Ophthalmic Antiques International Collectors' Club

The OAICC was founded in 1982 by the optician Derek C. Davidson (1914-1999) on behalf of all those who take an interest in collecting the material evidence for our optical past. It is an independent learned society but with extremely close links to the College and BOA Museum.

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Membership of the OAICC is open to all, with or without a connection to the College of Optometrists or, indeed, to the ophthalmic professions. There are about 200 members from over 10 different countries, including shopkeepers, school teachers and accountants. Members have many interests including the development of corrective spectacles (western and oriental) and fashion eyewear, pince-nez, eyebaths, ophthalmic instruments, spyglasses, opera glasses, prints and antique books. A journal Ophthalmic Antiques is published quarterly with articles of general and specialised interest, along with auction news and accounts of club excursions (both in the UK and abroad) and publications. The BOA Museum Curator, who sits ex officio on the Club committee, is on the editorial advisory panel of this simple-format but increasingly respected journal.

Book on antique spectacles

In 2002 a member of the Club produced a revised edition of the book Spectacles, Lorgnettes and Monocles, dedicated to Irene Davidson, widow of the Club founder. The production of this book, published by Shire, is a splendid example of the co-operation between club members and the British Optical Association Museum. For example, the Museum had input into the 'family tree' of developments in spectacle design that features inside the back cover - a chronological guide that will prove invaluable to collectors, historians and curators. A photograph of the BOA Museum's Nuremberg Masterpiece spectacles from 1663 is also included. All the other illustrations are taken from items in the private collections of club members from England, Scotland and Germany.

Since 1998 Club members have provided extensive help to the BOA Museum Documentation Project and the OAICC's collection of books is held on deposit in the College Library

The OAICC holds its AGM, buffet lunch and antiques auction each year at the College of Optometrists in London, against the appropriate backdrop of exhibits from the British Optical Association Museum. The 2019 AGM and auction is upcoming on Sunday 26 April 2020. Contact the Club to ensure your membership is up-to-date, to book a place at the buffet lunch or to enter items into the auction.

The 2020 AGM will be combined with that of the Club's sister organisation, the Ocular Heritage Society of America, and (unusually) will take place in late April instead of in May. Details of this important joint event are listed on a separate web page 2020 Antique Vision

For further information visit the Club's own website

Use this link to email the Club (please do not contact the College)

The OAICC is now on Facebook and Twitter. Follow it @OAICC