It has been a very long time since I last encountered the Opera Glasses of Viscount Barrington Graves. Or has it? When I first bought—and subsequently sold—them, they were nearly fresh from Professor Wrinkle's workshop, and a thing of beauty. Green wood and polished brass, gleaming lenses and, as ever, turning gears and cogs and wheels, whose exact purpose eluded me entirely. To be perfectly honest, there are times I wonder whether or not Wrinkle's engineering is not some unlikely form of magic (known to some as the Wrinkle Effect); for though my understanding of mechanics is quite limited, his contraptions have never seemed to make any logical sense.
I first acquired the Glasses after the untimely death of the the Viscount, who had ordered them made to compensate for a tragic case of nearsightedness which interfered, in his autumn years, with his enjoyment of Purcell. It was only days after receiving them that he suffered a stroke during a performance of The Mountain Sylph, after, if the gossip is to be believed, having caught a glimpse of a bit too much feminine skin at slightly too high a resolution. Graves having no living heirs, the goggles found their way into an estate sale, and through one of my agents in that period, I acquired them. Fine as they were, they left my shop in a matter of days, and I made a tidy sum on the exchange.
Now, not for the first time, I am given cause to doubt my own understanding of the workings of Time, for though I cannot imagine how, they have once again found their way into my inventory—having lived through all of the intervening years between the 1850s and today, and not the better for it.
I would like to offer you the chance to own them, as a piece of history, and a reminder that Time is a fickle thing, to be enjoyed while one is able. And even diminished as they are, and without their original workings, they still provide a decided augment to perception.
Opera Glasses, brass with green handle. Heavily used.