One item I have been looking for over the last few years has been an Indian made shaving brush to go with my Indian kit. I was very pleased to be able to pick one up a few months back and it is worthy of a closer look. Whilst shaving brushes are much of a muchness, there are a few distinctive features to the Indian produced examples:
The Indian made shaving brushes have a distinctive ball shaped handle with a metal collar above:
There is an Indian Army acceptance stamp marked into the wooden handle:
The base of the brush has the date, 1943, and the manufacturer; Cawnpore Brushware:
Cawnpore became the centre of bristle production in India during the nineteenth century, due to it already being heavily involved in hog production. Cawnpore Brushware had been established as the Pioneer Brush Factory in 1896, but was taken over by Begg Sutherland and Company in 1903 and renamed the ‘Cawnpore Brush Factory’. A 1909 book describes it as:
The factory is situated on the Mall and is worked throughout by electricity: expert brushmakers were brought in from England to instruct the workmen, and all kinds of brushes are made, large quantities being supplied to the army.
Indeed the army, with its insatiable need for horse brushes, boot brushes and indeed shaving brushes was to remain the factory’s main customer right through until partition in 1947.