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You never know what a day will bring you in the world of antiques

A collection of antique spectacles ranging in age from the 1700's to the early 20th century.
A collection of antique spectacles ranging in age from the 1700's to the early 20th century.
Claire Matthew

A few weeks ago, I received a phone call from a new neighbor of mine that wanted to see if I was interested in purchasing some antique spectacles. He told me that they had belonged to his great-great grandmother. He was referred to me by a friend of mine that told him that I had an antique store in town. I told him that there wasn't much of a market for antique spectacles in this area, and that he would have to go to a larger market to get their true value. I gave him the names of a few websites that he could check out to find out more about them, and I said that I would ask my friends that own antique stores to see if they would be interested in purchasing them. That was the extent of our conversation.

Last Friday, as I headed out of town on my way to do a story in Cameron, NC, I passed by my neighbor's house, and there I saw his family hosting a yard sale on their front lawn! I pulled over and asked if he was home. His daughter ran inside the house to get him. A few minutes later, he came walking out of the house carrying a very unusual looking jewelry box. He walked up to my car, and took off the lid to the box. Inside was the most amazing assortment of antique spectacles that I had ever seen in one place!

I was hesitant to reach inside the box to pick them up, so I asked him to place them one at a time into the palm of my hand. Since I was on my way to do a story, I had my camera in the car. As he placed each pair of spectacles in my hand, I took a picture of them using my other hand. I must say that I have never staged a camera shoot like that before! It was a chance encounter, and I had to make the best of it.

The photo gallery with this story will show you the amazing articles that my neighbor wanted to show me. They range in age from the 1700's up to the early 20th century. The event reminded me once again that on any given day, you truly never know what will happen next! Isn't life great? Who knew that my new neighbor would have such a wonderful collection of antique eyeware. I asked him if he really wanted to sell them since they had been handed down in the family. He assured me that he did want to sell them. So, if you are a collector of antique spectacles, or Civil War era items, please send me a note if you are interested in them. Thanks for your help!