Medieval knight in shining armor sterling silver shaving brush

Discussion in 'The Brush' started by bladeshark, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. bladeshark

    bladeshark Well-Known Member

    Sit back and let me tell you a little story.

    It all started about a year and a half ago when I bought what was described as a napkin holder on eBay. It had stamped on it "Del Mas Original, Rubberset Product since 1873, Sterling." Pricy but novel.

    I was intrigued by it and committed to finding out more about this unique piece. What it really was, when it was made, why it was made, etc. I hadn't ever seen anything made of sterling silver by Rubberset. Ever-Ready had made a sterling silver brush; I thought maybe Rubberset had tried something similar back in the day and had looked to take it up a notch or two. As I stared harder at it I felt it looked more like part of a one-off piece than a production line model. Maybe part of an award or trophy. I recalled seeing a story about a gold trophy the Canadian branch of Rubberset had given away for an outstanding individual athletic achievement award in the late '40s. Maybe it was something along that vein.

    I really, really, really hoped I hadn't paid a premium for a sterling silver napkin holder that happened to say Rubberset on the bottom. That would be No Bueno. I know we have napkin holders in our household but I could happily go to my grave knowing I had never bought one. For all I know things like that just magically appear. Kinda like my dinner does every day, despite what my better half tells me.

    Google is always a great place to start any research. I hunkered down with a refreshing frosty beverage and got started digging. I had hoped to find a picture or newspaper story or more details on "Del Mas" who seems to be the silver smith. I found a great site on silver smith's marks but no joy in finding much on Del Mas. There had been a jewelry maker using that name but it didn't seem to be related. I was told "Del Más Original" in Spanish could be translated as "from the most original." One kind soul sent me a link to a familiar-to-me Rubberset information site and schooled me on the Rubberset company history. My search eventually grew cold and the piece, sans napkins, sat quietly on my desk. Heck, I thought the knight motif was kinda cool and I warmed up to the idea that it was fine just as it was. With time the sting I felt in my wallet for overpaying had all but disappeared. I still got a smile on my face when I looked at it so all was good in the hood.

    Fast forward to the present. A few days ago a random eBay searches struck proverbial gold. It was an auction that had just started for another stand, but this time with a really cool silver brush in a knight in shining armor motif sitting on it. Wow. Double Wow. It all finally came together. I reached out to the seller and we quickly agreed to a fair buy-it-now price. We both walked away happy as this unique brush passed from his hands to mine and now sits proudly in front of me on my desk. I'm seriously considering actually putting the first stand on my kitchen table as a napkin holder. At least until I can find it's lost mated brush that is sadly collecting dust in the dark corner of some nameless antique store or thrift shop in one of the four corners of this great country. I now know it's not a one-off piece and there could be an unknown number of others out there waiting to be found by vintage shaving brush aficionados everywhere.

    I'm still hoping to one day know it's history but for now I'm content. I own an untold number of vintage shaving brushes but I think this is my favorite. At least today it is. I tried to tell my loving wife the harrowing story of my new brush's acquisition but I could tell she was zoning out pretty quickly as she was preoccupied with deciding what vegetable to prepare with our upcoming steak dinner. Years of blissful marriage teaches you to filter out only what's important and converts the rest to white noise. I realize my shaving hobby is part of that white noise. After all, who but this noble group of enthusiasts really cares all that much about shaving brushes to be happy for me in my quest? :)

    As all good tales end everyone in this story lives happily ever after. An eBay seller got some of my hard-earned cash, a vintage brush was welcomed to a new home and another model of Rubberset brush was cataloged for posterity. And for those that care and don't like loose ends it was steamed artichoke with dinner that night. Very tasty, as usual, since I am blessed to have married an exceptional cook and accommodating soul mate. She might not be able to repeat the details of this arduous story but she could tell you the brush makes me happy. That's what counts at the end of the day. One day it will be my privilege to pass this brush along to someone else who I hope will cherish it as much as me. For now, there it will sit, appreciated and admired. A nearly lost moment of time captured and acknowledged.

