Category Archives: Allgemein

Preislisten – Pricelists

Doing my research on sharpening stones and razor hones, old pricelists are a very important resource for a lot of lost details and information. The knowledge about vintage stone types and the knowledge about old logos and trademarks are very helpful and this adds a lot of more importance to my Company profiles.

Sometimes when beeing into a research sharing all information available you own is not a good idea, because you need to keep information strictly for you. But finishing the work i thought it would be great to have the knowledge available for everbody out there. Thats why i will start to release the available pricelists i own from some of the companies i did researches of. Have fun and enjoy reading those.

This section will be updated part by part, so check back from time to time.

D. Giovannacci, L&B. Ghelfi 1897 Prix Courant (KATALOG/CATALOGUE)

DE: Pierres de Touche = Probiersteine
Diese Steintypen wurden als Probiersteine für Edelmetalle verkauft. Oft verwendete man hierfür Kiseselgesteine (z.B. Lydit, auch Radilarit oder Kieselschiefer genannt), ein schwarzes mit weissen Adern durchsetztes hartes Gestein. Beim Abziehen von Gold oder Silber verblieb ein Abrieb auf dem Stein und man konnte sehr gut den Gehalt des Edelmetalles bestimmen. Es kamen aber auch andere harte Steine zum Einsatz welche von Säuren nicht angegriffen wurden.

EN: Pierres de Touche = Testing Stones
These types of stones have been sold as “Testing Stones” for precious metals like gold or silver. Often siliceous rocks were used (f.ex. Lydite, called also radilarite), a black hard stone with white streaks. When rubbing gold or silver over the stone a trace will stay on the stone. With the trace its possible to estimate the content of the precious metal. Also other hard types of stones have been used, stones which do not show any reaction to acid.

DE: Pierres Hindostan ou Canada = Hindostan + Kanadischer Ölstein beide Steintypen wurden wohl “gleichzeitig” verkauft. Während in alten Katalogen der Kanadische Ölstein immer wieder auch als “ERSATZ” für den Hindostan Stein angepriesen wird und umgekehrt auch.

EN: Pierres Hindostan ou Canada = Hindostan + Canadian Oilstone both types have been sold “at the same time”. In older catalogues we often find Hindostan Stones as a substitute for Canadian Oilstones and vice versa.

DE: Pierre de Saxe = Sächsischer Ölstein, vermutlich wurden die Steine zu diesem Zeitpunkt von den bekannten Brüchen in Thüringen bezogen. Sächsische Ölsteine wurden auch unter dem deutschen Pseudonym als “Forellen” verkauft. Die Steine sind ähnlich hart und fein wie Arkansas Steine (Hart Arkansas / Translucent Arkansas)

DE: Italiennes blanches et jaunes = Italienische weisse und gelbe Steine
Für mich ist es das Erste mal das ich in den alten Katalogen Rasiermesser Abziehsteine aus Italien sehe. Nein wir reden nicht von Sensenwetzsteinen wie z.B. Mailänder Steine sondern hier sind explizit Abziehsteine für Rasiermesser gemeint. Möglicherweise eine Spur zu den oft in Frankreich aufgefundenen Pierre du Sud Ouest (PDSO). Diese Steine sind Thüringer Abziehsteinen sehr ähnlich und haben ein Senf ähnliches dunkles gelb.

EN: Italiennes blanches et jaunes = Italian white and yellow stones
For me it is the first time i’ve seen Italian Razor hones in one of the olf catalogues. We are not talking about scythe stones like f.ex. Mailand Stones. Those are explicetely called Razor Hones. Possibly this might be a trace to those often found stones in france called Pierre Du Sud Ouest (PDSO). Those stones compare well to thuringian water hones, but they show a mustard like dark yellow.

Schleifmittel Aktiengesellschaft (SAG) 1930 (PREISLISTE/PRICELIST)

Seite 1 –

Seite 2 – Carbosaxum Steine

Carbosaxum Banksteine im Pappkarton

Carbosaxum Kombinationsbanksteine

Carbosaxum Hohlmeißelsteine

Carbosaxum Schuhmachersteine

Carbosaxum Feilen, unbearbeitet

Seite 3 – India Ölsteine

India Ölsteine Logo der Schleifmittel AKtiengesellschaft

“Der Indiastein gilt in der ganzen Welt als der langlebigste Ölstein. Außer dem Vorzug, fast unverwüstlich zu sein, fällt ein Indiastein sofort durch sein scharfes gleichmäßiges Korn auf. “India frisst geradezu den Stahl” schreiben die Kunden”

Katalog Schleifmittel Aktiengesellschaft (SAG) 1930

India Ölsteine Erläuterungen

India Banksteine in Pappkartons

India Kombinationssteine in Pappkartons

India Hohlmeißel Steine

India Dreikant Feilen

India Vierkant Feilen

India Rund Feilen

Seite 4 – Arkansas Ölsteine

Foto Sägen der Arkansas Steine

Foto Bearbeiten der fertigen Steine

Hart Arkansas Banksteine

Hart Arkansas Dünnschnitt

Special Stone only for Good Razors marque F.G.B.C. 178 x 40 x 22

Density: xxgr./cm³ / Estimated grit size: ultra fine > 15k
Usage: with water, oil or glycerin (FGBC says to use the stone with oil)
Color: gray-blue slate with metallic sparkle look
Supplier/Distributor: F.G.B.C.

