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Persian Calligraphy Scissors 

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Persian Calligraphy Scissors 

- Item No.

Item Details

  • Period:
    18th Century
  • Origin:
    Other
This rare and exquisite pair of Persian calligraphy scissors served a spiritual as well as an artistic purpose. A vital part of the Islamic calligrapher's tools of trade, they were used to cut paper sheets to the correct size prior to binding. Crafted of steel with beautifully pierced handles, the scissors are adorned with elaborate gold-damascened decoration in a vine motif, even on the inside of the blades, which are gently curved. Such scissors were used to cut only the finest paper. It is extremely rare to find both piercing and gold-damascene on a single pair of on 18th- and 19th-century calligraphy scissors from Persia. This is a work of beauty in more ways than one; these remarkable scissors embody the highest forms of art.

Displayed on custom stand

Circa 1790

 11 3/16" length

Islamic, or Arabic, calligraphy is a highly respected art form, an integral part of the Islamic cultural tradition, and prior to the invention of Arabic typeset, a highly useful one. This intricate writing was developed as a way of representing God without using pictorial images, as attempting to capture the likeness of the divine was forbidden. Thus, calligraphy became an expression of piety, an act that served as a prayer to glorify God. In fact, it is stated in the hadith (saying associated with the Prophet Muhammad): "the first thing created by God was the pen." Therefore, this exquisite, exacting art became a well-practiced discipline, and has been applied on all kinds of objects as a reminder of God. This was especially true when considering that the Koran, the Islamic holy text, was written entirely by hand for centuries.

As calligraphy was so well-respected in the Islamic world, so was the calligrapher, who often dedicated his life to perfecting these subtle forms. Hence, calligrapher's tools were often as beautifully made as the calligrapher's handiwork was meant to be. Many of these tools were produced by the calligrapher himself, but others were made by other artisans working in metal, paper making, ceramics and inlay. Even the creation of the items associated with calligraphy was considered a form of devotion.

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Price: $8,850
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