Bow folding spectacles, England, 1650-1750

1650-1750 in England

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Bow, folding spectacles, horn and steel, English, 1650-1750. Full view, graduated grey background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Bow, folding spectacles, horn and steel, unsigned, English, 1650-1750

Bow-shaped spectacles were difficult to wear. The wearer had to tilt his or her head back slightly so they would stay on. They are hinged at the nose and made of horn. Horn was a cheaper material than the more luxurious tortoiseshell. This suggests the owner was not wealthy. Horn is taken from animals such as sheep and cattle. It becomes brittle over time due to moisture and intense heat and snaps easily.


Object Number:
glass, horn and steel
folded: 6 mm x 41 mm x 58 mm,
spectacles ophthalmology (aids) and bows, folding, ophthalmology (aids) and spectacles
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • eyeglass

Cite this page


We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.

Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero

Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence

Using our data


Download catalogue entry as json

View manifest in IIIF viewer

Add to Animal Crossing Art Generator

Download manifest IIIF

Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.