The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
This object is currently being catalogued
  • Spyglass
  • This object is currently being catalogued
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • England
  • 19th century
  • Gilt metal (probably copper) and gold, chased and gilded; glass
  • Weight: 142 g
    Height: 7.7 cm, open
    Width: 5.2 cm, open
  • Inscription: Love, Old Bond Street Denotes the firm of Christopher Love, a jeweller and retailer, of 6 Old Bond Street. First established as Love and Kelly in 1806, by 1808 Love & Co. Goldsmiths and Jewellers until at least 1825.
  • W318
  • Boudoir Cabinet
Commentary
History
Images & Media
  • This extendable spyglass would not have offered particularly good visibility but would have been a fashionable accoutrement for an opera- or theatre-goer, or maybe just for using to survey one’s fellow guests at a party. The four-colour gold wreath around the lens is decorated with the British patriotic emblems of the rose, thistle and shamrock, suggesting a date of manufacture following the Acts of Union of England, Scotland and Ireland in 1800. However, the very bold treatment of the floral decoration is more in keeping with the decorative style of around 1820.
    There are no visible hallmarks, but it is made from 19 carat gold. One clue to its origin is the engraved name, ‘Love, Old Bond Street’. It was evidently retailed by Christopher Love of Love & Co., 6 Old Bond Street, a jeweller and goldsmith operating from that address until at least 1825.