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Ten assorted artificial eyes, London, England, 1870-1920

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A range of different sizes, shapes and iris colours is shown in this leather case containing ten glass artificial eyes. These were likely to be carried by an eye specialist or an artificial eye maker to assist them in making the best possible match to the patient’s remaining eye. In the 1940s, glass was replaced by plastics, which were more comfortable for the wearer and lasted longer. These eyes were made by W Halford of London.

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    Techniques and Technologies:


    Glossary: artificial eye

    A curved disk of opaque glass or plastic, containing an imitation iris and pupil in the centre, inserted beneath the eyelids and supported by the orbital contents after evisceration or enucleation; it may be ready-made (stock) or custom-made

    Glossary: prostheses

    Artificial body parts, or materials inserted into tissue for functional, cosmetic, or therapeutic effect. Prostheses can be functional (artificial arms and legs), or cosmetic (artificial eye).