pair of shears, the tapering blades joined through a figure-of-eight-shaped spring-handle and decorated on each side with a bird in flight and scrolling foliage, on a ground of ring-matting

Shears (scissors), 8th-9th century

Unknown artist, expand_more

Beaten silverexpand_more

Gift of Ruth and Bruce Daytonexpand_more  97.48

G208expand_more

This pair of scissors is made from a single piece of silver. The "figure eight" shape of the handle acts as a spring for the cutting motion. Relatively few pre-Tang scissors survive and most that do are made of iron. Several decorated silver pairs have been unearthed from the Tang tombs, however, indicating the increased prosperity of that dynasty. The sumptuous and luxurious life of the aristocracy is reflected in tomb goods such as this, which, transcending its mundane functional purpose, attracts and delights the eye with its decorative content.

Details
Title
Shears (scissors)
Role
Artist
Accession Number
97.48
Curator Approved

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pair of shears, the tapering blades joined through a figure-of-eight-shaped spring-handle and decorated on each side with a bird in flight and scrolling foliage, on a ground of ring-matting