NARC-563F63: Spectacles, mid-18th-century

Rights Holder: Northamptonshire County Council
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Unique ID: NARC-563F63

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Awaiting validation Find awaiting validation

Spectacles: A complete, though heavily corroded, pair of iron-framed spectacles, with (relatively weakly) magnifying lenses, dating to the mid-18th century. The round-eye form with a C-bridge and straight sides is fairly typical of 'wig' spectacles of the 18th century, but the ring-shaped ends were introduced around the early 1740s and the protruding rivets in the joints died out after the middle of the 18th century. All in all, the type can be dated to the decades either side of 1750, though they may have continued in use for some time after this, as there is evidence for spectacles being passed through families by inheritance.


Detailed information provided by Neil Handley, curator of the British Optical Association Museum. For further information on historic spectacles, see: Corson, R, 1980, Fashions in Eyeglasses, Peter Owen, London. Davidson, D.C, 1989, Spectacles, Lorgnettes and Monocles, Shire Publications. Davidson, D.C., and MacGregor, R.J.S, 2002, Spectacles, Lorgnettes and Monocles, 2nd edn, Shire Publications. Handley, N., 2004, ‘Some Ever-Present Themes in Spectacle Frame Design’, Optometry in Practice 5, pp.85-98 Marly P, 1988, Spectacles and Spyglasses, Editions Hoebeke Rosenthal, J.W, 1996, Spectacles and Other Vision Aids, A History and Guide to Collecting, Norman Publishing, San Francisco Winkler, W (ed), 1988, A Spectacle of Spectacles, Exhibition Catalogue, Carl-Zeiss-Stiftung Jena, Edition Leipzig ONLINE INFORMATION AT:

Find of note status

This has been noted as an interesting find by the recorder.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: MODERN
Subperiod from: Early
Period from: MODERN
Date from: Circa AD 1740
Date to: Circa AD 1760

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 41.94 mm
Width: 35.02 mm
Thickness: 8.67 mm
Weight: 24.99 g
Diameter: 32.8 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Tuesday 1st January 2008 - Monday 1st January 2007

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Dr Steven Ashby
Identified by: Dr Steven Ashby
Secondary identifier: Mr Neil Handley

Materials and construction

Primary material: Iron
Secondary material: Glass
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: East Midlands (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Northamptonshire (County)
District: Daventry (District)
Parish or ward: Harlestone (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SP7064
Four figure Latitude: 52.26971035
Four figure longitude: -0.97560385
1:25K map: SP7064
1:10K map: SP76SW
Grid reference source: Centred on parish
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Other chance find
Discovery circumstances: Under floorboards of property
General landuse: Other
Specific landuse: In use as a building

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: NARC
Created: 10 years ago
Updated: 7 years ago

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