The Wilkinson Sword Co. Ltd., was officially founded in 1887, the legacy of a successful armaments manufacturing firm started by James Nock in 1772. His successor was his son-in-law, James Wilkinson, who took over in 1804, and who was in turn succeeded by his son, Henry Wilkinson, who ran the firm until 1861. Early products included both swords (and lances and bayonets, etc.) and guns, which were a mainstay of the early business. An increasing reliance on the blade business in the 1880's lead to the adoption of the Wilkinson Sword name in 1887. They began to make straight razors in 1890, and brought out their first safety razor in 1898.
In 1930, Wilkinson introduced the "Empire" series of razors, which were made until about 1950, with the exception of the period of the Second World War (September 1939 until mid-1945). The Empire models also evolved in form over the years. Empire type razor models still employed a removable wedge blade, but it was a smaller piece of steel, the same width as the earlier wedge blades, but only about one-half as high (about the size of a Schick Injector blade). These blades featured the familiar crossed swords logo.
Another new feature of the Empire razors was built in self-stropping, similar to the more common Auto-Strop. Gone was the hefty strop and stropping machine of the Pall Mall models, replaced by a similar (but slightly narrower) strop which sat coiled in a metal holder in the case. The strop clip also served as a rest for the razor handle in the case. By insertion of the strop in the head the razor became the stropping machine as it moved the blade back and forth over the leather. Empire sets were made in single blade form, in two and three day sets, and in high end seven day sets.
The Empire series maintained the ribbed roller guard, although some bar guard models were produced later on. They also kept the adjustment screw to vary the blade angle. Empire type razors did not have the adjustment that tilted the head in different angles to the handle.
The razor set is complete with all blades and its original strop, blades have not been checked/serviced for sharpness, if you intend using this please ask us to do so as an additional service.