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GEM JUNIOR

My Sister found this little razor at a drift store here in Sweden. I'm a DE shaver but will try this one for sure!

Is this a mismatch? Someone told ne The handle is a GEM cutlery.

IMG_20191009_152525.jpg
 
Last edited:

Ron R

Contributor
Nice shape for a 1907 Gem Junior bar lather catcher, Hopefully you enjoy it. I have 2 Gem Junior bars and they give a great smooth shave and not aggressive IMO. Make sure the blade stops are in good shape! New blades can be bought in UK GEM by Personna Stainless Coated Single Edge Razor Blades - https://connaughtshaving.com/gemss.html the old blades I would not use because you have hone and strop them.
The "bar" Gem claims is for skin stretching and was the prelude to caps for their safety razors.
If you have never used a Gem I will leave some manuals and information on technique.
Gem instruction manual (2).jpgGem procedure (2).jpg
Have some great shaves!
 
Nice shape for a 1907 Gem Junior bar lather catcher, Hopefully you enjoy it. I have 2 Gem Junior bars and they give a great smooth shave and not aggressive IMO. Make sure the blade stops are in good shape! New blades can be bought in UK GEM by Personna Stainless Coated Single Edge Razor Blades - https://connaughtshaving.com/gemss.html the old blades I would not use because you have hone and strop them.
The "bar" Gem claims is for skin stretching and was the prelude to caps for their safety razors.
If you have never used a Gem I will leave some manuals and information on technique.
View attachment 1024595View attachment 1024596
Have some great shaves!
Thanks for posting this!
 
Nice shape for a 1907 Gem Junior bar lather catcher, Hopefully you enjoy it. I have 2 Gem Junior bars and they give a great smooth shave and not aggressive IMO. Make sure the blade stops are in good shape! New blades can be bought in UK GEM by Personna Stainless Coated Single Edge Razor Blades - https://connaughtshaving.com/gemss.html the old blades I would not use because you have hone and strop them.
The "bar" Gem claims is for skin stretching and was the prelude to caps for their safety razors.
If you have never used a Gem I will leave some manuals and information on technique.
View attachment 1024595View attachment 1024596
Have some great shaves!
Is My razor a mismatch? So I have been told.
 
Is My razor a mismatch? So I have been told.
Did someone mention why they thought it was a mismatch? I went back and looked at Waits' Compendium -- and while he has a whole section on GEMs -- it is difficult to specifically date the razors and identify configurations....especially the Gem Junior Bars. My rough understanding has always been that the Gem Junior Bars with a lot of decorative script/scroll work came earlier (1907) and the non-script/minimal text (your model) came towards the end of production (1910). Some folks may think that the wooden handles came with the earlier models. So you put those two things together and someone might infer that the head doesn't go with the handle.

Here's where I'm at based on what I've seen. GEM did a lot of different sets, and was fairly pragmatic about putting them together. So I can see this totally being a set, although mine (with that head) came with a much longer metal handle; but it also came to me without a case. I maintain that your set is NOT mismatched. While I don't have that particular razor, handle and case; I'm sure you would find others that do.

By the way, this is what I mean about different scrollwork:
This is one of mine with lots of decorative script and a wooden handle.


Here's the one I have like yours -- yours is in MUCH better condition and I seriously question whether my handle is "original", although others have told me they think it's likely original to the razor.


I hope this is helpful. The one challenge for those of us "purist" collectors, is there is no Mr-Razor like site that I've seen for the GEMs. There are some excellent tables/spreadsheets that have really helped narrow somethings down:
American Safety Razor Dating Chart; but I haven't seen a pictorial site on that maps out the various GEM Junior Bars -- probably because GEM produced and packaged so many. Hope this helps.
 
Did someone mention why they thought it was a mismatch? I went back and looked at Waits' Compendium -- and while he has a whole section on GEMs -- it is difficult to specifically date the razors and identify configurations....especially the Gem Junior Bars. My rough understanding has always been that the Gem Junior Bars with a lot of decorative script/scroll work came earlier (1907) and the non-script/minimal text (your model) came towards the end of production (1910). Some folks may think that the wooden handles came with the earlier models. So you put those two things together and someone might infer that the head doesn't go with the handle.

Here's where I'm at based on what I've seen. GEM did a lot of different sets, and was fairly pragmatic about putting them together. So I can see this totally being a set, although mine (with that head) came with a much longer metal handle; but it also came to me without a case. I maintain that your set is NOT mismatched. While I don't have that particular razor, handle and case; I'm sure you would find others that do.

By the way, this is what I mean about different scrollwork:
This is one of mine with lots of decorative script and a wooden handle.


Here's the one I have like yours -- yours is in MUCH better condition and I seriously question whether my handle is "original", although others have told me they think it's likely original to the razor.


I hope this is helpful. The one challenge for those of us "purist" collectors, is there is no Mr-Razor like site that I've seen for the GEMs. There are some excellent tables/spreadsheets that have really helped narrow somethings down:
American Safety Razor Dating Chart; but I haven't seen a pictorial site on that maps out the various GEM Junior Bars -- probably because GEM produced and packaged so many. Hope this helps.
Excellent answer!
 
Did someone mention why they thought it was a mismatch? I went back and looked at Waits' Compendium -- and while he has a whole section on GEMs -- it is difficult to specifically date the razors and identify configurations....especially the Gem Junior Bars. My rough understanding has always been that the Gem Junior Bars with a lot of decorative script/scroll work came earlier (1907) and the non-script/minimal text (your model) came towards the end of production (1910). Some folks may think that the wooden handles came with the earlier models. So you put those two things together and someone might infer that the head doesn't go with the handle.

Here's where I'm at based on what I've seen. GEM did a lot of different sets, and was fairly pragmatic about putting them together. So I can see this totally being a set, although mine (with that head) came with a much longer metal handle; but it also came to me without a case. I maintain that your set is NOT mismatched. While I don't have that particular razor, handle and case; I'm sure you would find others that do.

By the way, this is what I mean about different scrollwork:
This is one of mine with lots of decorative script and a wooden handle.


Here's the one I have like yours -- yours is in MUCH better condition and I seriously question whether my handle is "original", although others have told me they think it's likely original to the razor.


I hope this is helpful. The one challenge for those of us "purist" collectors, is there is no Mr-Razor like site that I've seen for the GEMs. There are some excellent tables/spreadsheets that have really helped narrow somethings down:
American Safety Razor Dating Chart; but I haven't seen a pictorial site on that maps out the various GEM Junior Bars -- probably because GEM produced and packaged so many. Hope this helps.
Thank you! My first lather catcher and I know zero about them.
 
Beauty! I have a set just like that. I acquired it -- likely at higher cost than your sister paid -- from a private collection. Beyond that I know nothing of its provenance, aside from the apparent fact that the collector who owned it for 30 years took pretty good care of it.

Mine has six of the seven blade slots filled. All six are vintage steel Gem blades, but they are not all the same vintage. Since I'll never use them, it's not a huge problem. I have a Damaskeene with one wrapped blade, which would fit with the general time frame but I want to keep that blade with the razor it was intended to fit. It's a marked Damaskeene blade.

I'd say you owe your sister a nice dinner in a moderately fancy restaurant for that!

O.H.
 
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