Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Pince-nez in the News

Remember Madame X, the pince-nez wearer featured in our September 2013 post?  She was kind enough to send the following message to the Renaissance:

"Just wanted to share a few pince-nez links I stumbled across recently.

First,if you're willing to travel to the Czech Republic for fittings and have a spare couple thousand euros to spend, a place that does custom made, modern mountings in gold apparently exists:  Tomáš Říha.  They're so gorgeous that even though they're unaffordable, the gallery is certainly worth gazing at.

Second, for laughs and a look at pince nez in action in film see the Big Sleep.  She looks amazing in them - large lenses and all; too bad Bogie has to go ahead and ruin it. Oh well; goes to show you, even with minimal eyewear, Parker's adage holds true (at least in fiction)."

Thank you for your input!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

LeDandy on Lens Size

Lenses should be like the prostate. You want to keep them as small as possible.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

John Bassett Moore

Sometimes everything comes together all at once. While searching for stamps with pince-nez I ran across John Bassett Moore on a $5 U.S. stamp from 1965. It is an unusual stamp in its stark appearance by being black & white. John Bassett Moore? I never heard of the man before this stamp and I have a fairly strong grasp of American history.

Last week I went to a stamp show in San Jose with my good friend Ken. He insisted on buying me the Moore stamp shown above (Scott 1295 for stamp collectors). Thanks Ken.

My other collecting interest is autographs of lesser known figures in American history. My favorite seller on eBay offered a John Bassett Moore autograph shown above. The item arrived yesterday and I'm very pleased with the fountain pen signature.

And there is the pince-nez aspect. Mr. Moore wore the rimless hoop spring variety pince-nez which was popular from about 1880 to 1910. A wonderful simple style which I wear (I alternate among three sets of glasses).

Who was John Bassett Moore? My first stop was Wikipedia. He was the foremost expert in the U.S. on international law in his time and the first American to serve on the Permanent Court of International Justice (1920-28). He was a graduate of the University of Virginia Law School in 1880 and served in the State Department as an assistant secretary of state. Mr. Moore became a professor of international law at Columbia University.

There is an excellent summary of his career on the Virginia Journal of International Law website. This short two page tribute to Mr. Moore also discusses his beliefs. He advocated U.S. neutrality in the 1930s. I found the following text in their tribute to be of particular interest today:

"His [Moore's] argument was essentially simple: that the “new” internationalism, in its efforts to guarantee peace, really did no more than guarantee that any future war would be a world war. He held that if you start out forcibly to maintain peace you will have to spend your blood and treasure on the job; and if you are not willing to do that, then you must mind your own business and maintain your own neutrality in every war that does not immediately concern you." (Vol. 1, Issue 2-5) [emphasis added]

The University of Virginia also has a student organization called the John Bassett Moore Society of International Law. He is well remembered in Virginia.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Adam's Pince-nez

Adam has worn a rimless fingerpiece pince-nez full time for over three years to correct myopia.  Adam graduated from veterinary school in Scotland and has returned home to the Chicago area where he is now employed as a vet.  He receives many compliments regarding his perfect pince-nez eyeglasses.


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