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Thread: Svenskt stål/Swedish steel

  1. #491
    Senior Member Toroblanco's Avatar
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    Rest of my swede's. Swedish steel is one of my favorites. Hard but takes and holds a wicked edge!
    evnpar likes this.

  2. #492
    Senior Member TristanLudlow's Avatar
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    Seeing how there is a lot of misinformation regarding Heljestrand razors, especially those with the MK markings.
    I want to share some info a friend shared with us on another forum.

    The origin of the marking 'MK No XX' on the Heljestrand razors is from the Heljestrand agent in Paris, Magnus Kindal. He was a Swede who moved to Paris in 1875 and opened a bookstore there. He also sold knives and bought them in Eskilstuna, Sweden. He was a very talented sales rep and later bought the Heljestrand factory.

    The markings on the razors are MK (Magnus Kindal), BK (Berte Kindal) and RK (Rickard Kindal). Berte and Rickard were children of Magnus Kindal. The razors were produced at different time periods. The quality is the same. The shop in Paris is today run by Makie and Caroline Kindal on 23 BIS Rue de Constantinople in downtown Paris.

    The marking CV on the razors are from CV Heljestrand, the founder of the company and the guy who learned to forge razors in Sheffield,UK in the 1870's. He then made use of this knowledge on the steel from the mines in Sweden. The three crowns on the razors indicate that the factory was delivering to the Swedish Royal Court.


    According to my main source (an old guy who had worked as an apprentice in the factory in the '30s Magnus Kindal was not very popular because he forced the smiths to only make one kind of razors at a time. Kindal (and his children) knew what the customers wanted; the smiths wanted to show off their knowledge!

    The razors were sold via Paris in Europe and via Hoffritz in the US. All were marked with the MK/Heljestrand logo and sometimes rebranded for big customers.


    I should also add that the lesser unnumbered (and non - MK) razors were sold domestically and in some countries in Europe. They often represent a quality that the Kindal family didn't want to export to the big markets because of different steel , grinds and tempering of the steel. This made the razors unfamiliar to the clientele who bought the top end products.


    All razors marked Kindal were made for export. At some point even the Heljestrand logo was removed but the Kindal logo was there, especially on rebranded razors in the US.

    The razors marked with only 'CV Heljestrand - Eskilstuna' without any numbering were for domestic sales. Even these did get exported at some point.

    The blades for domestic sales in Sweden were much more diversified than the MK exports.

    The razors for MK markets were highly uniform and largely of the same raw material. The domestic razors contained that material and tempering but also many different ones.

    The Kindal family wanted to maintain the kind of razor their high end customers were used to so they limited the smiths to only one kind of razor at a time. The smiths were frustrated because of this, they wanted to show the world how they refined their skills and materials.

    I mentioned earlier that CV Heljestrand was the founder of the factory. That is not quite accurate; the Heljestrand family before CV owned and operated a factory that made knives and cork screws (!) and CV expanded the razor business after learning the trade in Sheffield, UK in the 1870's!

    The Swedish Frameback was the beginning of the Heljestrand evolution. The razor was made by CV Heljestrands father with the best knowledge available at that time in Eskilstuna. Heljestrand senior knew that the Brits were up to some new methods in handling steel, both tempering and grinding. This made him send his son Carl Victor to Sheffield to learn the new ways of handling steel in the 1870's.

    When CV returned he applied his knowledge of razor making on the different steels made by the Swedish mining companies. That steel was not available anywhere but in Sweden. The Eskilstuna smiths were for a long time the only ones who possessed both the know how and the material. This is why the Eskilstuna razors take and hold an edge unlike any other razor from that time.

    32t, BobH, JOB15 and 1 others like this.

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to TristanLudlow For This Useful Post:

    JOB15 (03-16-2021)

  4. #493
    Senior Member alex1921's Avatar
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    The original store was on 33 Avenue de l'Opéra. Picture is from the inside of a razor box.

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  5. #494
    Senior Member TristanLudlow's Avatar
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    I also have a 7-day set of MK 31 razors in ivory scales from the Kindal store in Paris, the inscription is barely readable anymore, so thanks for sharing a clear picture!

    I bet that razor box has some sweet razors to accompany!
    rolodave, alex1921 and DZEC like this.

  6. #495
    Senior Member alex1921's Avatar
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    One box has the name and address, the other doesnt.
    One is a 7 day set in ivory, 31's the other 32's. Not sure which is which. I took the pics last summer when I was emailing with Ms. Kindal.

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  7. #496
    Senior Member TristanLudlow's Avatar
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    After collecting 2 7-day sets of Heljestrand framebacks, I finally scored a 7-day set of MK 31s nicely scaled in Ivory with the days of the week visible on top of the tang in French.
    The box is in rough shape and the Kindal inscription is barely there anymore, but you can see it IRL.

    Lovely razors, I have been looking for a set like this for over a decade and finally acquired one.
    It's the perfect size razor for me, not too big, not too small. I really like them.
    The thumb-notch is also a superb addition.

    Lovely lovely shavers. This set is becoming my set of daily shavers. I notice I gravitate to Swedish steel more often than not. Paired with a Coticule finish I really enjoy the shaves.
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  8. #497
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Gorgeous razors. Quite a find. I am supremely jealous.
    TristanLudlow likes this.
    David
    “Shared sorrow is lessened, shared joy is increased”
    ― Spider Robinson, Callahan's Crosstime Saloon

  9. #498
    Senior Member blabbermouth PaulFLUS's Avatar
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    Outstanding! Congratulations
    TristanLudlow likes this.
    As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. PR 27:17

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