This style of temples was used from around 1885 to after 1900. Vintage styles are now being reproduced, so it's important for serious collectors to be able to correctly identify original antique frames. Repairs should always be done by a professional who has the knowledge and the proper tools to restore antique frames. If it's more than 50 years old, you have an antique. Handles on scissors spectacles are often found with tortoiseshell or mother of pearl handles. In addition to the dealers that may be able to help, there is often an antique appraiser at the event offering. Found in the John Hicks estate.
Reference books are a great help in researching these factors, particularly since many antique frames are unmarked. Simply narrow down your search by category or brand, and start browsing. Gently clean the frames by rubbing them with a soft, dry polishing cloth. Seek out reference books and online resources that provide photos of popular eyeglass frame styles from the past. The stronger lenses were placed in the hinged eyerims, so that they could be folded into place when greater optical power was needed.
What about underneath or on the back panel of a drawer? With the numbers came better record keeping. The lower temperature required for making leaded crystal makes it easier for glassmakers to craft decorative configurations in crystal glasses such as intricate cuts and angles with sparkling refractions. Realize that all pre-1725 spectacles had round frames with a bow or C bridge, no sidearms, and therefore no finials. Keely Brown has been a feature writer, arts critic, columnist and business writer since 1998. How many dove-tails are used to join the panels? However, these vintage glasses need to be kept safe from rodents, since mice and rats devour tortoiseshell glasses eagerly, and many old pairs show at least a few nibble marks from the hungry murines of long ago. I noticed in my perusing on the web that there are many such dealers, including one in Maine that has a very large inventory of all types and styles of antique and vintage eyewear. Using a flashlight and magnifying glass, look carefully for any markings, which are typically located on the inside of the temple pieces, but may be found anywhere on the inside of the frame.
If you decide to wear your vintage eyeglasses, treat them gently, as wire, tortoiseshell, celluloid and early plastics tend to become brittle and fragile with age. Likewise, determining the material can help pinpoint the decade of manufacture. There are, nevertheless, plenty of interesting from this era for the collector or someone who wants to add modern lenses to antique eyeglasses frames since eyeglasses are essentially timeless until they break. Jo Sakai 1874-1923 , founder of the Yamato Colony of Japanese settlers that was established in 1905 in what is today Palm Beach County, Florida, Credit to Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens. This will often reveal markings which have been obscured by years of dirt. Right now all I can help you with is the style of the temples, the side arms. The years following the overthrow of British rule in the American colonies and the establishment of the United States witnessed many major changes, yet the evolution of old spectacles continued at a modest pace during this time.
Identifying Antiques for Free If you're interested in learning more about an object, the first thing you'll need to do is identify its category. Are they wire rims or tortoise shell, or are they made from popular early- to mid-20th century materials such as celluloid, Bakelite or early plastic? Caroline Pizzo has written education and design articles since 2000. Newer plastics can be distinguished from older plastics and Bakelite by performing simple tests. Examine the fine print for etchings and newspapers. Crystal is a high-quality glass made with lead. A second pair of eyerims containing different lenses was hinged to the main eyerims of these old spectacles, pivoting at the same point where the temples attach.
If it's a table, turn it over and look for marks or labels. Spectacles are found in endless variety which will overwhelm a beginning collector who is not focused on a specific collecting area. If your library doesn't carry this book, you may be able to borrow it through inter-library loan. Is it made of lead or cast iron? I found them in the box as is, but they were amongst the personal possessions of a man's estate, among items that had been put aside by the family so I'm pretty sure it's original to the glasses. Any guesses, based on how these look and era, if they might be authentic or not? If the saw marks appear to be semi-circular, the piece was probably made using a circular saw after about 1880.
Her articles have appeared in women's magazines and blogs. Early rimless eyeglasses, made between 1880 and 1920 did not have nose pads. In a social content, spectacles were a label of keen intellect which began at the time of 15th century blue-blooded nobility. I will, though, and report back. The Arnel Amber is the hottest piece in the vintage eyewear market today. Hand stitching, marks from hand tools, and a subtle lack of symmetry are all signs something was made by a person instead of a machine.
While a few things are still handmade today, this can often point to an antique. Familiarize yourself with these different materials by referring to reference books and Internet sources. This is a drastic form of identification, however, especially for valuable antique eyeglasses, and it is better to pass a finger lightly over the surface to see if it is slickly smooth plastic or rubber or if there are slight but perceptible whorls tortoiseshell. Metal is obviously a superior substance for long lasting spectacles, and the greater affluence of the new nation encouraged expansion into the better materials. Additionally, when light passes through true crystal, it produces a prism effect or soft rainbow. Most silver websites, such as Antique Cupboard, will tell you when your pattern was made.
The earliest antique spectacles in regular use, made of wood or leather with a riveted center pivot, date to the 15th and 16th centuries and are documented by woodcuts and paintings from the period. Antique Identification Resources There are free resources, both offline and online, to use to help identify many kinds of antiques. These can date to the late 18th century but were continually produced until the late 19th century. Enjoy looking through the Attic! If it's a sofa, remove the cushions to look for a tag or label. The quality marks are good to place an age on a piece. The site does have a few maker's mark, but yours wasn't there. Charles Fraser 1782-1860 , Dr.
I don't see your mark. Many 18th century gentlemen purchased and wore spectacles who could not read, and vainly created a false badge of rank. Value is not necessarily associated with age per se. Another useful test is by wetting your finger and running it along the rim of the crystal, which produces a tonal effect similar to a musical note. I will offer a certificate of authenticity upon request. Knowing your location might help in identifying the spectacles. The pewter makers put hallmarks on their product similar to the silver hallmarks for city, date, duty and maker.