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  1. #1
    A_S
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    Default Does Anyone have a Devonshire Oil Stone?

    Do any of the collectors here have a Devonshire Hone? I've never seen pictures of one, and can't find an actual description of the stone in any pertinent literature. It was mined near Tavistock, but that's all I know.

    It is described as being excellent in use, and was only unavailable due to a lack of distribution.

    Kindest regards,
    Alex

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    Senior Member blabbermouth hi_bud_gl's Avatar
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    This is tough to swallow. if you don't know color etc how we find out this is particular stone.? At least it is oil stone or water ?
    Alex i hope you can find a little more information then we could get together and find out may be some one has it.

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    A_S
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    Hi Sham,

    This stone is proving to be a major hassle to track down. I've asked about it a number of times over the years but no one seems to have any experience with them. The only reference that I can find is a transcript from a talk that a collector gave about his stones. This transcript was published in a collection of articles that's dated from 1835, I don't have any reference after that. In the article it said that the only reason the hone wasn't in wider use was because it didn't have a distributor.

    I asked about this stone on a forum about English History, and one member said he thought I might be talking about a particular type of slate that was quarried in the same area, Tavistock in Devon. Unfortunately, he couldn't tell me anything more.

    Finally, I have emailed the Tavistock History Society, to ask if they have any records concerning this particular hone, but am still waiting for a reply.

    Tavistock is 200 miles from where I live, but I'm seriously considering trying to look for the stone near to where it was quarried, but seeing as I don't even know what colour it's supposed to have been I have no idea what I'm actually looking for.

    Kindest regards,
    Alex

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    A_S
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    This is the article I was talking about, the transcript of the talk concerning various grindstones and hones can be found on pages 267-269. The Mechanics' magazine, museum ... - Google Books

    Kindest regards,
    Alex

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    Senior Member blabbermouth hi_bud_gl's Avatar
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    thank you Alex for the information.
    it does says it is oil stone . at least we know now it is oil stone. Read 13 more information in there.

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    Unique. Like all of you. Oldengaerde's Avatar
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    The problem is we don't know what it looks like because we don't know anyone who has it, and no one knows if he has it, because no one knows what it looks like...



    The quoted source is the only one I know too. It must, by the way, be read with a healthy dose of scepticism. Read eg. the descriptions under 15 and 16:
    Quote Originally Posted by The Mechanics' magazine, museum, register, journal, and gazette
    15. German razor-hone. This is universally known throughout Europe, and generally esteemed as the best whet-stone for all kinds of the finer description of cutlery. It is obtained from the slate-mountains in the neighbourhood of Ratisbon, where it occurs in the form of a yellow vein running virtually into the blue slate, sometimes not more than an inch in thickness, and varying to 12 and sometimes 18 inches, from whence it is quarried, and then sawed into thin slabs, which are usually cemented into a similar slab of the slate, to serve as a support, and in that state sold for use. That which is obtained from the lowest part of the vein is esteemed the best, and termed old rock.

    16. The same, with the hone in natural contact with the slate.
    Surely nothing else can be described here but the Belgian coticule. Yet the origins are placed six hundred kilometres away in Regensburg (S.Germany).

    Similarly:
    Quote Originally Posted by The Mechanics' magazine, museum, register, journal, and gazette
    17. Is a dark slate of very uniform character; in appearance not at all laminated; is in considerable use among jewellers, clock- makers, and other workers in silver and metal, for polishing off tbeir work, and for whose greater convenience it is cut into lengths of about 6 inches, and from a quarter of an inch to an inch or more wide, and packed up in small bundles of from 6 to 16 in each, and secured by means of withes of osier, and in that state imported for use, and called blue polishing-stones.

    18. Is a stone of very similar properties, but of a somewhat coarser texture and paler colours, and thence termed grey polishing- stone. Its uses are the same, and they are manufactured near Ratisbon.
    must be about Thuringians from Sonneberg, but here also situated in Regensburg, two hundred kilometres to the south. Could it be that an important international hones distributor was located there?



    I do incidentally think I might have Cutler's Green - at least I have an English green hone that fits the description and isn't like any of the other known hones, but to date I haven't found anyone who owns a certain CG or can confirm anything about mine. Maybe I should post some pics.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth ChrisL's Avatar
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    Interesting thread. I too am in search of a hone stone from the state of Michigan in the U.S. which was referenced in late nineteenth century literature and was not sold due to lack of a distribution stream.

    One thing that is also challenging in your case is that the stone you make reference to may not be known by that name to those who may have a specimen.

    Example: I forget the link know, but there's a U.K. online distributor that sells very small (much much too small for honing razors) sticks of Tam O' Shanter stone to the jewelry industry but mislabels them as Water of Ayr stone. I wish I had the link to show you what I mean but have misplaced or deleted it.

    Chris L
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  11. #8
    Unique. Like all of you. Oldengaerde's Avatar
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    This one you mean Meadows & Passmore:Name:  ToS-WoA.jpg
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    Which probably is like this: Name:  Tam O'Shanter posted by Joe777 17-03-2008 2.jpg
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  12. #9
    Senior Member blabbermouth ChrisL's Avatar
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    No, I don't think that's the one. The site I'm thinking of, then subsequently contacted them to describe the appearance of the "Water of Ayr" (which they described perfectly as a Tam) had no picture of any kind for what they were selling as a WOA.

    Chris L
    "Blues fallin' down like hail." Robert Johnson
    "Aw, Pretty Boy, can't you show me nuthin but surrender?" Patti Smith

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    A_S
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    I'd always wondered why the Ratisbon Razor Hone, seemingly so highly regarded here, seemed to be unknown on the forums. Then, having read the description properly, in connection with the Old Rock designation, I realised that they were talking about Coticules. That being said, I have seen pictures of the Blue Polishing Stone with a Ratisbon label, the pictures were floating around one of the non- English language boards some time ago, but I can't remember which one. Obviously this doesn't exclude that the stone came from the Thuringa region and was simply wholesaled from Ratisbon/ Regensburg.

    As far as this bloody Devonshire stone is concerned, who knows? My last hope seems to be the Tavistock History Society but I still haven't heard back from them. I found a brief description of the Devon Batts on a Blackborogh history page, so that's progress in a way i.e it's a hone and it's from Devon, just not the one I'm looking for.

    EDIT: Here's the Blackborough grind stone link http://209.85.229.132/search?q=cache...&ct=clnk&gl=uk

    Kindest regards,
    Alex
    Last edited by A_S; 08-04-2009 at 11:21 PM. Reason: Added link

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