Scissors case


Not on view

The rather sophisticated ornamental piercing on this case represents a transitional moment: the language is ultimately drawn from late Mannerist motifs (the scrolling foliage inhabited by frolicking putti), but it also looks forward to the Baroque in its more naturalistic treatment of the flowers. Scissors cases had the practical function of protecting scissor points, but also had meaning within marriage rites. Scissors cases, often embellished with phrases in prose or verse lauding the virtues of fidelity and love, were traditional wedding or engagement gifts. Indeed this object is engraved with a witty pun on this topic via sewing and the growth of “links,” reinforced by the imagery of a putto with a bobbin winder.

[Ellenor M. Alcorn, 2014]

Scissors case, Steel, French

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