Ten Assorted Vintage Artificial Eyes from 1870 – 1920

During the 19th C., as more doctors started to specialise in eye disease alone, increasingly complicated operations were devised. The introduction of anaesthesia in 1846 and adoption of antiseptic techniques by the 1880s, increased the number and complexity of eye operations. Artificial eyes have been made since Renaissance, when Venetian glassmakers began to produce glass eyes.

These were likely to be carried by an artificial eye maker or an eye specialist to assist them in making the best possible match to the patient’s remaining eye. In the 1940s, glass was replaced by plastics, which were more comfortable for the wearer and lasted longer.

A range of different sizes, shapes and iris colours is shown in this leather case containing ten glass artificial eyes, made by W Halford of London.

The art flourished in France and Germany in 19th C.

H/T ScienceMuseum

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