Opera Glasses are wonderful, tiny, decorative tools for seeing important, faraway things- like your rivals, in the opera box across the way. But if envy of your friends drives you more than fear of your enemies, the jealousy glass might be more to your taste; with it you can see right into the box beside you!
The first binocular-like items, a pair of telescopes strapped together were made in 1608- a year before Galileo invented his (dramatically more powerful) telescope. Kepler invented the binoculars proper, giving the user a wider field of view. But the jewelry-like binocular opera glasses didn’t come into their own until 1830. The technology of these is non trivial; it’s important to be able to shape the glass precisely, to make different kings of glass, and of course, to make jewelry! (source and source)
Vintage Mid Century Travelers’ Opera Glasses via Vintage Way Treasures. Ships to US only. $8 USD
Vintage Regent Crystar Lenses 25x Opera Glasses via Vintage and Homespun. Ships to US only. $13 USD
Vintage 1960s Mother of Pearl Opera Glasses via Francesca’s Favorites. Ships to US only. $22 USD
Vintage Chevalier Paris Opera Glasses via Hiphuggie. Brass. Ships worldwide from Kansas. $49 USD