Optical Instruments > Spectacles & Eye Glasses

Hinged Lorgnette Eyeglasses 19th Century Tortoise-Shell

Item#: OIS624



The French optician M. Lepage invented the ‘Hinged Lorgnette' in 1818 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 and the frame, with a hinge in the bridge center, was made from tortoise-shell with round lenses. 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. 149. 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’.