If you ever wondered what people with poor eyesight used during the Regency and Georgian eras...
While I think it started out as a practical device for those with poor eyesight, it was also used at social gatherings to people watch or to indicate annoyance or interest in another guest. Historical Hussies mentions that Beau Brummel used the device to demonstrate his disapproval of people he didn't like. In a society where manners and good breeding were everything, a person could give an insult or approval without saying a word.
Another popular viewing device was a lorgnette, which was basically a cross between a quizzing glass and spectacles. It is the precursor to modern opera glasses. The lorgnette was invented in 1770, while the quizzing glass was invented in 1727.
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