Certainly one of the most unusual silver objets d’ vertu of the 19th century, the cast silver stork “scissors” carrying a swaddled babe under its wing and standing on a turtle’s back, has intrigued sewing tool collectors for years. The symbolism of the stork bringing babies and the turtle as an animal of protection and longevity are a part of the mystique of these pieces. They were often given as christening gifts. The earliest silver storks date to the Georgian period but they continued to be produced by English, Continental and American silversmiths through the end of the century. The storks are alternatively suggested to have been ribbon pullers or midwives’ umbilical cord clamps (although there is no mechanism for locking the clamp in place so perhaps it was symbolic). As one researcher surmised, after the baby’s birth the clamp “would have formed part of that baby’s precious things. Baby’s clothes in the nineteenth century were adorned with laced ribbons. These ribbons had to be removed when the clothes were washed. The stork scissors with the long beak was ideal for re-threading those ribbons.”

Like other threaders or clamps of this type, this piece has been realistically modeled in the form of a stork and is embellished with chased decoration detailing the bird’s plumage and features. He stands amongst an array of flowers that are resting on the scissor type finger holes enabling a hinged scissor action. When opened, the swaddled baby is revealed. The hallmark is located on the inside of the stork’s neck. I have been unable to identify it so I do not know the maker or exact date of this piece.

The stork is in very good condition. Its one flaw is a small crack in the middle of the hallmark. Please examine the photos and feel free to contact me if you have any questions or further information about this interesting piece.

While you are here, do enjoy the other sewing items I have for sale at this time. Thank you for visiting my shop today.


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Forget Me Not Antiques

19thc Hallmarked Sterling Silver Stork Ribbon Puller or Clamp


    Sentimental memorabilia, books, sewing treasures and dolls of the 19th and early 20th centuries
    Forget Me Not Antiques specializes in the mementoes of women and children from the Victorian and Edwardian eras


    since 2020


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    Forget Me Not Antiques

    Susan Voake
    Phone Email Shop Owner
    Norwich , VT This Shop is rated Gold - 100 or more sales Gold Ruby Lane Exclusive since 2020

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