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10 July 2011 / leggypeggy

The eyes have it

I was fascinated by the display of eyeballs at the Neues Museum in Berlin. Okay, it’s sort of creepy, but still intriguing.

The display—part of the Egyptian collection—says that the oldest examples of artificial eyes came from Mesopotamia in the 5th millennium BC. Those were just eyeballs, without irises or pupils. About 100 years later, the Egyptians perfected painted and inlaid eyes. The pictures show a variety of eyes and some of the tools. The museum explanations didn’t say how old any of the materials are.

I have to admit that I may be more interested in eyeballs because my gran (dad’s mum) had a glass eye. Can’t remember which eye—nor how she lost it, but I’ll never forget her collection.

She cared about her appearance and wanted everything ‘just so’. As a result she had a box of about 10 glass eyes, in varying shades of blue. She lived with us in the last years of her life and I well remember her coming out each morning, asking one of us kids to tell her which eye ‘best matched’ her good eye that day.

Museum nuts should also see the entries on Nefertiti, the Neues Museum and the old hat (all in the German category).

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  1. Brian Lageose / May 19 2016 1:33 pm

    I guess it never occurred to me that folks could have a “collection” of eyeballs to select from. Very interesting…

    Liked by 1 person

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