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Lot # 1011 (of 1336)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1934 Razor Used to Shave Babe Ruth in Spring Training!

Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $840

Offered here is is a remarkable conversation piece whose history is intertwined with that of baseball's greatest player: Babe Ruth. Presented is Babe Ruth's razor! We're not kidding. It's really his razor. This straight razor was used to shave Babe Ruth on numerous occasions during the spring of 1934 and is accompanied by a very detailed two-page notarized letter of authenticity from his barber. Needless to say, this razor is certainly one of the most unusual Babe Ruth items we have ever seen and our immediate reaction upon seeing it was "Barry Halper would have loved this." The "Baby Gran" straight razor, with yellow handle, was manufactured by Waldrep Brothers of Greenville, South Carolina, and is complete with its original black case. Its history is fully chronicled in an accompanying notarized letter, dated May 21, 1971, by Lillie Bughardt, who ran a salon and barbershop in Sulphur Springs, Florida, during the 1930s. She writes in part: "I, Lillie M. Bughardt while residing in Tampa, Fla in 1934 and operating Lillie's Salon & Barber shop at 8135 Nebraska Ave., in Sulphur Springs, Fla, have on many occasions shaved the immortal Babe Ruth of baseball fame, while he was in spring training at Temple Terrace, Fla., which was eight miles from my business in Sulphur Springs. He had a heavy beard and I sometimes shaved him twice a day and he would go to sleep in the barber chair nearly every time I shaved him. We became good friends, and he made the statement that when he went back north that he was going to get him another lady barber. I purchased this razor that I shaved Babe Ruth with from a Mr. Ray Farber of Miami, Fla., who was a barber supply salesman." This piece is not only interesting, but also quite telling with respect to Ruth's mystique. The razor, which is broken in the middle, is obviously no longer functional and would normally have been thrown away decades ago. The fact that it was saved by this woman for decades after she retired, just because it was used to shave Babe Ruth, truly exemplifies the admiration and awe Ruth instilled in every person he met. That it was then saved for additional decades after she parted with it in 1971, and has been prized to this day, is further evidence of Ruth's legendary status. The razor (6 inches in length) displays a small break in the middle and is otherwise in Very Good condition. The case (7 inches in length) is heavily worn and the top has been reinforced with vintage black tape. We know this is a crazy item. It's in the auction not because we think it's worth a fortune, but because it's fun and interesting, and everyone who sees and hears of it is fascinated with it. This razor first appeared at auction in REA's May 2008 sale (Lot 1232), where it realized $1,410. It has been consigned to this sale by the original purchaser. Together with a second-generation photo (8.25 x 7.5 inches) of Ruth sitting in a barber's chair that is perfect for display with the razor.   Reserve $300. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $840


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