Victorian Prussian Blue: Silver & Enamel Lorgnette
Although there is a reference to a 15th century lorgnette-type of spectacles, it was not until about 1770s what we know today as a lorgnette was invented by Englishman George Adams. His basic design was subsequently refined and developed through the 19th century.
The specimen depicted here is referred to as a “Louis spring” lorgnette. Moving a small button or lever on the side of the handle unlatches a catch secured to a spring mechanism which release the lenses to “spring apart”. The spectacles are closed by sliding one lens onto the other until a click resets the mechanism.
Finely crafted of silver and embellished with deep Prussian blue enamel, pattern of foliate designs and scroll motifs ornaments the tapered handle. The lorgnette is so exceptionally made that even the rims of the lenses and the bridge between them are incised with a delicate design. The decorated silver loop on the end of the handle is used for threading through a ribbon or chain to be worn around the neck.
Measurements: 4-1/8 inches (10.4 cm) in length by 1-1/4 inches (4.3 cm) in width when closed; open from rim to rim is 4-1/16 inches (10.3 cm). Weight of 27.0 grams (17.3 dwt).
Date & Origin: Circa 1890 and is European in origin.
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