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Set of seven cutthroat razors, London, England, 1801-1900

The cut-throat razor was developed in ancient Greece and Rome and was widely used for shaving until the early 1900s. The ‘cut-throat’ razor was so-called because of its sharpness. Most men shaved regularly, either at home or by visiting a barbershop. This set of seven is engraved with the days of the week and made from steel with ivory handles. Judging by the materials, the set was probably owned by a wealthy man. The blades are engraved with the maker’s name, Samuel Last, and the place they were made, London.

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Glossary: hygiene

The science of health and how to maintain it. A condition or practice which promotes good health. The definition varies widely and differs across cultures.

Glossary: razor

Sharp-edged instruments primarily used in the shaving of bodily hair. Razors can be manually or electrically powered, and the earliest bronze razor blade dates back to the Bronze Age.