Camel Hair Brushes

I recently was given some very old brushes.  I thought it would be no problem looking up the manufacturer’s series number since they were still clearly visible on the handles.  However, I quickly found that a Google search yielded very little information

My husband pointed out that these brushes were probably made and discontinued before the internet even existed.  This is the case for the Murillo company where I found business records from New York indicating closure in 1982. 

I was especially curious about a brush marked 1” M. Grumbacher N.Y. Meissonier ® U.S.A.  After some research I determined that this is a “Camel Hair Mop”.  But even more interesting, even though you can find many “Camel Hair” brushes for sale today, very few vendors indicate the real hair used for this brush.  

Finally, I found a good description for all brush hairs at www.dickblick.com/info/brushhair/

It turns out, Camel Hair is certainly not from a camel.  As they describe:

Camel Hair does not come from camels at all. It is found in watercolor and lettering brushes and usually is made of squirrel, goat, ox, pony or a blend of several hairs, depending on the desired softness and intended cost of the brush.

Grumbacher appears to be owned by Chartpack now. (grumbacher.chartpak.com/categories/brushes/#)  The closes brush I could find on their website is the Academy Natural.  The info box says their natural hair is a combination of goat and pony hair.  It does look like it would carry a lot of water and color, so I will try it in my watercolor work.

Grumbacher Academy Natural

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