Pince- nez means ‘Pinch nose’ (in French) *
These 19th century specs do just that – they stay on your nose using a nifty pincer movement – there is a sort of spring that (theoretically) grasps the bridge of your nose and there is a loop at one corner for the attachment of a cord – to prevent loss (sorry we have lost the cord!)
Our guess is that they date from about 1870 – below are two photos of pictures – the first from 1870 – shows someone wearing pince-nez – the other from 1899 has them on a cord – flying off in a rather satisfactory way.
These are workaday pince-nez – not gold, not silver but some cheaper metal that has gone a bit rusty and they are all the more interesting for that. Put them on and you will see the world completely differently!
French - and they come in their original case.
For those of you into penny-pinching why not make us an offer for these?
* Footnote for pedants. Do not be beguiled by the spelling 'Pinz Nez'. This is not correct. The term is Pince-Nez (as in the Sherlock Holmes story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle The Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez.) In French pince is a feminine noun meaning a crab's claw, pincer (s) (a pair of) pliers; (a pair of) tongs.