Grumbacher

M. Grumbacher Inc. is an art supplies manufacturer, founded in 1903 by Max Grumbacher and currently a subsidiary of The Sanford Corporation headquartered in Cranbury, NJ, with brushmaking operations located in Lisbon, ME (USA). Grumbacher has its own informational web site with fairly detailed product information. The company makes brushes and a popular line of artist quality and student grade paints; the Grumbacher brushes are generally offered by retailers as an economy or student grade line.

Kolinsky - The Grumbacher 197 kolinsky sable round watercolor brushes are "handmade by our most senior brushmakers," according to the marketing literature. The tuft is hand cupped to produce "a full belly and a split-proof, needle sharp point." (I have not tried these brushes, but I will say one gets a full belly reading most art products marketing literature.) The ferrule is gold-plated nickel with a black lacquered, regular sized handle. Flats are apparently not available. Sizes run from #000 to #12. Prices: #6, US$ ?; #12, US$ ?.

Other Sable - The Grumbacher 190 Beaux Arts red sable round is the second rank brush in the natural hair lines. Nickel ferrule with a regular sized black lacquered wood handle. Sizes run from #000 to #12. Prices: #6, US$17.20; #12, US$34.50.

Synthetic Blend - The Grumbacher 4420 Sable Essence Round blends nylon fiber and red sable; it comes with a nickel ferrule and a light maroon lacquered wood handle. As the marketer says, "this blended brush gives the artists more of what they want in a brush: red sable, more natural hair and synthetic for durability. The red sable holds a large amount of fluid while the synthetic gives it the snap and resilience required by the watercolorist. This blended brush is a true alternative to pure natural hair brushes." Sizes run from #000 to #12. Prices: #6, US$ ?; #12, US$ ?.

Synthetic - The Grumbacher 4620 Golden Edge round watercolor brushes are an affordable selection of brushes with nickel ferrule, nylon fiber tuft and purple lacquered wood handle with a white tip. Sizes run from #000 to #12. Prices: #6, US$ ?; #12, US$ ?.