Letter Openers

What do you use to open your mail art? A 19th century engraved letter opener with a carved inlaid alabaster handle? A dull table knife? An overly excited yet always regretful rip with your hands? Your teeth? Join this group and show IUOMA what you use. (Please join if you use your teeth. I couldn't even find a picture of someone doing that on the internet. I may have subconsciously started this group just because I want to see that.)

Members: 19
Latest Activity: 3 hours ago

If you spring for the bling: A House of Faberge Letter Opener. 25cm, 2400 USD.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Mark Johnson on Sunday

Thank you for reposting, Eduardo. Your letter opener and Adam's (below) certainly add an element of danger and adventure to this group. I imagine that these just need to be waved over mail and it opens itself in fear. Both are truly magnificent.

Martha, I share your concerns about damaging the contents of mail by cutting off an edge of an envelope. The mail I send is designed to accommodate letter openers because I live in an atavistic fantasy world where everyone uses an old fashioned letter openers. Ilya's scissors, older than my online purchased letter opener, have disabused me of this notion.

Comment by Eduardo Cardoso on Sunday

Posting again because my other comment, together with the image, mysteriously vanished.

Comment by Hélène LAGACHE on Sunday

@ Adam

That was very impressive!


Comment by Mail Art Martha on Sunday

First of all, Mark, I congratulate you for being a considerate correspondent and leaving a small gap to insert a letter opener. Lots of people do not, even sealing the envelope completely with tape.

I am terrified to cut the content when I need to use scissors.

My technique is different from that of Ilya; I cut a tiny bit of a corner to be able to insert the letter opener and pray to Mercury. (Surely he is the god of Mail Art?)

I shall be back with photos.

Comment by Adam Blackshaw AKA CtlAltDel on Sunday

I bought this in Udaipur, India

Comment by Coco Muchmore on Saturday

I don't know where this one came from. It's been in my desk forever and I use it daily. I ordered a couple similar ones for the studio. I also use an exacto knife or scissors occasionally. 

Comment by Mark Johnson on Saturday

Ilya, your scissors have a fascinating history.

That is a stunning emerald green, Maxima.

Comment by Maxima Strange on Saturday

My most used letter opener. Goodwill find a few years ago. 

Comment by Ilya Semenenko-Basin on Saturday

@Carien van Hest 

Hello, Carien.

You're quite right; there are small workshops in Moscow that sharpen knives and scissors, and they are usually run by Armenians. I sharpen my scissors there, including some very old ones, from the end of the 19th century. Old scissors are high quality steel, that's the point.

Comment by Mark Johnson on Saturday

I find all these responses much more intimate than I anticipated now that I see these implements and imagine them in use.

I try to make most of the envelopes I send accommodate letter openers by not gluing and leaving an opening at the top on both sides of the back (for both right and left handed recipients).


Members (19)



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