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Dry shaving shears as gable stone

A marble plaque in the form of a typical heraldic shield with three dry shearers' scissors on it as a family crest recently adorned the facade of Looiersgracht 4. Presumably it is not a gable stone at all, given its shield shape, thickness of 3 cm and the material used, but rather part of a marble fireplace. The stone was taken from the depository with the permission of LGOG (Limburg Historical and Archaeological Society), refurbished and reinstated in a facade that matches its age.

In a random facade, because it is not at all known where the little stone originally came from. An interested VMG-follower (Friends of Maastricht Gable Stones) has managed to trace a dozen families in the Netherlands and Belgium that used these scissors in a number of versions as their coat of arms: Baenixoort, Banjaert, Bagmus, ten Have, van de Poel, Baduel, Bousiaux, Commognes, Dumont, Felbiers, Guerin, Hellinx. A remarkable Maastricht connection is provided by canon Mathias Finiers on whose tombstone in the cloister of the OL Vrouwe basilica these three scissors can also be seen. But this remains a guess, of course.

Retrieved from the Bonnefanten depository

Cleaned and coloured; repositioned in 2016.

Dry shaving shears.

The scissors on the stone are dry shaving scissors, the typical tool of a dry shaver. With his large, razor-sharp scissors (examples of over one metre in length are known), he would cut away the loose fibres sticking out of the fabric, thus making the 'shorn' sheet smooth.

They are sometimes mistaken for sheep shears, but these are much smaller and have a different shape.

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