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A word about Vault n°56 till n°69


Well-Known Member

As you all noticed by now, new Coticules were tested and published at the Vault - repository-II. Several of them are already reserved, others are still available. For the benefit of the future owners, I'm making some additional comments about these hones, as I've always done on the hones in the Vault. Obviously the most important information is already present on the hones' data sheets, but there's always a little extra to tell.:)

This has been a bit of a special batch for me, because it contains 9 hones that I had originally selected at Ardennes for the canceled Burton Series project. They were all characterful and luxurious Coticules, one way or another. I'm not going to reveal which ones were supposed to be Burton, but if you look for exceptionally thick Coticule slices, you surely can identify some of them...

I asked Maurice if I had to use the old or the new price list, for calculating the prices of this batch. He said "Old".

Let's start with n°56 - a huge 75X200 La Dressante au Bleu. It has a special price, because it would normally cost 200€, but because the Coticule slice is about half the "normal" thickness, the price is halved as well. This is a natural combo, with a very nice BBW. La Dressant au Bleu is moderate speed Coticule, with a typical feedback of very fine abrasion. They are darn good Coticules with an easy going character, a bit like those of the La Grise layer.

Next, n°57. La Dressante - upper layer. As explained elsewhere, La Dressante actually a group of thicker layers. There is one part that stays attached to the Blue, with seemingly fairly invariable properties: "La Dressante au Bleu", see n°56 above.
Here's a picture of a raw piece of La Dressante:

n°57 is a glued to slate slice of the upper layer. These La Dressante show more variance, probably connected to the actual level of the slice, and of course also the exact layer of the group. It is not clear to me if all layers of the La Dressante group have a La Dressante au bleu part, and I am only at the verge of figuring out if there is any "order" in the chaos of varying stones I have encountered so far. They show variation from slow to lighting fast, and also on water, there is significant variation in speed. What they all seem to have in common, is that, like La Veinette and Les Latneuses, they seem to have a particular granularity in their tactile feedback, a sort of fine abrasiveness that can be clearly felt when you hover the razor over it. So far, the la Dressantes tested clearly has the "finest" granularity, Les Latneuses, the coarsest, and La Veinette somewhere in the middle. I cannot distinguish any correlations to the finishing properties, not to the speed on slurry. It's just a matter of tactile feedback. One that I find extremely pleasing to the senses, but that's just me. :)
Our n°57 has a moderate speed and is surprisingly fast on water. Somehow, whenever I see some fine red lines at the surface of the Coticule, they always turn out faster on water than average. The edge quality is that of a Coticule edge. That's all I'm going to comment on that.

N°58 is a Typical La Nouvelle Veine- fast side of that layer: fast on slurry, slow on water, a bit a la Grosse Blanche. It's a bit of a forgotten layer, doesn't receive that much attention, but for someone with the patience to figure it out, it does not get any better that this. For sensitive skin, I might add.

N°59 is a La Veinette. Requires no further comment, because these La Veinettes are all the same. It's a very thin layer, that usually offers only one natural combo slice. They're fast and fairly easy to get along with. I accidentally wrote "La Petite Blanche" on this one, and only noticed my error when the pictures where already processed. But it's definitely a La Veinette.

n°60 is a La Grosse Blanche. In the picture you can see that a smaller stone, stored on top of this one, had blocked the light. That's why part shows a slightly oxidized, brown color, and the rest remained creamy. La Grosse Blanche is also a rather consistent layer. Moderately fast to fast on slurry, and always slow on water. Not the easiest Coticules to work with, but they reward skill with very mellow edges. Again, for sensitive skin.

n°61. La Veinette. See n°59. The difference in the picture is because I didn't correct the white points of both pictures very consistently. In reality both hones have exactly the same creamy color.

