A REPLICA of Quaid-i-Azam’s spectacles is displayed at the Meyrowitz museum, alongside his portrait.
—Courtesy Saad Usmani
A REPLICA of Quaid-i-Azam’s spectacles is displayed at the Meyrowitz museum, alongside his portrait. —Courtesy Saad Usmani

KARACHI: A portrait of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah has gone on display in the museum of the Paris oculist that manufactured the founder of the nation’s iconic spectacles and monocles.

The house of E.B. Meyrowitz, a pioneering optician’s located on Rue de Castiglione, counts the Quaid-i-Azam among their clients. Opened in 1875, the Paris opticians’ has catered to the likes of artist Claude Monet and pioneering aviator Charles Lindbergh, among others.

An entry on the opticians’ website details how the link with the Quaid was established when a customer, Saad Usmani, corresponded with them.

The items Mr Jinnah purchased from the oculist include the distinctive tortoise shell ‘Pinchness’ spectacles and turtle bone frames — currently on display at the collection housed at the Mazar-i-Quaid in Karachi.

According to Mr Usmani, it was suggested that the leather case of the Quaid’s glasses was being produced by the company in the 1920s, after which it was confirmed via numerous biographical accounts that Mr Jinnah did indeed visit Paris in 1926 and 1928.

The optician’s said that Mr Jinnah wore the famous ‘SACHA’, a round frame design from the 1920s.

A replica of the spectacles worn by the Quaid-i-Azam is now on display at the Meyrowitz museum, alongside his portrait and photos of the actual eyewear he sported.

“What an honour to have our glasses in a good place at the museum in Karachi, Pakistan, in the space dedicated to the personal effects of Mr Jinnah,” Meyrowitz notes on their website.

Published in Dawn, June 22nd, 2024

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