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Ottoman Turkish Steel Scissors or Sheers

Ottoman Turkey
17th century

length: 13.5cm

Available - Enquire


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

This pair of early 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 elegant, tear-shaped handles with chiselled detail, a thick body, and a pair of short blades.

The scissors are in fine 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.

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