About this specific Stone:
A very nice example of a Special Stone only for Good Razors marque (F.G.B.C.). This one owns no Stamping in fine, very fine, extra fine but it shows one of the later appearing (MF) Manufrance – Saint Etienne stickers and a Special Stone marque F.G.B.C. lable.

Manufrance Saint-Etienne lable
(MF) Manufrance – Saint Etienne Sticker

 Also visible are finer grained saw marks, the older stones show coarser cutting marks. The newer ones show finer grained saw marks. 

Short Rating of the Stone:
Hardness Level (x/10)
Speed Level (9/10)
Polishing Level (8/10)
Difficulty Level: medium-hard

Short Rating of the Shave:
Keenness (8/10)
Smoothness (8/10)
AS Burn (8/10)

Don’t take this rating too serious ! Its based on my individual findings and experiences and cant be transferred 1:1 to your own findings, especially when we talk about natural stones. Besides this every shave depends on technique, the used razor and its steel and the personal feeling on the skin. More details on my short ratings here:

General Information on the fine “French Razor Hones” from F.G.B.C.:
The information written here is in general about the “French Special Stones”. Named here “Pierre La Lune” or the “Special Stone only for Good Razors”.

Both types of stones have been sold from F.G.B.C. and the “Special Stone for Good razors” was also exclusively sold from Manufrance (MF) as beeing a well known french catalogue company in the past. The company was established in Villebouef, Saint Etienne, on the 10th November 1885.

Up to date the origin of the stones and in detail the place where the stones were quarried is not known. Actually there are some traces leading towards the french region down the Vosges (Steige) where a red schist type has its origin called Schist de Steige or “Lie de Vin Rouge”. It has some good properties which might help the stone to be usable as a sharpening stone (SiO2 59,3%, Al2O3 22%, FE2O3 7,3%). Other places could be well some of the Quarries (Merviller-Vacqueville, Pexonne, Badonviller) named in the letterheads or advertisement of F.G.B.C..

Up to May 2014 the Company with the shortcut F.G.B.C. selling the La Lune Stones was unknown, until a member of the french “coupe choux” forum
Coupechouxclub named “FERDI” found an old pricetable from F.G.B.C. from 1974.

F.G.B.C. stands for the company “F. Ghelfi Birolleau & Cie.”  selling sharpening stones and building up Grinding stones. They sold different kinds of stones like “Pierre Du Levant”, “Pierre Arkansas” and Grinding Hones like “Grés Blanc, Gris & Rouge”. They had men made stones like the “New Master Stone” in their catalogue which is a SIC (Siliciumcarbide) Stone or a “Brocken Selected La Lune Extra Fin” which seems to be a double sided sharpening stone.

The Company F. Ghelfi & Cie., Maisons Birolleau & F. Ghelfi & Cie. Réunies, used different adresses during their appearance: 7 Rue Charlot, Paris (1916), 17 Rue de Saintonge, Paris (1922), 47 Rue de Saintonge, Paris (1925). Also it seems that there existed a former company named “D. Giovannacci & L. Ghelfi”, 84, Faubourg St. Antoine, Paris (1893) and “Bardotti, Ghelfi & Cie.”, 106 Rue de Fanbourg, Saint-Antoine (1889). The newer company name “F. Ghelfi Birolleau & Cie” was also down the 47 Rue de Saintonge, Paris (1974), so it seems that the company stayed there from 1925-1974 concerning the documents. The years in brackets are taken out of existent documents like invoices or letters.

On some of the older Lorraine stones there is also a shortcut given named M.P.O.P. which was the addition to the predecessors company or probably a parallel runned company from “D. Giovannici, L. & B. Ghelfi”. M.P.O.P. stands for “Meules, Pierres, Outillage, Produits”.


About this stone:
This is one of the bigger examples and a very clean one, sometimes small black lines or holes appear in the stones. This one has none of the named inclusions. It seems that this one is also one of the older stones due the usage of the label.

Often there is a discussion how the stones are used the best way, some mention to use them only with water, some say oil or glycerine. Concerning the facts: the stones were mentioned to use with oil, this information is given on the Bulletin de Garantie which was delivered with the stones from F.G.B.C.

1. red/purple or blue/green/blackish slate, dense and very hard
2. metallic or sparkle surface which reflects in the light, smal reflecting particles
3. fast cutting abilities due it is a very fine finishing stone
4. stamped “fine”, “very fine”, “extra fine”
5. usable with oil, water and glycerin
6. there were stones appearing as “Pierre de L’est” with the same look

The best usage seems to be with glycerin, which was mentioned in different ways from different members. A special thanks here to Ekretz, Bayamonate and Sharpchef which helped me out to get more into using the stones the best way.

It seems that after the last finishing routine with a high rated grit stone (10K, 12K, Thuringian) the latest 50 laps should be done with the weight of the razor.

External Links

My Videos from the Razorlovestones project:

Razorlovestones: “Series 1 – French Hones”

Razorlovestones: “Combinaison Master Stone / La Lune marque F.G.B.C.”

Razorlovestones: “Pierre Aiguiser La Lune marque F.G.B.C.”

