The Danish winter does not provide very much light to take pictures in but I did my very best. This razor might be of particular interest to razor collectors. It features a very pretty deep engraving which is intact. The scales are almost like glass. In a bright light I can make out lovely taints of red. My best guess is that they are made out of turtle or buffalo horn. The razor belonged the great grandfather of a man living in Nottingham, they most likely emigrated to England during the famine. Over the years, the blade has been used but amazingly it is in great condition. The bevel looks almost set, it catches hairs when passing the blade up the arm. I’d say a few laps on a 4k up to 12k would do it wonders. Why is this razor so expensive you’re wondering? Simply because they are scarce.
History “(Brace yourself)”
James Read & Co. opened a knife, sword making shop and forge on Blind Quay which was on Lower Exchange Street in the year 1670. James Read had a sister named Elizabeth who was born in 1698 and died in 1742. Elizabeth married Richard Guinness and gave birth to the great Arthur Guinness who went on to found the world famous brewery firm.
James Read died in 1744 and his nephew John Read succeeded him running the business. It was in 1750 that he acquired a property Crane Lane which was then a busy Dublin street. Crane Lane was a direct route from Dame Street to the docks and the Custom House quay. In late 1750 Parliament Street was been laid out, John purchased a plot of land at the rear of the Crane Lane premises; He then used the Parliament Street side for his shop entrance.
John Read died in 1776 and his son Thomas Read inherited the business and the business bore this name up to recently. In 1988 Jack Cowle the last descendant of the read family retired and for the first time in over 200 years the firm passed to a different family the Butlers. Since then the business has closed in 1997 and one of Dublin’s oldest shops lies rotten in need of some tender love and care. Thomas Chippendale supplied the shops display cabinets and it is believed they are still in situ today. It is believed that a Mr O’Regan and his public house holdings owned the building but his business has been liquidated in 2009. Fine examples of swords bearing his name exist and can be viewed at the arms and armor collection of the National museum of Ireland Collins Barracks.
An urgent need to save this shop front, the unique signage and interior for future generations.