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Thread: New Purchase: German Hohenzollern Thuringian

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    Senior Member dcaven's Avatar
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    Default New Purchase: German Hohenzollern Thuringian

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    Just bought this stone off of ebay and so far I love it. I have refreshed six razors with it so far and it has done a beautiful job. I would like to know more about it. The seller thinks it was produced around the 1880's. Does anyone know where I can confirm this and where I can get more information about it? I have googled it to death and can't find any useful information other than Hohenzollern stones are well regarded. Thanks.

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    Very nice stone, congratulation. I have one with just the base of the box, and no slurry stone. It is light green or yellow green, excellent finisher. It is 5 x 1 1/2. I don't know the year was cut but I am sure it is before 1900. It is a thuringian like Escher, just a different brand.

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    It's Nice To Be Nice JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Nice stone. I had my eye on it but ....... $ tight. Anyway, I've had a few of those in past years. One large one like that with a label on the stone and no box, another couple with label and paper box. Never with the fitted wooden box, so I would bet yours is older.

    I would suggest shooting a PM to Hatzicho with a link to this thread. He knows Thuringan area geology and stones as few do. If anyone could tell you something about the history of the Hohenzollern stones I would bet he could.
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    Senior Member doorsch's Avatar
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    I agree probably Hatzicho might know it
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    Senior Member dcaven's Avatar
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    It was quite expensive and was a bit of a stretch for me as I already own another Thuringian in a paper box. The prices on these stones seem to be going crazy so that is how I justified the purchase. This one seems finer than my other one and as I mentioned it did a great job on a half dozen razors. I will PM Hatzicho and see if he has any information about it.

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    Senior Member hatzicho's Avatar
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    Well the Hohenzollern hones are quite an interesting issue. Let me say the following first – I have not found out so far who sold or exported the stones from Germany. It is clear and proven that the stones are Thuringian waterwhetstones, so they were quarried like the other Thuringians in the major mines in the area of Steinach/ Sonneberg in Thuringia - like all other incl. the Escher labeled hones.

    The first interesting thing is that I have not seen or found any of the stones in Germany, so even though the wording on the label is only german, they were made mainly for export.

    From the labels that I have seen, there were two importers in the States:
    S.R. Droescher and Farwell, Ozmun, Kirk & Co.

    The labels of both are slightly different and the label with Farwell, Ozmun, Kirk & Co looks a little bit more modern, so I think these might be newer ones.

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    The Droescher company existed 1891-1924, so this gives a first time frame for the Droescher llabelled stones.
    A second indication for the Droescher stones is found in the sentence:
    “Nur ächt mit meiner Unterschrift” The writing of the word „ächt“ (which means genuine) with an “ä” was done until the year 1901, afterwards the correct writing was “echt”.

    So the time frame for the Droescher stones should be somehow between 1891 and 1901.

    On the stones labelled Farwell, Ozmun, Kirk & Co they declare to be the sole importer of these stones. If that was correct at this time it could have been before or after Droescher imported the stones. But there is another remark on the Farwell labels that gives an indication. The “Made in Germany” is not seen on labels until the end of the 19th century. “German made” or “German mark” - both grammatically questionable - was printed on older labels.
    Actually “Made in Germany” was created by the Britisch government in the late 19th century, but as a sign to declare the at this time bad quality german products. First in the beginning 20th century this wording turns into the opposite because the quality of german products became better and better so that this term was finally used by german companies as a sales argument, starting somehow before WW1 and becoming famous between WW1 and WW2.

    So coming back to your stone, I don’t see which company is mentioned as importer, but the Made in Germany give an indication that these stones might be imported somehow in the 1920’s. But I might be wrong though, I can only list some indications.

    One last interesting issue may be concerning the possible origin of the stones i.e. the german trading company if you compare some of the Escher & Son labels with the Hohenzollern label.
    The ornamentation and flourish is quite comparable:

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    Since the original Escher company had a lot of subsidiaries and follow-up companies founded by different members of the Escher family, Escher somehow might have been the root also for the “Hohenzollern Abziehsteine”.

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    Senior Member doorsch's Avatar
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    I only know that the Hohenzollern were marketed from Droescher, where for me ist still not clear whos the company behind it...

    As mostly when it comes to thuringian Vintage hones the formulation of the instructions is comparable, here we have another wording...

    A lot of Escher stones were sold for the US Market they have a sidelabel marking S.R.D. Which means S.R. Droescher the label also states "manufactured expressly for S. R. D. In NY by E.S (Escher & Sohn)...
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    Default New Purchase: German Hohenzollern Thuringian

    Great you wrote exactly i was writing Peter, thanks for your explanation :-) last time i tried to come over a Farwell Ozmun catalogue because i was interested i would find the Hohenzollern in the Catalogue and was interested in the Prizes....seller wanted 200usd so i skipped this issue....

    More here about Farwell Ozmun..

    http://acvrwarehouse.com/about/

    That whats happened:

    ST. PAUL, Nov. 18. 1891 -- St. Paul last night suffered one of the most disastrous fires in its history, the buildings damaged being those of Griggs, Cooper Co., wholesale grocers, and Farwell, Ozmun, Kirk Co., wholesale hardware. The total loss is estimated at from $900,000 to $1,000,000. The losses are covered by insurance.
    Last edited by doorsch; 06-19-2014 at 11:23 AM.
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    It's Nice To Be Nice JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Thanks Peter, interesting that the Escher family may have been involved. What I have noticed on the Hohenzollerns that have passed through my hands is that the sizes are different than the Eschers I've had. Here is a photo of one I had come and go. Must be the original seller's photo, because I don't embed the date on my photos ;

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    Senior Member Double0757's Avatar
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    It's fascinating to me to read about the history of the companies, as well as the knowledge of you guys (Hatzicho and doorsch)! Thanks for sharing this knowledge!

    I have a Hohenzollern that I bought on the bay a while back. Very fine stone! The problem with mine is that it's chip at one end leaving me about 3/4 of the stone for honing. I tried removing the piece of label (not before taking pictures and videos of it) and lapping it, just to find out that there were toxic spots on one end, leaving me with just shy of half the stone for honing on that side.

    The stone is a real top performer even with its disabilities. It's a Yellow green if you want to compare with etchers.

    Latter I got an Escher label turi, although a very good stone, not quite as good as the Honhersollern! Moral of the story, Honhersollern could be better than a label Escher IME.

    Congratulation and enjoy!

    Double O
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