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Thread: A Wade & Butcher, Colonial Revival style

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    Captain ARAD. Voidmonster's Avatar
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    Default A Wade & Butcher, Colonial Revival style

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    This thing caused me some serious annoyance.

    There were two of them up on eBay. One in better shape, the other with a lower starting bid.

    I really wanted the razor. Like, wanted a LOT. Enough to bid far higher than I normally do.

    So I watched the two auctions like a hawk. As it came down to the wire, my choice appeared to be: pass on this one and go all-in on the better quality one, or bid high on this one and miss the better quality one.

    I ended up getting both, but this is the only one that's arrived so far.

    So! Unless I'm mistaken, what we have here is a Wade & Butcher razor made for the Amercian market in the Colonial Revival style -- a popular arts movement after the Worlds Fair held in Pennsylvania, 1876. I'd guess probably 1880-ish (which makes this one of the wee little babies in my collection). The blade is pretty clearly meant to evoke the late 1700's style razors while having all the modern conveniences, like good jimps and a blade that won't cut your thumb off when you use it because the edge goes all the way to the pivot.

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    The blade reads 'The Celebrated Old Army Razor 1776'.

    This one has been personalized:

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    'R. Wilson, Danville Ohio'. The engraving is really very lovely. The tail of the 'R' curls in to a microscopic swirl. When I shake loose a little time for research I'll try to find information about this R. Wilson, but at the moment I've got a writing deadline breathing down my neck and hours spent researching really need to be for the story I'm writing and not my razor collection.

    The blade tapers a fair bit, being widest at the toe, somewhere in the vicinity of 13/16. It's not a huge razor, though it is relatively heavy and not very hollow.

    This reminds me a lot of the modern cars designed to look both old-fashioned and modern; PT Cruisers, Mini Coopers, New Beetles, that kind of thing. I've always thought it was an interesting design goal, so when I saw these razors... Well. Yeah.

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    Last edited by Voidmonster; 02-07-2012 at 03:50 AM. Reason: Minor clarifications on Colonial Revival. Edited later 'cuz I kant speels gud.
    -Zak Jarvis. Writer. Artist. Bon vivant.

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    quadrupolar Speedster's Avatar
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    Wow, thanks for sharing a bit of history. Those razors look seriously old especially in their style. Nice acquisitions!

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    I was watching those two razors as well. I couldn't decide whether or not to bid because I'm unfamiliar with the style of the razor, and it looked to me like the thing was honed down to the shoulder by the heel. If you say that is the style, that is a very interesting razor there!

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    Senior Member Tsunami's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodsmandave View Post
    I was watching those two razors as well. I couldn't decide whether or not to bid because I'm unfamiliar with the style of the razor, and it looked to me like the thing was honed down to the shoulder by the heel. If you say that is the style, that is a very interesting razor there!
    Me too! I was watching those myself. As you I was also wary of the shoulder so I did not bid.

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    Captain ARAD. Voidmonster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodsmandave View Post
    I was watching those two razors as well. I couldn't decide whether or not to bid because I'm unfamiliar with the style of the razor, and it looked to me like the thing was honed down to the shoulder by the heel. If you say that is the style, that is a very interesting razor there!
    I am relatively confident it was designed to evoke razors from this era:

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    The 'Old Army 1776' bit is the real give away here. I dug around through catalogs of exhibitions at the 1876 Worlds Fair and found a fair bit of razor stuff, but nothing from Wade & Butcher -- there was even a company selling quartz paste for the sharpening of razors and knives! Based on what I dug up, it was the functional 'Colonial Kitchen' as one of the exhibits which really kicked the Revival style into high gear, and it peaked around 1880, at least for arts & crafts. In architecture it continued pretty strong until the 1940's.
    -Zak Jarvis. Writer. Artist. Bon vivant.

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    what Dad calls me nun2sharp's Avatar
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    Looks like the next generation right after the stubtails.

    Oops: maybe not after second look, confused the two razors in different posts as one.

    Never mind.
    Last edited by nun2sharp; 02-07-2012 at 02:50 AM.
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    It is easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled. Twain

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    Captain ARAD. Voidmonster's Avatar
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    The one with the pipe above is described by Robert Doyle as Revolutionary War period, and I'm pretty sure that's the style of razor that these two W&Bs I got were designed to mimic.
    -Zak Jarvis. Writer. Artist. Bon vivant.

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    Obsessive compulsive EisenFaust's Avatar
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    Bah I wanted those too!! Glad someone here got them at least. Will be an awesome pair.

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    Senior Member Durhampiper's Avatar
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    Sweet score! Waaaay cool!
    "If you ever get the pipes in good chune, your troubles have just begun."--Seamus Ennis

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    that is a beautiful razor. i'm envious. All sort of shades of green.

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