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My Oldest and Largest Simpsons Shaving Brush (Ogee)

This mammoth display brush was recently put up for auction and as soon as I saw the London Made marking knew I would do whatever it took to make it mine. I knew immediately what a special piece this was and was just hoping that a fellow collector didn't notice the less than ideal lot title and description. My previous London Made Simpsons was not quite in as good of shape.

The listing mentioned that there could be a brand name stamped on the back and from the auction photos it was clear that it wasn't the standard Simpsons name normally found under the decal on the old brushes. Even after receiving the brush it took quite some work to figure out what it was I was seeing.

OMG it's an Ogee!

I had never seen an Ogee brush before and had only seen mention of it in this older Simpsons catalog. In all my excitement last night I managed to get the brush cleaned up a bit, but forgot to take any measurements so those are to come later along with some bloom and post-cleaning pictures. But for now I'll just leave this one last photo of the glorious Best Badger knot on this fantastic Ogee 312.

I gave the gentle giant an initial cleaning, both knot and handle. Judging by the few short length hairs that it lost I would be very surprised if that wasn't the first time it actually got wet. The near Century long dust collection left the water pretty brown from the knot and there is still some more scrubbing on the handle that needs to be done. I thought I would post a few updated pics showing the natural bloom and a better density shot. A little family photo at the finish just for dynamic range.



Moderator Emeritus
Absolutely fantastic. How many other long-forgotten Simpson models are out there in the wild waiting to be found?
Quite a score. First I've known of a London made Simpson. I only knew of the Somerset brushes before the Isle of Man era began. Great shot next to the Polo for comparison. Really get a sense of the size.
I decided that today was the day for the Ogee 312's maiden voyage. A big brush like this is not one I would even consider purchasing if not for the historical value.

The large 29 x 62mm knot barely fit inside of my "scuttle"

I gave the brush a good shake out and proceeded to load from the remnants of my Art of Shaving Tallow soap. About a minute's worth of loading will hopefully be enough

The brush has considerably more backbone than I expected, due largely to the very dense knot (the high loft doesn't make the knot appear dense, but there is a lot of hair packed in there. There is a nice scrubby sensation while building the lather with just a hint of scritch

Three passes later with a fine BBS thanks to the Wade & Butcher there isn't much lather to spare. Rinsing out this brush was a bit of a chore, it's a good thing my faucet is elevated, but it still barely fit.

This Ogee won't be in rotation often, but with nearly 100 brushes none are. In hand the brush is almost too large to face lather with, seeming to have to extend my arm out farther than I would consider to be a comfortable position. It also is quite hefty and combined with the odd ergonomics it took some labor to build that initial lather. However the nostalgic satisfaction received from using such an old and unique brush far outweigh the nearly polar opposite attributes that this brush has compared to my preferences. Regardless of how this brush performs it will indeed serve well as a flagship in my collection.