This fabulous lorgnette was the ultimate fashion statement, and would have been flaunted at balls, operas and the ballet. The lorgnette was for a lady of status and elegance.
The wonderful French names derives the verb ‘to squint’ or ‘to peer’ and definitely has bit more of a ring about it than ‘glasses on a stick’!
Tortoiseshell would have been considered an exotic and highly prized material in the 19th century. It was used for a variety of decorative and functional purposes, including the production of jewellery, hair accessories, combs, and various ornamental items. Today, the international trade in tortoiseshell is largely banned to protect sea turtles, and alternative materials are used for the same purposes that tortoiseshell served in the past.
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