10-21-2015, 03:32 PM
#1
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
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A name not well known in the shaving brush circle, Mark Cross, at one time in history was a luxury brand held in the highest accord.  Mainly known for leather goods, the company expanded it's offerings in the early 20th century to include cigarette cases, an odd single-edge razor and shaving brushes among many other luxury goods of the time.  I have had this Mark Cross brush in my collection for a while now and am absolutely astonished every time I use it and am shocked that there isn't much to be found outside of old advertising and the occasional and random mention on the various forums.  To be honest I wasn't even seeking out this brand, but when I saw the knot on this particular brush I was immediately reminded of my vintage Plisson HMW.  Now once received the brush shared very little in common with my old Plissons, but rather was an odd combination of gel tips with moderately high resiliency, really unlike any other in my collection.  I don't use the brush as often as I would like to because the handle is French Ivory aka celluloid, which means its lifetime is limited.  It is stored in my cool and dark (and dry) tool chest with my other brushes and when I get in the mood for a special shave, out it comes.

[Image: p0Xq3TF.jpg][Image: Ykyi2ho.jpg][Image: RRfDiKT.jpg][Image: XON89Xs.jpg][Image: S7hiN3C.jpg]

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 10-21-2015, 06:20 PM
#2
  • Giorgio
  • Senior Member
  • Pennsylvania, US
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Wow...that is one terrific looking brush!

I have never encountered on the forums or anywhere else for that matter a Mark Cross brush, but I have to say that I love the shape and the tips look heavenly Biggrin

Thanks for sharing!...now I'll have to be on the lookout for another example.

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 10-21-2015, 06:23 PM
#3
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It is a beautiful brush.  Thanks for sharing the history and details.  As a brush hog, I appreciate beauties like this one.

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 10-21-2015, 06:51 PM
#4
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That is one of the nicest looking knots I've ever seen. The handle is beautiful too.

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 10-21-2015, 07:22 PM
#5
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Lovely brush, Dave! Thumbsup

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 10-21-2015, 07:35 PM
#6
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That's a very special brush!

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 10-21-2015, 08:02 PM
#7
  • Shanman
  • Reserve Collection Squirrel Hair
  • NE Florida
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Awesome brush!

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 10-21-2015, 08:24 PM
#8
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That brush may be worth trading back the vintage Plisson!

I am always a sucker for striped handles. This is so fine and simplistic.

Thanks for sharing. Lots of excellent vintage brush porn today!

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 10-22-2015, 08:19 AM
#9
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Mark Cross had nice pens (I got one as a gift from my parents).

There's a funny bit about Cross luggage in "The Catcher in the Rye" -- Holden Caulfield had their bags.

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 10-22-2015, 09:42 AM
#10
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Great looking brush!  

I've seen one other Mark Cross shaving brush (nowhere near as nice as your brush).  Brushes rarely seen or heard about.  Cool stuff!


I have an Erskine shaving brush with handle material just like your Mark Cross.  Based on the "checkerboard," just below "Pure Badger," the chance of Erskine actually manufacturing that brush is high.  I've been researching the "checkerboard" stamp for some time now and all of my research is pointing towards Erskine.  Erskine made fantastic brushes!

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 10-22-2015, 09:42 AM
#11
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Fascinating history and gorgeous brush.  Why does the celluloid have a limited lifetime?

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 10-22-2015, 09:47 AM
#12
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(10-22-2015, 09:42 AM)jpakstis Wrote: Fascinating history and gorgeous brush.  Why does the celluloid have a limited lifetime?


Celluloid is unstable and has numerous problems.  It stinks with age.  Chemically, it breaks down when exposed to heat and UV.  It's discoloration prone.  As it weaken, it will actually crumble.

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 10-22-2015, 10:17 AM
#13
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(10-22-2015, 09:47 AM)Gigster Wrote: Celluloid is unstable and has numerous problems.  It stinks with age.  Chemically, it breaks down when exposed to heat and UV.  It's discoloration prone.  As it weaken, it will actually crumble.

Thanks! That's pretty interesting. Does it actually start to stink?



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 10-22-2015, 10:35 AM
#14
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(10-22-2015, 10:17 AM)jpakstis Wrote:
(10-22-2015, 09:47 AM)Gigster Wrote: Celluloid is unstable and has numerous problems.  It stinks with age.  Chemically, it breaks down when exposed to heat and UV.  It's discoloration prone.  As it weaken, it will actually crumble.

Thanks!  That's pretty interesting.  Does it actually start to stink?



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk



lol

Shrink. . .not stink.

Sorry, an auto-correct thing and I didn't reread my response before hitting the ENTER key.

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 10-22-2015, 10:44 AM
#15
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not all brushes looking inviting. These one most certainly does.

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 10-22-2015, 11:03 AM
#16
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
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(10-22-2015, 10:35 AM)Gigster Wrote:
(10-22-2015, 10:17 AM)jpakstis Wrote:
(10-22-2015, 09:47 AM)Gigster Wrote: Celluloid is unstable and has numerous problems.  It stinks with age.  Chemically, it breaks down when exposed to heat and UV.  It's discoloration prone.  As it weaken, it will actually crumble.

Thanks!  That's pretty interesting.  Does it actually start to stink?



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk



lol

Shrink. . .not stink.

Sorry, an auto-correct thing and I didn't reread my response before hitting the ENTER key.

I'm glad you corrected it, I was about to go home and start sniffing handles...

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 10-22-2015, 11:23 AM
#17
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You're right, that does look similar to vintage Plisson hair. Simply a magnificent looking knot Dave! The handle is beautiful too! Enjoy it!


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 10-22-2015, 11:45 AM
#18
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(10-22-2015, 11:03 AM)blzrfn Wrote:
(10-22-2015, 10:35 AM)Gigster Wrote:
(10-22-2015, 10:17 AM)jpakstis Wrote: Thanks!  That's pretty interesting.  Does it actually start to stink?



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk



lol

Shrink. . .not stink.

Sorry, an auto-correct thing and I didn't reread my response before hitting the ENTER key.

I'm glad you corrected it, I was about to go home and start sniffing handles...


Sisi1

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 10-22-2015, 12:28 PM
#19
  • kwsher
  • Senior Member
  • Austin, TX - USA
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Great piece of shaving history and a beauty at that! Thanks for sharing.

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 10-22-2015, 12:33 PM
#20
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Great to see that you are actually using the brush, it would be a shame to just display it on a shelf.

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