Shop sign, Europe, 1871-1900

Made:
1871-1900 in Europe
maker:
Unknown

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Shop sign in the shape of a pair of pince-nez, probably for an optician's shop, number 213, late 19th century

This large pair of pince-nez spectacles was used as a shop sign in the late 1800s. It indicated an optician’s shop or perhaps a spectacle maker. The pince-nez, or nose-pinching spectacles, were particularly popular in the late 1800s – although the design had been in existence for several centuries.

As the numbering of houses and businesses was not standard practice until the 1800s, it was common for shop signs to use symbols to advertise their presence and to describe the type of trade carried out on the premises. This sign would undoubtedly have been quite eye-catching to a potential customer walking down the road.

Details

Category:
Ophthalmology
Object Number:
A606423
Materials:
complete, glass, iron, paint
type:
shop sign
taxonomy:
  • visual and verbal communication
  • sign - promotional or advertising artefact
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • eyeglass
  • spectacles
  • nose spectacles
status:
Loan: Wellcome Trust

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