Question: I have some straight razors with carved ivory handles that, I'm sure, were produced before the turn of the century. In terms of the collecting public, how popular are they?--C.E.
Answer: In recent years, straight razors have been extremely popular with collectors. The big draw, of course, is the handles.
In short, the more ornate the handle, generally the more valuable the razor. Silver, ivory and pearl all have been used in the creation of beautiful razor handles. Some of the most valuable handles have scenes etched on them.
Collectors say there still are plenty of valuable straight razors that haven't been uncovered. They'll turn up in curio shops, flea markets and garage sales.
Although razors have been produced for thousands of years, most collectible razors with fancy handles were designed in the 19th Century. Many of these razors came from the shops and factories of Sheffield, England, a community world famous for its fine cutlery.