A pair of Georgian steel sugar nips
Hand wrought steel
Stamped "R. TIMMINS / & SONS"
English, circa 1810
20.9 cm long
The "D" shaped cutters with sprung handles.
The firm of R. Timmins & Sons of 56 Hurst Street, Birmingham, England were established in 1790, they made tools and "heavy steel toys" in the city until the 1880's.
Demand for sugar soared throughout the 18th Century until it became the sweetener and preservative of choice. Sugar was grown in the West Indies and went through rudimentary refining before being shipped back to England on the Homeward Passage of the Triangular Trade Route. Once offloaded in England it was further refined and then sold in cones known as "sugar loaves". Nippers like these were used in kitchens to snap chunks from the sugar loaf.
For a similar pair of nippers see National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Object No. ZBA2490 (Michael Graham-Stewart Collection).
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