods)). The company was probably the most well-known Italian blades manufacturer of the period.

Even if ITALIA was just an acronym they always used a strong patriotic spirit in their advertising. It is probably easy to understand why as this was the 1920-30s where fascism was prevalent and the regime stressed autarchy and strong nationalism.

As far as is known today the Mirabilia solid bar model was made in nickel plated brass and it also came in an open comb version with a different handle. On top the company even made a bakelite model called the B3.

The most plausible date for the beginning of the production of the closed comb razor was 1933 and the razor came in a cardboard shipper which is extremely rare to find today. Only a few examples are known to exist of the case, one of which is part of a museum collection in Milan.

Andy also supplied me with these wonderful photos to show the fascinating shaving brand.

View attachment 1094495

The shave?
Inaugural shave up tomorrow here at the Nortstonehill headquarters: I have planned a truly international shave as this Italian beauty will be joined by my lovely new Simpsons Duke 3 synthetic bristle, menthol-spiked MWF and a fresh Israeli Personna blade :001_wub:
Thank you for the post. Enjoy your shaves.
 
👍 peter!!!
I really intersted to know the result of your international shave! let us know!!!
ciao,
andy
 

Northstonehill

Contributor
Thanks fellas,

Well, another day dawned on an inaugural shave :001_wub: I suspect you are like me, nothing like shaving with a new-to-you vintage razor.

The shave - quite similar to the Darwin Deluxe!
When loading and using the razor it once again struck me how much the design resembles the Darwin Deluxe. It is toploaded as are most Darwins (and also the Eclipse Red Ring by the way), to me not as nice to load as a ‘regular’ Gillette 3-piece or TTO. And the blade sits nice and firm on the posts. Further, the curvature of the baseplate is very close to the Deluxe resulting in a very curved blade once tightened up. And overall the two just appear family related with their wonderful art deco curvy design.

But what stands out the most is actually the similarity in the shave. I noticed when first shaving with my Deluxe that the handle is very heavy towards the bottom end. And the Mirabilia is the same. This means that the overall balance of the razor is slightly different from ‘normal’ razors which you have to adjust for. No problem whatsoever and it means that upon the end of each stroke it very easily lifts off the face, creating a very nice safe feeling.

The 3 passes overall revealed an uncomplicated and very pleasant mild shaver (and maybe even slightly smoother than the Deluxe?), which will definitely go into my regular rotation.

This morning’s great experience inspired me to put up the Deluxe for tomorrow morning to compare the shaves ‘in real time’. Good fun, I posted a few comparison pics below for your viewing pleasure.

Happy shaves, fellas!

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