The World’s Oldest Wet Shaving Company

In the wet shaving world, it’s easy to see how the artisan movement has made such a big impact in the grooming industry.  It’s such an impact that mainstream competitors have changed their strategies in order to successfully compete against their new competition. So how long have some of these players been in the game?

The Gilded Hand or “The Vergulde Hand” est 1554:


This soap company has been in business since it was founded by Frederick de Vrij in Amsterdam in the year 1554.  In 1609, Wijnand Peacock purchased the company from Fredrick for with the intention to expand operations. The company continued to operate under the ownership of the Peacock family until it was acquired by Jan Woltman, a German emigrant in 1695. The soap industry would face many challenges (new competitors, formulas etc.) over the next 100 years and by the year 1812 “Vergulde Hand” would be the last of the “old style” soap makers.  After adapting to new the trends of wet shavers, Vergulde Hand survived the struggles and continue production. The name was changed to Woltman Elpers in 1920 and then to CA Woltman Elpers Soap Factory “Gilded Hand” in 1954 when they celebrated their 400th anniversary.

The name was then shorten to the “Gilded Hand” soon after the anniversary and has stayed that way ever since.  Today the Gilded Hand offers a full line of shaving products that is available all over the world.

If your ever in the area and decide to visit some museums you may just find an old shaving soap tins or brushes on display.

Check them out:




2 thoughts on “The World’s Oldest Wet Shaving Company

  1. Pingback: Ep 130 – A Dark Mysterious Blade | BrushnSoapnBlade Podcast

  2. Pingback: The Guide to 18th Century Shaving | Shave Straight and Safe

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