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[Tidbits] Jackal, Scissors, and Ahhotep


My title of choice here would have been: Shadrach, Meshach, and
Abednego. It’s rhythmic but it doesn’t fit. Still. anybody out there
remember Louis Armstrong when he sang that song?

Alas. this is about a Gold Toilet Instrument. Life in the gold
lane–you see-- can get a little conflicting at times folks. The
running Jackal is atop the scissors which is related–stylistically
speaking–to the era of Ahhotep jewelry.

Ahhotep the First was interesting and her tale–at least in part–is
worth retelling. She was the daughter of queen Tetisheri and king
Senakhtenre. She was also the royal wife of the 17th dynasty king
Seqenenre Tao–who–it is believed. was also her brother. So. does
that mean that her son is also her nephew? And if so. is she then her
son’s aunt? Aieee. Keeping it all in the family clearly comes with
its own set of conundrums.

Shall we segue oh so subtly to the Jackal? Where oh where did we get
the name Jackal? How many of you have stayed up late at night
pondering this puzzler? Most of you. I am sure. Well. it comes from
the ancient Turkish word: Jakal which comes from the Persian
Shaghal. You do see the connections, do you not? As to the mythology
of the Jackal. gold or not. let us try a few tales on for size.
Anubis (one of the most famous) is the Greek name for the
jackal-headed-god associated with afterlife in ancient Egyptian
religion. And then there is Rudyard Kipling’s mad cowardly jackal
Tabaqui who feasts on the scraps left over by Shere Khan.

Which brings us via a shift so arcane as to baffle the most
sophisticated minds. to the Scissors. Do not shrug off or belittle
the scissors folks. for they are the crux of this whole discourse.
When they’re under six inches long… they’re scissors. When larger.
they’re shears. Yeah yeah. I know you all knew that. They were
invented by the Romans around AD100… and. most amazingly. they
have not much changed since then. Also. they are plural. It’s these
scissors. not this scissors. For those people who do not have the
use of their hands. there are foot scissors. Now how many of you knew
that? And there are also scissors made for the ambidextrous. You can
cut with your right hand and with your left hand. Try that at home
with your own cutting instruments and see what you can accomplish.

The image of the gold scissors you are about to see has a Jackal as
part of the formation of the upper blade. If you look carefully. you
will see that the blades do not cross in the conventional fashion.
and is therefore a little difficult to understand how the mechanism
worked. Or at least it’s a little difficult to understand how the
mechanism worked with ease. If any of you see something I’m missing
… by all means let me know.

So. We’re at that point. You look. I rest. For those of you who are
new to this thing called Tidbits. may I direct you to my home page at where you will scroll down the left side
menu till you get to the area that says Current Tidbits. click on it.
and you will see represented on our pages an image of a pair of gold
scissors–I know not the karat–with a Jackal as part of the upper
handle and which is related to the era of Ahhotep jewelry

And there ya have it. That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
Benjamin Mark


Squeeze them together and like toe nail clippers the magic occurs.



The scissors in question remind me of a pair that I have that are
designed to be held to nip threads in sewing - one afte the other.
Sew, leaving tags of threads at the end of the seams sit for hours
turning the garment this way and that, nipping the threads one by

Barbara on the island where the robins have returned and found they
still required snowboots to get around the 4 foot drifts that are
still here