Piddlin’ Surcie | Opera Glasses

Take a look at an exciting update on this fancy piddlin’ surcie!

I have posted on these once before, following the Christmas they were gifted to me in 2013.  Initially, I referred to them as binoculars, however upon further research, I have found these mother-of-pearl beauties may also be classified as “opera glasses” or “theater glasses”, among one or two other deserving names.

First, consider this brief comparison below with a side of history:


Opera glasses, seen in London ads in 1730 (*) are a later version of the original status symbol of the 19th century, lorgnettes, in French, meaning “to take a sidelong look at”, and in Middle French, “squinting”.  Truly, they were used as more of an aesthetic accessory for a ball rather than functional glasses for seeing, still, these served as the predecessor to what is sometimes used today at the theater. (Wikipedia)  See the selection currently offered by The Metropolitan Opera for sale + for rent here.

Those who know me well know that I am an old soul, former dancer + lover of the arts.  Imagine my delight once plans were made to see some of the premier ballet dancers in the world perform in Alexi Ratmansky’s Sleeping Beauty on The Met Opera  stage at The Lincoln Center in NYC!  Upon finding tickets, I immediately began to do a little reading to see if it was acceptable to bring these antique specs with me in addition to making sure they would clear airport security.  Since being given to me in December 2013, I have made a point to take them along to every performance I have attended.


The entire experience as a result, was transcendent; I felt as though I was experiencing ballet in another era.

In Manhattan, the spectacular performance of ballet + orchestra alone was exquisite + even more-so having this extra special + sentimental item in hand–I was simply beside myself.  The entire experience as a result, was transcendent; I felt as though I was experiencing ballet in another era . .


The mind reels at what my pair may have fetched in their illustrious history–these made by Solar Paris appear to be dated circa late 1800s + a quick google has them sitting pretty at $75 a pair.  If you consider yourself a thespian or a balletomane then this pair on Etsy are a must have for your next performance.  –Just see how it elevates your outing!





I will forever remember the first time I attended a ballet as a member of the audience, mom explained that a night at the ballet is a reason, nay an occasion for dressing to the nines!  These theater glasses certainly can attest to that.  Back then, we always took any old pair of regular binoculars we could find, no matter the size!


As a classical ballet dancer of nine years, I have grown accustomed to being on the other side of the stage with the consolation of this ability to observe the smallest details of the choreography up close, the perfected technique of the performer, as well the the faces of these lovely dancers turned actors on display.

I am forever grateful for these- a sweetly sentimental surcie that I hope to cherish for a lifetime.  Thanks, mom.

| keep piddlin’



_ __ _ __ __ _