Saturday, 11 May 2013

For the man who has everything


In which G.M. Norton hails his new shaving brush.


A few weeks ago, I had the dubious honour of turning 31. As people who know me will grumble in agreement, I prefer not to have much fanfare on my birthday. All I ask is that things are kept simple and relatively low-key. Perhaps a medley from a barbershop quartet or a burlesque dancer jumping out of a giant birthday cake.

With each passing year, I am starting to hear this question on a more regular basis - “What do I get the man who has everything?” So far that reason, as well as receiving a large supply of cake and a couple of gifts, I found myself in the rare situation of having some money to spend. So what did I do? I bought a shaving brush of course.


Yes, I know. I already have a shaving brush, an Edwin Jagger shaving brush. But I’m greedy and desperately wanted to add another to my arsenal of shaving accoutrements.

I didn’t scour far and wide – I had been casting furtive glances towards a particular maker of brushes for some time, New Forest Brushes to be precise.
Before use

New Forest Brushes caught my eye when they made the inspired decision to follow Norton of Morton on the Twittering Device. As a wet shaver and published writer on the subject in Pretty Nostalgic magazine, I was immediately drawn to the very charming Peter who runs the independent shaving brush empire.

Peter is a gentleman of the highest order. A retired local government man, there is nothing that Peter doesn’t know about shaving brushes. Before embarking on the making of shaving brushes, Peter blogged about them in great detail. Having built up a lifetime of knowledge on just what makes the perfect shaving brush, Peter made the natural step of making his own.

The bloomed Tubby 2 and friends
Sourcing only the finest badger hair from China, the handles are made in the traditional way in the New Forest. Each brush handle is individually turned on a lathe and shaped by hand. It is a wonderful piece of craftsmanship which I can only applaud.

With a selection of brushes on offer, I was drawn to the Tubby 2 model. After performing a magic trick and making cake disappear, perhaps it was a self-conscious decision about my expanding waistline. Whatever it was that made me order this particular one, I’m jolly glad I did.

The Tubby 2 shaving brush is simply a joy to behold. It is beautiful to look at, it is pleasingly weighty in my hand and the badger hair is so soft. I absolutely adore shaving and the Tubby 2 has made the experience even better.

Getting in a lather
A big brand brush of this quality would easily cost two or even three times more than the prices offered by Peter at New Forest Brushes. With Father’s Day on the horizon or perhaps just as a little treat, this would make a wonderful gift. I can testify to that.

G.M. Norton
Protagonist of ‘Norton of Morton’

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