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A few other vintage Brits...


Well-Known Member
Since I am vacationing this week and have time on my hands I wanted to share a few more of my beloved British razors. British vintage razors are a soft spot for me, both Gillettes and other brands, and I have bought and sold quite a few and kept the ones I love the most. These are two of my non-Gillette keepers.

The Shavex Zee-Kol heavy handle

This razor was built and retailed by the Shavex Zee-Kol Company of 49 Blenheim Road, Upper Holloway, London. Registered in 1910, patented in about 1915 and made up until the early 1940s. The pictured specimen apparently is a very early model. It is solid brass, has a silver handle and chromed head, 62 grams with 38 of these in the handle. 79 mm assembled.

Standout features of this razor are the very thin(!) perforated baseplate and of course that gorgeous art deco handle. This is my favorite handle of all i my den and I use it regularly on other razors too. It is wonderful to hold, perfect balance, and the most grippy handle I have ever tried.

The shave of the Shavex is a no-nonsense mild and efficient one. But I don’t shave with the head a lot as the blade pegs are ever so slightly thicker than normal, which makes modern blades sit very tight/clamped down. So every time I remove the blade I am afraid to break the pegs. Of course this would never happen but I just like the thing too much to risk it.

The Joseph Potter Velvet Mark II

The Velvet Mark II was made in England between 1935-39 and is a 3-piece razor produced by Joseph Potter of the city of Birmingham. It was retailed exclusively through F.W. Woolworth's stores which also were the only retailers of the Sheffield made "Velvet" blades.

The guard is a very slim, flat closed comb with a slick edge and is stamped ‘Made in England’ with ‘Patent Pending’, which alledgedly makes it an early one. The cap is stamped ‘Velvet’ along both top edges.

Earlier Potter models had unique diamond shaped pegs for blade alignment but this model featured the more traditional round pegs, meaning standard long slot blades would fit. The handle is a hollow ball-end style but has a thick tube and doesn't seem to suffer the same stress cracks as the Gillette handles of the same time period.

The Velvet takes standard DE blades and weighs in at a mere 47g with a total length of 82mm. The material is nickel plate on brass (even if it looks like silver). The razor is a pleasure to hold and look at, very light and nimble with a very nice balance. Before and during the shave the feel and balance is very much like my Rotbart Mond-Extra, but a bit lighter and of course with the solid comb rather than open comb.

The shave is superb, very efficient, a bit more so than say a standard Tech. I love solid combs as the nick factor seems gone completely.

I am smitten with these early Brits, and to close off this small post here is the Velvet along with the Eclipse Red Ring, the Duplex and the Shavex. They all share the same caracteristics: Small, simple and no-nonsense shavers with unique looks to boot!