The Ophthalmic Antiques International Collectors’ Club

The Ophthalmic Antiques International Collectors’ Club

John Dixon Salt tells us about the history of the Ophthalmic Antiques International Collectors’ Club.

The OAICC was formed in 1982 by a small group of opticians interested in optical antiques.

From the initial dozen members, it has grown into a truly international club of enthusiasts worldwide and is no longer restricted to optical professionals. We have teachers, engineers, fashion designers, frame makers and students in our ranks and are not confined to spectacles frames, now encompassing spectacle manufacturing, glazing and dispensing equipment, telescopes, stanhopes, eyebaths… in fact anything connected with optics.

The Club produces a quarterly journal and organises visits to museums and private collections in the UK, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany and Italy in recent years. We can supply scanned copies of old catalogues and produces booklets such as the very popular ‘Restoring Ophthalmic Antiques’ that is constantly being reprinted.

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The OAICC has strong links with our fellow organisation in the USA, the Ocular Heritage Society and have a number of members in common.

Anyone interested in ophthalmic antiques is welcome to join us, whether a collector or not, and we encourage requests for information or identification from any source including non-members. Our members have a wealth of specialist knowledge and resources between them and are only too happy to meet a fellow enthusiast – put us to the test and find out how enjoyable learning and sharing can be.

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There is little cost involved, with annual membership presently £20.00, with the only other expense being if you join us on one of our major visits, or purchase Club merchandise. Beware; you may become hooked, although many optical antiques can be purchased for a few pounds especially at our informal, fun annual auction that has bargains galore.

The next Club meeting is on Sunday 19th May at the College of Optometrists, 42 Craven Street, London, WC2N 5NG that houses the world-renowned British Optical Association Museum. Come and join us, view the museum’s collection – not normally possible at the weekend – attend our brief AGM, listen to short talks and pick up a bargain or two in our very informal Club Auction. Even quiz us on that odd little item you have wanted to identify or know more about.

There is no entrance fee nor do you have to be a member to attend: Doors open at 11.00 with the AGM at 12.00 and the talks and auction at 14.00. We can also offer a buffet lunch for £10.00.

If you would like more information or wish to book lunch or become a member - then please email [email protected] or look on our website as we are here to help.

Topic: Optical News