Turn pin spectacles with tortoiseshell frames, cased, Paris, 1819-1838

Made:
1819-1838 in Paris
maker:
Unknown

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

carved wooden case, snap lid, decorated, for Turn pin spectacles,French, 1819-1838. Close up view of decorated case,
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Turn pin spectacles, tortoiseshell frames, silver arms, hallmarked Paris, 1819-1838, in carved wooden case, snap lid, decorated, French, 1819-1838

These are known as turn pin spectacles. They have side arms which are hinged around the temple area of the head. The hinged sides rotate 360 degrees. The case is engraved wood with a fish design and decorated with a mother of pearl disc. The frames are of tortoiseshell. This was a luxury material only affordable by wealthy people. The material comes from the shell of a hawk bill turtle rather than the shell of a tortoise.

Details

Category:
Ophthalmology
Object Number:
A159471
Materials:
case, brass, hinges, case, mother-of-pearl, disc, case, wood, spectacles, silver, arms, spectacles, tortoiseshell
type:
spectacles, ophthalmology (aids), ophthalmology (aids), snap lids, spectacles, turn pins
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • eyeglass
credit:
Glendining
status:
Loan: Wellcome Trust

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