Abalone shell covered aluminium opera glasses

Catalogue Number: 2918
Abalone shell covered aluminium opera glasses
Category: Spectacles and lenses
Sub-Category: Telescopes, binoculars, opera glasses
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: c1895
Time Period: 19th C
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: Vienna, Austria
Publisher/Manufacturer: Simon Waldstein
Description Of Item: Pair of opera glasses with flared barrels, aluminium body covered with abalone shell. One eyepiece marked 'SIMON WALDSTEIN WIEN'. 105 x 71 x 41 mm
Historical Significance: Simon Waldstein was born c1837 and died 28th November 1902. He traded at Kohlmarkt 5 and Stock-im-Eisen-Platz 5, Vienna. He was appointed the Kaiserlich und Koniglich Hof-Optiker meaning Imperial (Austria) and Royal (Bohemia) Court Optician of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Aluminium was first isolated in 1825. In the mid nineteenth century it was considered as precious as silver or gold, but in the 1880's smelting processes were greatly improved and the price of aluminium tumbled allowing widespread commercial use of aluminium.
How Acquired: Purchased by Kett Museum
Date Acquired: July 2016
Condition: Very good
Location: Archive Office. Cabinet One Drawer 4

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