Pince-nez Spectacles

Pince-nez Spectacles
Pince-nez Spectacles

1900-1950 / Glass / Metal / Metalwork / Ministers, Preachers & Associates / Other
Metal, glass (glasses); cardboard, leather, cloth (case)
Early 1900s

These specs belonged to Rodney “Gypsy” Smith (1860-1947), a transatlantic evangelist. He was born in a Romany tent in Epping Forest in Essex and was proud to reflect his origins in his name.

In his early years Gypsy Smith was associated with the Salvation Army. Later he organised evangelistic campaigns in the United States and Britain. He continued the Methodist tradition of outdoor preaching; playing his concertina and attracting large crowds.

The French term ‘pince-nez’ literally means ‘pinch nose’. The term describes eyeglasses which are held in place by means of a clip over the bridge of the nose.