- Museum number
Silver tweezers in the form of a stork, resting on a four-clawed foot. The inner surfaces of the beak are flat and serrated. The pivot is at the bird's eye. The body is hollow and empty. Incomplete hallmarks.
- Production date
Height: 9.40 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Text from catalogue of the Hull Grundy Gift (Gere et al 1984) no 420:
A similar pair, illustrated and described as 'a pair of sugar-tongs c. 1750-80' by C. Jackson (1911, II, fig.1337, p.983), contains the figure of an infant in swaddling clothes within the hollow formed by the bird's body. There is no sign that the Hull Grundy pair ever contained such an infant. Two similar tweezers in the form of storks containing infants in swaddling clothes are preserved in the Museum of London (2543 and 2544), but neither is hallmarked. Two similar pairs by Joseph Willmore, Birmingham 1838, were recently sold at Phillips, Son & Neale, London, 13 October 1982 (lot 48).
The 'stork' form, but without a hollow body or an angled beak, was used for scissors, which were, no doubt, associated with the making of clothes for babies. Similarly, it has been conjectured that the 'stork' tweezers might have been used in this connection rather than as sugar-tongs for tea drinking after the introduction of sugar lumps. It is interesting to note that a pair of 'scissors' in the form of a stork was exhibited in 1853 in the 'Chamber of Horrors' at the Museum of Ornamental Art, Marlborough House, London, as an example of false principles of design.
For another similar example published as 'German, 17th century', but unmarked, see Brunner, 1977, no.1105.
Misreading of hallmark. 1789 is 0, 1809 is also 0.
- Not on display
- Acquisition notes
- D S Lavender, 63 South Molton Street, London W1. Original invoice for £70 to Anne Hull Grundy dated 13.2.1973, described as 'A George 111 silver stork pair of nippers: London 1807'.
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: HG.798 (masterlist number)