Folding tortoiseshell spectacles with case, Chinese, 1801-1900

Made:
1801-1900 in Canton
maker:
K Y Chui

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Folding spectacles with support bar on bridge, tortoiseshell and brass, one lens lacking, in circular, tortoiseshell portable case with cord attachment, Chinese, 1801-1900, inscription "Mr. K.Y. Chui,~manufacturer of ....crystal goods, glass-ware, and various~kinds of spectacles. His~business establishment was situated in the Long Life lane;~outside the Peaceful Gate of the Canton province"

These tortoiseshell spectacles fold into a matching, portable case. This has a cord attachment so it can be easily carried. Tortoiseshell was expensive and indicates a wealthy owner. The Chinese inscription on the case gives information about the maker: ‘Mr. K.Y. Chui, manufacturer of ....crystal goods, glass-ware, and various kinds of spectacles. His business establishment was situated in the Long Life lane; outside the Peaceful Gate of the Canton province.’ Spectacles may have been used in China as early as the 1100s.

Details

Category:
Ophthalmology
Collection:
Sir Henry Wellcome's Museum Collection
Object Number:
A682617
Materials:
glass and paper
Measurements:
glasses: 16 mm x 110 mm x 65 mm, .04 kg
case fully opened: 18 mm x 70 mm x 140 mm, .04 kg
case closed: 20 mm 70 mm, .04 kg
type:
spectacles tools & equipment//eyeglasses/spectacles, ophthalmology (aids) and chatelaines, folding, ophthalmology (aids) and spectacles
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • eyeglass
credit:
Glendining