Gentlemanly Bling in Eyewear, circa 1830

Georgian sterling silver eyeglasses with sliding temples, with mother of pearl and abalone marquettry case.   Circa 1830.

Georgian sterling silver eyeglasses with sliding temples, with mother of pearl and abalone marquettry case. Circa 1830.

Although various lorgnettes and quizzing glasses enjoyed flares of vogue throughout the 19th Century, eyeglasses tended to be austere and utilitarian in design regardless of the user’s class. Such was the fashion of the era.

By the 1830’s Beau Brummel’s influence had long since pervaded men’s fashion and suits were simple in cut.

A gentleman, however, might distinguish himself with fine accessories, like keeping his conservatively elegant sterling silver eyeglasses in a case like this. It’s wood with inlayed mother of pearl and abalone marquettry in a harlequin pattern with floriate flourishes. A silver cartouche for the owner’s engraved name surmounts the top.

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