Optical Instruments > Spectacles & Eye Glasses

Hinged Lorgnette Eyeglasses19th Century Tortoise-Shell and Silver

Item#: OIS622



The ‘Hinged Lorgnette' was invented in 1818 by the French optician M. Lepage and called it ‘face-a-main brisee’. Artists were designing lorgnettes as high quality ornaments and by mid 19th century it became the favorite European optical aid. The case of this lorgnette was made from tortoise-shell (with a small chip) and the frame, with its center bridge hinge, was made from silver with oval lenses R&L +2.5. A small ring is affixed to the outer end of the case, through which a small chain or ribbon could be pulled. The ladies used to attach the lorgnette to their bodice and wore it as a brooch. Provenance: From the Orr collection, Inventory No. 898. Hugh Orr (1905 - 2002) was a collector and curator of the British Optical Association Museum. In 1985 he published the book ‘Illustrated History of Antique Spectacles’.