Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Finer Points of Vintage Eyewear...

Passion for fine eyewear runs deep when you experience first hand a truly well constructed pair of vintage eyeglass. Some of the finer points of collecting antique eyewear is to know the parts of the eyeglass and understand what to look for . First it is easily noted and appreciated that the construction of vintage eyewear is remarkable as you can still find many items in excellent condition.
The hinge of the eyeglass is a small component however it is the backbone of the eyeglass. The hinges in vintage eyewear that attach the sidearms or “temples” will usually have no less than a six barrel hinge. The hinge of the eyewear is what gives the eyeglass smooth and consistent action upon open and closure. Most of the vintage eyeglass hinges were made in Germany of strong metal alloys such as steel. Vintage Eyeglasses can be broken down into two categories plastic or metal;
Vintage plastic eyeglass were made of celluloid, Bakelite or cellulose acetate “zyl”. The most favored material being “block cut zyl”and the finer eyewear designers used Mazzuccheli Zyl . Mazzuccheli Zyl was only available in Italy and is strunned out into sheets and then cut, it is not injection molded zyl, this remains true still today. The difference between the two is that the block cut zyl is much more stable and holds its shape much better in all environments not reacting to heat as injection molded zyl may do. So most vintage eyewear is made from block cut zyl.
Vintage metal eyeglass and sunglass frames from the pre-Revolutionary days are mostly made out of bronze or steel. In the early 1900′s ” Optometry” was practiced by physicians, jewelers and pharmacists. Some of the metal frames from the early 1900′s were gold filled and crafted by jewelers with ornate designs on the metal to give the eyeglass a unique design. Other materials began to be used such as stainless steel and aluminum. They were utilized for the lightweight and durable qualities and their resistance to corrosion. The eyewear industry began to change in the 1950′s and many wholesalers began to produce their own private label eyewear “made in Italy”realizing the potential for revenue of this accessory. Soon a whole new industry was created. Design Houses such as Dior and Pierre Cardin began also to realize the potential of a whole new item to attach their brand to and this helped to make Eyewear and Sunwear the fashionable and desirable item is still is today.

1 comment:

  1. Vintage Eyewear gives extra look to face.
    i love that shades.

    Thanks for sharing