The good news is that for those of you who are buying for both love and investment purposes, your foresight is starting to pay dividends. And there is still a long ways to go. In my opinion, prices are still low - just not as low as they once were. Now that much of the best stuff is in collections, you should be on the lookout for excellent examples of the art - even if you have to pay top dollar for them. The ones that I project will increase the most in value are original early examples. I happen to have picked up two of these just this past weekend. What was particularly gratifying was that they were not just plain razors in horn scales - most common in that period. Both of them are original tortoise shell, but very different. The first of the two I would place at the end of the 18th century. It is a Clark & Hall and it was designed as a showpiece. What do I mean by that? Well it has several features that had nothing to do with the practical utility of the razor, including
- Fancy washers on both pins
- Polished tortoise shell scales
- Mirror finished blade
- 3 pewter shields
The other razor is also of the fancier variety - having iron pins with fancy washers and also in tortoise shell. This one has no pewter shields and the blade is not mirrored. It has no manufacturer and it marked "Cast Steel." It is in excellent condition and I would put it VERY early 19th century - no later than 1815. Honing this wedge to shave-readiness will likely take a couple of hours, but I look forward to it.
I should have pictures in a few days.