This compact unique “Gentleman’s Shaving Necessaire Kit” was used by a man while traveling, for the purpose of tending to his shaving needs; especially as more and more men were doing away with their beards as they became somewhat less stylish at the turn of the century. It might also have been provided to a male guest in an Inn or rooming house while traveling.
The three interior implements consisted of a porcelain shaving cup (moustache cup), a shaving brush to apply the shaving cream, and a fold out straight edge razor. The outer case is a cream colored celluloid with a floral design to the sides and top, and two child winged nymphs in molded relief decorating the majority of the surface. The original brass clasp and escutcheon decorate the front, and facilitate closing the case. The interior maintains it’s original blue satin.
The three shaving items are original to the case; the shaving cup is divided into two sections—one for the shaving cream and one for the water to rinse the brush. It was also referred to as a moustache cup and when clean and empty, it could be used as a drinking cup. The moustache would fall into the deep section while tilting the beverage inward keeping the moustache dry. Of note, while beards became somewhat less fashionable, moustaches were still very much in vogue.
The brush was made by “Ever-Ready” (a popular shaving brush maker), and the bristles are made of pure “badger” from the underside of his belly. Badgers are native to central North America. On the brush is printed “Ever-Ready” “Set in Rubber” “139S”. On the other side is printed “Sterilized” “Pure Badger” “S” (see images).
The handle of the straight edge razor is cream and rust colored with a celluloid floral molded relief design. The carbon steel blade has printed “The Celebrated” and “Hollowground Razor”. It has a slight chip to the very end.
Very interesting to note the underside inscription. I can’t quite make it out entirely, but it seems to say “Jahn From” (the maker or the owner?). “Dec. 27 ’02” perhaps date of manufacture. “Mary” (maybe a gift from Mary? (see image).
Judging by the interior implements, the design, and of course, the inscription underneath, the shaving kit has a turn of the century circa date; also, obviously American by style, and “Ever-Ready Company. The overall condition is very good with some wear to the interior, no chips to the shaving mug, and a very attractive case cream colored exterior in completely original condition with no restoration. This is a very hard to find shaving kit item and has been in my own collection for over 30 years.
Dimensions: 9″ wide x 5 1/8″ deep x 3 1/4″ high (closed) 6 1/2” high (open)