Letter openers are products of an age when communication was a good deal more ceremonial than it is today. Correspondence would arrive by post, and one would sit down at one's writing desk to open up the day's mail. Letter openers were typically made of silver, bronze, or ivory, with handles resembling everything from the hilts of swords to the heads of mythical beasts. A stylish companion to pens and other writing instruments, letter openers were produced by firms such the Tiffany Studios, Georg Jensen, and Sheffield.

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