Razorlovestones: “Pierre aiguiser “La Lune” (red/purple slate)”

Razorlovestones: “Special Stone for good razors: Steel removal with Kitchen Knife”

Razorlovestones: “Pierre aiguiser La Lune vs. Special Stone for good razors”

Other Videos

 Oldengaerde: “Special Stone only for Good Razors real genuine quality F.G B.C”

 General Information:

Manufrance Website

Manufrance History

More from wetshaving boards here:

Razorandstone (R&S): “Special Stone only for Good Razors”

Razorandstone (R&S): “The Special Stone only Razors” (SRP): “Pierre La Lune” (SRP): “A Special Stone” (SRP): “French Hones”

Coupe Choux Club: “Pierre La Lune”

 © text and Pictures

F. Ghelfi, Birolleau & Cie (F.G.B.C.), Paris


1. F.G.B.C. = Ferdinand(o) Ghelfi, Birolleau & Cie.
2. Historical approach and Italian roots
3. Old Pictures from the store F. Ghelfi & Cie. at 7, Rue de Charlot
4. The Trademarks from F.G.B.C.
5. The Quarries from F.G.B.C.
6. Steige, possibly origin of the fine red razor hones ?
7. Products and services from F.G.B.C.
8. Razor Hones “Pierre aiguiser LA LUNE”
9. Classification of the “LA LUNE” and “Special Stones”
10. La Lune and Special Stones from other suppliers?
11. A  promise on quality!
The warranty card, or the “Bulletin de Garantie”
12. Combo Stones “Combinaison Stone” AD12 / AD20
13. Scythe Stones “Pierre a faux” made of Pierre Natural de Saurat
14. Arkansas Stones
15. other Stones made by F.G.B.C.
16. The F.G.B.C. “Prix Courant” / Price List from 1974
17. Unknown Products
18. F.G.B.C. on the bigger trade fairs?
19. F.G.B.C. and Manufrance
20. Collection and how to identify french stones

FGBC_Letterhead Pricelist


1. F.G.B.C. = Ferdinand(o) Ghelfi, Birolleau & Cie.

 “Manufacture & Montage De Meules, Pierres a Aiguiser et a Polir”
Production & Assembling of abrasive wheels, sharpening stones and polishing stones.
The company was founded from Ferdinand(o) Ghelfi in 1903, which then existed besides the company from L. & B. Ghelfi which was under control of Belle.

The following changes are documented:
F. Ghelfi & Cie., 7 Rue de Charlot, Paris (1916/1922)

F. Ghelfi & Cie., 47, rue de Saintonge, Paris (1933) – relocation
F. Ghelfi Birolleau & Cie., 47, rue de Saintonge, Paris (1974)
change of company name and owner

Besides these changes there are predecessor companies which for have a close connection to F. Ghelfi & Cie. I created a overview of those companies which you can find on the first part of the story here:

D. Giovannacci & L. Ghelfi “Établissements Belle”,
87 Rue Faubourg St. Antoine (M.P.O.P.)

2. Historical approach and Italian Roots

In concerns of my researches and to the predecessors companies its impossible to miss the connection to Italy. Doing more research of the Italian family names “Bardotti”, “Giovannacci” and “Ghelfi” i found a lot of evidence to the old towns PontremoliMulazzo and Montereggio (Mulazzo) in the historical region Luningiana. All of the families are well bonded together during many centuries which makes it somewhat complicated to get their connection easily together.

During the winter time it was very cold and the people suffered from hunger, many inhabitants had to sell goods on the streets. Many left their home and families and went down the Emilia-Romagna or the Lombardy.  They had to strife their life as street dealers and they sold icons/holy images also musical instruments and razor hones[1]

Luckily Jethro (Fikira) was interested to create a more detailed interpretation about the connection of the families and people being involved into that business during the centuries. That’s why i will leave out “too detailed” information and focus on general issues and pictures.

This is article can be found under:
Who were the People behind F.G.B.C. ?
written by Jehro (aka Fikira)

3. Old Pictures from the Store F. Ghelfi & Cie.
at 7, Rue de Charlot

During my research i found a old picture from the store of the brothers Ghelfi (ital.: fratelli, the brothers were Carlo, Constantino, Ferdinando, Lorenzo and Jean-Baptiste). The picture was taken from the times where their business was at 7, Rue de Charlot, Paris.[2] Also today the distinctive building structure can be seen.

Here are some newer pictures from the old location of F. Ghelfi & Cie. at 7, Rue de Charlot, Paris, one is an actual shot, the others are from vintage postcards which i bought:

Here are some newer Google Street View pictures from the
old location of  F. Ghelfi & Cie. at  7, Rue de Charlot, Paris:

Here are some newer Google Street View pictures from the
old store at 47, Rue de Saintonge, Paris:

4. The Trademarks and Logos from F.G.B.C.

Actually there have been several “trademarks” or “main products” where logos have been created to promote the products sold on the market.  They show up partly on their own, sometimes combined on the products. These were the following:

Letterhead “La Lune”

La Lune_text_sw

F.G.B.C. in a circle:

F.G.B.C._Logo rund

Moonface , “Special Stone only for Good Razors”,
 Straight Razor and F.G.B.C. in a circle

Moonface in a rhomb “Pierre La Lune” exiger La Marque F.G.B.C.  (print from old envelope)

