Selection of opera glases, 1780-1820.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Shown on the left is a non-achromatic prospect opera glas made by Nairne & Blunt, c 1780. On the right is a collapsible, 6-draw opera glas with a body tube of green shagreen with gilt ornamentation and a cardboard covered draw tube with green vellum, made by W & S Jones, c 1820. The opera glas in the foreground has a white ivory body with turned decoration and was made by Tuther of London. Opera glases became popular as a status symbol in the 18th century and were made from a variety of materials including vellum, lacquered ivory, horn, silver and bras.