05-27-2017, 07:09 PM
#1
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
User Info
Hello all

I now have two examples of the Gillette Aristocrat #15 Open Comb (OC) in Rhodium, dating from around 1938, and there are differences between the two. These differences are indicated in the pictures below, and I have added commentary. I apologise for the average quality of the photographs.

First picture: Two cases. Are they the same? Yes and no.

[Image: o0fNXtR.jpg]

Upon opening you can see the example on the right has purple velvet lining. The example on the left has the deeper shaded, purple felt lining:

[Image: tDHQENv.jpg]

Now look a little closer. The example with the velvet lining (on the right, but below, on the top) is stamped on the handle. Upper portion says "Brit. Pat No. 430.030". The lower band on the handle is stamped with the diamond Gillette logo.

The example underneath that one (see below) has no stamp on the handle. The bands, upper and lower, are clear. On that example (clear) the upper band has a thin line going around at the base of the band. It is visible.

[Image: oxCQ24D.jpg]

Further differences: The stamped-handle example is stamped under the head with the number 400.621

[Image: Zi4pzf0.jpg]

The clear-banded example is stamped under the head with the number 430.030

[Image: ueCAMg7.jpg]

Slight other difference: the 13 teeth on either side of the stamped-handle example are slightly rounded, and thicker. The clear-handled example has 13 teeth either side that are slightly more square, and are thinner. See for yourself: it isn't a trick of the light. You may not be able to see the difference between teeth thickness, however, because of the foregrounding, but take my word for it.

[Image: NbePOZ7.jpg]

The only other difference worth noting is that the knurling on the clear-handled example is slightly finer: the cut is deeper on the stamp-handled example. Other than that, I can't tell the difference between the shaves. The clear-handled variety might be just that little bit smoother. 

On the basis of appearance, I prefer the fully-stamped example, but that just reflects my own taste. There may be differences in the quality of plating, but different places on both razors show differences so I call it a tie in that respect. Of the two examples, the stamped-handle is in better condition. It's quite flawless, and actually came with the shipper. Wink

Enjoy. Trust this post was useful to you.

0 1,733
Reply
 05-27-2017, 07:30 PM
#2
User Info
I had a silver plated one.

There were changes in Gillette razors and I was told one of mine wasn't sold as a #15. It was a similar model, but earlier.

7 1,314
Reply
 05-27-2017, 07:34 PM
#3
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
User Info
Yes, that would be the 1936 model. Same in all other respects though, other than the silver plating. I believe it has very handsome knurling, though? I'd love one, actually, but I doubt I will ever see and hold one. You never know, though.

0 1,733
Reply
 05-28-2017, 11:42 PM
#4
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
User Info
Well, I hope it was useful... archival material perhaps.

0 1,733
Reply
 05-29-2017, 06:08 AM
#5
User Info
Very nice and informative post, and certainly appreciated by the Gillette collectors and historians.  Your two Aristocrats appear to be in excellent condition.

48 5,717
Reply
 05-29-2017, 03:48 PM
#6
  • doc47
  • Senior Member
  • Northern Arizona
User Info
They are not both 15s. That's why they have different Pat.#s.
 

1938 Aristocrat No. 20, Rh plated, 71g. Brit. Pat. #400.621,
Made in England

This is your mystery razor. I have the same 2 as you. They are great razors, but different.

11 659
Reply
 05-29-2017, 04:26 PM
#7
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
User Info
Interesting. 

The #20 listed with Mr Razor is stamped on the upper and lower bands, and weighs 71 grams. Mine isn't stamped on the handle at all, and weighs 73 grams. Seems a different razor to mine.

The #15 listed with Mr Razor weighs 77 grams. Mine (identical in every way) weighs 73 grams, same as the one above.

Just gets more and more mysterious.

0 1,733
Reply
 05-29-2017, 04:36 PM
#8
  • doc47
  • Senior Member
  • Northern Arizona
User Info
(05-29-2017, 04:26 PM)Shaun Wrote: Interesting. 

