French Optometrist Eye Testing Kit c.1890



This is an original Victorian optometrist eye testing kit by Nachet & Fils, Paris. The interior of the kit is lined in purple velvet with the company's logo and address details embossed in gold. The item is numbered #3263. The optical testing lenses have been wrapped in brass and fit into numbered slots that are divided into spherical/ cylindrical/ concave and convex categories.The script lens number has been engraved in the glass. There is a hand held optical testing device of the period, that is unlikely to be part of the original kit. The exterior of the case is made from black leather with brass locks and clasp detailing. The piece is in excellent condition with the appropriate patina for its age. Some of the lenses are missing, as are the three trial optical glasses that would have been in the original box.

  • CREATOR Nachet & Frils, Paris
  • MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES  Leather, brass, optical glass, velvet.
  • CONDITION Excellent. With appropriate patina for age.
  • DIMENSIONS H 2.75 in. x W 19.5 in.  x D 11.75 in.


Nachet & Frils were a scientific-instrument manufacturing firm which specialized in microscopes. It was founded in Paris in 1839 by Camille Sébastien Nachet (1799-1881). Nachet's business was continued by his descendants Alfred (1831-1908) and Albert.

Nachet was considered the most famous French microscope maker of the period. He introduced and created special instruments such as inverted, petrographic, as well as two and three eyepiece microscopes. His company remained in business for most of the twentieth century.

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