Algha rolled gold curl side spectacles and snap case

Catalogue Number: 1888
Algha rolled gold curl side spectacles and snap case
Category: Spectacles and lenses
Sub-Category: Spectacles with case
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: Late 1930s
Time Period: 1900 to 1939
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: London
Publisher/Manufacturer: M Wiseman (Algha Works)
Description Of Item: Panto shape rolled gold metal spectacles with curl sides, dark brown covers on rims and sides, rolled gold bridge, nose pads made by the Algha Works of M Wiseman and Co Ltd. Back of bridge stamped 1/20-10.
Historical Significance: These spectacles have special interest. They were made by the Algha Works of M Wiseman and Co Ltd. Max Wiseman had built a successful business in London in the early 1920s making and selling lenses and frames. His metal frames were imported from Germany but rampant inflation in Germany in the 1930s had made those frames too expensive. Wiseman asked his sons to set up a factory to make rolled gold spectacle frames. They did so in 1932 by purchasing a whole factory from Germany and employing 10 technicians from Germany. The new factory in London was named the Algha Works. The company is still extant http://www.algha.com and makes gold eyewear under the trade name of Saville Row Eye-Wear London. "Rolled gold" or "rolled gold plate" is composed of a solid layer of gold bonded with heat and pressure to a base metal such as brass.The marking 1/20 indicates that the layer of karat gold is 1/20 of the total weight and the 10 indicates it is 10kt. This is a common marking on gold-filled jewellery. William Johns FFBOA Hons FVOA was prominent in the early days of the Australian College of Optometry. He was its Director of Studies from 1946 to 1950 and a foundation member of the College Council until 1950. His photo is Cat 378. Notes about him are at Cat No 533. See also Cat No 552.
How Acquired: Donated by John Buckley, member of the College
Date Acquired: May 2007
Condition: Good. Sides tarnished
Location: Archive Office. Spectacles cabinet Drawer 13

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