Enquiry about object: 2779

    Your First Name (required)

    Your Last Name (required)

    Your Email (required)

    Your Country (required)

    Your Message

    Central Asian Calligrapher’s Steel & Brass Scissors

    Central Asia, probably Tashkent
    late 18th century

    length: 13cm



    The scissors were part of a collection built up over a long lifetime by an elderly collector in Worcestershire, England.

    This fine pair of chiselled steel scissors or sheers was used by a book maker of calligrapher to trim heavier paper. Korans, and indeed any other books or documents, had to be written by hand prior to the advent of Arabic typeset. Sheers such as these were part of the calligrapher’s tools of trade.

    They have round handles with tines pierced and stamped with star motifs to both sides, and a pair of short blades. The two halves are held together by a flattened brass and steel rivet.

    The scissors are in excellent condition.


    Allan, J.W.,  Persian Steel: The Tanavoli Collection, Yassavoli Publications, 2000.

    Koc, A., et al, Istanbul: The City and the Sultan, Nieuwe Kerk, 2007.

    McWilliams M. & D. Roxburgh, Traces of the Calligrapher: Islamic Calligraphy in Practice c. 1600-1900, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 2007.

    Melikian-Chirvani, A.S., Le Chant du Monde: L’Art de l’Iran Safavide 1501-1736, Somogy Editions D’Art, 2007.

    Savage-Smith, E., The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art: Science, Tools & Magic, Part Two: Mundane Worlds, The Nour Foundation, 1997.

    Dozens of items are added to our website each month. Be among the first to know about them.
    Sign up to our monthly catalogue