06-26-2012, 06:19 PM
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I wanted to share a couple of blades I've had for a while. They're both excellent shavers. One is a lot older than the other, but these are both part of my 'usual suspects' lineup in my bathroom - the razors that get used the most.

This is the old one:

It is a Gratian. I think it is either an English or French blade. That's based entirely on the name, unfortunately.

[Image: IMG_4035.jpg]

[Image: IMG_4036.jpg]

It is a wedge, with a very interesting shape. I believe this shape is intentional, and not a result of bad honing. It varies from almost 6/8" at the tip to less than 4/8" at the heel. The tang is rounded and is only marked with the 'Gratian' name.

The straight horn scales (inlaid) and the stub-tail date this razor as pre-1850.

It took two layers of tape to get this honed properly, but now it shaves brilliantly. The overall smile and that real sharp smile at the front end of the blade make it a real pleasure to use in the hollows of my neck.

Stropping this razor is an adventure, so I usually use a kangaroo-hide strop for it.


The second razor is a real gem. It is a French blade (marked Paris). One peculiarity is the double-thumbnotch - rare in newer blades. This looks original, or part of a very good regrind.

[Image: IMG_4031.jpg]

[Image: IMG_4032.jpg]

The tang is marked L.F. Paris on the front and Depose on the back. The blade is also marked 'Pratic Razor' in an engraving. But here's where it gets interesting.

[Image: IMG_4034.jpg]

See that little symbol next to the 'Depose' - that's a bell - I know of only one maker that used it - Le Grelot, as in this razor below:

[Image: IMG_4037.jpg]

(I'll admit that they're slightly different, when examined closely).

So, does this mean that this is really a Le Grelot? I don't know the answer to that.

Either way, the 1/4 hollow-ground blade is a real pleasure to use. It is smooth like butter on the face, and the balance and feel are perfect for me.


So, there you have it, a couple of my favourite blades. Regardless of where and when they were made, and by whom, they are excellent razors -------- and that's the main thing anyway. =)

39 1,750
 06-28-2012, 08:52 PM
  • vuk
  • Senior Member
  • Virginia
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They are some real beauties! Its amazing how nice the Gratian looks considering how old it is and that the scales survived all those years.

2 526
 06-29-2012, 02:31 AM
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The Gratian had some real bad pitting issues and had to be polished with greaseless compound. I personally like keeping the patina on old razors, but that was not possible here.

Since it was the only way to get it back to shaving condition, I'm fine with it. It's fun to use.

39 1,750
 06-29-2012, 06:00 PM
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Some real nice oldies.

0 56
 06-29-2012, 06:39 PM
  • ben74
  • Senior Member
  • Perth, Australia
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Beautiful! I love the shape of the Gratian. Thanks for sharing.

101 18,026
 07-01-2012, 11:31 AM
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the blade with the double thumb notch is great! congrats

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