Vintage Scissors, Shears, and Snips

A wonderful collection of vintage tools from across the centuries.

Piecework Editorial Staff Dec 9, 2022 - 3 min read

Vintage Scissors, Shears, and Snips Primary Image

Scissors collected by Grace Jenkins Goss. Collection of the Loveland Museum/Gallery. Photos by Joe Coca

In the March/April 2012 issue of PieceWork, we featured a story on scissor collector Grace Jenkins Goss. She began collecting vintage scissors over twenty years ago. In December 2011, she donated the entire collection—783 objects—to the Loveland Museum/Gallery, which at the time, was literally steps away from the Interweave office in downtown Loveland, Colorado.

Among the tools in the collection, which date from the 1700s to 2005, are weaver’s shears, industrial scissors, tailor’s scissors, sheep shears, dressmaking scissors, calligraphy scissors, leather cutters, buttonholers, medical scissors, flower snips, office/desk scissors, hair-cutting scissors, teacher’s scissors, pinking shears, candlewick trimmers and snuffers, table grape shears, champagne bottle wire cutters, soft-boiled egg cutters, kitchen scissors, embroidery scissors, nippers, sew-basket scissors, betel nut cutters, pocket scissors, and manicure scissors.

Collection of the Loveland Museum/Gallery

Scissor identification

Clockwise from top:

  • Embroidery scissors, brass, highly stamped with cupids and roses, no maker’s mark, 4¾ inches (12.1 cm).
  • Embroidery scissors, steel, running rabbit, no maker’s mark, 4 inches (10.2 cm). Buttonhole scissors, J. A. Henckels, Germany, bows are beaded, cutting blades are not adjustable, 3¾ inches (9.5 cm).
  • Buttonhole scissors, H. Boker Co., Germany, finished in a dull silver patina highlighting the art deco styling, adjustment screw is located between the shanks, 4¼ inches (10.8 cm).
  • Sew-basket scissors, Hermes, Solingen, Germany, bows are inset into each other, one bow is round and the other is almost triangular, 6 inches (15.2 cm).
  • Sew-basket scissors, MP enclosed in a diamond logo, France stamped on the reverse, oval bows, chrome plated, 5 inches (12.7 cm).
  • Embroidery scissors, hand-filed dew drop lily bud shank, no maker’s mark, 3¾ inches (9.5 cm).
  • Embroidery scissors, Wiss, Germany, gold-colored swan, 3 inches (7.6 cm).

A selection of some of the objects from the collection is shown here. Grace wrote a beautiful 160-page book, Scissors & Snippets (Hygiene, Colorado: Shear D’Lite Publishing, 2012), a visual documentation of the collection, along with information on the history of scissors. For more information about Grace’s book, please contact the Loveland Museum/Gallery, 503 N. Lincoln Ave., Loveland, CO 80537; Sadly, Grace passed in January of 2012.

Originally published September 6, 2018; updated December 9, 2022.