Size: 150 x 49 x 20mm weight: 422gr.
Density: 2,87 gr./cm³ / Estimated grit size: very fine > 12K
Usage: only use water, no oil or grease!
Color: double layered gelb-grün / yellow-green (YG)
and darkblue (DB)
Supplier/Distributor: Escher & Co. Sonneberg
ID-006 / EN
About this specific Stone:
This is one of the rarest stones i own, its in a nearly mint edition like it could actually be bought newly on the market. It has a full intact “The Barbers Delight” label on the Box, a “Escher & Co. Water Razor Hone” Label with the Barbers Scene in the middle and a yellow side label with the color of the stone, it says “gelb-grün”. Additional this one is stamped with the “Gold Medal / Goldene Medaille” and the Escher’s Cup. It has like all the other labelled Escher Stones, especially like the other “The Babers Delight” a very fine grained and homogenious structure. This one is a dual-layered stone which was often picked in this combination for the Barber’s Delight Qualities.
Honing/Touch Up with Escher & Co. Barbers Delight
These stones in this quality are just awesome! The feeling honing on the stones is very fine and smooth. These are easy usable on touch ups, so i prefer to do just 30 laps with each side of the razor. Depending on the condition of the razor it can be useful to use a slurry before. So i would do 25 laps each side with slurry and 30 laps each side with water. For sure the number of laps can differ but as always ist a funny game to try out what works best for certain razors/steels.
Personal Shaving Results (PSR):
The shaves i got after using the Barbers Delight are really great! A well pronounced sharpness mixed up with a very comfortable smoothness. On most of the steels these are my favorite finishers.
The Stones labelled as “The Barber’s Delight” are very fine grained Thuringian Hones, these were probably specially handpicked qualities for being sold on the american market. Special visits within the quarries had been done from some of the retailers to pick up the best qualities of those stones. If your ever have to possibility to come over such a nice stones, even if its in a bad condition concerning the label or its a unlabelled yellow-green in the same size, grab it as fast as you can! You wont be disppointed concerning the quality of these stones.
Label instructions (DE): left side
Anweisung: Um dem Messer eine zarte Schneide zu geben, muss man mit dem dazu gehörigen kleinen Aufreibesteinchen mitelst Wasser einen Schleim reiben und dann das Messer darauf abziehen, wodurch es eine ebenso feine als dauerhafte Schneide bekommen wird.
Label instructions (DE): right side
Diese ächten Wassersteine zum Abziehen der Rasiermesser etc. müssen durchaus rein von Oel oder Fett gehalten werden, denn nur mit Wasser kann man die Vorzüglichkeit kennen lernen, und diese sind nur ächt zu haben bei…..
Label instructions (ENG): left side
These are the genuine WATER-Hones, preferred throughout Germany to all others for sharpening Razors &c. They need no other recommendation to their quality than a single trial which will be sufficient to convince the most incredulous of their superiority.
Be particular to keep them free from Oil and Grease. Registered
Label instructions (ENG): right side
DIRECTION: To give the razor a smooth edge, take the small stone and water, and rub till you produce a lather; then apply the razor, and you will get a smooth and durable edge.
General Information on Thuringian Water Razor Hones:
These stones are ones of the most known and well appreciated water razor hones today and they have been within the last 200 years. Being quarried in Thuringia in the region around Sonneberg (some Quarries were in Steinach, Steinheid, Goldisthal, Forschengereuth, Hämmern, Lauscha, etc.) These stones seem to have already been quarried since the 14th Century. Actually it’s a pity that there is no documented evidence about this fact . There are many historical sources naming these stones, which were sold under different older german names like (Wetzschalen, Abziehsteine, Poliersteine, etc.)
Probably the most well known water razor hones in the world. Easy to use, very pretty consistent results.
The most interesting and most un-researched Issue is the export of the Thuringian water hones around the world. They can be found everywhere around the world, especially in the USA, Russland, England, France, Spain and other countries. There are a bunch of retailers who sold the stones under their own trademark (f.ex. Bieber, Hahn, etc) . There were also a lot of US catalog companies who sold German Water Razor Hones, just to name a few here: Sears Roebruck, Gustav Knecht M.F.G. Barber Suplies, Theo A. Koch, and a lot more….also smaller Barber Supplies Stores and Companies had the stones in their product catalogues or in their stores. Within the second World War the sale of the german water razor hones were stopped which is well visible and documented in the Sears Roebruck catalogs.
