What's new

What to do with this case?

Picked up this set recently. The interior is very nice and the set is almost perfect. The box shows only minor scuffs and scrapes. The leather is bone dry in general and the hinge connection is cracking as they all do.

My question is will the collector value of the item be harmed if I put some leather conditioner on the case to help preserve it and prevent further cracking? I am tempted to treat it nice after all these years rather than let it continue to dry, crack, and crumble.

Also was the case leather dyed brown or black originally? Looks brownish but that could be age or wear related.

proxy.php
 
On all my old presentation cases I cleaned them with a toothbrush and Lexol leather cleaner. Then I'd wipe it dry and work Lexol leather conditioner into the leather. After letting the conditioner set for a little bit I'd buff with a microfiber cloth. I've read where some used shoe polish to help restore the color.

I guess I'd look at it this way. If you had the choice of two leather cases, one with dry, cracked leather and the other with supple, pliable leather, which would you chose?
 
I'm not a collector, so that being said, I'd hit it with some saddle soap. Does it affect its value? Maybe. But weigh that against further deterioration. Some collector a hundred years from now may be very grateful that you preserved it. I'd restore it best I could. But as I said, I have no idea whether that would affect its current value.

Fairly easy to say saving it will positively affect its future value.
 
Wow I must have been reading you guys' minds while I was working on it. I used Lexol AlphaFrank75. Amazing result. The hinge is now supple, the leather grain under the black dye is visible. Cracks and scuffs mostly disappeared. A dry crusty old case restored to its previous state. Happy I am.
proxy.php
 
I have a couple others that could use the Lexol treatment too. although I am leery of using it on the older box sets with the thin skin wrappers like this 1905 case. It may loosen the adhesive. Opinions?
proxy.php
 
Wow I must have been reading you guys' minds while I was working on it. I used Lexol AlphaFrank75. Amazing result. The hinge is now supple, the leather grain under the black dye is visible. Cracks and scuffs mostly disappeared. A dry crusty old case restored to its previous state. Happy I am.
proxy.php
Wow! You did real good.
 
The leather used by Gillette is thin, but quite durable. The glue is the same as used in pocket editions to secure the inner tray and liner, some kind of shelac, it's water soluble.
After the leather is softened up it can be smoothed out and reglued with white glue (for eg.).

This case was seriously peeling and cracking
proxy.php


After reglueing, like new, except for lost leather parts.
proxy.php

Adam
 
Last edited:
Wow I must have been reading you guys' minds while I was working on it. I used Lexol AlphaFrank75. Amazing result. The hinge is now supple, the leather grain under the black dye is visible. Cracks and scuffs mostly disappeared. A dry crusty old case restored to its previous state. Happy I am.

That turned out looking like a totally different case. :thumbup:
 
Another swipe this morning with Lexol, couple hours later a dab of Kiwi black rubbed in, followed by a soft cloth gentle polish. Sure doesn't look 100 years old anymore. The big scrapes, cracks, scuffs are all gone. Now my OCD will finally let me move on. Next is the '05 case.

btw I noticed that there are 2 heights of double/single ring cases. The one I posted above is one of the taller ones (it has the plain font Gillette Sales Co. Chicago ribbon). When did they start making them shorter? (Presumably to limit the room the razor can move around in the case?)
proxy.php

With flash.
proxy.php
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom