Reclining (mirrored) reading spectacles

Catalogue Number: 2856
Reclining (mirrored) reading spectacles
Category: Spectacles and lenses
Sub-Category: Spectacles, recumbent, reclining
Time Period: 1940 to 1999
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: France
Description Of Item: A standard rhodium round-eye spectacle frame, 100 x 35 mm, with curl sides and saddle bridge, which has been adapted to be used for reading when reclining or recumbent. The frame has been adapted by angling forward the top of the eye wire rims and soldering two metal housings each of which has two plane mirrors. It is contained in a specially designed papier mache case, 145 x 63 x 38 mm, with black and green mottled finish and bearing a gold stamp reading LUNETTE-LOUPE / FRANCAISE / MADE IN FRANCE
Historical Significance: Recumbent spectacles were originally designed to enable bedridden patients unable to sit up to read books held in the normal position. They are also known as Lazy Spectacles, Nap Glasses, Bed Ridden Spectacles, Reclining Spectacles or Bed Specs. Most recumbent spectacles use prisms. This example uses two mirrors to provide an image that is not mirror reversed. The workmanship of this example suggests it was handmade rather than machine-made. The words lunette loupe mean magnifying glasses.
How Acquired: Donated by Colin Dundon, antique ophthalmic collector, Williamstown
Date Acquired: May 2016
Condition: Very good
Location: Archive Office. Spectacles cabinet Drawer 2

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