Gold quizzing glass with locket in handle. Lens surround is alternately chased and plain, with an inner ring of twisted rope design. Handle of floral-chased ball and engined-turned round locket that opens to show woven hair beneath a glass cover. Swivel-mounted loop echoes decoration of lens outer surround. Oval magnifying lens. 3 ¼" long. c1815.
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Left: Gold quizzing glass. Loop and lens holder are chased with a floral design, as is the ball at the handle base. Octagonal magnifying lens beveled at edge mounted on a rigid handle. 4 ¼" long. c1820. Right: Tiny sterling quizzing glass with delicate chased floral decoration and rectangular magnifying lens mounted on a swivel handle. 1 ¾" long. c1830.
Large gold quizzing glass with its orginal case. The lens surround is undecorated and mounted on a rigid handle with chased and engraved designs. The case is stamped leather with the gilt impressed trade mark of T. Harris & Son, Opticians, 52 Great Russell St, Bloomsbury, London. This firm, using this particular trade mark, was in business from 1802 until the 1840s. Circular magnifying lens. 4" long. c 1830.
1750 Quizzing glass - "A “quizzing glass” was a single magnifying lens on a handle which was held up before the eye to enable closer scrutiny of the object in view. The quizzing glass is not to be confused with the lorgnette, which has two lenses, and more often than not a correctable (prescription) lens rather than a simple magnifier."
The quizzing glass was popular with both men and women from the 18th Century onwards. The gold handle of the example shown revolves and features a central compartment for containing a vinaigrette. Quizzers have also been made combined with watch keys or compartments to keep a lock of hair. Quizzing glass lenses could be round, oval or oblong. The rims are often faceted, or pinchbeck, or mounted with diamonds, turquoise or imitation stones.
Quizzing Glass | England | c.1820-30 | Gold over metal | The Three Graces --- Popular for both men & women from the 18th c. onward, quizzers or quizzing glasses were named as such because they “quizzed” or studied a subject. A quizzing glass is almost always set with a magnifying lens, though some were set with a corrective lens since haute ladies and gentleman did not like to wear spectacles in public. It was the mid-18th c. that they developed into a fashionable accessory.
Silk Gauze dress, side view; c.1806-1809