Kirsten's Corner

Edwardian 14K Gold Mechanical Lorgnette


Lorgnettes were a fashionable item in high society. This 14k gold pair, circa the Edwardian era, have a minimalist design—simple, classic, with clean lines and excellent function, with a delicately engraved zigzag pattern on the handle. They can be worn on a chain or clipped into a dog clip for a stylish take on this classic antique object.  

Lorgnettes were spectacles with a handle, intended to be held up to the face as opposed to worn over the ears. Dating back to the 17th century, they were more often worn as a jewelry than used for vision, and were often seen at masquerade parties and the opera. The etymology of the word “lorgnette” is evocative:  it is derived from the French word “lorgner” meaning to take a sidelong look at, and “lorgnette” is also the French word for a ship captain’s telescope. 

This lorgnette is in excellent condition—it snaps open with incredible mechanical function and has no scratches on the lenses. They fold up with spring loaded action, with a large opening on the end that allow them to be worn on a chain. There is an “M” hallmark found on the bridge.  They acid test as 14k gold, weigh 18 grams, and measure 3 1/4” x 1 11/16” when closed. 

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