This is a fantastic find! The spectacle case has intricate foliate engraving with a monogram on the front and press button release to reveal silver folding extendable spectacles marked V R with a crown (presumably for Victoria Regina). The spectacle case itself is marked for the prestigious English maker Nathaniel Mills and the marks include the anchor for Birmingham, sterling silver marks and the date letter for 1855. On either side of the case there appear to have been added a silver ring for attachment to a pair of fine chains that go to a small button-style chatelaine waist plaque with tongue to go behind a belt or waistband. A strongly probable theory for this piece is that the original spectacle holder has been modified with the addition of an American-style waist plaque to make the piece wearable. Such button waist plaques are not uncommonly seen in CDVs of women of the mid-19th century with the attachment of chains passing to a watch, and this style appears to be an American fashion. The waist plaque is marked Silver. The overall condition of the piece is excellent for age. This is therefore a most fascinating item for collectors of Nathaniel Mills, spectacles and spectacle holders and American/English fashion accessories. Length of case 4.6 ins (11.6cm). Weight 68 grams. This item appears in my book, “Chatelaines, Utility to Glorious Extravagance” on page 170. Air Mail Post with tracking to the USA would be $18.00 USD – with no tracking is cheaper. This item is covered by own insurance policy. For shipping cost to other countries, please contact us.
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