Size: 180 x 40 x 20mm weight: XXXgr.
Density: xxgr./cm³ / Estimated grit size: ultra fine > 15k
Usage: with water, oil or glycerin (FGBC says to use the stone with oil)
Color: red-purple or gray-blue slate with metallic sparkle look
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”, its 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 concernign 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 precedessors 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.
My Videos from the Razorlovestones project:
More from wetshaving boards here:
(C) for text and Pictures RAZORLOVESTONES 16.04.2015