25 Jan2006

Silver Grape Scissors

by Marketman


This spectacular pair of sterling silver grape scissors was a gift from Santa last Christmas. It is now a treasured possession and if I hadn’t left instructions that I should be cremated when I keel over, it would be one of those things that I would want buried with me for some grave digger to discover 500 years hence and have him say “hmmm, this dude knew how to live…” or worse, “geez, he must have had really tough nose hairs…” heeheehee… I jest, of course. But seriously, why would anyone yearn for grape scissors??? I’m not sure, but maybe the fact that they are such single-use implements? That they are usually beautifully designed? That they actually serve the purpose of cutting grapes from a stubborn bunch easily? It seems so old-fashioned, but in fact it is so brilliant to have at a modern dinner table…it always spurs the conversation down an interesting genteel path… perhaps one can explain it as those who admire a brilliant vintage car instead of the raciest Lamborghini… At any rate, I can’t explain it but I did want to show it off…these scissors are beautifully designed in a weighty sterling silver and manufactured by Tiffany & Co in the 1800’s… They look great on a cheese and fruit platter, particularly when candlelit. We will be serving a lot more grapes this year!



  1. edee says:

    you would really want to show it off….it’s beautiful !

    Jan 25, 2006 | 10:06 pm


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  3. Joe says:

    A quick Google search should reveal the purpose of grape scissors: http://forum.connpost.com/societyscene/archives/2005/09/grape_scissors.html

    PS. Call me US-centric, but referring to a pair of scissors in the singular strikes me as really odd.

    Jan 25, 2006 | 11:48 pm

  4. joey says:

    How beautiful! I keep scrolling back up to look at the picture! Santa was very generous I see….lucky you :)

    Jan 26, 2006 | 12:42 am

  5. sha says:

    my first encounter of this one in a beautiful country home a wonderful fruit bowl and a beautiful silver grape scissor.
    since then I have been looking one for myself…

    there is a store in London that sells silver cutlery or anything used for food service thats now passe.. just beautiful objects and I can just imagine a decadent dinner,

    Jan 26, 2006 | 2:57 am

  6. millet says:

    marketman, please give santa my address!

    Jan 26, 2006 | 7:23 am

  7. ichabod1973 says:

    Just beautiful!

    Jan 26, 2006 | 8:05 am

  8. Mila says:

    How gentile and Victorian it is. It would add a frisson of pleasure to cut your grapes from the bunch one at a time. For those days of pure leisure.

    Jan 26, 2006 | 11:00 am

  9. Marketman says:

    I was never great with English or languages, so I don’t actually know what the appropriate word is for one scissor, a scissor or scissors…at any rate, you know what I mean…

    Jan 26, 2006 | 11:28 am

  10. wysgal says:

    I’d throw a party just to welcome these scissors into the world.

    Jan 26, 2006 | 11:40 am

  11. Mila says:

    “Scissor” is a verb, meaning to cut with a tool (like scissors). Scissors as the instrument is always a plural noun. As for “pair of scissors”, “pair” tends to be used as the unit for other things that come in a twosome (bellows, tongs, probably to highlight the fusion of two similar pieces to make a whole.

    Jan 26, 2006 | 1:51 pm

  12. Lei says:

    Just to add a few more tips on the proper subject verb agreement, ‘scissors’ always appear in the plural form, no such thing as “scissor”, hence we always refer to it in the plural form; scissors ‘are’……

    Though in referring to ‘a pair of scissors’, we are now referring to ‘a pair’ instead of ‘scissors’, so the correct way would be something like ‘a pair of scissors is on the table’.

    Hope this helps you in some way. Ü

    Jan 26, 2006 | 3:24 pm

  13. Marketman says:

    Oh geez, no wonder I did poorly in English…will edit now…thanks everyone!

    Jan 26, 2006 | 4:10 pm

  14. CWID says:

    Those scissors must be worth a small fortune, if they are indeed from Tiffany’s and the 1800s. Aren’t you afraid that someone could pocket these while you’re entertaining guests? I would probably have someone stand by the fruit and cheese platter the whole time these scissors are on the table.

