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Thread: Grecian Hones

  1. #1
    Chat room is open Piet's Avatar
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    Default Grecian Hones

    For a long time I've been wondering what to call these light green sometimes blueish stones with a swirling speckles pattern. Are they Llyn Idwals, a type of Tam O'Shanters or something else? I've only seen one with a Douglas Oilstone label before at the forum.

    These pictures come from a recently ended auction. It features a stone of this type but with a Grecian Hone label:

    'Genuine Grecian Hones', 'sold wholesale by James Howarth & Sons'

    Name:  Grecian hone 2.JPG
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    I found one reference to Grecian hones at the forum by A_S:

    ...the Grecian stone is described as being similar in appearance, but superior in performance, to the Idwall stone.
    The stone in that thread is a different type of stone, harder but it also has a speckle pattern and flaking. I have two of these and one of the lighter ones. I also have a somewhat similar blueish stone.

    Are all of these lightgreen stones Grecian Hones or is just a brandname from James Howarth & Sons. Do they come from the Llyn Idwal quarry?

    Here's one of mine and one I had.

    Name:  ToS Long 1.jpg
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  2. #2
    Norton convert Blix's Avatar
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    Couldn't it be as simple as the name suggests? Grecian=Greek

    There's a thread on the Greek stones over at that Belgian forum.

  3. #3
    Chat room is open Piet's Avatar
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    If I understand it correctly, the Greek stones were known and sold as Turkey Oilstones. It would surprise me if these Grecians were not quarried in the UK.

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    Senior Member Vasilis's Avatar
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    I know every stone Greece has to offer. I live here, this stone is not from Greece. Only two kinds of sharpening stones comes from Greece; The known Turkish oilstone and another one very coarse variety from northwest Greece, that has no name. I won this auction for the Grecian stone, and I will post pictures and my impressions about it when it arrives. As far as I know it's from Wales, but I'm not sure if I read it somewhere. If we knew where was its mine, the identification would be a bit easier. Piet, what is your opinion of this stone? Is it fast? Fine like a Charnley? Hard like an Idwal? From its length, 7 3/4" I would guess it's a fast one.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Johnus's Avatar
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    An ode to a Grecian hone. They were part of the Elgin marbles. (sorry I couldn't help myself)!
    benhunt likes this.

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    Senior Member Vasilis's Avatar
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    Haha nice one but seriously, anyone who has experience with this stone, I'll be waiting to read about it. I know it's kind of a rare stone, but many fellow HADdicts must have a couple or a dozen of them.

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    Master of insanity Scipio's Avatar
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    Do I have one? I have two (and several others) very hard British hones which although fine finishers are of unknown identity to me.

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  8. #8
    Senior Member Vasilis's Avatar
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    Are those Grecian hones? The first looks like a Llyn Idwal stone, for the second I'm not sure. The Idwal I have seems finer from stropping with diamond paste 1micron, but the polishing it gives is bad, with oil, not mirror like at all.

  9. #9
    Chat room is open Piet's Avatar
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    It's been too long since I used mine to give a reliable comment on performance, I may use it tomorrow and shave with the edge.

    Scipio, the top one is the same type for sure. The bottom is a bit harder to make out but I assume it's the same just with a different color and less pronounced pattern. Kind of like the one I had in the classifieds recently.

  10. #10
    Master of insanity Scipio's Avatar
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    Thanks Piet, I thought the top one was one. It looks like a Tam sometimes, but it is slightly translucent. I initially thought the bottom one was a green Charnley - when next to a normal one, the green is identical. I'm just not sure what it is.

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