Let's talk (vintage) SEs

Discussion started by thisISjoel, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. thisISjoel

    thisISjoel Member

    So I bought I Gem 1912 with some blades from @Nightguard and he also chucked in an Everready (not sure what model, the handle looks similar to the 1912, but the head design is a bit different, it has 'BRKLYN NY USA PAT APLD FOR' stamped inside the head). Awesome bloke. Anyway, I'm contemplating going all in on SEs because so far I've been getting amazing shaves from both, but I really don't know what I should be looking for.

    SO, what I'm after is a link (or description of) to some kind of list/wiki/whatever describing/showing the different vintage SEs, advice on blades, and (sort of) approximate values of the different razors (I think I might try and trade some of my gear off for SE stuff, so I want to know what different SE razors are worth).

    Get at me P&C, help a brother out!
  2. I'll be interested in any responses. I have a couple of 1912s, one in its original brown Bakelite case, which I am putting on eBay. Also a couple of pucks of blades I got from England, minus one blade I tried.
    Spencer Frankel likes this.
  3. Sticky

    Sticky Just 17 days and then... 2018 Sabbatical Fail

    Well it just so happens I have been making a collection myself over the last few months, from the Damasakeen to the Contour.
    Can't really find you a list, you'll have to scout about, proper information is scattered and scarce but I hope this helps.

    Gem Damaskeene: The original 1912. Slightly curved head, some say a better shave than the 1912 but essentially looks the same. Under top says "use only Damascene blades". The first were open comb and very rare/expensive, The last say "use Damaskeene blades" as they were making new blades. Made from 1912-1921

    1912 Gem/Ever Ready/Star. From 1921 to... Gem stopped 1930 then ER in UK and Star in US continue. Still produced post-war in UK, various handles

    ER 1914. Apparently made as early as 1909, known as the "little lather catcher" you will see "pull here" on the top cap, as it does not flip from the back like a 1912. Says patented March 24 1914 on the back, like I say original design from 1909 but I guess that would not have the patent info

    ER 1924. Also known as the "Shovel Head" unusual as it is hinged from the front with a clip at the back. This and the 1914 are, to me, pretty "efficient" razors

    Gem Micromatics. The original TTO. Open Comb 1929. Clogpruf 1940. Bullet Tip 1947. All pretty efficient, the OC more so.

    ER Streamline.Also Gem version. Dates vague, 30's -50's .Premium heavy chrome coated (as opposed to nickel) Flip top, like 1912. Expensive

    Gem, ER "Heavy Flat Top" G-bar/E-bar. Not sure of the dates, post war some time I think. Nice fairly mild, head like a 1912 straight safety bar. Slightly heavier but not as heavy as the Micromatics.

    Gem, ER Featherweight. Light with plastic handle, usually white but seen Gem in black. 1950-53 maybe, from memory. Pretty much the same head as the G-bar.

    Gem "Push Button" . Black plastic handle, very light, very mild. Uses a button under the head to release top cap.

    Gem Contours. Light with a curved plastic handle, pretty mild. The Contour I uses the push button mechanism, the Contour II uses the flip like the 1912. The last of the Gems. These and the "Push Button" not my favourites, a disappointing end.

    Then there are the original "Lather Catchers" that came before. I am on the look out for one myself. Can't really tell you too much about them. I think they were originally designed for a wedge but can be used with some shims.

    And there are the "juniors" usually 1912 type but also lather catchers. Not sure what defines a junior. Often different handles .

    Prices! So difficult. Damaskeene, especially OC, and Streamline, usually in a set, the most expensive. Others vary too much depending on condition and case etc. I have found some bargains and paid too much! I really don't know
  4. thisISjoel

    thisISjoel Member

    Thanks so much for the reply! Tremendously helpful.
    Ferret619 likes this.
  5. Ferret619

    Ferret619 Foolish Possums are not Grand Poobahs 2018 Sabbatical

    Beyond your Gems, stars and ever-readys you also have things like the Enders razor and the lather catchers, There are many of these I'd love.
    thisISjoel likes this.
  6. bald as

    bald as Member

    Schick and GEM have a reliable source of new blades - nearly everything else is a collectors curiosity.
    thisISjoel likes this.
  7. Ferret619

    Ferret619 Foolish Possums are not Grand Poobahs 2018 Sabbatical

    Bah poppy cock!

    Nah acctually that's true, I was looking at the old 7 blade sets and cool as they are I wouldn't use one
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017
    thisISjoel likes this.
  8. bald as

    bald as Member

    If - and it is a big if - if you can hone one of the Wilkinson Sword SE wedge blade 7 day sets and the edges are all consistent you would have a nice set. Quite a few of the older very vintage SE's with replaceable re-honeable wedge blades can be worked quite well on a good set of hones if you have the needed skills. Occasionally you will find a Rolls razor and top condition one do exist in the wild.

    Not all Rolls razors. These all look pretty average.

    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017
    Ferret619 and thisISjoel like this.
  9. Ferret619

    Ferret619 Foolish Possums are not Grand Poobahs 2018 Sabbatical

    A buddy picked up a pair NIB rolls the other day and and used one, said it was a good shave, I'm sure time won't have helped the edges
  10. bald as

    bald as Member

    I think @Anthony has a few of the Rolls razors and I believe @Mark is more than capable of honing a good condition Rolls blade.
  11. mpontiff

    mpontiff Member

    @Sticky covered them nicely. There are some differences in some of them, like the Damaskeenes can differ in curving on the heads and 1924s can have different shapes to the teeth, but they're minor at best. The English made 1912 (New Improved 1912 is what I've seen it called) is a touch more aggressive than the earlier American version.

    Valet Autostrops are another SE but they tend to be ignored for the most part. I don't have any experience with them yet but those that do say they are fantastic. Be warned, not all will take a despined Gem blade.

    Prices are all over the place. If you're patient and willing to look for a while, almost all of the listed ones can be found for $20 USD and under in the US, not sure about for y'all. The exceptions would be the open comb Damaskeene which seems to run between $40-$45 USD from what I've seen and bought. The other exception is the Streamline/Jewel/Ambassador razors which usually run $100+ USD, a bit more of its cases with the strop and stropper. The Jewel is rarer than the Streamline and I've never saw an Ambassador for sale.

    The early lather catchers, Star, Kampfe, etc with the ornate decorations are uncommon and prices are high as well.

    There's not much in the way of blade choice (make sure you get the blades meant for shaving, not paint scraping) and most people prefer the Gem PTFE blades.

    Good luck!
    thisISjoel, bald as and Sticky like this.
  12. mpontiff

    mpontiff Member

    Forgot two more - Heljestrand made a few and the Gem Deluxe.

Share This Page