LF Help identifying a razor

Discussion in 'Safety Razors' started by Darkbulb, Jun 15, 2015.

  1. Darkbulb

    Darkbulb Cookie Hoarder

    Picked up this oddity off the bay for $9 but I am struggling with really identifying it.
    It'll hopefully be easier once it has arrived and I can see it in person.

    The razor was described as 'no markings on the razor' and in a Gillette case.

    The two photos that were supplied;


    Looking at the head the first thing that came to my mind was that it had some similarities to the Leresche 77.

    My own dirty Leresche 77:

    ..but the way the head comes off, the number of teeth, etc makes it pretty clear that it's not a 77.

    Now, there is a 'mystery' Leresche that has been spotted a few times with various handles;

    Here with a black bakelite handle;

    and here, with a handle much like the one in the auction pictures;

    The above razor is referred to as the "Leresche Prototype 35" and is assumed was issued in very small quantities and based on the Leresche 77 design.

    The handle in the auction pictures looks bit skinnier - and some other smaller differences - though and not sure how the Proto 35 head comes off.

    There's also the big likelihood that it's a copy/clone by one of the many manufacturers in Europe at the time.

    Anyroad, thought I'd see if anyone here knew the answer or could shed some light on this even before I get the razor in my hands in a couple of weeks. Worse case it's a $9 razor that looks kinda cool.
  2. Jayaruh

    Jayaruh The Cackalacky House Pet

    Supporting Vendor
    Not a clue...
    Darkbulb likes this.
  3. Mr. Shaverman

    Mr. Shaverman Well-Known Member

    I think you've got a proto 35.
    Darkbulb likes this.
  4. hrfdez

    hrfdez Active Member

    Another learning thread for me. For the price, I would say that it was a gamble worth taking. I hope when you get it, it is what you think it is. Congratulations!

    You are a cookie hoarder:rofl:
    Darkbulb likes this.
  5. Darkbulb

    Darkbulb Cookie Hoarder

    It would be nice if you were correct but the more I look at the pictures I am actually now leaning towards a clone/copy from someone around that time - the collar ontop of the handle is wider than the proto 35 photo and the quality of the topcap looks 'thinner' and not of the same quality you normally see from Leresche.

    What makes it harder to call right now is of course that; a) I don't have it in my possession to check, b) if the proto 35 was indeed a proto who knows how many different versions they experimented with and c) If it's a copy/clone by someone I would expect that to be mass produced and I haven't seen any like this one before.

    So...to sum it up: still no idea :)
  6. Mr. Shaverman

    Mr. Shaverman Well-Known Member

    I've never heard of a prototype being cloned by other manufacturers. They usually ripoff proven winners, not test products. I'll be interested to read your thoughts when you're hands on with it.
    Darkbulb likes this.
  7. Darkbulb

    Darkbulb Cookie Hoarder

    That's a good point :)
    I'll see what it looks like when it gets here - interesting little thing.
    Mr. Shaverman likes this.
  8. hrfdez

    hrfdez Active Member

    It is an interesting looking razor for sure.
    Darkbulb likes this.
  9. 178-bplatoon

    178-bplatoon Well-Known Member

    Well either way you scored a really nice looking, interesting razor and a nice case in what looks like good condition and all for only $9 bucks!:) If it gives you any kind of a decent shave it was money well spent IMO and I'm pretty sure, in the event you dislike it or it doesn't shave you well, you could easily make your money back selling it around here and still keep the case. :happy096:
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2015
    mrchick likes this.
  10. Darkbulb

    Darkbulb Cookie Hoarder

    I sent off an email to Thomas aka "Mr Leresche" that runs The Leresche Archive and got this back:

    "Yes I saw it but forgot to bid ! I'm glad it went to you.
    I strongly believe it is Leresche made, very probably a late production. I recently found a similar one, shown at the end of this page of my site :

    I know "Jake" from Badger&Blade has one but his was in a flat bakelite box, with bakelite handle :

    I consider it a proptotype, or maybe a production to "fill the cases" when one part is out of stock... This is just speculation ! Because this particular plate is thinner than usual, and nickel plated while the other parts are chrome plated.

    You'll see when you get it ! I shaved with mine two weeks ago, it's a keeper ;) Do you think you'll be able to send me some better pictures of the razor once you get it ? I'm curious !"
  11. Darkbulb

    Darkbulb Cookie Hoarder

    So, the razor arrived this week.

    Sorry for the multiple photos and details here as I am fully aware that even amongst wetshavers there is probably a very small amount of people that care about trivia and identification questions like this one :)
    I'm also sending Mr Leresche, Thomas, a link to this post to get his take on and it'll be really interesting to see what he has to say.

    "Some" photos:
    It has a very strong Leresche-77 look to it when you look at it on its own:

    ..but when you place it next to the 77 you see the obvious differences both in size and design.
    'Unknown' to the left. Leresche 77 to the right:

    The 'unknown' doesn't have any marking on it anywhere and the handle and head is a of lighter material and feels less 'substantial' compared to the very well made 77.

    One interesting difference is of course that the "teeth" are on the baseplate on the Unknown (to the left) - but on the 77 the teeth are actually part of the top plate:



    Part of the reason for that difference lies in how the razor is fundamentally designed.

    The Leresche 77 sports a design similar to what you see in early Gillette razors or a 'two piece design' (even though that term is somewhat of a misnomer);

    whilst the 'Unknown' has a, nowadays, more common three piece design;

    Straight on shot from the front showing off the size difference a bit more.
    77 to the left, Unknown to the right:

    So will I ever know if this is indeed a prototype/filler razor by Leresche - maybe the never-fully-released "78"?
    Not sure, but hey, there's something to be said for a good mystery as well :)

    maltedmilk and PLANofMAN like this.
  12. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    It never ceases to amaze me when a new, never before seen DE razor turns up...year after year. Very cool.

    It may not be made by Lereche, but it's almost certainly French. European razors tend to either be copies of Merkur or Gillette razors.
    mrchick and Darkbulb like this.
  13. ugadawg

    ugadawg Well-Known Member

    Have you shaved with it yet?
  14. Darkbulb

    Darkbulb Cookie Hoarder

    Not yet...and with having another seven French hoe razors to go through over the next 10 days or so...and then a Mongoose coming..it'll be another three weeks or so until I can do a 77 vs 'Unknown' comparison shave :(

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