Catalogue Number: 2311
Black Martin Wells 'Spellbound' spectacle frame
Category: Spectacles and lenses
Sub-Category: Spectacle frame
Corporation: Martin Wells
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: c 1960
Time Period: 1940 to 1999
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: Australia
Publisher/Manufacturer: Martin Wells
Description Of Item: Unglazed black plastic woman's spectacle 'Spellbound' frame made by the Australian manufacturer Martin Wells, left temple marked Martin Wells Spellbound 140 (= temple length), back of rim marked 44/24 (= frame size), gold colour corner trims, keyhole bridge, hockey temples. Mounted on original manufacturers card with frame details and in original plastic envelope. Overall size of frame 130 x 40 mm.
Historical Significance: Up to the 1950s spectacle frame styles were very limited. The most common styles were flesh and demi-amber plastic frames with full-vue lens shape and plastic hockey sides, steel frames covered with imitation tortoise shell and curl sides, and rimless glasses. They were not fashion items: ornaments were rare and colours limited although some spectacles in the 19thC and early 20thC were finely made, sometimes using rare materials or discretely decorated. In the mid 20th C spectacles became fashion items with diversity of shape, decoration and colour. Martin Wells was an Australian spectacle frame manufacturer founded in 1953 by business man Sidney Sinclair OBE AM (1915-1999), optometrist Eric Hurst and Dino Zigarelli, a spectacle frame expert. Martin Wells produced a range of spectacle frames in the 1950s and 1960s that were highly popular in Australia and ushered in a new era of fashion into spectacles in Australia. It closed in 1998 as it was unable to compete with overseas competition.
How Acquired: Donated by Bruce Dudon, spectacle maker, Woodend
Date Acquired: April 2013
Condition: Frame fine, packaging good
Location: Archive Office. Spectacles cabinet Drawer 17