These sugar nippers date from around 1800. Steel sugar nippers were tools used for cutting off small pieces of sugar. Larger plain nippers were used in the kitchen and smaller decorated ones at the tea table.
In the 1800s sugar was not granulated or sold in lumps but poured into cones and crystallized into sugar loaves wrapped in paper. Sugar was used to sweeten many delicacies and drinks, but especially tea, which became popular among all social classes.
© National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, UK
Accession reference: National Maritime Museum, ZBA2490