Pince-nez are a style of spectacles, popular in the 19th century, which are supported without earpieces, by pinching the bridge of the nose. The name comes from French – pincer, to pinch, and nez, nose.
Although pince-nez were used in Europe in the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries, modern ones appeared in the 1840s and reached their peak popularity around 1880 to 1900. By the late 1930s, they were popular mostly with the elderly.
Figure 25: Pince-nez glasses Figure 26: Pince-nez glasses.
Figure 27: Theodor Roosevelt picture. Figure 28: Theodor Roosevelt picture.
Figure 29: Golden Pince-nez glasses. Figure 30: Pince-nez glasses.
Figure 31: Pince-nez glasses. Figure 32: Pince-nez glasses.
Girolamo Savonarola suggested that eyepieces could be held in place by a ribbon passed over the wearer's head, this in turn secured by the weight of a hat. The modern style of glasses, held by temples passing over the ears, was developed some time before 1727, possibly by the British optician Edward Scarlett. These designs were not immediately successful, however, and various styles with attached handles such as "scissors-glasses" and lorgnettes were also fashionable from the second half of the 18th century and into the early 19th century.