The #20 listed with Mr Razor is stamped on the upper and lower bands, and weighs 71 grams. Mine isn't stamped on the handle at all, and weighs 73 grams. Seems a different razor to mine.

The #15 listed with Mr Razor weighs 77 grams. Mine (identical in every way) weighs 73 grams, same as the one above.

Just gets more and more mysterious.
That's all part of the fun with Gillette Aristocrats.  Biggrin

11 659
Reply
 05-31-2017, 11:51 AM
#9
  • doc47
  • Senior Member
  • Northern Arizona
User Info
Shaun, I've done some reading and exploration. It appears that your Brit. Pat. #400.621 is a FrankenRazor. The head is from a #20 and the handle is from elsewhere. If you follow the Pat. # on the handle you should be able to determine where it came from. This is not an uncommon occurrence and frequently happened with British Aristocrats. Why did this happen, the build-up to WWII and the war itself created shortages in manufacturing so when the Brits ran out of the normal handle, they would use what was available. It makes your razor a much more unique razor than a regular #20.

11 659
Reply
 05-31-2017, 06:15 PM
#10
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
User Info
Yes, there seem to be quite a few variations.  Not sure I'd call it a Frankenrazor, quite, as Gillette assembled these razors themselves, and I have seen a couple more now. It turns out my own brother has one, in fact. But yes, Gillette did themselves put together different parts over time. Again, in this instance, there is NO stamp on the handle, so I can't do what you're suggesting in terms of a trace.

I am looking at a #14 now with a VERY unique handle indeed. I think that these razors should be collectively referred to as Open Comb Aristocrats, as the #s seem really only to refer to the cases, by and large. It was once speculated that the heads are all the same, but they are not. I also have a Popular or two, same-ish head again, but these are not referred to as Aristocrats. I think that they are indeed a member of the Aristocrat family. Not all Aristocrats were Rhodium-plated, either. Some silver; some nickel. They are certainly more 'Aristocrat' than the much-vaunted #58, which I think is really just a more beautiful version of the HD series.

0 1,733
Reply
 05-31-2017, 06:42 PM
#11
User Info
Here's mine, from another thread.  Stamped on both handle bands, Patent 400.621.

[Image: GeWvsRD.jpg]

73 4,269
Reply
 06-01-2017, 01:19 AM
#12
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
User Info
(05-31-2017, 06:42 PM)TexBilly Wrote: Here's mine, from another thread.  Stamped on both handle bands, Patent 400.621.

A very beautiful set and an outstanding example, TB!

0 1,733
Reply
 06-01-2017, 04:51 AM
#13
User Info
Wow Shaun Amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

0 854
Reply
 06-01-2017, 08:04 AM
#14
  • doc47
  • Senior Member
  • Northern Arizona
User Info
I agree with you Shaun, the number designation often times means little with these razors. I have a favorite among these unique razors and it is my prized 1947 Anglo-American Rhodium Aristocrat (430-030).  I just thought you’d like to see it as these are very rare. A British head and a US handle.
[Image: 0gQzCLy.jpg][Image: jaSFBmZ.jpg]

11 659
Reply
 06-01-2017, 02:18 PM
#15
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
User Info
Wow, yes, very nice indeed. Where did you find it, may I ask?

0 1,733
Reply
 06-01-2017, 03:26 PM
#16
  • doc47
  • Senior Member
  • Northern Arizona
User Info
I bought it from a seller in Australia I believe.

11 659
Reply
 06-06-2017, 07:14 PM
#17
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
User Info
I saw one of these just sell on eBay, different case (for a #14) for US equivalent $716, plus international post. 

That's almost Australian $1,000. No, not a one-off: there were 49 bids.

Crazy price. Crazy.

0 1,733
Reply
 06-06-2017, 10:48 PM
#18
User Info
Beautiful razors indeed.

0 55
Reply
Users browsing this thread: 2 Guest(s)