This is an antique Regency, 18 karat gold quizzing glass. During this period, the use of a hand held lens became a fashion accessory, not limited to poor vision. Eyeglasses were deemed unfashionable, and the well dressed woman would wear this 'socially acceptable' item on a long ribbon or chain. The term "quizzing" was used as the wearer would look quizzically with a stare or glance.
The vast majority of these were cast and made in heavy plated gold. This beautiful example is 18 karat gold, and is hand worked.It has fine gold chasing and a handle that swivels. Surely, it was owned by a person of substantial wealth.
It measures 2 5/8 inches long X 1 3/8 inches across the bottom. The gold work is beautifully rendered, and it retains a rich, original patina. The condition is excellent. The lens can be replaced, but today, as it was originally designed, it should really just used as an elegant, and distinctive accessory. I will include a long black ultra suede cord purchased in Paris.
England, circa 1820.