From Library Journal
Following previous studies of popular arts in Schiffer's line of "Books for Designers and Collectors," this volume offers an overview of identifying, dating, and pricing period eyeware, ranging from the 1700 Nuremberg Magnifiers to the 1990s. Schiffer stresses necessity, fashion, scientific advances, and comfort, displaying examples of seemingly endless varieties of eye aids or ware on hooked handles, or hinged, and made of gold, wood, silver, bone, leather, or plastic. There are folding glasses, lorgnettes, monocles, opera glasses, four-framed glasses that snapped to offer different lenses, and the advent of colored glasses around 1800. Of special note is a chapter on the McAllister family of Philadelphia, New York, and Baltimore, who made glasses from 1799 to 1971. Though changes in vision correction now include surgery and contact lenses, the personal eyeglass is still very much with us, and this unique history should prove of interest to many besides designers and collectors. Though it emphasizes designs for women, this work is still a fine general overview with no real competing works. Recommended for public libraries.DJoseph Hewgley, Nashville P.L.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Nancy N. Schiffer is fascinated with objects that reflect their cultural background. Her focus on eyewear here follows previous studies of popular arts including furniture, ceramics, and jewelry.