This stork scissors is a fascinating find. The stork traditionally is associated with the arrival of a new baby. Anecdotally, this stork scissors was said to be a mid-wife's forceps for clamping the umbilical cord at birth. This may have been the case but as there is no mechanism for locking the clamp in place, it may be that it was used symbolically to hold the cord when the cord was cut. Thereafter it 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. This stork scissors with the long beak is ideal for threading ribbons. I have tested that function and it is amazing how fast a garment can be easily threaded with ribbons using the stork scissors.
The stork scissors ribbon threader is 6 inches in length.
When the scissors or clamp is in the open position, there are two hollows on the inside of the stork's body. In some rare originals this space is occupied by a symbolic tiny representation of a baby. There is evidence that this stork scissors did have such a baby as there is a rough area evident from where the baby was detached.
In summary it is my opinion that like all items in bygone days, there was a dual if not multiple purpose. This was a symbolic clamp for cutting the umbilical cord. It later served to thread ribbons through the baby's garments. Later on it formed a keepsake or heirloom for that child as it grew to adulthood and may even have been used for the birth of grandchildren. Undoubtedly there is a need for more research on this fascinating item as my opinion is largely based on my experience of the multiple uses of decorative items from the nineteenth century supported by some similar information on the internet.
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