Pierre La Lune a Faux (print from old envelope)

La Lune_nice Moon_SW

Moonface in a square 
“Ne`demandez pas, l’une ou l’autre, mais…LA LUNE”
“Don’t ask for one or the other, ask for….LA LUNE”

5. The quarries from F.G.B.C.

This topic is more or less the most un-researched within the history of F.G.B.C. and its predecessors companies . All quarries which were under position of F.G.B.C. have been listed and documented on the old invoices and letterheads. Up to date it looks like that none of those quarries has been extensively researched and more or less only a bit or no information is available. Those were the quarries named on the letterheads:

La Nouvelle, La Vaûte, La Parisienne
(Gare Merviller-Vacqueville)

Neufmaison, La Boulaye
(Gare Pexonne)

Béménil-Bas, Bréménil-Haut, La Parisienne
(Gare Badonviller)

Its possible that there is a connection between their Trademark
“La Lune” and “Luneville”. In near range of Merviller (Quarry of the Birolleau Family) Chateau Luneville is situated.  So probably the use of the moon symbol is grounded on some personal experiences and memories.

Other approaches were made in France, so it is told that down Merviller (Lorraine) desert like conditions were existent in the past. Because of these conditions fine sand deposits combined with iron oxide built up very fine stone layers.[3] Also there is an entry about a quarry named “Carrière de grès Birolleau” down in Merviller which might be the quarry were the fine sandstone for Grinding wheels had its origin.[4]

6. Steige the origin of the fine red razor hones ?

Within the research i also asked Mr. Wilson if he would ask back some of the geological departments in France about the red fine razor hones sold as “LA LUNE”. Within this research we got a reply from the University of Nancy, department of geology.  Actually Steige was mentioned as a region where these stones might have their origin. Further more research revealed that near Steige sharpening stones seem to have been quarried, but no more details were known or documented.

Another type of slate stone known in this region is a schist type named “Schiste Lie de Vin de Steige”. The stone itself just from its chemical composition shows good properties to be a sharpening stone. It contains 59,3% quartz (SiO2), 22% aluminum oxide (Al2O3) and 7,3% iron oxide (Fe2O3). So if we ever can find a connection to the fine razor hones ? We’ll see in future!

7. Products and Services from F.G.B.C.

F.G.B.C.’s business was not only the quarrying and selling of the stones. They also focused on technical services in terms of building up complete machines of grinding stones.

Here is an older price list from the competitor company as it was
under L. Belle:

Besides these two core businesses they were importers of stones and abrasives from different countries all over the word.  Probably they focused on different businesses to offer a wider range of products and services, or to offer combined solutions on certain special applications.

They sold the following products: 
Arkansas and Washita Stones
Turkey Oil Stones (Pierre Du Levante, Pierre Du L’est)
Razor Hones “LA LUNE”
other razor hones / sharpening Stones

They also sold abrasives like silicium carbide, corundum, big grinding wheels made out of emery or sandstone (white, grey and red) and the fine razor hones which are known as “Pierre La Lune” and “Special Stone only for Good Razors”.

Besides these standard products they sold also razor strops and pastes to be used on the strops.


8. Razor Hones “Pierres a Aiguiser”

La Lune_text_sw

The razor hones sold as “Pierre aiguiser LA LUNE” are very fine razor hones which work the best when oil or a water/gylcerine solution is used. There are different interpretations within the razor scene how these stones should be used best. I yield the best results using glycerine/water mixture. The most important for me besides any interpretation is the proposal beeing made from F.G.B.C. as a seller of the stones.

F.G.B.C. never announced the stones to be used with water, they were always announced to be used with oil. Additionally the results with water are in my point of view not comfortable enough. Additionally the stones sold as “Pierres Belges de Lorraine et du Levant” which is the same slate as the purple La Lune stones should be used with oil

9. Qualities/Grades of the Razor Hones

Many of those stones can be found with rectangular stamps. If the stamps are still visible depends on the condition of the ink. Sometimes they are only visible very faint, sometimes you only see the letters because the areas around the stamp dries faster then the are were the stamp was printed on. The stamp itself shows a rectangular frame where the quality/grade of the stone is printed inside. The qualities were:

Some examples how those stamps do look like:

Normally those stones were stamped in the qualities with fine, very fine and extra fine. In January 2016 the first time a stone was sold on Ebay
(Art. No. 221991500339, in size 17×4,2x2cm, 400gr.) which showed a comparable stamp. But this one wasn’t stamped as usual, it had a stamp with the wording “RAZOR HONE” in french “PIERRE A RASOIR”. I actually believe this was one of the newer stones which were sold from F.G.B.C. on the market. 

10. “LA LUNE” and “SPECIAL STONE ONLY FOR GOOD RAZORS” from other Suppliers

Actually we are not sure if F.G.B.C. was the only seller of the fine
“LA LUNE” and “SPECIAL STONE ONLY FOR GOOD RAZORS” slate stones. Its possible that the quarry owner also sold their products to other suppliers. So ist not clear up to date if the stones being sold from Manufrance (“Pierres Belges de Lorraine et du Levant”) or the Stones sold as “Pierre de L’est bleue” were sold from F.G.B.C./Giovannacci to other sellers or from the quarry owners directly.

