A good thing about selling and buying vintage stock is that you never know what will turn up. We’re always on the look out for little gems and this week we found one; a lovely pamphlet produced by the British eyewear company Dollond and Aitchison which was established in 1750. This pamphlet ‘The sights of London’ dates from around 1930 and harks back to another age when London was ‘the pulsating heart of a mighty Empire’ p5. Places listed include Cleopatra’s needle, St Paul’s Cathedral and Covent Garden when it was still a fruit and flower market. As you would expect, at ninety this little booklet is rather delicate and has that aroma of elderly paper. I handled it carefully and found it had a wealth of information to offer.
It is quite unusual as it combines a guide book of the famous land marks of our capital city with information about Dollond and Aitchison and eye care. It also acts as a sales brochure showcasing some beautiful frames contemporary to the period and offers a choice of materials; nickel, rolled gold or solid gold. These were pre NHS (that didn’t come in until 1948) so the prices are listed, a solid gold version of the curl side spectacles would set you back £2 and 5 shillings (that’s the equivalent to around £140 in today’s money) just for the frame. This would have been an expensive item, way beyond the grasp of most normal people, the most affordable frame was a nickel silver version which came in at a price of 7 shillings and 6 pence (around £22 in today’s money.) Many families had a family pair which was handed down and re-glazed when required.
I loved reading this booklet and am happy that it is now settled in its new home in our Dead Men’s Spex collection.
Wishing you all a good week
From Team Dead Man