This is an old Automatic Stropper made by the Rundel Mfg. Co. of New York. It was used for sharpening early wedge razor blades. A leather strap is woven between the rollers. With a blade inserted into the holder, which sets below the handle, you could move the apparatus back and forth across the strop which would flip the blade, once in each direction, to hone both sides. The leather piece has a hole with a grommet on one end which would allow it to be hung in the bathroom or on a barber’s chair. A piece of heavy cord has been added at some time, long ago, which probably made it easier to use. The opposite end of the strap has a metal brad that would keep it from easily slipping through the rollers. It is made of nickel plated brass and steel with a painted, wood handle. Originally this was offered with an assortment of blade holder/adapters that would let you sharpen all types of razor blades, not just the single edge, wedge variety. The last photo is a copy of an ad from a circa 1910 magazine.
The sharpener measures about 4 5/8” long by 2 ¾” wide and is in basically good original, operable condition however the leather strop is worn. There is some pitting and discoloration on the metal around the edge of the handle but the overall housing is in good condition. One roller is attached to the mechanism so it doesn’t get much wear and is still nickel plated but the other three are worn through the plating down to the brass. The strop is well used and worn. It measures about 20 ¾” long by 1 ¾” wide. The grommet is partially pulled away from the leather so the added cord has probably kept it from coming out all together. About 6” from the other end is a splice where two pieces of leather are joined. This may not be original and might be a repair. The leather is supple but cracked from age.
The pictures are not shown at actual size. Please refer to the description for actual measurements.
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Antique Rundel Automatic Stropper - Wedge Razor Blade Sharpener