Website Overview

Pietro Longhi, True Painting of the Elephant, 1774, # 1980.03, Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation, Houston       In the left upper corner of the painting it states “True portrait of the Elephant/Brought to Venice in 1774/Painted by Pietro Longhi/For S.P.Z. Andrea Dolfin Valier”
Pietro Longhi, True Painting of the Elephant, 1774, # 1980.03, Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation, Houston In the left upper corner of the painting it states True portrait of the Elephant/Brought to Venice in 1774/Painted by Pietro Longhi/For S.P.Z. Andrea Dolfin Valier
John McAllister Sr. advertising label, just after 1800; solid gold oval frame and round silver frame examples with adjustable sliding sides, both by McAllister, circa 1815. All quite rare
John McAllister Sr. advertising label, just after 1800; solid gold oval frame and round silver frame examples with adjustable sliding sides, both by McAllister, circa 1815. All quite rare
Adelaide Labille-Guiard (1749-1803), Portrait of François-André Vincent, 1795.
Adelaide Labille-Guiard (1749-1803), Portrait of François-André Vincent, 1795.
Japanese, dark horn nose spectacles with original simple cardboard case, brass nose spectacles with original wooden case, both 18th century, unusual
Japanese, dark horn nose spectacles with original simple cardboard case, brass nose spectacles with original wooden case, both 18th century, unusual
Studio of Joos van Cleve, Flemish (ca. 1485 - ca. 1540/41), St. Jerome in his Study, Tempera and oil on panel, 38 3/4 x 32 3/4", The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York, Purchase, Friends of the Vassar College Art Gallery Fund, 1985.20
Studio of Joos van Cleve, Flemish (ca. 1485 - ca. 1540/41), St. Jerome in his Study, Tempera and oil on panel, 38 3/4 x 32 3/4", The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York, Purchase, Friends of the Vassar College Art Gallery Fund, 1985.20

Over 725 years ago the first simple pair of eyeglasses was invented. The name of the artisan from Pisa, Italy who devised them has remained obscure yet this was an achievement of monumental significance for mankind that has had an incalculable impact. They were certainly one of the most important inventions of all time. Although it has been relatively unknown to the general public, the evolution and development of spectacles over the past seven centuries qualifies as a long, quite fascinating journey through history, whose impact deserves to be better recognized and more widely appreciated. David A. Fleishman, M.D., retired ophthalmologist from Massachusetts, has built an educational website with the help of over 1640 educators from more than 855 institutions from all over Europe, Asia, Africa and the United States. This new website reviews the subject of Antique Spectacles and Other Vision Aids and is filled with interesting text along with wonderful and abundant imagery (over 7,000 images already).

The core of this new website is Eyeglasses through the Ages, a history paper with over 80 colorful images attached, which adds "life" to this amazing story. There is a list of all the World’s Public Collections where groups of spectacles can be seen including hyperlinks to all those institutions which have websites. There is a Timeline of Development, a Guide to Assist in Identification, a Glossary, Educational Games, Key Translations, and many other relevant pages. Obviously, nothing is being bought or sold for the website is not commercial. The Introduction explains the purpose in this website. There is a Virtual Museum section which has become an ever-expanding organized group of slideshows of exceptional images aimed at drawing much attention and interest

This website is dedicated to an Honor Roll of Distinguished Persons, twenty-five individuals from twelve countries who were the true pioneers of spectacles research. A Newsworthy page lists recent books, upcoming meetings and exhibits, new discoveries, and other important news related to this subject. Information has been gathered relative to forty-one Interesting Topics and even more will become add-on pages in the future. Visit www.antiquespectacles.com and enjoy an entertaining experience regarding something that is worn by a majority of people around the world yet is taken for granted. People of nearly all ages and from all walks of life should find this website to be appealing.


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