Theory No. 1 – regional quarrying operations
Especially on the french market serveral stones appeared which might get connected to the LA LUNE and SPECIAL STONES. Beside of those stones, there are often stones appearing without any stamps or any label. I myself got one in very unusual size (18x9cm) which seems that they have never been offered in these sizes officially. So my first theory is that they might have been sold also regionally which is nothing unusual compared to other types of natural hones.

The second theory is, that it might be that also F.G.B.C. just bought these stones from another company or quarry owner and sold these under their trademark. That could explain that also others might have bough these stones from the quarry owner and sold these types of stones under their own trademark.

The third theory is just that to a certain time the stones from F.G.B.C. haven’t been labelled or stamped!  Its hard to prove those theories either combined or each standing by its own, but i think these are realistic theories. We will find out some time in future!

10.1. Pierre aux Croissants (S.D.P.)

We are today not sure if the stones labelled as “Pierre aux Croissants” are from a competitor or from a follow up company of FGBC. In concerns of this specific topic there are three theories up to date.

S.D.P. could have been used for Societé de Distribution et de Promotion

Theory 1: Societé de Distribution et de Promotion
It showed an additional Logo with a Cirlcle and the shortcuts S.D.P. (Societé de Distribution et de Promotion) which could stand for a trading or distribution company or just a cooperation Partner who had the rights to sell their quarried stones under that Special Trademark. This has to be further more researched!

Theory 2: J. Delaunay
Another trace is a company which had also a abrasive business in Paris. J. Delaunay also used a moon with a face in their Tradmark, so this might be a hint towards the Pierre Aux Croissants stones.

Theory 3: Connection to Severin Robert Droescher
The Ghelfis had a longer business with Severin Robert Droescher (S.R.D.). So there is a chance that S.D. stands for Severin Droescher, right now i don’t know what the P could stand for.

10.2. Pierre de L’est Bleue

Also there are exiting stones with a totally different label, which was shown on Razorandstone from Modine. I asked Modine if i can show the pictures here, so here they are! This one was labelled
“Pierre de L’est Blue”.

10.3. Pierre Aiguiser LA LUNE (T&T)

Those stones appeared in France with the typical La Lune Label. Additionally the stones as the wooden box showed another logo or trademark which is a double Flag with T&T.

T&T Logo or Trademark

10.4. Pierres Belges, De Lorraine et Du Levant

Those stones appear in a very nice wooden Box on top the Logo of MF Manufrance St. Etienne Manufacture Francaise D’Armes et Cycles. The ones i’ve seen so far re-sample the PURPLE LA LUNE stones. The sawmarks on the sides and the coloration makes it easy to identify thos stones as “LA LUNE” Stones.

Another documented case where stones have been officially mislabelled. Actually i believe that during these times the belgian Stones have been

11. A  promise on quality!  The warranty card,
or the “Bulletin de Garantie”

F.G.B.C. was concerned to give a promise on the quality of their products, surely with the intention to convince their customers and create a long binding to them. The “Bulletin de Garantie” was delivered with the fine “LA LUNE” and “SPECIAL STONES”.

Bulletin de Garantie – Pierre Naturelle extra extra “LA LUNE”

Bulletin de Garantie (french original)
“La Pierre à huile à rasoirs naturelle “LA LUNE” ne peut être comparée à aucune autre. La finesse de son grain, sa  pureté minéralogique permettent un aiguisage rationell et parfait, SANS DOMMAGE POUR L’ACIER.  Une sélection rigoureuse de la matière première, provenant des meilleures carrières, une main-d’oeuvre spécialisée, utilisant des procédés millénaires font de cette pierre, LA PREMIERE MARQUE INCONTESTÉE du MARCHÉ MONDIAL.

N.B.  – Soucieux des vos interests, votre fournisseur habituel vous conseiller a la marque “LA LUNE”. Seule pierre pouvant donner une satisfaction absolute. la Perfection dans la qualité !”

Warranty Card (englisch translation)
“The natural oil stone for razors “La Lune” cannot compared to any other stone. The fineness of the particles and his mineralogical purity enables efficiently and perfect honing without any damage to the steel.

The careful first choice from the best quarries, specialized workforce and long established methods make these stones uncontested to the Number Ones trademark of the world.

N.B.  – Soucieux des vos interests, votre fournisseur habituel vous conseiller a la marque “LA LUNE”. This stone will satisfy you. Perfection in Quality!”

12. Combination Stones “Combinaison Stone”

12. Combination Stones “Combinaison Stone”
These are ones of the most interesting combinations stones being around. The stones were sold as “Combinaison Stone” under the article numbers AD12 (120x60mm) and AD20 (200x50mm). The stones are glued on a midsection of wood. Each side of the wooden box has a lid. Sometimes the lids were labelled with stickers or both wordings “La Lune” and “New Master Stone”  were printed or punched inside of the lids.

13. Scythe Stones “Pierre a faux” made of Pierre Natural de Saurat

It seems that already in the earlier times there was a cooperation between F.G.B.C. and one of the older quarry owners who marketed the shale sandstones . The Quarry which is in the region of the Pyrenees down the Valley of Saurat. One of the more known Families running the business over three generations was the Cuminetti family. In 2006 the quarry was taken over form Mr. Alain  Soucille who still runs the business to these days. The scythe stones appeared under the names of many different companies and under all kinds of different trade names and qualities.