    Jan 28, 2006 | 4:02 am

  15. Chris says:

    Oh, so the post has been edited! When I read Joe’s comment, I kept scrolling up to see what mortal sin Marketman has commited that elicited a discussion on subject-verb agreement! haha

    Great looking pair of grape scissors MM. This is actually the first time I’ve learned such a thing existed!

    Jan 28, 2006 | 4:16 am

  16. Marketman says:

    CWID, I would hope my dinner guests would behave themselves…actually, in the old houses in Europe the staff used to count the silver after each meal to ensure it was all there…they also used to rotate plates to get even wear, same with the linens… Chris, grape scissors are a dying breed, get one before they become extinct, now what about a “marrow spoon” – another single use implement I didn’t know about until someone I know purchased one…

    Jan 28, 2006 | 5:58 am

  17. sister says:

    Now I know what to get Marketman for Valentine’s Day, marrow spoons. I have some dating back to George III, I use them when serving Osso Bucco. The 19th century had an explosion of single purpose implements for hostesses to confound their guests with.
    CWID, aside from being a dish queen( no sexual connotation, please) I collect antique silver flatware. Check second hand silver stores, auctions and flea markets for grape scissors and marrow spoons. The grape scissors pictured have provenance, date back to the 1880’s and are marked. Read William Hood Jr’s “Tiffany Silver Flatware, When Dining Ws An Art” for fascinating information about what would now be considered rather pretentious implements.
    After all, presentation counts, right? Can’t serve everything on a banana leaf…

    Jan 28, 2006 | 8:04 pm

  18. Chris says:

    Oh, a marrow spoon I know about! I read an article about bone marrow in Gourmet a couple of years back. The author likes to eat marrow barely cooked or even raw, I think. Yikes! Mad cow!

    Jan 29, 2006 | 10:29 pm

  19. CecileJ says:

    Mmmm…osso buco! Yum! But please post a picture of a marrow spoon! My husband and kids just dig in with whatever implement gets the marrow out!(…Sometimes the tip of a knife or a baby’s fork…) And grape scissors…wow, the ultimate burgis implement!

    Feb 2, 2006 | 9:49 am

  20. Kitty says:

    I discovered grape scissor/s when I got married to a French man and then I learned that you shouldn’t be picking the grapes off their stems when you eat them. You use the scissor/s to cut a bunch and place on your plate and eat from there. We have a pair and although not a Tiffany one, it’s definitely an old piece.

    P.S. Another food for thought (etiquette update) … Did you know that when grabbing a banana from the bunch, you shouldn’t twist them until it comes off? A paring knife should be used to cut them from the bunch.

    Feb 10, 2006 | 8:03 pm

  21. r. kalish says:

    Your grape scissors are exquisite. I have been, on and off, looking for a pair that is both lovely and sharp enough to be functional. Would your Santa divulge his source?

    Oct 17, 2007 | 4:17 am

  22. Marketman says:

    r. kalish, Santa probably got these at Doyle’s, Sotheby’s or Christies in NY. Santa also scours on-line sources but is generally sceptical of quality so sticks to the medium and large auction houses…

    Oct 17, 2007 | 6:59 am

  23. r. kalish says:

    Thanks. I, too, am reluctant to purchase such items on-line. Thanks for the information.

    Oct 18, 2007 | 2:12 am

  24. Sue says:

    Where can I buy grape scissors

    Aug 1, 2009 | 3:41 am

  25. Dr Rick says:

    I love grape scissors [or shears] and have been looking for them for years. I have purchased several pair, some for as little as $10.00, made in China. They are replicas of the original design with the fox etc, they do everything but cut and hold.

    Why doesn’t some company make a modern version? They could make a mint because nobody who loves and serves grapes would want to be without them!

    Aug 16, 2009 | 2:48 am


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