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Thread: Escher loved natural combos!

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    Senior Member hatzicho's Avatar
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    Default Escher loved natural combos!

    I recently met a guy in the thuringian area whose grandfather once worked as the last blaster for the JGES company in the thuringian whetstone quarries.

    I got a lot of information and also gained some material from the legacy of the Escher company.

    One very interesting issue in the context of how the best stones for producing high quality hones were selected from JGES company is, that the workers were admonished to find, mine and select especially natural combination stones.

    These stones often were sold and mainly exported under the name barbers delight.

    In fact this seemed to be an Escher specialty because up today I have not seen such a combo from the other thuringian whetstone companies –even though they surely do exist because the stones often come from the same quarries.

    So the pictures you will see in the following show the material as it was found and mined in the thuringian slate mountains. Mostly these are tail cuts of the large stones the famous Escher hones were cut from.



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    Looking at the exterior shell of the slate stones the different colors are sometimes not visible. The combination gets visible after the stone had been cut. To select those stones in the quarries - if not the different layers were directly cut during mining - must have presumed a lot of experience from the miners in the past.


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    Sometimes the layers and especially the yellow/ yellow green ones have been very thin. Here you see a couple of three colored stones were the yellow green layers is only about a quarter of an inch or 5 mm thick and packed between two blue layers.


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    Some more pictures for all Escher and Thuringian lovers – enjoy!

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    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Magnificent !

    I have such a Barber's Delight ....... will post pix later ..... off to church now. Thanks very much for this thread, I hope more new history will be forthcoming.

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    Those are awesome. I'm still holding out, trying to stumble upon a boxed Escher at the antique stores I frequent. I figure the area I'm in is a dominant German area, there has to be some kicking around. I can find tons of old Bokers and October fest hats but no Thuringians. Its amazing how those stones look in their raw form. Very beautiful coloring on them. I bet they look even better wet. Thanks for showing them.
    Geezer, hatzicho and saitou like this.
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    That's some hardcore research right there.
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    Here is a Barber's Delight labeled gelb-grun (yellow green). I was fascinated that it is a combo when I got it and was tempted to soak the back label off. I didn't because I have a blue/green and the old labels, unlike the Escher & Sohn labels, are very hard to get off without ruining them. Anyway ...... here it is;

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    Senior Member hatzicho's Avatar
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    Great one Jimmy!

    Here you have the stones in comparison to the largest officially sold Escher combo I own, a 9 x 2 inch stone.

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    The hone really is more white in color than green.

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    From the label only an edge is remaining, but clearly showing this is an Escher.

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    I purchased this stone from the son of an old barber. I bought in total 3 large thuringians and one French special stone from him. Concerning the combination stone he told me that his father always used this stone for the very endfinishing of the razors, only taking a few strokes on it. Happenstance for me because the stone was not worn out much! It is one of my absolute favorite finishers.

    Sometimes the stones were not cut along the layers but crossways. Also great looking stones. I have not tried honing on them but being curios how it will feel.

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  9. #7
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    That's really cool. Thanks so much for sharing all this and the eye candy as well!

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    Thank you for sharing hatzicho. This is verrrry interesting information. Here is another example. I am doing some comparison testing now with a Barbers Delight.
    Mike


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    In historical context, "combination" must have had an entirely different meaning than our current perspective. We now think of combination stone having for example a course and a relatively finer side. Barber's Delight stones were apparently never intended to be used on the darker side as the label was always found there.

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    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingfish View Post
    Barber's Delight stones were apparently never intended to be used on the darker side as the label was always found there.
    Of course the lighter colored stones were more expensive than the darker. Not hard to see why the label went on the dark side. Not that the darker stones weren't very good as well. I assume that the price differential was a reflection of the scarcity of the lighter stone rather than because it was considered superior ? I wonder if the old man from the mine would know the answer to that ? FWIW, I consider the lighter stones better in that they seem as fine but faster. YMMV.

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