03-06-2016, 03:37 PM
#1
  • ben74
  • Senior Member
  • Perth, Australia
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Simpson Astor 90th Anniversary Brush

[Image: wwkuFCf.png]

[Image: whWqU6X.jpg]

In 1919, Simpson branded brushes were made and sold for the first time. 
Brushes were made from ivory, bone, horn and vulcanite in Simpson's first factory on Macaulay Road in London. 

In 2009, under the ownership of the Watterson family, Simpson celebrated 90 years of brush making.

To mark the brand's 90th anniversary a single run of 90 Limited Edition brushes produced. 
An old out of production handle shape, named the Astor was reintroduced and for the first time in many years non traditional rod stock, faux horn was selected. 

For the knot, Simpson's superb 2 band Super was employed (now currently branded as "SiLVERTiP").

The handle was engraved with gold ink "Astor" on the front and "Super Badger" on the rear.
The base of the handle was similarly engraved with the years "1919 - 2009" and individually numbered "xx/90".

[Image: pLtzl9V.png]

Far more than just a collector's piece, this is an outstanding brush to use. 
The knot is an approachable size. The tips are soft and provide a luxurious feel. There is ample backbone and medium density providing excellent flow through.
The handle is ergonomic and comfortable to hold. It's similar to the Polo, but slender and more refined. The Colonel would be close.
Excellent face latherer, but truly an all rounder brush.

I'm very fortunate to own 19/90 and 20/90.

According to Gary Young the Astor was originally made under the Coates brand before Simpson relocated to Somerset in 1941. 
In Somerset, Coates and Simpson shared the factory at Nimmer Mill, where Coates hairbrushes were made. 
Simpson actually were the maker of all Coates branded shaving brushes and in 1942 Simpson took complete ownership of Coates.
By this time all shaving brushes were branded Simpson (and Coates was used solely for hairbrushes).

[Image: hWCE2uS.png]

Apparently the Astor was named after the London Astoria. 
Up until the 1920's the music venue was originally used for warehousing.

Formerly the Astor was offered with "Best".

[Image: hlWEFh8.png]

Approximate dimensions of the LE 90th Anniversary Astor:

Knot: 22mm x 52mm
Handle height: 56mm
Overall height: 108mm

Original price: £180 (and in 2010, only a year later the Astor was fetching up to $350 USD)

It's with great anticipation, that I look forward to see what Mark has in store to commemorate Simpson's 100th anniversary in 2019...

[Image: 0IfltS7.png]

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 03-06-2016, 03:41 PM
#2
  • e-dub
  • Senior Member
  • right brain: bna. left brain: dtw.
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oh yes, i'm absolutely looking forward to seeing what'll be on offer in 2019.

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 03-06-2016, 03:45 PM
#3
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Neat.

They will hopefully make more than 100 for the Centennial. Otherwise they will be very hard to acquire.

A little more interest has developed in wet shaving since 2009 I dare say.

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 03-06-2016, 04:03 PM
#4
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As always, your photos are beautiful, Ben.  The Anniversary Astor is one of the few Simpson brushes that I regret selling.

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 03-06-2016, 04:17 PM
#5
  • ben74
  • Senior Member
  • Perth, Australia
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(03-06-2016, 04:03 PM)churchilllafemme Wrote: As always, your photos are beautiful, Ben.  The Anniversary Astor is one of the few Simpson brushes that I regret selling.

Thank-you for the kind words John.

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 03-06-2016, 04:55 PM
#6
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(03-06-2016, 04:03 PM)churchilllafemme Wrote: As always, your photos are beautiful, Ben.  The Anniversary Astor is one of the few Simpson brushes that I regret selling.

I've been in the same boat regretting selling mine as well, but a recent Thiers Issard silvertip shaving brush helped to take the sting away. +1 on Ben's photos and his write-ups. Always a pleasure to read!

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 03-06-2016, 05:02 PM
#7
  • Bony
  • Active Member
  • New York , USA
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Great review Ben , as far I remember Mark was about to produce few Astors in three band fox ivory last year . Do not know what happened ,but after your nice words I want one ASTOR now . We need Mark to shed some light on this beautiful brush possible production .

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 03-06-2016, 05:45 PM
#8
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Beautiful pics and thank you for the invigorating historical background Ben.

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 03-06-2016, 05:46 PM
#9
  • ben74
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  • Perth, Australia
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(03-06-2016, 05:02 PM)Bony Wrote: Great review Ben , as far I remember Mark was about to produce few Astors in three band fox ivory last year . Do not know what happened ,but after your nice words I want one ASTOR now . We need Mark to shed some light on this beautiful brush possible production .

Mark posted this image in June last year...

[Image: D9VwF13.jpg]

I'm guessing it might have been a re-knot. Obviously its not current production.

I asked Mark if the Astor was going to make a re-appearance and he replied that there was a possibility of a limited run of 100.

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 03-06-2016, 06:51 PM
#10
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(03-06-2016, 05:46 PM)ben74 Wrote:
(03-06-2016, 05:02 PM)Bony Wrote: Great review Ben , as far I remember Mark was about to produce few Astors in three band fox ivory last year . Do not know what happened ,but after your nice words I want one ASTOR now . We need Mark to shed some light on this beautiful brush possible production .

