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Holy grail razor

3 pages of posts and nobody mentioned the Barbasol Floating Head yet?!?!? What in the ..... who in the....I'm speechless ?!?!?
 
Mine are pictured below. On the left is a Iwasaki Tamahagane Western straight razor. It's one of the last ever made by Shigeyoshi Iwasaki. I procured it from the president of Shapton USA, who knows Mr. Iwasaki personally. On the right is my RR Teck II, which is my favorite razor (head) of all time. The former costs more than my first motorcycle, and the latter costs less than filling up it's 3 gallon gas tank ($6.99). If I had to choose only one razor to keep for a collection, I'd go with the Iwasaki, but if you told me that I had to pick on razor to shave with for the rest of my life I'd go for the RR Teck II. Both are grail razors for me.

Just blown away by your Iwasaki and the backstory. I am sure that you paid a pretty penny but it is glorious with an amazing history. Are those red scales the original ones or was the razor re-scaled? Also, do you have the razor box or any other goodies?
How about a receipt or a letter from the seller? I used to work in an art museum and provenance was always important.
 
Since someone posted a SR, let me add my own SR Grail Razor to the mix. Tanifuji Max-fli Gold.
I am still on the hunt for a reasonably priced Iwasaki Tamahagane JWest and a Tanifuji Cape
Kennedy '77 but this is the go-to SR in my den at the moment...


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Just blown away by your Iwasaki and the backstory. I am sure that you paid a pretty penny but it is glorious with an amazing history. Are those red scales the original ones or was the razor re-scaled? Also, do you have the razor box or any other goodies?
How about a receipt or a letter from the seller? I used to work in an art museum and provenance was always important.
As far as price goes, it was a gift from my brother who was actually the one who purchased it from the current president of Shapton about 20 years ago. At the time, Mr. Stanley had a business selling fine Japanese tools and cutlery. He apprenticed as a lacquerer in Japan, and was well connected in the artisan community. I spoke with Mr. Stanley on the phone a couple years ago and he remembered my brother and the razor. He acquired it from Mayayoshi Hiraide, who owned a fine tool and cutlery shop in Sanjo Japan (the city where Iwasaki is located). When I told him I had never honed it because I felt utterly unqualified to do so, he offered to bring by some gear and hone it with me (we live less than an hour from one another). Really cool guy!

Those are the original scales. I've only seen pictures of one other Iwasaki tamahagane western razor with red scales like mine. It's really unusual to see any color other than black on an Iwasaki straight razor, but they do exist. Iwasaki was known to make small batches of razors that were only given to close associates. There was one batch in particular with ivory scales which are among the most collectible in the world (only 12 were made). These were made to celebrate the retirement of Tanifuji at the age of 80. Tanifuji and his students did all finishing work on Iwasaki straight razors. I don't know what the significance of the red handle is. I'd love to find out.

It came with the original wooden box which is very simple but lovely. It was wrapped in the original VCI paper that prevents corrosion. I store the razor in the wooden box and swap out the VCI tab about once a year. It still looks like the day it was made, which was most likely in 1973.

I don't have a receipt or a letter, but I'm not to worried about papers for it. I'll never sell it!
 
As far as price goes, it was a gift from my brother who was actually the one who purchased it from the current president of Shapton about 20 years ago. At the time, Mr. Stanley had a business selling fine Japanese tools and cutlery. He apprenticed as a lacquerer in Japan, and was well connected in the artisan community. I spoke with Mr. Stanley on the phone a couple years ago and he remembered my brother and the razor. He acquired it from Mayayoshi Hiraide, who owned a fine tool and cutlery shop in Sanjo Japan (the city where Iwasaki is located). When I told him I had never honed it because I felt utterly unqualified to do so, he offered to bring by some gear and hone it with me (we live less than an hour from one another). Really cool guy!

Those are the original scales. I've only seen pictures of one other Iwasaki tamahagane western razor with red scales like mine. It's really unusual to see any color other than black on an Iwasaki straight razor, but they do exist. Iwasaki was known to make small batches of razors that were only given to close associates. There was one batch in particular with ivory scales which are among the most collectible in the world (only 12 were made). These were made to celebrate the retirement of Tanifuji at the age of 80. Tanifuji and his students did all finishing work on Iwasaki straight razors. I don't know what the significance of the red handle is. I'd love to find out.

It came with the original wooden box which is very simple but lovely. It was wrapped in the original VCI paper that prevents corrosion. I store the razor in the wooden box and swap out the VCI tab about once a year. It still looks like the day it was made, which was most likely in 1973.

I don't have a receipt or a letter, but I'm not to worried about papers for it. I'll never sell it!
Thank you again for more details on this amazing razor (Sorry to hijack the thread!). Does the wooden box have any writing on it? If so, I would love to see a picture of that. IMHO in terms of Grail SR razors, this red Iwasaki Tamahagane wins hands down...the last Iwasaki JWest!
 
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Thank you again for more details on this amazing razor (Sorry to hijack the thread!). Does the wooden box have any writing on it? If so, I would love to see a picture of that. IMHO in terms of Grail SR razors, this red Iwasaki Tamahagane wins hands down...the last Iwasaki JWest!
There's no way to know which was the last one ever made, but it's a fun thought nonetheless. It's the only one I've ever seen with a serial number above 1900, but there could very well be a batch 1902 out there. Nobody really knows. Here are some pics of the little wooden box that it came in. Somebody on a forum somewhere told me that it says Iwasaki and Shigeyoshi, which seems plausible enough.




 

JWCowboy

Probably not Al Bundy
Contributor
I don’t have a Holy Grail Razor. It would be tough to pick just one of my razors. But I could live with any one of them.
View attachment 1253599
OK now I've only been in this game for a little over a year, so be kind if I screw this up but I'm going to take a shot at naming these..moving from left to right it looks like we've got a Timeless SB (Titanium I think), A Wolfman WR2, A Rex (Ambassador maybe? I'm not that familiar with Rex) A Karve SB in stainless, a BlackBird, and then 2 Charcoal Goods in Stainless? The next to last I'm not sure about but the last one on the far right is definitely a CG, yes?
 
OK now I've only been in this game for a little over a year, so be kind if I screw this up but I'm going to take a shot at naming these..moving from left to right it looks like we've got a Timeless SB (Titanium I think), A Wolfman WR2, A Rex (Ambassador maybe? I'm not that familiar with Rex) A Karve SB in stainless, a BlackBird, and then 2 Charcoal Goods in Stainless? The next to last I'm not sure about but the last one on the far right is definitely a CG, yes?
Great Job! You got 6 out of 7. The next to last razor is a Carbon CX-316L.
 
Taiga. After buying a LOT of vintage razors as well as many modern, it has defeated them all. I like the vintage as history pieces, but they don’t shave as well as the taiga.


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Yeah baby! Welcome to the club. Is yours V1 or V2? I do love the OC and SB options with V1. I was a little disappointed that they didn’t carry that over into V2 but oh well.


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