Sunglasses

First known to be used by the Chinese in the 13th century to protect eyes from the sun, sunglasses have long been associated with an air of coolness. Now a staple of modern style, sunglasses are often in demand at auction.

In the early 1930s, the U.S. Army Air Corps commissioned Bausch & Lomb to create an antiglare lens for pilots. The result was a lens that filtered out 95 percent of the sun's ultraviolet rays. By the late 1930s, ads for Bausch & Lomb’s new sunglasses touted “real scientific glare protection” for golfers and fishermen, and during World War II, Ray-Ban aviators became standard issue for pilots and the preferred eyewear of American military men.

With an aviation appeal, designer sunglasses have had an aura of adventure and jet-set mystique. Sunglasses at auction are popular among bidders ranging from everyday people seeking practical sun protection to Hollywood types attempting to dim the glare of the spotlight.


Quick Facts

  • Many historians attribute the discovery of sunglasses to Alessandro della Spina, a Dominican monk. He created reading glasses at the end of the 13th century in northern Italy
  • A pair vintage sunglasses in the style of crossed tennis racquets sold in a lot with two other pairs of shades for £360 at a 2007 London Christie's auction. The sunglasses were made by Oliver Goldsmith, the designer who created the white frames worn by Audrey Hepburn in "How to Steal a Million”
  • In 2013 at Julien's, a pair of German made, gold toned Neostyle shades owned by Elvis Presley sold for a remarkable $28,125, easily topping their $8,000 to $10,000 estimate. The sunglasses were accidentally left behind at a 1973 recording session

Recommended Items at Auction

See all items

Selection of Spode blue and white tea ware, six cups, saucers, plates and extras, sugar bowl, jug etc
Oct 31, 9:30 AM AEDT
Selection of Spode blue and white tea ware, six cups, saucers, plates and extras, sugar bowl, jug etc
by Vickers & Hoad
Est: AUD200- AUD300
AUD34015 Bids
Over 300 POKEMON Cards Collection - READ BELOW
Oct 30, 12:00 PM EDT
Over 300 POKEMON Cards Collection - READ BELOW
by South Florida Auction & Estate Sale Services
Est: $6- $1,000
$11011 Bids
Over 300 POKEMON Cards Collection - READ BELOW
Oct 30, 12:00 PM EDT
Over 300 POKEMON Cards Collection - READ BELOW
by South Florida Auction & Estate Sale Services
Est: $6- $1,000
$10010 Bids
Over 600 Magic the Gathering Cards Collection - READ BELOW
Oct 30, 12:00 PM EDT
Over 600 Magic the Gathering Cards Collection - READ BELOW
by South Florida Auction & Estate Sale Services
Est: $6- $1,000
$1109 Bids
Over 600 Magic the Gathering Cards Collection - READ BELOW
Oct 30, 12:00 PM EDT
Over 600 Magic the Gathering Cards Collection - READ BELOW
by South Florida Auction & Estate Sale Services
Est: $6- $1,000
$859 Bids
Rayban: Pearlised White Clubmaster Sunglasses, Grey Lenses
Oct 28, 6:00 PM AEDT
Rayban: Pearlised White Clubmaster Sunglasses, Grey Lenses
by Theodore Bruce
Est: AUD60- AUD80
AUD352 Bids
Dita: Goldtone Metal Framed Mens Sunglasses, Original Case
Oct 28, 6:00 PM AEDT
Dita: Goldtone Metal Framed Mens Sunglasses, Original Case
by Theodore Bruce
Est: AUD60- AUD80
AUD352 Bids
COX Extra 300S Aerobatic Control Line Flying Airpl
Oct 31, 11:00 AM EDT
COX Extra 300S Aerobatic Control Line Flying Airpl
by Moggies Auction Service
Est: $100- $125
$751 Bid
LARGE SIGN MARATHON GASOLINE DISARM WINTER
Feb 12, 9:00 AM CST
LARGE SIGN MARATHON GASOLINE DISARM WINTER
by Millers Auction Co.
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
EMBOSSED TIN SIGN DRINK GRAPE OLA SODA POP
Feb 12, 9:00 AM CST
EMBOSSED TIN SIGN DRINK GRAPE OLA SODA POP
by Millers Auction Co.
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
Extra-Seitengewehr der Leibstandarte
Oct 23, 10:00 AM CEST
Extra-Seitengewehr der Leibstandarte
by K&K – Auktionen in Heidelberg
Est: €200- €300
€801 Bid
Authentic Thomas Kinkade D.C. Comics BATMAN Canvas Art COA
Oct 30, 12:00 PM EDT
Authentic Thomas Kinkade D.C. Comics BATMAN Canvas Art COA
by South Florida Auction & Estate Sale Services
Est: $6- $1,000
$61 Bid
bp parity badge
CELINE “MARTA” SUNGLASSES Case length 7.5”.
Oct 29, 11:00 AM EDT
CELINE “MARTA” SUNGLASSES Case length 7.5”.
by Eldred's
Est: $200- $300
$1001 Bid
Sass & Bide: Pewtertone Metal Framed Mendoza Sunglasses, Dark Pink Lenses
Oct 28, 6:00 PM AEDT
Sass & Bide: Pewtertone Metal Framed Mendoza Sunglasses, Dark Pink Lenses
by Theodore Bruce
Est: AUD100- AUD200
AUD501 Bid
Oversized Antique Persian Kerman ,Soft Colors ,Even Wear Hand Knotted Oriental Rug
Nov 30, 12:00 PM EST
Oversized Antique Persian Kerman ,Soft Colors ,Even Wear Hand Knotted Oriental Rug
by Shahbanu Rugs
Est: $0- $0
$8,9750 Bids
Antique Persian Kerman Exc Cond Hand Knotted Oriental Rug
Nov 30, 12:00 PM EST
Antique Persian Kerman Exc Cond Hand Knotted Oriental Rug
by Shahbanu Rugs
Est: $0- $0
$8,9750 Bids
Antique Persian Bakhtiari Wide Gallery Runner Flower Design Hand-Knotted Oriental Rug
Nov 30, 12:00 PM EST
Antique Persian Bakhtiari Wide Gallery Runner Flower Design Hand-Knotted Oriental Rug
by Shahbanu Rugs
Est: $0- $0
$8,0000 Bids
Oversize Light Gray Hand Spun Undyed Natural Wool Modern Hand Knotted Oriental Rug
Nov 30, 12:00 PM EST
Oversize Light Gray Hand Spun Undyed Natural Wool Modern Hand Knotted Oriental Rug
by Shahbanu Rugs
Est: $0- $0
$7,9250 Bids
Ivory Persian Erased Medallion Design Wool and Pure Silk Hand Knotted Oriental Rug
Nov 30, 12:00 PM EST
Ivory Persian Erased Medallion Design Wool and Pure Silk Hand Knotted Oriental Rug
by Shahbanu Rugs
Est: $0- $0
$7,1000 Bids
Hand Knotted Pink Broken Persian Design Wool And Pure Silk Oriental Rug
Nov 30, 12:00 PM EST
Hand Knotted Pink Broken Persian Design Wool And Pure Silk Oriental Rug
by Shahbanu Rugs
Est: $0- $0
$7,1000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Sunglasses


Shahbanu Rugs

Shahbanu Rugs

Historia Auktionshaus

Historia Auktionshaus

Theodore Bruce

Theodore Bruce