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RESERVED FOR OILYBIT - Antique Pince-Nez Glasses with Fingerpiece Bridge Black and Gold - Original Aluminum Case

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Pants-nay! These antique “pince-nez” eyeglasses have round lenses set in rims that appear to be celluloid and have an overall black-tinged-with-red color. The lenses seem to be medium-strength magnifiers. The nose hardware is of the “hard bridge” or “fingerpiece” type introduced around 1903: two spring-loaded levers on the front of the glasses are pinched together with the forefinger and thumb to spread the nose pieces apart when the glasses are put on, allowing a one-handed operation. The two nose pieces are themselves two-part: each has a small celluloid nose pad (with a checker-textured surface) at one end and a textured metal loop at the other end. Internet research did not reveal what this exact kind of nose piece or nose guard arrangement is called. The pads are apparently the upper ends, with the loop ends resting alongside the nose a little farther down (see photos). The metal portions of the hardware appear to be finished with gold fill, although stamping on the inside of the bridge is not legible enough to determine actual finish or possible karat content.

These pince-nez glasses seem to be fairly small and are probably sized for a woman. Overall width is 3.9 inches and the lens rims are 1.66 inches in diameter. The distance between the rims at the nose piece is 0.63 inches, the distance between the celluloid nose pads when fully closed is 0.2 inch, and the distance between them when fully opened is about 0.5 inch; the loops that rest lower down on the nose are a little farther apart. The lenses measure 2.27 inches center-to-center and would be replaceable with new prescription lenses (adjustment screws attach and tighten the rims together). Are you are a confirmed anachronist determined to become one of the few and the proud, a modern pince-nez wearer? If so, consultation with an über optician with arcane skills may be necessary to verify whether these may work for you and also to adjust for a proper fit if purchased.

The original basket-weave-textured aluminum case is included in your purchase. These spectacular specs, likely between 80 and 109 years old, are in good condition. The fingerpiece coil springs are still springy. There is a wear spot, visible under magnification, on the bridge of the nosepiece from where it is contacts the interior of the case; here a tiny area of the gold fill layer is worn through into what looks like brass metal beneath.

Please do not hesitate to contact Astra’s Shadow for any particulars that may have been inadvertently overlooked in this description.

The listing is for the glasses and case only.

Please see the Shipping and Refunds/Exchanges sections in my Shop Policies.

Please be aware that the 8.25% California state sales tax will be added to price for buyers with California addresses.

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RESERVED FOR OILYBIT - Antique Pince-Nez Glasses with Fingerpiece Bridge Black and Gold - Original Aluminum Case


  • Vintage item from the 1910s
  • Materials: aluminum, celluloid, glass, metal
  • Only ships within United States.
  • Feedback: 326 reviews
  • Favorited by: 17 people