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Antique glass eye

Fun with Victorians4 of 64Punch & Judy Mechanical BankTurn of the Century Toy Doll Nursing Bottle & Box
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Posted 6 years ago


(73 items)

Antique prosthetic artificial eye, mid-1900, with case. I guess the eye itself wouldn't be so beautiful without the case.


  1. vetraio50 vetraio50, 6 years ago
    Is it made of glass?
    On one of the antiques roadshows they had someone arrive with an entire collection of them: samples in a series of drawers.
    This is a site that has details and film about how they are made:
  2. vetraio50 vetraio50, 6 years ago
    Check ou this related entry:
  3. dr.sideshow, 6 years ago
    Nice one, thanks vetraio! Italiano?
  4. vetraio50 vetraio50, 6 years ago
    A. S. Aloe Company of St. Louis, MO. Instrument makers et alia.

    I retired two years ago having spent 35 years teaching Italian here in Sydney, Australia. Anglo-Irish, but an Italophile.

    My question is where were these glass eyes made?
    I've read that until recent times one person in an thousand wore an eye prosthesis.
    The dangers of living? War? Work?

    There's probably a relationship between the skills of glass making and the doctor who fitted the eye. It seems that the doctor made changes to the selected form to match blood vessels etc in his surgery with glassmaking tools.
    Thuringia looks to have been a major centre in Europe. I'm sure the English will have been in competition.

    Some important names:
    Ludwig Müller-Uriüller-Uri

    Hermann Snellen
  5. vetraio50 vetraio50, 6 years ago
    I spent 35 years in the classroom teaching Italian & French.
    An Anglo-Irish Italophile. Italian glass, glass in general and glass eyes in this case......a lovely little fitted case.

    I've found A. S. Aloe Company of St. Louis, MO is a well known purveyor of quality instruments:

    The loss of an eye! War? Work?
    One in a thousand had a prosthetic eye in Europe until recent times.
    Three names in the history of the modern eye prosthesis:
    Ludwig Muller-Uri, Hermann Snellen & Phillip Henry Mules.

    But who made the eye?
    F. Ad. Mueller Soehne have been major producers since 1860 in Thuringia. I'm sure the English glass makers were capable of this work too.
    It seems there is a relationship between doll's eyes and the prosthetic eye.
    I've even read how the ophthalmologist would take a predetermined eye and make changes to it with glass blowing tools to match blood vessels etc.
  6. dr.sideshow, 6 years ago
    Wow, thanks for the info about Aloe Company! Yeah, I knew that prosthetic eyes were often custmized - and still are, in some cases.
    Grazie mille, davvero!

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