GUIDE TO ASSIST IN THE IDENTIFICATION OF THE AGE OF ANTIQUE SPECTACLES
Spectacles first started to have temples around 1725. Before this, spectacles were generally balanced on the nose, or a string may have been used to tie behind the ears. Once temples began to be used to hold the frame on the face, the common designs gradually changed over time allowing us to have an idea of the age of the spectacles.
Until the early 1900s, spectacles were individually handmade. The guidelines below represent the period of common use of these design elements, so there may be exceptions with some spectacle makers making spectacles of a certain design later than was common in that period. Any comments on the age dates given on this page are welcome.