Specialist maker of historical objects in bone, horn, antler, mammoth ivory and boxwood.




Bone rivet spectacle frames Bergen op Zoom (NL) (nr. 001)

price of frame without lenses; available with corrective lenses to specification

The use of eyeglasses in the Netherlands is documented from the second half of the 14th century. The spectacle frame of this period is composed of two parts held together by a small metal rivet. The enlarging lens (reading glass) was made by Italian monks using beryl, a semi-precious mineral. Reading glasses were in use in Italy from the 13th century, either pinched on the nose or hand-held. They were rare and expensive, therefore only rich merchants and clerics could afford them.

For more details, see http://www.antiquespectacles.com .


These particular rivet spectacles were found complete, the lenses were still in place. It's a magnificent find, and so far the oldest in the Netherlands. The frame is very similar to one found in London, except for one obvious difference: the profile of a face cut in the sides. The thickness of the original is less than 2 mm!


dimensions: 72 mm folded

provenance: Bergen op Zoom (NL)

date: 1407 AD 


































price € 180,00
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