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Thread: Travel razor by R. Wass, 1807 - attributed to George Damer

  1. #1
    Senior Member ScienceGuy's Avatar
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    Default Travel razor by R. Wass, 1807 - attributed to George Damer

    I happened upon this one that was mis-listed as sold, so it stayed available until I was able to buy it. It turned out to be a lot more interesting than what I thought. At first I thought it was just another nice R. Wade travel razor, but once I got it I realized it was actually R. Wass. I had never heard of that name but looked around, and sure enough there was a Robert Wass from Sheffield who received a patent in 1809 for improvements to hafting, though said improvements are not detailed:

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    The blade itself is etched with a scene of marching soldiers, and inscribed on the front "To the Right and Hon[ora]ble Lord Milton, 1807". So this dates it precisely and fits in perfectly with the date range of the patent. Further, Lord Milton could be George Damer, who was Viscount Milton in the late 18th century, and from a time the Chief Secretary for Ireland. He had military connections as well, colonel of the Dorset Militia 1798-99, and colonel of the Dorsetshire Yeomanry Cavalry 1803-1808, which could be related to the blade etching.

    George Damer:

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    Further support comes from a 1779 book on the nobility, citing George's father Joseph as Lord Milton. Joseph was dead by 1798 so this razor would be definitively made for George, who inherited the title. As a sidenote, apparently during our revolutionary way, Joseph had taken up "violent animosity to the Americans".

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    Also of note is that the reverse of the blade has the etching "Ground on a 4 inch stone. RW". While I have seen a few of these 4-inch stone etchings, I have not seen one with the maker's name present in the etching itself.

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    Here is the blade form in Smith's Key (1816):

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  2. The Following 19 Users Say Thank You to ScienceGuy For This Useful Post:

    782sirbrian (08-30-2017), BobH (08-29-2017), Dieseld (08-30-2017), DoughBoy68 (08-29-2017), ejmolitor37 (08-30-2017), engine46 (09-04-2017), Geezer (08-29-2017), goldragon (09-11-2017), JOB15 (08-30-2017), karlej (09-04-2017), markbignosekelly (09-03-2017), neehooya (10-02-2017), Oldnick (09-14-2017), outback (08-29-2017), sharptonn (09-18-2017), Voidmonster (08-29-2017), Walterbowens (08-29-2017), xiaotuzi (08-30-2017), ZipZop (08-30-2017)

  3. #2
    Senior Member blabbermouth outback's Avatar
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    Sweet find, Great history, and by the looks of the portrait.. A mighty fine shaver.!
    And a Americans hand. He's rolling in his grave. !

  4. #3
    Senior Member blabbermouth ejmolitor37's Avatar
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    What a beaut! Congrats on this score, that is a heck neck of a find.
    Nothing is fool proof, to a sufficiently talented fool...

  5. #4
    Senior Member blabbermouth Dieseld's Avatar
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    Awesome score!!! Thanks for the history to go with it
    Look sharp and smell nice for the ladies.~~~Benz
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  6. #5
    Senior Member xiaotuzi's Avatar
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    Oh, that is so nice! Great history attached to it, what a treat! Thanks for the awesome write up
    Steel, ejmolitor37 and Dieseld like this.
    "Go easy"

  7. #6
    Senior Member ZipZop's Avatar
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    Nice razor! And a very interesting history. I'm a huge fan of American history, and secondarily I am also a fan of world history. I Love reading anything that relates to history from the 19th century and before.

    Mahalo! And congrats on that awesome acquisition.

    nicknbleeding, lz6 and Dieseld like this.
    "I get some lather and lather-up, then I get my razor and shave! Zip Zop, see that? My face Is ripped to shreads!" - Bill Cosby on Shaving

  8. #7
    Senior Member blabbermouth Firefighter2's Avatar
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    Definitely a razor to be treasured, thanks for sharing!
    "The funny thing about firemen is, night & day, they are always firemen."

  9. #8
    Senior Member blabbermouth engine46's Avatar
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    As always, very nice.
    An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest ~Benjamin Franklin

  10. #9
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    Absolutely gorgeous razor and very interesting history!

  11. #10
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    That's very interesting. I wonder exactly what his patent covered. The part stamped "R. Wass" looks like a separate piece to me. The front edge of that stamped portion doesn't align with the blade, and the line toward the end of the tang looks like metal was blended in there.

    engine46 likes this.

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