One of the most known trader and exporter of the Thuringian water razor hones is “ESCHER” (known during time periods as Escher & Co. shortened E&Co., Escher & Sohn, Escher & Son, J.G. Escher & Sohn shortened JGES. The Company was founded in 1789 by Johann Gottfried Escher from Sonneberg. Escher sold slate products in the first step afterwards their products ranged from soft water hones to hard oilstones which were quarried from layers of Ordovician age and Devonian age.
The Company started early to sell their products after their foundation on the well-known world fair’s in Frankfurt, Leipzig (at the Union Messehaus) and Vienna. Escher was already selling products one year after their foundation on the fair in Frankfurt . Within the marketing on these fair’s Escher created a name/brand which got more and more attention around the world, probably this was the consequence of a well done marketing campaign which seems to work quite good still up to these days.
The company was split up several times during their existence, between 1890 and 1925 the Escher Company had another additional business in producing and selling dolls. They had their own Puppet label signed (J. G. Escher & Sohn / IGES) with a girl holding a puppet and a Bear in her hands. This was based on the second big business, the production of toys and puppets. This business which was first a local or german business, later got a big international business. Merchants from Sonneberg created a commercial society to sell their well known products on the international markets. Often on the world trade fairs Sonneberg was one of the cities owning a special exhibition for toys and puppets but also on their whetstone products.
Escher created a well-known “Brand” which is still known under Straight Razor Users and people working with fine instruments. The stones today, especially if the labels are full intact are sold for a big amount of money. But it has to be stated that only a label doesn’t say anything about the quality of these stones. So any of these Thuringian Stones without label might be in the same range or quality as a full labelled stone could be.
The last operating quarry of thuiringian water hones (Christoph Luthard Fikken Sohn, Am Petersberg, Steinach) was closed in 1966, which was the end of the operating business of quarrying whetstones in this region. Actually there are nearly no official sources or stores where “Vintage” Thuringian Stones can be bought, most of the stones on the market are old finds or new old stocks from older closed companies.
My Videos about technical topics:
Possible Touch Up Strokes on Thuringian Stone
My Videos from my Stones:
Escher & Co. Water Razor Hone type “Barber’s Delight”
yellow-green (Y/G) size: 6″x2″
General Information on Thuringian
Water hones and the Escher Company:
“Thuringian waterwhetstones from the
J.G. Escher Company in Germany”
(C) by Peter Buhlmann (Hatzicho), Oktober 2013
„Zur Herkunft der Wetzsteine aus der Grabung
aus dem Burgwall in Berlin Spandau“
Rhythmus und Saisonalität, Kongreßakten des 5. Symposions des Mediävistenverbandes in Göttingen, 1933
Jan Thorbecke Verlag Sigmaringen, 1995
“Sonneberger Spielzeug – Made in Judenbach”, 2010
“Wetzsteinbergbau und Wetzsteinherstellung
im Landkreis Sonneberg”
Geschichts- und Köhlerverein
Mengersgereuth-Hämmern e.V. Nr. 8
“Herstellung und Handel mit Wetzsteinen im Bereich des Thüringer Schiefergebirges während des frühen und hohen Mittelalters”
Geschichts- und Köhlerverein
Mengersgereuth-Hämmern e.V. Nr. 21
Thoma, Witzgall, Bravidor
„Seminarfacharbeit Gruppe 5 “Kulturelle und wirtschaftliche Bedeutung von Schiefern im Thüringer Schiefergebirge am Beispiel des Staatsbruchs Lehesten”
„Die Wetzschiefervorkommen in der Phycodenserie bei Mengersgereuth-Hämmern, Steinach und Gräfenthal“
Hallesches Jahrbuch Mitteldeutsche Erdgeschichte, 7. Band, 1965
B.G. Teubner Verlagsgesellschaft, Leipzig, 1966
„Die Hiftenberger Wetzsteinbrüche“
Hallesches Jahrbuch Mitteldeutsche Erdgeschichte, 8. Band, 1966
B.G. Teubner Verlagsgesellschaft, Leipzig, 1967
„Volkstümliche Aufsätze zur Geschichte von Geologie und Bergbau“
Ausgewählte Aufsätze Teil 7, Herausgegeben von Karl Eichhorn
Museumsverein Schieferbergbau Steinach/Thüringen e.V., 2005
„Die Nutzung thüringischer Gesteine zur Herstellung von Wetzsteinen“
“Wetzschiefer – Wetzsteine bei Lauenstein und Gräfenthal”
Beitrag Geologie Thüringen, N.F. 12, 71-97, 5 Abb., 5 Tab., Jena 2005