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  1. #1
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    Default Need Help Identifying Vintage Gillette

    Hello, all! I'm a new member here and I'd appreciate some help identifying this vintage Gillette safety razor.

    I have a modest collection of vintage razors and I'm familiar with most common Gillette variations, but I've never seen anything like this one. My dad picked it up at a flea market. On the under-side of the blade holder it is marked "Gillette" and "Made in England." On the handle it is marked "Pat. 133963-1917." It appears to be silver plated.

    It came with a case which is in fair condition. The case is marked "Gillette: known the world over" and "New Standard."


    I thought the razor was a fairly typical old Gillette 3-piece until I saw how it comes apart (see attached pics). Very unusual!


    Can anybody tell me what I have? I'm curious to know the history, rarity, age (does the 1917 in the patent # refer to the year 1917?) and approximate value of this razor.

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Senior Member blabbermouth JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Welcome to SRP. Looks like a standard 3 piece from that era to me. The British razors were often Rhodium plated but it may be silver. Here is a Gillette dating guide which will let you know when the New Standard was current. It is for USA razors, I don't know if the British versions had date codes for the earlier ones. I know that later ones did not.
    Be careful how you treat people on your way up, you may meet them again on your way back down.

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    Hoosier (08-25-2009)

  4. #3
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    Thanks for your reply, Jimmy.

    It looks like a typical 3-piece Gillette, but isn't the disassembly unusual? All the 3-piece razors that I've seen have had the handle screw completely off; I've never seen one which had the handle permanently attached to the lower blade holder, like this one does. This thing is kind of like a primitive TTO.

  5. #4
    Black belt shaver spanx's Avatar
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    What you have there is often called a Bostonian. Did you get the lift box and blade case with it? I always liked the pattern on the handle. Good find.

  6. #5
    W&B, Torrey, Filarmonica fanboy FatboySlim's Avatar
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    Jimmy and Spanx are both correct - it's a New Improved, and that model was sold under the names New Standard, Bostonian, Aristocrat, Richwood, or Chippendale, depending on the type of case it came in, and the plating. A smaller travel version was called the Tuckaway, and a big version was called the Big Fellow. The little Tuckaway comes apart in three pieces like you expected, with the entire handle unscrewing from the head, rather than an inner sleeve. Many of the New Improved series came in beautiful metal boxes, plated in silver or gold, often with fancy etching.

    They are the last of the serial numbered razors Gillette made, and were produced between 1921 - 1928. When I shaved regularly with DEs, the 1920s New Improved Gillettes were my very favorites. Great shave, great workmanship. When I occasionally reach for a DE, it's a 1920s Gillette.

    The American made ones are pretty common, but British made ones are much less common. When I was collecting these, an American version boxed would go for between $40 - $100 depending on condition. No box, $60 tops in really nice condition. For a British version, I don't know. But the British ones bring more money.

    If you want to see what the original package looked like, the Mr. Razor site is an excellent resource for DE razor pictures. Go to this link and look for "1921...New Improved" link. Once you open that, the Bostonian is 4th from the bottom on the right-hand side:
    mr-razor Gillette Rasierer

  7. #6
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    Thanks for the responses!

    Unfortunately, it only came with the razor and case. The case is a plain leather-covered-metal one, but it's in decent condition. The blade case is missing. I'm not sure what a "lift box" is, but I assume that's missing as well. Still, it looks like my dad got quite a bargain for $5!

    This is the first razor I've seen with the "inner sleeve" design. That's why it struck me as so unusual.

    That link was particularly helpful.

    Thanks again for the help!

  8. #7
    Senior Member superbleu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoosier View Post
    Thanks for the responses!

    Unfortunately, it only came with the razor and case. The case is a plain leather-covered-metal one, but it's in decent condition. The blade case is missing. I'm not sure what a "lift box" is, but I assume that's missing as well. Still, it looks like my dad got quite a bargain for $5!

    This is the first razor I've seen with the "inner sleeve" design. That's why it struck me as so unusual.

    That link was particularly helpful.

    Thanks again for the help!
    From the case it sounds like a new improved.
    For five dollars you got a steal, these are very nice shaving razors.
    I paid 35 for mine, usually the British versions command a higher price, but the case condition also affects the price too.
    Last edited by superbleu; 08-25-2009 at 06:16 PM.

  9. #8
    Senior Member blabbermouth JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoosier View Post
    Thanks for the responses!

    Unfortunately, it only came with the razor and case. The case is a plain leather-covered-metal one, but it's in decent condition. The blade case is missing. I'm not sure what a "lift box" is, but I assume that's missing as well. Still, it looks like my dad got quite a bargain for $5!

    This is the first razor I've seen with the "inner sleeve" design. That's why it struck me as so unusual.

    That link was particularly helpful.

    Thanks again for the help!
    The case is probably original to the razor. It would have the gillette name on the inside lid to be displayed when the case was open.

    The 'lift case' was for the Bostonian models. When the lid was lifted the razor was lifted up so that it could be more easily taken out of the case.
    Be careful how you treat people on your way up, you may meet them again on your way back down.

  10. #9
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    Default Identifying

    The razor is a 20's Bostonian. They were available in both gold and silver. The boxes themselves were unique, in that they raised and lowered the razor as they were opened and closed. Thanks, Mike.

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