n°62. La Dressante - upper layer. I don't know what it is with these La Dressantes that carry thin black manganese lines. They speak so loud. They hone so fast. In an attempt to map the La Dressante layer better, I decided to keep one typical specimen of each variation, in the hope that I might be able to subdivided the upper layer into 4 or 5 archetypes. Maybe we can even come to 20 (or so) general Coticule archetypes, describing all layers. La Petite Blanche and La Veinette containing only one archetype, La Grosse Blanche probably 2, Les Latneuses 3, La Dressante 6, etc. Once done, it could also be interesting to map vintage Coticules. Anyway, n° 62 is the second archetype I've withheld. In retrospect, n°55 is the first.

n°63. La Dressante - upper layer. Very similar to n°57, but even faster on water. I compared them side by side and they match very closely. Edge seemed just a tad more awake off this one (= "brisk") A true beauty, with a sort of holographic quality, that changes the color hue a bit in relation to the angle you look at it.

To be continued...
n°64 - A small, but great Les Latneuses. This is a beautiful double-sided Coticule, looks a bit like spalted wood, with those black manganese lines running all the way through. On slurry, as fast as it ever gets. On water among the faster Les Latneuses that I've tested so far. (I'm talking about the creamy side.) The hybrid side is fully serviceable, slower, but with much less slurry dulling and leaves a mellow edge. The finishing difference between both sides is as big as I think is possible on a Coticule: not all that big actually, but it's there, and I find it impossible to state a preference. It's just a small nuance. I don't remember who managed to reserve it, but he's invited to comment about that when he and the stone have become acquainted.

n°65 - The chocolate one. Please not that it will arrive less choclate brown. The pictures were shot before use. As you all know, the color wears off by use and comes back by exposure to sunlight. This is typical for the La Grosse Blanche layer. This hone is very similar to n°60. If you have sensitive skin...

n°67 - La Dressante Upper Layer. This is another beauty. I could look at this stone all day. Put it in natural light somewhere, and I swear it changes appearance as the day passes buy. This is mainly caused by the holographic effect that causes all kinds of shifts in the warmth of the colors as the light and viewing angle changes. It is as good as n°57. Thickness of the Coticule slice is enough for 250 years of heavy use. A jewel.

n°68 - La Petite Blanche. A jewel of another kind. It renders me speachless. Just look at it.
It's a La Petite Blanche, with the typical bahavior of that layer. Only one exception, it is faster on water than I expected. Perhaps with a minimal difference in the final edge: a bit more clearly in the "engaging" realm, where the typical La Petite Blanche starts bordering on mellow. Please look at that picture some more.:love:

n°69 - La Dressante upper layer. I did a side by side comparison with n°57 and could not detect any difference.

This concludes my comments on the current batch.

Kind regards,
That nº 68 really is stunning... It was almost enough to make me splurge unnecessarily :love:

The fact that it is an La Petite Blanche made it almost irresistible. I can hardly wait to hear how it performs for the new owner!
I picked up a little cube of Les Latneuses at the mine, 5x2 cm, for a slurry stone that has manganese on the thin side that looks like the side of no. 68. I lapped it for use and couldn't stop looking at it. Really, I carried it around all afternoon.

If I didn't think I was getting too strange I would carry it in my pocket all the time:lol:

TM280 said:
I picked up a little cube of Les Latneuses at the mine, 5x2 cm, for a slurry stone that has manganese on the thin side that looks like the side of no. 68. I lapped it for use and couldn't stop looking at it. Really, I carried it around all afternoon.

If I didn't think I was getting too strange I would carry it in my pocket all the time:lol:


Now Bart will be categorizing "pocket stones". To carry with you when you just truely miss your coti. they can either match your stone or they could be a piece of a dream stone. Oh! key chains!

I spent some time ogling over no. 68, but I know that I could never do a stone like that justice. She is truly a beauty. No. 67 sounds like it would be a beaut to see in person as well. I just love the variances in these stones.
I'm strongly tempted to n[sup]o[/sup]60 but I'm not sure if I really need it, although the size AND characteristics appeal to me a lot... And it's still available... Dayam!

That being said, n[sup]o[/sup]68 indeed is hell of a great looking stone!