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Non-gold plated Gillette Aristocrat 1934?

Hello,

I bought a Gillette open comb TTO razor that seems to be a 1934 made in USA Aristocrat. All examples I found so far in the net are gold-plated. My is definitely not gold, not sure if nickel or rhodium.

Did Gillette also produce this kind of '34 Aristocrats plated in other metals than gold? Or do I have a replated piece of shaving history?

Maybe some of you having much more knowledge on Gillette razors can help me. Would really appreciate.

Thanks,

Sami

IMG_20211001_212326(1).jpgIMG_20211001_212456(1).jpg
 
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How can I see that it is replated? Are there any typical replating signs?

Thanks

Sami
Hello Sami,

Mikkel from Denmark here 😉

To me it looks like the head of the razor is a bit higher which would indicate that it's a US 36'-model compared to the 34'-model.
Everything is of course possible, but Gillette never used nickel or rhodium on that model in the US. A good general rule is that US-Gillette used gold for more exclusive razors while the British-Gillette used rhodium a lot of times. Especially for their 'Aristocrat'-series.

My best guess would be that it's a US 36'-model which has been been replated in nickel at some point. Most likely because a lot of the previously gold plating was gone.
Don't you have any information in terms of the previous owner? I mean that is quite a special find if it was bought on a random flee market 🙂

I'm 99% sure you will be able to tell if you take the razor apart. IF it has been replated chances are that the razor wasn't disassembled since that require a bit of work and the "new" plating won't have covered a part of the threading inside.

To take the razor apart you need to look in the bottom and look for a kind of screw. Most likely what can be called a security screw like shown on the picture:

IMG_0651.JPG

When/if you can get the screw out which can be quite difficult you also have to crimp the small tabs I have marked with a arrow on both sides on the T-bar. Otherwise it can't come through the baseplate when trying to disassembling the razor. Furthermore you need to be aware that the threading can be going both ways, so when trying to loosening the screw it can be necessary to try both clockwise and counterclockwise.

I hope my explanation makes sense and if you decide to take the razor apart you can always post some more pictures. That way it will be a bit easier to help you out in terms of how your razor is constructed 🙂
 
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Hello Sami,

Mikkel from Denmark here 😉

To me it looks like the head of the razor is a bit higher which would indicate that it's a US 36'-model compared to the 34'-model.
Everything is of course possible, but Gillette never used nickel or rhodium on that model in the US. A good general rule is that US-Gillette used gold for more exclusive razors while the British-Gillette used rhodium a lot of times. Especially for their 'Aristocrat'-series.

My best guess would be that it's a US 36'-model which has been been replated in nickel at some point. Most likely because a lot of the previously gold plating was gone.
Don't you have any information in terms of the previous owner? I mean that is quite a special find if it was bought on a random flee market 🙂

I'm 99% sure you will be able to tell if you take the razor apart. IF it has been replated chances are that the razor wasn't disassembled since that require a bit of work and the "new" plating won't have covered a part of the threading inside.

To take the razor apart you need to look in the bottom and look for a kind of screw. Most likely what can be called a security screw like shown on the picture:

View attachment 1338313

When/if you can get the screw out which can be quite difficult you also have to crimp the small tabs I have marked with a arrow on both sides on the T-bar. Otherwise it can't come through the baseplate when trying to disassembling the razor. Furthermore you need to be aware that the threading can be going both ways, so when trying to loosening the screw it can be necessary to try both clockwise and counterclockwise.

I hope my explanation makes sense and if you decide to take the razor apart you can always post some more pictures. That way it will be a bit easier to help you out in terms of how your razor is constructed 🙂

Dear Mikkel,

I bought the razor at the US bay. The seller told me that he is selling the razors (he had several) for someone else, but he was able to identify the razor correctly as an Aristocrat. In the description part of another razor the seller wrote that the razors are from an estate buy. I was happy to find this razor and did not ask him about its history. Later I started to do some research on the razor and was not able to find another example with such a plating.

Comparing it with eg a Fatboy I'm quite sure that the plating must be nickel rather than rhodium. Your explanations make completely sense. I once took a red tip apart and the main steps seem to be very similar. But when crimping the small tabs I made some scratches so now I'm a bit cautious :)

Thank you very much for your explanations on the Aristocrat series. I really profit from your insight and knowledge. I bought my first Gillette 4 years ago and had no idea in which existing area I'm entering :)) I really enjoy discovering so much new on historical objects which existed decades ago before I came to world.

Thanks,

Sami
 

Hannah's Dad

I Can See Better Than Bigfoot.
The ‘34 is a really special razor. At the time, it was advertised as being made ‘to watchmakers’ standards.’ The slim head design makes it a very nimble TTO. The ‘36 is a great shaver, just a tad less nimble.
 
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