Label

As her eyesight weakened, Martha Washington utilized two pairs of spectacles on a daily basis, a weaker pair for supervising domestic routines and a stronger pair for reading and sewing. Tortoiseshell frames, imported from England, were increasingly popular after 1800. Mrs. Washington may have relied on this fashionable pair to aide her work during her final years at Mount Vernon.

Description

Fragment of spectacles; tortoiseshell frame, oval lenses, arched C-bridge, and turnpin sides; upper half of right eye frame is missing as is the temple bar on that side; right lens is separate from the frame.

Date

1790-1820


Geography


Material/Technique

Tortoiseshell, glass


Dimensions

Overall: 1 5/8 in. x 4 5/8 in. (4.14 cm x 11.76 cm)


Credit Line

Purchase, 1956


Object Number

W-2187/D


Colors (Beta)


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