Sometimes when everything you see is unremarkable suddenly something unique and wonderful appears. It is a "quizzing glass" which was popularized in the mid 18th and early 19th century. It was utilitarian, containing one lens, either a prescription or a magnifying lens. This is a single lens and not a lorgnette which had two. In reality, it was a fashion statement designed as a piece of jewelry ,that would be held up to "scrutinize or look quizzically" at person or document. It was worn on long decorative ribbons or chains, and could be found on every woman of style.
This French, high carat gold "quizzing glass" is rare for many reasons. It is double sided with stones on one side of cabochon turquoise(most likely glass) and the other with faceted garnets. Each stone is set in hand crimped collets. The classical motif is a vase with outstretched arms which support the quizzing glass. The vase is finely detailed gold and contains flowers and fruit, perhaps symbolically wishing the owner a life of plenty.
There are French guarantee stamps for gold on the top loop of a rooster(le coq) which dates this to the years 1798-1809. It has been tested and the gold content is over 15 karat.
The condition is excellent considering its age and usage. There are two garnets with a chip, not seen when worn.
To find this quizzing glass, from this age and with this level of sophisticated gold work is a collector's dream.
Today, it can be worn with a long cord (I will provide the beautiful pleated ribbon) or a gold chain of choice. Wear it with a shirt and jeans or for dress wear. Join it with other chains for a dramatic, unique design statement.
France, circa 1800
Rare Antique French Gold Jeweled Quizzing Glass Circa 1800