A lovely clean set of early Georgian period Sugar Cutters. I found these in Devon on a recent trip to England.... they measure 7 3/4" in length. They have been burnished prior to my obtaining them.
In the 1700's, sugar was bought in huge conical loaves weighing as much as 18lbs, although small loaves of about 3lbs were more common for domestic use.
In order to prepare the sugar for use, lumps were broken off the loaves and then cut into smaller pieces using the implements like these sharp-bladed sugar nips,.These were a common sight in kitchens wherever sugar was used...some were mounted on stands and others were hand implements like this pair.
None of this process was ever seen outside the kitchen, however. Only when the sugar was broken down into manageable pieces was it served in highly decorative and delicate sugar bowls, fashioned in either silver or porcelain in designs that matched the other objects on the tea tray. Sugar tongs were also evolving from the scissor type to sprung tong types and became highly decorative items in Sterling Silver and later in EPNS plate.