Merveille et Cie Opera Glasses

This is a brass instrument with pearl on the barrels, eyecups, center focus and lorgnette handle. The barrels are slightly flared. The objective lenses are 30 mm in diameter. The length is 4.5 cm closed. One eyecup is marked “I. A. FOYE / HOT SPRINGS ARK” and the other “MERVEILLE ET CIE / PARIS.”
The I. A. Foye signature probably refers to a dealer who was mentioned in The Jeweler’s Circular for 1893. The French firm has not yet been identified. If these glasses were imported for sale in the United States, the lack of “Made in France” tag would indicate a date before March 1, 1891, when the strictures of the McKinley tariff went into effect.
Currently not on view
Object Name
opera glasses
Object Type
opera glasses
date made
Short, Martha Dunham
Short, Omar Jackson
Merveille Et Cie
Physical Description
glass (overall material)
metal (overall material)
shell, mother-of-pearl (overall material)
place made
France: Île-de-France, Paris
used in
United States: Arkansas, Hot Springs
purchased in
United States: Arkansas, Hot Springs
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Clothing & Accessories
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Costume
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Miss Omar Short

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