Throwing Down The Gauntlet: Luxury Ceramic Boar Brush
Posted by Michael Polsinelli on
Most boar brushes are inexpensive, but they represent a different kind of investment. They are an investment in your daily use over time to fully break in. These brushes truly get better with age. While I believe that Zenith's brushes are softer than any other manufacturer out of the box, a fully mature brush that has been broken in for years will be greatly more pleasurable than one that has "only" been used for 6 months. So many boar lovers have fallen in love with their knots, but not the handle. Many times they are cheap plastic affairs. Today I offer to you a brush worthy of your time. A work of art that is as pleasing to your eye as it is to your face. A shaving companion, that will change as you change through the years. I have personally have many brushes these days. More often than not, I reach for a boar brush. The ones that I love the most are the pro large knot Zenith brushes, and the one that give me the utmost pleasure, is my companion and daily driver that I used for many years.
The handle is hand crafted by an artisan from Santo Stefano di Camastra in Sicily. While there are two designs, each handle is unique. It has a big 27+ mm handmade boar knot crafted by the artisans of Pennellificio Pandolfo in Palermo. As with all of the boar knots, the bristles are carefully hand selected to maximize softness, performance and break-in. Loft is set at 61mm. Effective loft is 53-56mm (average 54.7) from glue bump. Weight for these brushes range from 118-134 grams.
These are handcrafted and are each unique. Average knot size was 27.8mm. Average effective loft measured 54.7. Average weight was 124 grams. Please check out my other ceramic brushes. For hundreds of years, Sicily has been known for their ceramics. Each village cultivates it's own unique style. The modern settlement of Santo Stefano di Camastra was founded in 1683 after a landslide destroyed the old town. Zenith is a brand of shaving brushes made by Pennellificio Pandolfo in Palermo, Italy. Since 1902, this family run business has produced quality brushes not just for shaving needs,but also for paint, artists, and cosmetics. Their shaving brushes and knots are hand made by skilled artisans the old fashioned way.
They have three lines of badger brushes, their Black Badger, Best Badger, and Silvertip. At this time, I will be focusing on their Best Badger, Silvertip, Synthetic and Boar brushes. Translated from Italian on their website: "Pennellificio Pandolfo has over one hundred years of activity and is the only manufacturer of its Sicilian sector. Already in 1902 he participated in the fair in Genoa getting a coveted award for the quality of its products. A family business founded early last century with the aim of achieving the quality brushes and special characteristics which in those days was not easy to find on the market. Started with artisan methods, the production was mainly aimed at meeting the needs of professional customers. Then the company has added new technologies by diversifying production, expanding the range of products and adapting to the specific needs of the market. Today, the production of Pennellificio Pandolfo includes products suitable to meet the professional needs of DIY: the various series of ovals brushes, flat brushes, ceilings, astuccini and brushes for particular uses, it has been joined by a complete line of rollers and brushes for beautiful Arts. The quality of products is guaranteed Pennellificio Pandolfo experience gained over time, from the careful selection of raw materials and the use of skilled labor."
In 2008-2009, I found a brush at a thrift store that was unused. It quickly became my favorite brush and I used it solely for 6-7 years. The logo wore off years ago, but I always remembered that it was made in Italy. As I learned more about shaving brushes, I wrongfully assumed that this brush was made by Pennellificio Omega, the famous Italian brush manufacturer. Fortunately in the spring of 2015, I stumbled across some discussion posts on Zenith brushes, but was unable to purchase one here in the States. After contacting the manufacturer, I decided to bring these special brushes to you. My original Zenith brush has given me (and is still giving me) years of pleasure. I expect this Zenith brush will do the same for you. Luxury Ceramic Boar Brush