Here we have a set of six vintage 5/8 Wilkinson razors together with a matching 4/8 razor all in faux tortoishell scales and supplied in a vintage razor roll.
The razors have plain spines, satin finished blades with a champfered round point, jimping to the upper and lower tang and the words “WILKINSON SPECIAL RAZOR” on the tang. I believe the scales are made from faux tortoiseshell, as they are thicker and less transluscent than the real thing.
There is some evidence of historic corrosion on the tangs but the scales, spines and faces of the razors are all in very good condition.
Initially I thought that the 4/8 might simply have been a 5/8 which had been over-honed. However, closer inspection confirmed that it is an original 4/8. I would guess that this razor didn’t start life with the others but who knows?
The accompanying leather razor roll has a suede lining with a pocket for each razor. It is still possible to see the gold stamped days of the week although these are now quite faded.
The Wilkinson Sword brand – now a well-known brand of safety razor – was founded by Henry Nock in 1772 in London and started out as a gunsmith. Nock’s grandson, Henry Wilkinson, expanded business into sword making, establishing Wilkinson Sword Co., Ltd. and in 1890, Wilkinson Sword started to produce cut-throat, or straight razors. In 1905, Wilkinson Sword decided to establish its own operation in Sheffield. It acquired James Pinder & Co, which had recently been liquidated. Wilkinson occupied Pinder’s old premises at Nos. 14 & 16 Arundel Lane which became known as the Colonial Works, and was listed in directories as a manufacturer of silver and electro-plate goods, table cutlery, and razors. Wilkinson also acquired Pinder’s mark – a centrepiece – with ‘WILKINSON’ used instead of ‘P’.