Monday, 30 April 2012

Antique Spectacles

Antique Spectacles and other Vision Aids ('the online museum and encyclopedia of vision aids') is a site which caught my imagination from our first involvement with it and its very enthusiastic and knowledgeable curator, Dr Fleishman. It is a shining example of a site which uses ephemera to tell their part of the story (in this case of the history of spectacles) in conjunction with the widest possible range of other media. I thought I would look at it again to see if I could justify including it as an Ephemera resource, and I was amply rewarded. The new Quick links include pages aimed at librarians and curators. Of particular note is a discussion of the Edward Scarlett trade card: the newly discovered Bodleian version, 1714-1727  (not JJ Coll but Douce adds 139 (766)), with pop-up transcriptions and enlargements of details, and a scholarly comparison of the two known versions of the card (one of which is represented in two collections).

This is supplemented by a slide show of other optical trade cards from a wide range of collections, including the John Johnson Collection, all with mouse-over pop-up enlargements.

copyright © 2003-2012,

The whole site is fascinating, but also of particular interest to ephemerists are three slide shows of spectacles on stamps, a slide show of paper labels rarely seen, and slide shows of spectacle peddlers, and International currency showing spectacles.

A site to enjoy for itself as much as for its ephemera!

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