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Thread: First Antique Store Purchase

  1. #1
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    Default First Antique Store Purchase

    Hello all!

    I am new to straight razor shaving in general, but I'm quite happy with my new Dovo razor I got from Straight Razor Place. I was just at an antique store and I found a booth with a couple of straight razors in it so I thought I'd take a look. Long story short, the seller seemed to have at least a little knowledge about razors because right up front was a Wade & Butcher with a Dubl Duck right behind it. The W&D razor had an excellent patina, no rust or cracks that I could see, and some simple scales that where in great condition. He was asking $225 for it, but I was able to get him down to $175. I didn't pull the trigger as it would be my first Antique purchase and I freely admit I'm not entirely sure what I'm doing. I see W&D's go for around $300 here so that seems like I'm getting a good deal, but I'm not sure what I'd be in for restoration and honing, etc.

    Picture below. Sorry it's not better, all I had on me was my iPad2. Any and all thoughts would be appreciated.

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    The Dubl Duck was listed at $175, and had original scales. $175 seems incredibly high based on what I've seen it's breathern go for here. It was a 1927 logo, and the blade was in great shape. Mirror finish. Just needed a honing to be shave ready. I was going to offer him $250 for the set. Thoughts?

    --Jimmy
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    Valuations are prohibited here. But I have a comment:

    . . . For the price you're considering, you could buy a really first-class _new_ razor !

    A Hart, or a really nice Boker or Dovo ("Flowing" or "Bismarck" ) or TI, might be a better choice. Vintage razors are good, but they're not magic.

    Having said that, the W&B has very heavy hone wear, and would be a poor choice no matter what the price. IMHO, of course.

    . Charles
    . . . . . Mindful shaving, for a better world.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth 10Pups's Avatar
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    My thoughts are simple. The razors you see in the classifieds here and on most web sites are shave ready and already restored. Restoring razors is another learning curve even if your good with your hands and have all the tools. Shop around for these types of razors and you will see all sorts of prices. Around here the thought is, your value of it may be entirely different than mine so why go there. One man's trash etc. etc. Learning the price of things is just part of the process like learning to strop. I could tell you all day long how to do it but you still have to experience it for yourself. Not only that but if I say yes it's worth it, how do you know the seller is not my friend and that I am looking out for his interests ? It keeps everything friendly around here I think. Of course the real reason may be different :<0) .
    Last edited by 10Pups; 01-06-2013 at 08:07 AM.
    Good judgment comes from experience, and experience....well that comes from poor judgment.

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    Moderator Hirlau's Avatar
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    Do yourself a favor Jimmy & don't pull the trigger on them, until you spend some time looking at the vintage razors available from the members, some who are vendors, on this site. Check our classified.

    It's prohibited here to tell you what I think of those prices.

    But in the end, it's your money.

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    The original Skolor and Gentileman. gugi's Avatar
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    See that big hone wear along the spine - the flat band that's about 1/8"? That's no good. You can have the razor regrind and get rid of it, but the question is why would you want to do this? If not the honing job is not going to be easy - whoever put that wear didn't do it because he was happy with a nice sharp razor. You may think 'but I won't hone it myself, so it's somebody else's problem who I would pay', but then you are still taking the risk of getting back 'I spent many hours fixing the previous incompetent honing, this thing is sort of shaving but worse than mediocre, you still owe me $$$$ for the labour'.

    If you want to know what would it cost you to have it restored and honed, just contact few people who offer these services. There is a section in the classifieds called 'member services' with such listings.

    As everybody before me said, the smart money is to pay for a complete razor already verified that it does what it is supposed to do and not in need of extra work.

    And if you value your money more than your time you want to follow Hirlau's advice and spend some time perusing this site and learn what to look for, what is good what is bad. When you're new it really very tempting to just buy something, but these purchases are 99% of the time very bad.

    You know which is my best old sheffield razor? It is something with just a vendor's address and without any maker's markings dating from about 1830s. Perfect ivory scales, insignificant hone wear, perfectly restored with real mirror finish by one of the members here, honed to perfection too. I bought it from another member on this site shortly after I joined. I paid $40 for it (the restoration part ended up being completely free because the person felt really badly about forgetting them and taking 4 months to complete - no way to convince them to take any money). I have bought and sold a number of new, vintage, custom razors, but this one I've always viewed as permanent. (I have loaned it, so that I don't get unhealthy addiction to objects, and if I ever part with it it would be through gifting it, but the point is that it is one of my few very special razors and my favorite sheffield shaver.)
    dave5225 and nun2sharp like this.

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    Thanks everyone! I'm going to hold off. I put up this post right before I went to sleep with the intention of sleeping on it, and when I awoke I knew something just didn't feel right and that I wanted to hold off. Seeing all your posts only confirmed that. The honing marks on the spine that Gugi mentioned where a big concern to me, but I wanted to check and make sure a more skilled eye wouldn't say, "just buff that out and you'll be fine."

    Like I said, first foray into buying collectible razors, and I'm SUPER glad I have SRP as a resource. Sorry about posting the numbers, I must have missed that in the rules. This guy's numbers just felt so astronomical (given the condition of the shaver) compared to what I see here and at Straight Razor Emporium, that I wanted a sense of who was smoking crack, him or me.

    Thanks again!

    --Jimmy

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    Senior Member tiddle's Avatar
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    Best to let it go, definitely a job for an experienced restorer. Needs regrinding, that alone is going to run 100 bucks. After it is said and done you will have 350-400 tied to it.
    Mastering implies there is nothing more for you to learn of something... I prefer proficient enough to not totally screw it up.

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    Thread derailment specialist. Wullie's Avatar
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    In addition to all the above advice, it appears to me that the handles on that old W&B are replacements. It's difficult for me to tell from your pictures whether they are antler or wood, but they don't appear to be original.

    It's a neat old razor with a lot of interesting stories to tell if it could talk. However, at this stage in the game, you'd be money ahead to follow the advice mentioned above.
    Member Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club, participant SE Asia War Games 1972-1973. The oath I swore has no statute of limitation.

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    The First Cut is the Deepest! Magpie's Avatar
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    But you know, it WILL buff out!
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  14. #10
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    Welcome to SRP

    I notice that you are from Brooklyn. Is this vintage spot in Brooklyn where you saw these blades. Where's this spot at?

    Thanks

    CMP

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