Mark posted this image in June last year...

[Image: D9VwF13.jpg]

I'm guessing it might have been a re-knot. Obviously its not current production.

I asked Mark if the Astor was going to make a re-appearance and he replied that there was a possibility of a limited run of 100.


An Astor in Manchurian would be sublime. Mark listed those Astors in Best last June, I ordered one and use it regularly, it's a keeper.

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 03-06-2016, 06:54 PM
#11
  • ben74
  • Senior Member
  • Perth, Australia
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(03-06-2016, 06:51 PM)mixershave Wrote:
(03-06-2016, 05:46 PM)ben74 Wrote:
(03-06-2016, 05:02 PM)Bony Wrote: Great review Ben , as far I remember Mark was about to produce few Astors in three band fox ivory last year . Do not know what happened ,but after your nice words I want one ASTOR now . We need Mark to shed some light on this beautiful brush possible production .

Mark posted this image in June last year...

[Image: D9VwF13.jpg]

I'm guessing it might have been a re-knot. Obviously its not current production.

I asked Mark if the Astor was going to make a re-appearance and he replied that there was a possibility of a limited run of 100.


An Astor in Manchurian would be sublime. Mark listed those Astors in Best last June, I ordered one and use it regularly, it's a keeper.

So was it NOS or a limited run?

Love to see some pics...

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 03-06-2016, 06:56 PM
#12
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
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Ben, thank you for the continuing education and beautiful photography. Your collection of awsome brushes is astounding Smile. Thanks for sharing.

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 03-06-2016, 06:58 PM
#13
  • ben74
  • Senior Member
  • Perth, Australia
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(03-06-2016, 06:56 PM)chazt Wrote: Ben, thank you for the continuing education and beautiful photography. Your collection of awsome brushes is astounding Smile. Thanks for sharing.

Thank-you for the kind words Charlie.

Interest in the Astor seems enduring, so I thought I'd share what I could on the subject.

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 03-06-2016, 07:22 PM
#14
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Very nice brush and post Ben.

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 03-06-2016, 07:24 PM
#15
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(03-06-2016, 06:54 PM)ben74 Wrote:
(03-06-2016, 06:51 PM)mixershave Wrote:
(03-06-2016, 05:46 PM)ben74 Wrote: Mark posted this image in June last year...

[Image: D9VwF13.jpg]

I'm guessing it might have been a re-knot. Obviously its not current production.

I asked Mark if the Astor was going to make a re-appearance and he replied that there was a possibility of a limited run of 100.


An Astor in Manchurian would be sublime. Mark listed those Astors in Best last June, I ordered one and use it regularly, it's a keeper.

So was it NOS or a limited run?

Love to see some pics...

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 03-06-2016, 07:25 PM
#16
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(03-06-2016, 03:41 PM)e-dub Wrote: oh yes, i'm absolutely looking forward to seeing what'll be on offer in 2019.

Not to mention 2029 & 2039  Biggrin

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 03-06-2016, 07:27 PM
#17
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(03-06-2016, 06:54 PM)ben74 Wrote:
(03-06-2016, 06:51 PM)mixershave Wrote:
(03-06-2016, 05:46 PM)ben74 Wrote: Mark posted this image in June last year...

[Image: D9VwF13.jpg]

I'm guessing it might have been a re-knot. Obviously its not current production.

I asked Mark if the Astor was going to make a re-appearance and he replied that there was a possibility of a limited run of 100.


An Astor in Manchurian would be sublime. Mark listed those Astors in Best last June, I ordered one and use it regularly, it's a keeper.

So was it NOS or a limited run?

Love to see some pics...

Limited run...  Wink

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 03-06-2016, 07:31 PM
#18
  • ben74
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  • Perth, Australia
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Beautiful pics, I'm guessing Mark located some old handles?

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 03-06-2016, 07:41 PM
#19
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(03-06-2016, 07:31 PM)ben74 Wrote: Beautiful pics, I'm guessing Mark located some old handles?

This I don't know. I checked the colour of the rod against my latest Chubby 2's in silvertip 2 band and synthetic, and the Astor uses a paler coloured rod. It's more of an elegant beige, whereas the Chubbies have a slightly warmer tint. All brushes have the 'Made in Great Britain' sticker. I'd love to see Mark create one (or 100) with a Manchurian knot.

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 03-06-2016, 07:44 PM
#20
  • ben74
  • Senior Member
  • Perth, Australia
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(03-06-2016, 07:41 PM)mixershave Wrote:
(03-06-2016, 07:31 PM)ben74 Wrote: Beautiful pics, I'm guessing Mark located some old handles?

This I don't know. I checked the colour of the rod against my latest Chubby 2's in silvertip 2 band and synthetic, and the Astor uses a paler coloured rod. It's more of an elegant beige, whereas the Chubbies have a slightly warmer tint. All brushes have the 'Made in Great Britain' sticker. I'd love to see Mark create one (or 100) with a Manchurian knot.

Manchurian would be nice.

The sticker is definitely new. The engraving on the handle might be the key to answering the question. From the pics it appears to be the older style...

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