Their page of Mr. Alain Soucille can be found here:

14. Arkansas Stones from F.G.B.C.

As being a big importer of all kinds of sharpening stones also  F.G.B.C. did import Arkansas Stones from the United states of America. Actually a lot of the companies dealing with sharpening stones and their supplies did this during the 19th century. They imported the stones and sold them on the local market under their own trademark. A very nice example appeared in 2015 and could be bought from a member of a German wet shaving board. Many thanks to Jörg (Jollo74) who did agreed that i can use this pictures here!

15. Other Stones made by F.G.B.C.

15.1. New Master Stone
F.G.B.C. has, as many other suppliers and producers of abrasives, used the trends to produce and sell men made stones. These stones were made out of Silicon Carbide D48.

15.2. R.C. La Lune “Extra-Fine”
Another “Special Stone” which was produced from F.G.B.C.. It reminds me a bit of the stones which have been produced from JGES and were named “Reform Brocken”. It is impossible to proof from which material/abrasives these stones were made. It is possible that for one of those sides dust from “LA LUNE” stones has been used. 

16. F. Ghelfi, Birolleau & Cie. Prix Courant “Price List from 1974”

In 2014 FERDI (a member of Coupe-Chou Club and SRP) finds an old price list from F.G.B.C. from the year 1974 and shares it thankfully with the community. That was a really important step to become an overview of the prices and the products F.G.B.C. sold on the market.

After talking back to FERDI he wanted to support the Razorlovestones Project. I really wanted to show that price list here in that company profile. Also here a big thank you to FERDI for the permission to use the price list here ! 

17. Unknown Products
During the last years several different products appeared which were not mentioned in the old Prix Courant / Pricelist from FERDI. There were f.ex. a “Pierre a Rasoir Naturelle LA LUNE” and “Double Face Extra Extra”. And the stone which i mentioned earlier with the ink stamp “PIERRE RASOIR”. Then there were those Razor Hones and Belgium Coticules with the double half moon labelled “Pierre Aux Croissants”.

Probably those products were sold by competitors or from predecessor companies of F.G.B.C.. Either those could have been sold in a time frame before or after the price list from 1974.

18. F.G.B.C. on the bigger trade fairs?
Looking back from today we are sure that the Ghelfis’ and their predecessors companies were also active on the bigger trade fairs. This is visible on some of the older Letterheads, besides this there are some old entries. F.G.B.C. received the following medal:

1894: London International Exhibition, Crystal Palace
1895: London International Exhibition, Alexandra Palace
1904: International Fair in Florence,  Big Price and Gold Medal

19. F.G.B.C. and Manufrance
A french catalog company called “Manufrance”, which is still existent today, sold the Stones from F.G.B.C. during a certain time frame. So sometimes we find stones from F.G.B.C. which shows a MF “Manufrance Saint-Étienne” lable which was glued on the stones. Actually till today it wasnt possible to find a reference to these stones in the old Manufrance catalogues.

20. Collection and how to identify french stones
These are most of the stones from my collection which i got from France. Buying stones in France will also bring up very different types mostly out of Europe. I experienced to find the following types of stones in order of their appearance:

Thuringian Stones
Washita / Arkansas Stones

Sometimes UK Slates in black and violet appear, also with a certain regularity Llyn Idwal Stones. So this makes it not too hard to compare the rare French Razor Hones with those types.

Sometimes it happens that a black/grey or grey/brownish stone appears. They show up a comparable glittering. In most cases these are a Pierre Naturelle de Saurat. These are also sold today with a lablel marked “Pierre à Menuiser”. These stones are less fine then the razor hones. I would rate them in between 4K-8K, some might be finer.

The main identifiers for the fine razor hones is in my point of view the type of metallic / bronze appearance of the stones. Talking about the violet/purple variant of the stones they will show up with a typical pattern and will have a bronze look. Talking about the blue/green metallic stones you will see that these show a metallic glittering in the light. The color ranges from a lighter grey-blue towards a blue-green, its also possible the greener areas appear in the stone. These show also the typical pockmarks which looks like little cracks (0,2-0,5mm) in the middle of these cracks you can see a darker spot.

From left to right:
Pierre Naturelle de Saurat (120x60x20mm)
Pierre Naturelle de Saurat (140x70x18mm)
Blue Metallic Razor Hone (140x70x22mm)
Pierre La Lune Combinaison Stone AD12 (120x60x18mm)
Special Stone only for Good Razors (180x45x22mm)

Pierre La Lune Combinaison Stone AD20 (200x50x25mm)
Violet/Purple Razor Hone (165x95x15mm)
Pierre La Lune (120x60x22mm)
Pierre La Lune (100x50x22mm)
Pierre La Lune (90x32x20mm)

Chronology of used Documents and Pictures:

Bardotti, Ghelfi & Cie. Pricelist
106, Rue de Faubourg, Saint-Antoine, 106

D. Giovannacci & L. Ghelfi Pricelist 01.01.1893
84, Rue Du Faubourg, Saint Antoine
Steamplant: 61 Rue de Charonne
Succursales in New York und London

