Kirsten's Corner

Late Georgian 14K Gold Quizzing Magnifying Glass


This is a fantastic 14K gold quizzing glass from the late Georgian era, made some time between 1830 and 1840. Although this piece is unmarked, I have tested the gold to 14 karats. Both the handle and bead are a base metal encased in a thick sheet of 14K gold, while the frame around the glass is solid 14K gold. This piece contains its original beveled glass and is fully functional.

A quizzing glass is a single magnifying lens on a handle that would be used to enlarge the object in view. The term “quizzing glass” first appeared in the late 18th century. These objects were just as fashionable as they were functional. They were considered jewelry, often made out of gold, pinchbeck, sterling silver, and other base metals. These pieces would be worn around the neck, hung on a ribbon or gold chain by both men and women.

This charming antique is in very good condition for its age. From the tip of the handle to the edge of the gold frame, this piece is approximately 3” long. The handle swivels and serves as a bale, making it easy to place this piece on the chain of your choice. Although there are some scratches on the glass due to the age of the piece, but it is still fully functional. The rectangular glass has soft rounded edges, fitting snuggly into the 14K gold frame. The glass is approximately 32 mm by 26mm in size. The gold frame is approximately 1- 1/2” by 1 -1/4”. There is a lovely scrolling foliate motif throughout the gold elements of this piece. This piece weighs approximately 15.5 grams.

This quizzing glass piece is a rare collectible, and wonderful conversation piece. Perfect as a unisex gift, this versatile piece of jewelry would make a wonderful gift or a fabulous addition to your antique collection!

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