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WHITELEY AND ROYALTY

For almost 200 years, Whiteley’s has provided some of the most exquisite and unique hand-made shears to the British royal family. Our historical commissioned pieces have represented the pinnacle of UK manufacturing, reinforced with the honour of a Royal Warrant.

Queen Victoria

 

In 1875, Whiteley’s incorporated the firm of Thomas Wilkinson & Son. Wilkinson was a Master Cutler, a tradition that continues to this day; a Master Cutler is elected each year from the freemen within the Company of Cutlers in Sheffield.

 

In 1838, Thomas Wilkinson was invited to commemorate the new Queen Victoria with a pair of special scissors. The result was a pair of exquisite and unique scissors, entirely hand-made from just one piece of crucible steel, with coloured enamels on the royal coat of arms. The Royals were so impressed that they awarded Thomas Wilkinson a special appointment Royal Warrant – ‘Manufacturers of Scissors in Ordinary to her Majesty Queen Victoria and Cutlers to H.R.H. Prince Albert’.

 

Two pairs of these scissors were made, the second of which was lent to the Sheffield Museum in the 1870s and which we have since retrieved to display at our factory.

Decorative scissors

Prince Albert

 

Both William Whiteley & Sons and Thomas Wilkinson & Son made scissors for the Great Exhibition of 1851; organized by Prince Albert at the specially built Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, the exhibition was created to display examples of technologies developed in the Industrial Revolution, and bring together all great products from Britain and the Empire.

 

Both companies won medals at the exhibition, which are now displayed in our factory alongside the original exhibition scissors.

 

These are an extraordinary work of art, and extremely special due to their size and their etching; on the top blade is an etching of the original Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, built in 1851 specifically to host the Great Exhibition.

 

As with all of our exhibition scissors, these were specifically exhibition pieces, painstakingly hand-made with top quality crucible steel. To reflect their unique craftsmanship and beauty, Whiteley and Wilkinson were awarded medals that feature the faces of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

Queen Elizabeth II

 

In 2003, Queen Elizabeth II opened the Winter Gardens in Sheffield City Centre. Whiteley’s were approached by the city council, keen to find the perfect Sheffield-made gift that could be presented to the Queen.

 

Delighted at the opportunity to demonstrate our Sheffield craftsmanship to another generation of royals, we produced a matching set of two pairs of gold-plated sewing and embroidery scissors.

 

The scissors were such a success that the Queen specifically asked for the scissors to be sent to Balmoral, rather than being put into the royal collection. Since then we have continued to manufacture the gold-plated embroidery scissors, which are now available in our store.

Duke of Norfolk

 

After the success of his hand-made scissors for Queen Victoria, Master Cutler Thomas Wilkinson was approached to create a fine pair of decorative scissors for the then Duke of Norfolk, who also held the titles of Earl of Arundel, Earl of Surrey, Earl of Norfolk and Baron Maltravers.

 

This pair were made by a craftsman named Peter Atherton, who also made the scissors commemorating Queen Victoria. It is recorded that for both pairs of scissors, he used a minimum of 60 hand files.

 

Each part of the scissor, from the little gold studs to the screw, was completely hand made from start to finish, and in an era with no electric lights craftsmen had to work by daylight alone.

 

Never meant to be used, these were decorative scissors for ornamental & showpiece purposes. The chassis of the scissors is made from the finest Sheffield crucible steel, which to this day has not rusted.

For almost 200 years, Whiteley’s has provided some of the most exquisite and unique hand-made shears to the British royal family. Our historical commissioned pieces have represented the pinnacle of UK manufacturing, reinforced with the honour of a Royal Warrant.

Queen Victoria

 

In 1875, Whiteley’s incorporated the firm of Thomas Wilkinson & Son. Wilkinson was a Master Cutler, a tradition that continues to this day; a Master Cutler is elected each year from the freemen within the Company of Cutlers in Sheffield.

 

In 1838, Thomas Wilkinson was invited to commemorate the new Queen Victoria with a pair of special scissors. The result was a pair of exquisite and unique scissors, entirely hand-made from just one piece of crucible steel, with coloured enamels on the royal coat of arms. The Royals were so impressed that they awarded Thomas Wilkinson a special appointment Royal Warrant – ‘Manufacturers of Scissors in Ordinary to her Majesty Queen Victoria and Cutlers to H.R.H. Prince Albert’.

 

Two pairs of these scissors were made, the second of which was lent to the Sheffield Museum in the 1870s and which we have since retrieved to display at our factory.

Prince Albert

 

Both William Whiteley & Sons and Thomas Wilkinson & Son made scissors for the Great Exhibition of 1851; organized by Prince Albert at the specially built Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, the exhibition was created to display examples of technologies developed in the Industrial Revolution, and bring together all great products from Britain and the Empire.

 

Both companies won medals at the exhibition, which are now displayed in our factory alongside the original exhibition scissors.

 

These are an extraordinary work of art, and extremely special due to their size and their etching; on the top blade is an etching of the original Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, built in 1851 specifically to host the Great Exhibition.

 

As with all of our exhibition scissors, these were specifically exhibition pieces, painstakingly hand-made with top quality crucible steel. To reflect their unique craftsmanship and beauty, Whiteley and Wilkinson were awarded medals that feature the faces of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

Decorative scissors

Duke of Norfolk

 

After the success of his hand-made scissors for Queen Victoria, Master Cutler Thomas Wilkinson was approached to create a fine pair of decorative scissors for the then Duke of Norfolk, who also held the titles of Earl of Arundel, Earl of Surrey, Earl of Norfolk and Baron Maltravers.

 

This pair were made by a craftsman named Peter Atherton, who also made the scissors commemorating Queen Victoria. It is recorded that for both pairs of scissors, he used a minimum of 60 hand files.

 

Each part of the scissor, from the little gold studs to the screw, was completely hand made from start to finish, and in an era with no electric lights craftsmen had to work by daylight alone.

 

Never meant to be used, these were decorative scissors for ornamental & showpiece purposes. The chassis of the scissors is made from the finest Sheffield crucible steel, which to this day has not rusted.

Queen Elizabeth II

 

In 2003, Queen Elizabeth II opened the Winter Gardens in Sheffield City Centre. Whiteley’s were approached by the city council, keen to find the perfect Sheffield-made gift that could be presented to the Queen.

 

Delighted at the opportunity to demonstrate our Sheffield craftsmanship to another generation of royals, we produced a matching set of two pairs of gold-plated sewing and embroidery scissors.

 

The scissors were such a success that the Queen specifically asked for the scissors to be sent to Balmoral, rather than being put into the royal collection. Since then we have continued to manufacture the gold-plated embroidery scissors, which are now available in our store.