D. Giovannacci & L. Ghelfi Cheque 31.01.1894
84, Rue Du Faubourg, Saint Antoine

D. Giovannacci, L. & B. Ghelfi Cheque 25.11.1897
84, Rue Du Faubourg, Saint Antoine

D. Giovannacci, L. & B. Ghelfi
Office and Storage: 84, Rue Du Faubourg, Saint Antoine
Steamplant: 61 Rue de Charonne
Succursales in New York und London

D. Giovannacci & L. Belle Invoice 06.06.1903
84, Rue Du Faubourg, Saint Antoine
Steamplant: 61 Rue de Charonne
Usine Hydraulique a Cartaro pres. Mass (Italy)

L. Belle Cheque 18.03.1909
87, Rue Du Faubourg, Saint Antoine
(CI-Devant 84 mème Rue)

L. Belle Succr Letter 28.12.1916
D. Giovannacci, L. & B. Ghelfi
87, Rue Du Faubourg, Saint Antoine
(CI-Devant 84 mème Rue)

F. Ghelfi & Cie. Cheque and Invoice 20.06.1922
Maisons F. Ghelfi & Cie. et Birolleau réunies
47, Rue de Saintonge, Paris (Annexe, 7 rue de Charlot)

F. Ghelfi & Cie. Letter 21.04.1922
Maisons F. Ghelfi & Cie. et Birolleau réunies
47, Rue de Saintonge, Paris (Annexe, 7 rue de Charlot)

F. Ghelfi & Cie. Invoice 12.05.1922
Maisons F. Ghelfi & Cie. et Birolleau réunies
47, Rue de Saintonge, Paris (Annexe, 7 rue de Charlot)

L. Belle Succr Envelope 27.06.1923
Maison D. Giovannacci & L. & B. Ghelfi
87, Rue Du Faubourg, Saint Antoine
(CI-Devant 84 mème Rue)

F. Ghelfi & Cie. Letter 12.12.1925
47, Rue de Saintonge, Paris (Annexe, 7 rue de Charlot)

L. Belle Letter 29.03.1926
D. Giovannacci, L. & B. Ghelfi
87, Rue Du Faubourg, Saint Antoine
(CI-Devant 84 mème Rue)

F. Ghelfi & Cie. Invoice 12.12.1925
47, Rue de Saintonge, Paris (Annexe, 7 rue de Charlot)

F. Ghelfi & Cie. Letter 30.10.1933
47, Rue de Saintonge, Paris (Annexe, 7 rue de Charlot)

Établissements Belle (Veuve Valentin Ghelfi Propriétaire)
Letter 22.08.1935
D. Giovannacci, L. & B. Ghelfi
87, Rue Du Faubourg, Saint Antoine
(CI-Devant 84 mème Rue)

F. Ghelfi Birolleau & Cie. Invoice 11.06.1952
47, Rue de Saintonge, Paris

F. Ghelfi Birolleau & Cie. Letter
47, Rue de Saintonge, Paris

F. Ghelfi Birolleau & Cie. Pricelist 01.04.1974
47, Rue de Saintonge, Paris

F. Ghelfi Birolleau & Cie. Letter
47, Rue de Saintonge, Paris

Pictures from Mr. Wilson 13.10.2015
84, Rue du Faubourg, Saint Antoine

Picture Gallery:


[2] Adriana G. Hollet – “Monteregio Pozzo E Parana”, Page 152

Many thanks to:
Alan (Mr. Wilson), Jethro (Fikira), Peter (Hatzicho), Jean (Ferdi), Mike (Modine), Jörg (Jollo74), Nicolas (Vierge de Fer), Craig D. and Andrea G. Hollat.

Without your work or contribution the article would not be that detailled and informative as it is now!

Pictures used by permission of:
Andrea G. Hollat
Craig D.
Hatzicho (Peter)
Jörg (Jollo74)
Mike (Modine)
Nicolas (Vierge de Fer)


© text and pictures

created: 02.02.2016 / edited: 09.01.2020

F. Ghelfi, Birolleau & Cie (F.G.B.C.), Paris


1. F.G.B.C. = Ferdinand(o) Ghelfi Birolleau & Cie.
2. Geschichtliche Ansätze und italienische Wurzeln
3. alte Bilder des Ladens F. Ghelfi & Cie. in der 7, Rue de Charlot
4. Die Handelsmarken von F.G.B.C.
5. Die Brüche von F.G.B.C.
6. Steige, möglicherweise die Herkunft der roten feinen Steine ?
7. Produkte und Dienstleistungen von F. Ghelfi Birolleau & Cie.
8. Rasiermesser Abziehsteine “LA LUNE” und
“Special Stones only for Good Razors”
9. Klassifizierung der “LA LUNE” und
“Special Stones only for Good Razors”
10. La Lune und Special Stones anderer Hersteller ?
11. Ein Qualitätsversprechen! Die Garantiekarte bzw. das “Bulletin de Grantie”
12. Kombi Steine “Combinaison Stone”
13. Arkansas Steine
14. Andere Steine die von F.G.B.C. hergestellt wurden
15. Die F.G.B.C. Preisliste / Preis Liste von 1974
16. Unbekannte Produkte
17. FGBC auf den großen Handelsmessen ?
18. F.G.B.C. und Manufrance

Continue reading F. Ghelfi, Birolleau & Cie (F.G.B.C.), Paris

D. Giovannacci & L. Ghelfi “Établissements Belle”, 87 Rue Faubourg St. Antoine (M.P.O.P.) english


Continue reading D. Giovannacci & L. Ghelfi “Établissements Belle”, 87 Rue Faubourg St. Antoine (M.P.O.P.) english

A new Story about F.G.B.C. (F. Ghelfi, Birolleau & Cie.)