  2. theFAT98

    theFAT98 Well-Known Member

    Very cool!!!
    bladeshark, RaZorBurn123 and Kizurra like this.
  3. RetLEO-07

    RetLEO-07 likes his penguin deep fried, with pink sparkles

    bladeshark likes this.
  4. Dapper-in-a-can-man

    Dapper-in-a-can-man and Dad-on-hand

    That is AMAZING. If you ever find yourself growing tired of it I'm only one email away. :bounce015:
    bladeshark and RaZorBurn123 like this.
  5. RaZorBurn123

    RaZorBurn123 waiting hardily...............

    Killer story, like if that isn't the COOLEST brush I've ever seen.
    bladeshark and theFAT98 like this.
  6. Enrico

    Enrico Popcorn

    Very nice!! :bounce017:
    bladeshark likes this.
  7. brit

    brit Well-Known Member

    absolutely awesome set. imagine the history it could tell.
    BamaT and bladeshark like this.
  8. oscar11

    oscar11 Well-Known Member

    Outstanding brush!
    bladeshark likes this.
  9. SharptoothC

    SharptoothC I bite..........

    Very, very cool.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
    bladeshark likes this.
  10. david of central florida

    david of central florida Rhubarb Rubber

    Very cool, if i run across the handle I'll be sure to call/ write you.
    bladeshark likes this.
  11. Jayaruh

    Jayaruh The Cackalacky House Pet

    Supporting Vendor
    Wow! Very cool.
    bladeshark likes this.
  12. EnglishChannel

    EnglishChannel Well-Known Member

    That is unique. Very nice brush.
    BamaT and bladeshark like this.
  13. Keithmax

    Keithmax Breeds Pet Rocks

  14. bladeshark

    bladeshark Well-Known Member

    Thanks Gents!

    As I spend more time with the brush I'm convinced it wasn't meant to be used, just admired. The badger hair is slightly dry but not brittle. I seriously considered shaving with it this morning. It's not easy to squeeze into the stand and I think if the badger bloomed it would be that much harder to stuff in there and might actually detract from its current good looks. Like trying to stuff an extra large man into size small t-shirt. You get the picture. Lots of belly hanging out. Not pretty. Bad visual, sorry.

    I'm still wanting to at least narrow down the timeframe it would have been made. If I had my preference I would prefer that it had been made before 1934, during the reining of the founding Albright family and before big business took over. Although the base says "since 1874" in actuality the name "Rubberset" wasn't used until 1905. Before that Andrew Albright, Sr. called the company the "Rubber-Coated Harness Trimmings Company" since his original vision was to coat expensive horse and buggy leather parts. They stopped making shaving brushes in 1957 so that’s a broad 52 year window to work in.

    I'm wondering if an antique expert would be able to tell time period based on the style of work. It's a stretch but I bet the right person could help.
    BamaT and Keithmax like this.
  15. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    One of the most unique brush handle and stand I've seen. I like it. :happy088:
    BamaT, bladeshark and Redfisher like this.
  16. david of central florida

    david of central florida Rhubarb Rubber

    This brush and stand are Very cool. I love the little squire dude on the inside of the stand.
    As far as using it, personally I'd use it. From the pics, it looks like one could set the brush onto the stand, upside down to hold it while in use. Or on the horizontal rotating down to allow the bristle to pointg downward.
    BamaT and bladeshark like this.
  17. bladeshark

    bladeshark Well-Known Member

    Ok, you twisted my arm. Tomorrow the brush gets wet. My daily driver is a restored Rubberset 400 with an Omega boar knot. This is going to be way different.
  18. david of central florida

    david of central florida Rhubarb Rubber

    Didn't take much effort. lol


    Only thing i could find was on your web site (i presume, same avitar). It's too cool not to use.
    bladeshark likes this.
  19. bladeshark

    bladeshark Well-Known Member

    Yep, that's my site. The little guy from the side of the stand has been on my main page for over a year. Now it at least has context.
  20. Mike Brown

    Mike Brown Well-Known Member

    Could you sent your photos to "The Antiques Roadshow"? They seem to have several experts in a variety of fields---just wonderin'.
    BamaT and bladeshark like this.

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