Ten Assorted Vintage Artificial Eyes from 1870 - 1920

By | January 4, 2017

In the 19th century, advances in complicated eye operations were discovered as more and more doctors specialize in eye disease. When anaesthesia was introduced in 1846 and antiseptic techniques were observed by the 1880s, the number and complexity of such eye operations have increased. Since Renaissance, when Venetian glassmakers started producing glass eyes, artificial eyes have been made.

More likely to be carried by an artificial eye maker or the so-called eye specialist, these glass eyes assist them to produce the best possible match to the patient’s surviving eye. By 1940s, glass was replaced by plastics. These were more comfortable for the wearer and also lasted longer.

A range of various sizes, shapes and iris colours is seen 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