EN – A new Story about F.G.B.C. (F. Ghelfi, Birolleau & Cie.)

Before getting into more details of this company profile i would like to thank some very important people who helped me to create this company profile! People who seemed to be interested the same as me in the history of F.G.B.C. and also into researching and finding the origin of the fine french stones. Hours of written emails and nearly hundred pictures being sent, many questions asked, unanswered and answered. And as always, the work wouldn’t be the same without help, translation and interpretation on certain topics – so i’ll call it TEAM WORK, which makes it possible to release this profile!! 

On the first step THANK YOU Alan (Mr. Wilson) for our exchange and our common interest on this project !

The second big THANK YOU goes out to Jethro (Fikira) who was interested to research more on the history of the families behind F.G.B.C., doing so he made it possible that we could puzzle more and more parts of the history of F.G.B.C. together.

And then there are a lot of people who added content in terms of pictures or scans to the company profile of F.G.B.C., so thanks to  Jörg (Jollo74), Mike (Modine), Jean (Ferdi), Peter (Hatzicho) and Adriana G. Hollet!

It took us quite a long time now to get this all together. But finally i think we’ve finished and delivered! My announcement adding “Company Profiles” to is nearly a half year back.

Goal was to add interesting Company Profiles of producers of abrasives or Profiles of producers and sellers of sharpening stones and fill those with a lot more information of pictures and historical information. And not only that! I would like to get those profiles interesting and try to catch the reader’s attention, hopefully we can also reach this goal in the future!

As the No. 1 project i was interested to start a profile about the company who brought the “fine french razor hones” named “Pierre La Lune” and “Special Stone only for Good Razors” into the market. Talking about F.G.B.C (F. Ghelfi, Birolleau & Cie.) we talk about a lot of History, a lot of changes during nearly 160 years and a lot of people with different families involved. A profile also about Families which were named Giovannacci, Ghelfi, Bardotti, Birolleau and Belle.

So did we find the origin of the “fine french razor hones” ?
Actually we really gathered a lot of information about their old stores, their products, their families and their changes during the existence of F.G.B.C. and their predecessors companies. We found information’s were stones have been cut, where they had their storage locations and a lot more. But up to date we found neither valid information nor a trace where their old quarries were located in detail. We are sure that this is the only and most complete profile on FGBC which will ever exist.

This work is based on doing a really good job researching the information’s being around. On the other hand it’s clear and we have to acknowledge that the Internet today with all its possibilities and advantages gave us the possibilities to find this huge amount of data.

We split the complete Story into three different articles, on the first step to reduce the content of pages, on the second step to divide the different chapters of the timeline of the existence of the F.G.B.C. companies.

We created the following articles:

  1. The article dealing with the founding and the emigration from Italy to France, and the first steps of the company (18th. – 19th. century) which had its most important time frame as it was named

    D. Giovanacci & L. Ghelfi “Etablisséments Belle, 87, Rue Faubourg St. Antoine 
    (Content written by “Razorlovestones” with huge help of Mr. Wilson)

  2. The article dealing with the time in France, a period where ups and downs were normal, a more optical profile with pictures of old locations and explanations on the product, the price list from FERDI, the Bulletin de Garantie and all that.

    F. Ghelfi, Birolleau & Cie. (F.G.B.C.)47, Rue de Saintonge
    (Content written by “Razorlovestones” with huge help of Mr. Wilson)
  3. The article dealing with very important information about the families behind the F.G.B.C. and its predecessors companies. A well researched and nearly complete historic and very personal profile from Fikira

    Update 16.02.2017:
    Jethro has re-edited the whole text again and created separated chapters. This makes reading easier and helps to jump to specific chapters or families.

    Who were the People behind F.G.B.C.? 
    Ghelfi Family
    Birolleau Famlily
    Demosthènes, Malaspinas
    L. Belle
    Zanarelli, Galtié
    Short detailled chronology & in conclusion

My sincere thanks go to all people joining me here, also with the approach to work together on a project where we share our interest in. Without these people, and the generated “team work” it wouldn’t be possible to release such a complex and huge profile!

Have fun reading what we collected over the last 24 months !

Sebastian (Doorsch), Jethro (Fikira) and Alan (Mr. Wilson)


This is the promotion trailer for the first company profile on Razorlovestones!

It about one of the most interesting hones and abrasives producer in France….

F. Ghelfi, Birolleau & Cie. (F.G.B.C.)

its about the history of the company, the “LA LUNE” Stones,
the “SPECIAL STONES ONLY FOR GOOD RAZORS”  and much much more!!!

Youll see its the most complete company profile up to date with a lot of
new information, interpretation and pictures.

…so look forward to this….the release in October 2015! 

Thanks to:
Alan (Mr. Wilson), Jethro (Fikira), Mike (Modine), Jörg (Jollo74)
Andrea G. Hollat

© text and pictures

created: 02.02.2016 / edited: 16.02.2017
Introduction – 001