Known for their strong Art Nouveau repousse designs, the Unger Brothers became one of the premier and most well-known American manufacturers of sterling silver jewelry and decorative objects. Born to a family that immigrated from Germany, the Unger Brothers established their business in Newark, NJ and began producing sterling silver jewelry in 1878. They specialized in manufacturing jewelry, glass-cutting and silversmithing, and in addition to jewelry, produced numerous other items including brushes, hand mirrors, combs, and powder boxes with repousse silver lids.
This fabulous lorgnette is a wonderful example of the Unger Brothers' art form. The piece, which is from the Victorian (ca1880) era, depicts a pair of reading glasses encased in a gorgeous sterling silver open repousse cover. Typical of an Unger Bros. piece, it is wonderfully detailed in soft swirls and scrolls. The silver has a natural patina which adds to the depth and the richness of the silver. The eye glasses are hidden within the sterling cover and easily swing out if needed. At the end of the sterling case is a fairly large silver ring which is perfect for hanging from a chain or watch swivel hook. The silver is marked with the Unger Bros. hallmark "UB" and "STERLING". It's a fabulous and special piece from the Victorian period and would make a wonderful addition to any collection!
Measurements: When closed, the sterling case measures 5 1/4" long and approximately 1 1/4" at the widest point. When opened, the space between the lenses measures 1 1/8" wide and the length of the eye glasses from end to end is 3 3/4".
Condition: The overall condition of the lorgnette is excellent. There is no damage to the silver or eye glasses. The eye glasses move easily and are secure once placed in the sterling cover.