Vintage thuringian hones
Thuringian waterhones are well known for honing straight razors for more than 200 years. The most known name in connection with these hones is the company Escher, which was a trading company, existing from the late 18th century till the mid of 20th century. The Escher company exported the thuringian razor hones with their label all around the world, mainly to the United States.
All original vintage thuringian hones including all Escher labeled hones have been mined in the area of Sonneberg/ Steinach in the Thuringian mountains by small whetstone mining companies.
The hones themselves are slates and the quarries consist of several hundred different slate layers. The whetstone layers that were finally considered as best were devided into the different qualities:
yellow green – light green – blue green and (dark) blue.
All stones you will find at the following pages are vintage hones, mostly cut by the original miners/distributers in the years between approx. 1800 and 1950.
Most of the whetstones are so-called bout stones, cut ends or leftovers from the original mined stones. Stones with irregular form, benchstones that could not be sold as perfect sized and quality benchstones in the past because of defects on the backside or small chips or crack lines on the sides. Sometimes also only thin layersare found.
Some of the stones vary in thickness more or less, means they do not lay totally flat on a the table for honing, the working surface and the backside is not always parallel.
The hones are natural stones, so little hairline cracks or small outbreaks on the hone sides or back could appear.