An unusual pair of vintage opera glasses in antiqued silver tone metal with an Egyptian Revival design
CONDITION: There is no damage to the aluminium. The metalwork has expected wear, but generally retains its original finish.
SIZE: 3¾ ins h x 4½ ins w (9.5 x 11.5 cms) 4¾ ins (11.5 cms) fully extended
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1940s – 1950s
This interesting pair of opera glasses was made in occupied Japan in the mid 20th century.
Stylistic movements such as Art Nouveau and Art Deco were later in reaching Japan and lingered on long after they had faded from view in Europe. This interesting pair of opera glasses is made in the so called Egyptian Revival style which had been fashionable in Europe during the 1920s and 1930s.
What this means is that the object contains representations of what the artisan felt were “Egyptian” type motifs such as scarabs, hieroglyphs and tomb figures. There was no real attempt to represent these motifs accurately so the result is a kind of pastiche.
The opera glasses are constructed from aluminium with repousee designs in the afore mentioned style. In the close up illustrations we can see kneeling figures which echo those in Egyptian tombs, together with hieroglyphs and representations of the papyrus flower.
The optics are clean and scratch free with good, smooth, sharp focussing.
The optics are in good order and could be used at the opera, etc. The focus function works perfectly, all original parts intact. The focus wheel in the centre opens the glasses to full length to adjust focus.
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