History of the Knife making trade

The history of the scissors

From the end of the 16th century to the beginning of the 19th century, Albacete scissors were made with an extraordinary beauty.

The expansion of the ecclesiastical and civilian offices (notaries, courthouses, chancelleries and private desks) and the rise of the printing press led to a gradual increase in the use of paper, which in turn required a greater use of suitable scissors - so-called scribe’s scissors or desk scissors - to cut the irregular edges of the paper sheets and to obtain the sizes that were needed at any time.

Inscriptions, the name of the craftsman, the year of elaboration and sometimes the name and the profession or the status of the person who ordered the work were engraved on many of these long and narrow scissors. Such data, fundamental elements for the study, have led to the conclusion that the majority of these scissors were made in Chinchilla and Albacete.

For their decoration, the craftsmen used borders with floral motifs, feathers, birds, large leaves and waves engraved in the blades.

The ornamentation of the different elements -blades, leaf-spring plate, handles and finger holes- makes them unique pieces and real works of art.

The candle-wick trimmer scissors were used to remove the charred part of the wick in candles, lamps, lanterns and other lighting fixtures in order to produce a good flame.

Hinged and with finger holes, these scissors have a blade with an insert that cuts the wick, depositing it in a small box - almost always in a rectangular shape - located in the second blade. This blade has a pointed tip to raise the wick and facilitate its cutting and conditioning. The scissors are supported on three appendages or legs.

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